A silver anniversary is a great excuse for a big, blow-out celebration. Pour your favorite beer, cut yourself a slice of cake, and join us admiring the presents: a collection of amusements from some of our favorite beer scribes. Have fun, and Happy Birthday!
Beer Around the World
When traveling internationally, there’s a school of thought that it’s the utmost in rudeness not to learn—and use—at least a few words in the language of the country in which one is traveling. “Yes,” “No,” “Thank-you” and “Please” should be at the top of that list. For the intrepid beer loving traveler, a most indispensable phrase is: “One beer, please.” Here is that phrase translated into 25 languages.
- Gregg “Berlitz” Glaser
1. Chinese Cantonese: Ng goi bei gee bear jou
Chinese Mandarin: Ching gai wor e ping pea jou
2. Czech/Slovak: Jedno pivo prosím
3. Danish: En øl tak
4. Dutch: Een bier alstublieft
Flemish: Een pintje alstublief
Afrikaans: Een bier asseblief
5. Finnish: Yksi olut, kiitos!
6. French: Une bière, s’il vous plait
7. Gaelic: Pionta beoir abhain led do thuil
8. German: Ein Bier bitte
9. Greek: Mia beera parakalo
10. Hindi: Ek beer deejiya
11. Hungarian: Egy sört kérek
12. Icelandic: Einn bjór takk
13. Italian: Una birra, per favore
14. Japanese: Birru o ippon kudasai
15. Korean: Magjoo hanna Juse-yo
16. Latin: Unam cerevisiam si placet
17. Norwegian: En øl takk
18. Polish: Jedno piwo prosze
19. Portugese: Uma cerveja por favor
20. Russian: Odno pivo pozhaluista
21. Spanish: Una cerveza por favor
22. Swahili: Pombe moja tafadhali
23. Swedish: En öl tak
24. Tagalog: Isang beer nga
25. Thai: Khor Beer Neung Khoud, Krup (Ka, if spoken by a woman)
Bad Beer Laws: Missing the Target
News flash from our Moscow bureau: The lower house of the Russian parliament recently passed a law that would make it illegal to drink beer in public. If president Vladimir Putin signs the bill into law, you’ll be liable for a 100-ruble fine (about $3.50) if you crack a cold one open in the streets, in subways or buses, in parks and stadiums, or in any public space outside a café or restaurant.
Good luck enforcing this proposed law, comrades.
Most localities in the U.S. have had public drinking laws on the books since Repeal, but they are among the most widely disobeyed of alcohol regulations. A year ago last July 4, the mayor of New York City was photographed sipping wine in Prospect Park while listening to an outdoor symphony. He seemed surprised that anyone would care. A few years ago I was attending a Labor Day parade when I ran into my Congressman walking down the sidewalk, chatting up his constituents, with a bottle of Yuengling in his hand.
Every once in a while a community will declare zero tolerance. The Washington, DC police once arrested a couple of residents for the heinous crime of drinking Pete’s Wicked Ale on their porch. The incident provoked such an outcry that the city council hastily passed a law declaring a front porch to be part of one’s domicile, and therefore private space.
The problem with public drinking laws is not their lax enforcement but the fact that they target all drinkers indiscriminately. The law-abiding citizen, who merely wants to enjoy a bottle of IPA with his picnic lunch in the park, is liable for the same fine as the belligerent drunk urinating on your geraniums. Guess which one which will obey the law, and which will ignore it?
That, unfortunately, is typical of alcohol laws in this country: they miss their mark badly. Last spring, a Utah legislator proposed lowering the permissible BAC to .02 for convicted DUI offenders driving with a child in their vehicle. Does it really make sense for police to chase after drivers who’ve had a beer or two, when most drunk-driving fatalities are caused by superdrunks with BACs of 0.15 or higher?
We have a remarkable tolerance for inane liquor laws. No one complains about open container laws anymore … they just brown-bag it. And there has been little outrage that 18-year-olds can be handcuffed and jailed for sipping a Bud, but our politicians see nothing contradictory or immoral about putting these young adults in harm’s way in Iraq.
When bad laws fail to stem alcohol abuse, we just pass more laws until we wind up the most over-regulated society in the world.
(Note: after I wrote this column, the upper house of the Russian parliament voted down a measure to ban public beer consumption. Although it’s been accused of being a rubber stamp for President Vladimir Putin, could the Russian legislature have a streak of independence after all?)
