Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Journey into the Heart of Brewing . . .

Craft Beer Aficianados
(Image by Paul O. Boisvert for New York Times)

My Little Rock friend John Wells, of EBeerSnob fame, has been telling me about this craft beer movement for a couple of years now, and I guess that he wasn't exaggerating since the New York Times has devoted a recent travel article by John Holl to the phenomenon: "Make Your Beer and Drink It, Too" (February 28, 2010).

Or rather, devoted to fans of the phenomenon:
By 8:30 a.m., Glen Nile was elbow-deep in a bucket of Cascade hops, pulling apart the dry pods and releasing the lupulin, a resinous substance that plays a crucial role in the creation of beer. Meanwhile, Errol Chase, who goes by "Butch," was pouring pints of oatmeal stout.

"When it is something you enjoy doing, it can hardly be considered work," said Mr. Nile, 40, of Cumberland, R.I. "Plus, to work on a system like this is a real treat."

Mr. Chase is a brewer. Mr. Nile is not. We were at the rustic Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery along with 20 others for an educational weekend of brewing. For some it was a chance to learn about the craft or to get advice on home brewing from the professionals. For others it was a gastronomical delight: two days of eating and drinking in the heart of New Hampshire's White Mountains.
You have to be pretty fanatical to devote an otherwise free weekend to brewing somebody else's beer -- and paying to do it!
[Mr. Scott Rice, the owner,] estimated that about 1,500 visitors had attended Woodstock's brewery weekends. Guests can take part in every step of the brewing process -- including the messy work of removing hundreds of pounds of processed grain from the "mash tun," where grain and water are mixed. The early morning brewing leads into a hearty Saturday lunch (featuring bread made from the spent grain); later, there’s a five-course dinner and souvenirs. (Breakfast is included in the cost of the room.)
That cost, should anyone be interested, is "$118 per person, not including lodging," which means that it costs even more.

Actually, I must have the makings of a fanatic, for that price sounds pretty good to me, and with the craft beer tradition beginning to develop here in Korea, as Andray Abrahamian informs us in "The Beer Necessities; Craft Beer in Korea" (10 Magazine, November 30, 2009), perhaps I'll be looking into a little vacation myself some weekend in the not-too-distant future.

Off-topic, but the grammar fanatic in me wants to change Mr. Abrahamian's semicolon to a colon . . .

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At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now it appears that even someone with a published article to his credit is safe from my esteemed nephew.

Mr. Andray Abrahamian, welcome to the club!

And friend JK, check your grammar and punctuation carefully in the future.


At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make that "isn't safe".

(I just did this for your pleasure,
And if you believe that, I have a share in the Brooklyn Bridge, that you can purchase at a bargain.

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, no one is safe from my corrective hand.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Got an address for that Mr. Chase?

Last time I had my cholesterol checked someone from the VA made a long distance call admonishing me to buy oatmeal - "...and make sure it doesn't sit in the cabinet!"

If she calls again I'm pretty sure (provided I get the address)I can convincingly reply, "Yes Ma'am, each and every day. Sometimes with every meal."

I agree with you here Jeffery, that does need changing to a colon - as Mr. Rice clearly states, "messy work."

And Cran of course.


At 10:41 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yep, a good colon is a must for messy work.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:48 AM, Blogger Story of NY. said...

Hello Professor Hodges,

My name is Nathan Yi and I'm currently working as an intern for a small company over in Ansan (south of Seoul). I came across your blog entry from several years ago: Cho Se-mi on the 'Korean mindset'. I don't know how busy you are or even if you're still in Korea. However, if you happen to have time (and if you are still in Korea), would you possibly be able to meet over a cup of coffee or lunch? You seem like a man with deep and legitimate insight and I would like to learn from you.

Thank you! Hope to hear back from you!

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Next time you are at the VA Clinic:

That would be a good time for someone to give you a colon check.
You can't be too careful.

And the lady likely wants you to eat, not drink, your oatmeal serving.


At 12:21 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nathan, I don't know that I'm a man of particular insight, but if you're around Ewha midday on a Wednesday, we might be able to work in a coffee. I don't really have a lunch, but Starbucks on campus has muffins and such to go with coffee.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:23 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, Uncle Cran sounds almost as if he's engaging in a bit of 'polite sarcasm'.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:47 PM, Blogger Story of NY. said...

