From the HBD Archive
Subject: various
Date: 1989-07-28 15:36:29 GMT

In HB.DIG #212, Darryl Richman comments:

>Have you been to Merrie Olde Englande? A pint of "Bitter" is not very,
>on average. (The neat thing about having a zillion little breweries is

I agree with this. The term "bitter" apparently applied earliest to the
hopped variety of ale. But then Darryl comments:

>When the English found that they could grow quite nice hops, suddenly
>it appeared in everyone's beer. (In fact, "beer" is supposed to be
>a contraction from "bitter".) So, you could have ale or bitter.

Hold on a minute...According to Webster's, both "beer" and "bitter"
derived from the Old English, but from different words. "beer" also
appeared in the Old High German. Certainly, beer was brewed long before
hops was added, and it looks as if it was called something like "beer"
long before hops was added.


There were several comments (mostly negative) from various people about
dry yeast. I suppose I have to speak up in defense of dry yeast for the
following reasons. First, it is simpler to use. Second, it can be kept
in storage for months and still be utilized. In addition, I have found
that Red Star Ale Yeast produces fruity (call it estery, stinking,
winey or whatever) tastes, which I happen to like a lot. This taste
reminds me of the original Red Hook (which is rumored to be a mistake,
maybe they used Red Star in the beginning!), which is no longer available,
and which I would pay handsomely to taste again. Besides, even if there
happen to be off tastes (which I have never noticed, and my friends have
never noticed in my ales), the product is still better than most
commercial beers, and that's the bottom line, anyway! If one has time,
money, and inclination, it's good to go to liquid yeast, but if not, then
dry yeast is a good compromise.


Daryl Richman also adds:

>My only experience with an extract-brewing pub is two of the McMeniman's
>(Cornelius Pass, Raleigh Hills) and their beers seemed acceptable to me,
>although they were all a bit sweet and overly hopped. (No, I didn't get
>to try Ruby Tuesday... I wasn't there on a Tuesday, I guess ;-). I have
>had the same experience at mashing pubs as well.

(I'm not picking on Daryl, it's just that he raised some good points.)
My experiences with the brews produced by the McMeniman's would not
allow me to call them acceptable. Incidentally, some nymnoid behind the
bar at the Cornelius Pass was blabbing on about how great the
McMeniman's swill was, and in the process mentioned that they were
mashing. Who knows?

Finally, in HB.DIG # 213, John Polstra says:

>Just as a data point, I've taken homebrew as carry-on at least 4 or 5
>times. There's never been any hassle with the security people.

Recently, I tried to bring back a 1-liter bottle of scotch from
England. When I got to Portland, I was really hassled about it. They
even made me open the bottle and let them smell it! On the other hand,
when I took a half case of beer back to a friend in Oklahoma, the
security wanted to know what was in the carry on. I said, "A whole
bunch of beer." They let me through without hassle.

[Florian Bell, Boonesborough, Oregon]

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