BEER WITH A SOCIALIST: Ordering beer, watching movies, dreaming of Bavaria and oiling our hops.


Back into a routine.

Monday mornings surveying the empty spaces on cooler shelves, lifting kegs, making space for reinforcements and placing pen to paper. It’s all very old school, right up to the point when I text my orders to wholesaler reps.

I’ve missed this sort of work.

It’s been at least ten years since I was actively involved with a beer program like the one at Pints&union now; once Bank Street Brewhouse began construction in 2008, it was all about selling NABC’s beer, which proved to be multitudinous Groundhog Days of frustration for me.

That’s in the past. We depleted the better part of two kegs of Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest in five days last week, and also tapped a quarter barrel of Founders Harvest Ale (it will be pouring when the pub opens for business Tuesday).

Draft sales have been gratifyingly brisk so far, and within the next two weeks, both Fuller’s London Pride and Anchor Porter should be back at their stations.

To me, the big challenge so far has been to make the best use of limited space for bottles and cans, and assembling a great classicist “short list” of 40 to 45 choices. It’s a work in progress, but comments like this one from Monnik’s skilled brewer Scott Hand really help my morale.

Interestingly, another friend said he’d invited a few notable beer geek enthusiasts to come to the pub, and they begged off because the beer at Pints&union isn’t interesting enough.

Come to think of it, this might be the highest praise of all. 

Now, for a few links.

Last Friday we attended a 4:00 p.m. screening of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 at Baxter Avenue Theatres Filmworks in Louisville. It’s a measure of how seldom I watch movies that Friday’s visit was my first to BATF since the cinema remodeled back in 2016, an investment that included the debut of a bar with real adult beverages.

Consequently I was delighted to find this bar situated at the entrance to our chosen screen, and even happier to note the presence of local beers on tap. Moore’s documentary might be his finest yet, and my outraged enjoyment was facilitated by delicious draft Gravely Hefeweizen and Vienna Lager.

As a caveat, stadium seats implies stadium pricing, but as I noted, it’s a rare splurge for me, anyway.

For the photo alone.

10 of the best brewery tap rooms in Europe: readers’ tips (The Guardian)

Our tipsters try everything from a Peak District brewpub crawl to a beer in Ukraine named in ‘honour’ of Vladimir Putin

This brewery on the banks of a glacier-carved Alpine lake is in a monastery with tables that reach to the water’s edge, and for a price that vanished long ago in Britain … This is the Tegernsee brewery tap in southern Bavaria. It serves its own Helles, a crisp golden beer, Dunkle, which is darker and malty, and Wiessbier, a refreshing wheat beer. It also sells one of the most satisfying low-alcohol Helles I know. The interior of this brewery tap is a cathedral to beer.

• Open daily 9am-11pm,

For me, this image is heavenly.


Finally, from my friend Stan, a deep dive into distilled hop oils in brewing. The rumination is particularly relevant given the prospective arrival of the Our Lady of Perpetual Hops brewery up the hill in Floyds Knobs.

Just the Essentials — How Distilled Oils are Expanding the Impact of Hops, by Stan Hieronymus (Good Beer Hunting)

The process of extracting desirable odor compounds from plant matter—think: roses, lavender, or other prefered fragrances—is rather basic. It produces the results it does because compounds can be distilled at temperatures below that of the boiling points of individual constituents, preserving their characteristics. Steam is pumped through the matter under pressure, softening the cells, freeing essential oil and turning it into vapor. After cooling, the steam condenses into water and the vapor into essential oil. Because the oil is most often lighter than water, the two may be easily separated.

Avicenna, a Persian polymath who lived from 980 to 1037 A.D., is credited with being the first to use steam distillation for isolating essential oils from flowers, starting with rose water. Although the process now has multiple other industrial uses, it remains the most common method for producing aromatherapy-grade essential oils.

This is where hops come in.