25 Delectable Beer and Food Partnerships
(listed in no particular order)
1. Victory Storm King Imperial Stout and osetra caviar
2. Rochefort 8 and flourless chocolate cake
3. Westmalle Tripel and white asparagus
4. Rosé de Gambrinus and salad greens dressed with raspberry vinaigrette
5. Fuller’s ESB and medium-rare roast beef
6. Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale and a peanut butter and jam sandwich
7. Brasserie à Vapeur Cochonette and sautéed foie gras
8. Gaffel Kölsch and thin crust potato pizza
9. Allagash White Beer and a cheese omelette
10. Brooklyn East India Pale Ale and spicy vegetarian chili
11. Young’s Old Nick Barley Wine and apple pie with aged white cheddar
12. Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout and Brie de Meaux
13. Jever Pilsner and crawfish étouffée
14. Live Oak Pilz and fried chicken
15. Einbecker Urbock Dunkel and Hungarian goulash
16. Timothy Taylor Landlord Bitter (cask-conditioned) and fish and chips
17. Éphémère Pomme and barbecue pork ribs with tomato-based sauce
18. Buckeye Brewing Vanilla Bean Porter and a “BLT” sandwich of bittersweet chocolate spicy mayonnaise, lobster moussiline and truffled cheese on baguette (with thanks to Adam Glickman of Monk’s Café, Philadelphia, who dreamt this up for a beer dinner I hosted there in 2003)
19. Alaskan Amber Ale and Alaskan king crab legs
20. Orval and medium-rare tournedo de cheval (that’s horse steak for all you Anglophones)
21. Porterhouse Oyster Stout and Galway Flat oysters
22. New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red and cherry cheesecake
23. Stone Double Bastard Ale and rum balls
24. Paulaner Salvator and roasted cashews
25. Vintage Courage Imperial Russian Stout and raw milk stilton
Rock ‘n’ Roll and Beer
Like Steak and Potatoes, right? Peanut butter and jelly. Butch and Sundance. There are few lifestyle combinations so bracingly appropriate. Just ask these avatars of loud, free-wheeling music:
English gentlemen to the last, The Who include Bass and Guinness among their backstage demands. They also like Corona, presumably to keep Pete Townsend’s windmill arm from becoming bogged down with heavier brews.
Pearl Jam, the iconoclastic alt-rock giants, keep their politics and their drinking habits in sync by sampling various microbrews native to the places they visit. In keeping with their anti-corporate stance, Budweiser will not be tolerated backstage.
Crosby, Stills and Nash have a similar fondness for local microbrews, although they seem to have had bottle opener shortage problems in the past, according to the first line of their contract’s catering stipulations: “Bottle Openers! Bottle Openers! Bottle Openers!”
Tom Petty is a man of impeccable rock timing, as well as a discerning palate. Depending on which tour bus he rides on, he could be drinking Budweiser, Boddingtons, Harp’s, Guinness, or Bass.
Country star Hank Williams Jr. is a man who shares the simple taste of the proletariat, asking only for Budweiser. Make sure it comes in cans.
Underground Hip-Hop fixtures A Tribe Called Quest have more rarefied tastes, opting for Sierra Nevada, Bass, and the sunny Jamaican flavor of Red Stripe.
In order to avoid the ravages of alcohol abuse—an affliction oft-associated with the hedonistic rock n’ roll lifestyle—many artists ask for a hefty supply of non-alcoholic brews. Indie legends The Pixies, ageless diva Elton John, gangster of love Steve Miller, and the aforementioned Hank Jr. appreciate the beer-like flavors of Haake Beck, Clausthaler, Kalibar, and O’Douls.
And the reigning champion of rock star beer tastes? Heineken. Back in the day, Hein was the beer of righteous, fun-loving, money-flush rockers, and most have not lost their taste for it. Fully half of the rockers on this list included Heineken among their backstage choices, and it has also caught the fancy of U2, Phish, and a slew of young bands who apparently don’t know any better.
25 Weird Beer Names
The bizarre, the clever, the rude and the unintentionally amusing—we drink ‘em all.
Arrogant Bastard (Stone Brewing Co., San Marcos, CA)
Delirium Tremens (Brewery Huyghe, Melle, Belgium)
I’ll Have What The Gentleman on the Floor is Having Barleywine (McGuire’s Irish Pub & Brewery, Pensacola, FL)
Sweaty Betty Blonde (Rockies Brewing, Boulder, CO)
Old Peculier (T & R Theakston Ltd, The Brewery, Masham, England)
Entire Butt English Porter (Salopian Brewing Co., Shrewsbury, England)
Bitter Woman IPA (Tyranena Brewing Co., Lake Mills, WI)
Catcher in the Rye (Rock Bottom, La Jolla, CA)
Polygamy Porter (Wasatch/Utah Brewers Coop, Salt Lake City, UT)
Texas Speedbump IPA (Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co., Madison, WI)
Epidurale (Goose Island Brewing, Chicago, IL)
Old Thunder Pussy (Magnolia Pub & Brewery, San Francisco, CA)
Gluteus Maximus (Tuck’s Brewery, Portland, OR)
DUIPA (Hoptown Brewing, Pleasanton, CA)
Bunghammer Barleywine (BruRm @ Bar, New Haven, CT)
Druid Fluid (Middle Ages Brewing Co., Syracuse, NY)
Olde Bongwater Hemp Porter (Kettle House Brewing Co., Missoula, MT)
Hairy Weasel Hefeweizen (Steelhead Brewery, Eugene, OR)
Scotch de Silly (Brasserie de Silly, Silly, Belgium)
Kiltlifter Scotch Ale (Moylan’s Brewery and Restaurant, Novato, CA)
Studley Ale (Williamsville Brewery, Richmond, VA)
Ebola Stout (Bubba Brewing Group, No Fixed Address)
Skull Splitter (Orkney Brewery, Orkney, UK)
In Heat Wheat (Flying Dog Brewery, Denver, CO)
Dead Guy Ale (Rogue Ales, Newport, OR)
Old Howling Bastard (Blue Point Brewing Co., Patchogue, NY)
Hairy Eyeball Ale (Lagunitas Brewing Co., Petaluma, CA)