Thursday, October 18, 2007

Beery Goodness for your Taste Buds and your Brain Pan!

My good buddy Larry sent me these really cool beer related tidbits of knowledge. Who knew?! Thanks Larry! And remember... there's no such thing as "useless" beer info! ;)

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "mind their own pints and quarts and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

I love this kind of "useless" knowledge! The next time you pull up a stool at your favorite watering hole you can drop these "useless" bits of trivia on your drinking pals and blow them away!

German Done Right!

As I've mentioned, the wife and I couldn't make it the Munich Oktoberfest this year, however, the other night we found a magnificent fill in!

Edelweiss has been a Colorado Springs institution of sorts for 40 years now. This superb German restaurant serves the most authentic (and great tasting) fare I've ever had. My wife is 100% German, and was supremely impressed. So much so that she actually dreamed about being in Germany after visiting. Now that's saying something!

But it's got more going for it then just great Weinerschnitzel and Bratwurst... the owners of Edelweiss know their German beers! What, you thought I was only going to talk about food in a beer blog?

Here's what I tried that I've never had before:

Kristall Weissbeir from Wiehenstaphan - The World's Oldest Brewery was established way back in the year of our Lord, 1040 AD. They make one helluva fantastic weissbeir (wheat beer)! According to the website "the source of its pearling, effervescent taste is the secret fermentation process" developed specifically for their crystal wheat beer. At 5.4% ABV, that secret process does the job very well. By the way, check out their website for a very cool, high-tech virtual tour of this very old school brewery.

Dunkel Weizen Steingadener from Aktienbrauerei Kaufbeuren, which is a youngin' of a brewery having been established in 1307. This dark wheat weighs in a 5.1% ABV, and while tasty, wasn't one of my favorites.

What was my favorite? While the first two beers on my list came in 17 ounce bottles, the Erdinger Weissbier ("With Fine Yeast") was on tap. It was far and away the best of the bunch, and also one of - if not THE finest - weissbiers I've ever tasted. Ya... it's THAT good.

So if you're in the Colorado Springs area you owe it to yourself to stop by the Edelweiss and try their sumptuous plates of fantastic Bavarian cuisine. They currently don't have a rathskellar, but according to the folks who work there (most of which are German and have accents) - one is being built in the basement (where an authentic beer hall SHOULD be). If all goes according to plan it will be open just after the first of the year.

I think I see a huge frequent drinker beer stein with my name on it in the not too distant future!