Professor Hodges,

I actually work from 8am-5pm daily, I am so sorry for misleading you by referring to "lunch". However, I am attending the Korean language classes at Yonsei so I am in that area every Mon, Tues, and Thurs by 6pm. I can be there anyday, but 6pm is the earliest time I can manage.

So, do you have time on the weekdays after 6pm? Or anytime on the weekends? (I should have mentioned all this earlier... my apologies.) I'm just glad to hear that you're still in Korea!


At 2:05 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Nathan, my schedule is opposite yours, it seems. By six p.m., I am long returned to my wife and kids in northeast Seoul.

Weekends are spent in other pursuits . . . but if you ever happen to have a Wednesday off, let me know.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The "lady" only and emphatically demanded I buy and consume oatmeal. She made absolutely no mention as to it's preparation.

As for "having it examined at the VA clinic?"

Experience tells me one has to go to Little Rock for that. Experience also tells me that when the "examiner" asks whether one wishes to be "knocked out" it is probably best to reply, "Hell yes!"

Regardless, when given the opportunity to watch the video in order to find out if I was as full of er, "stuff" as the feller who slept on lakes - I chose the 'stay-awake.'

Aside from the general relief I realized watching the video, there was another unexpected reward in choosing the 'stay-awake' albeit unexpected.

When they wheel you out to the recovery room you are wide awake so as to lock eyes with the nurses and fart like a fifteen year old again.

And nope, they don't want you eating any oatmeal in the 24 hours preceeding the procedure. And, had I known prior what the post-op was gonna be like - I'd of fasted for 48.

In your case Cran, I'd suggest 96.


At 3:40 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sounds like much of this comment thread needs to make more effective use of the colon.

I should have set a higher tone at the outset!

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff, Andrew makes his own beer frequently. When you are in Arkansas this summer, I'll ask him to bring some to you.


At 4:35 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Pat, thanks. That sounds great! (I didn't realize that you were still reading this stuff that I write.)

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:39 AM, Blogger Story of NY. said...

Professor Hodges,

How does March 31st sound?

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Probably okay. I'll write down 12:30 for the on-campus Starbucks, which is located in Ewha's ECC building on the walk-in level at the lowest depth of the gash. I think that's the B3 level.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:56 AM, Blogger Story of NY. said...

Sounds good.
Let me know if a change of plan happens. I understand you are a busy man with much higher priorities.

Thank you!

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Okay, see you then (and I hope that others readers don't bother you with odd phone calls).

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:31 AM, Blogger John from Daejeon said...

"the grammar fanatic in me wants to change Mr. Abrahamian's semicolon to a colon . . ."

'Tis a new world with fewer observed rules nowadays thanks to instant messaging/texting and e-mail.

Personally, I speak Spanish quite well, but over the years I've lost most of the punctuation rules, so it doesn't bother me too much when people misplace, or misuse, a bit of punctuation. How are we to know their backgrounds as the world becomes a bit more blurred as national language boundaries disappear?

As it is, most people who talk to me from the U.S. doubt that I'm from Texas as I have no accent thanks to living in the country (rural South Texas) where I learned to talk by watching (and hearing) "Sesame Street" and TV shows produced in California (our closest neighbors lived over two miles away and were my grandmother and uncle). However, misspellings like the auditory, hear, when meaning the physical, here, are more of a personal pet peeve of mine.

Then, there is also the “use it or lose it” problem that many of us face if we aren’t writing complicated sentences in English (or any language for that matter) on a regular basis. We revert back to writing simple sentences where the period, comma, and question mark are our basic tools. Additionally, rules sometimes come along after we’ve left the learning environment of school—such as commas no longer being used in a series before “and,” and the disappearance of using a comma after starting a personal letter. I think Dear Grandma looks very impersonal with a colon after Grandma and “My Dearest Love,” looks absolutely ridiculous as “My Dearest Love:”).

Languages are funny things that aren’t set in stone and are constantly changing. Often times, I get ribbed for using the Mexican word (actually Aztec) guajolote for turkey instead of the Spanish Spanish word, pavo, depending on the Spanish-speaking nationality of the person I’m talking to. I still have to ask my Puerto Rican friends if they are referring to the fruit, orange, or the country when they say “china.” So I understand just how confusing it can be to those trying to understand the differences and all those nuances in American English, Australian English, Kiwi English, Canadian English, South African English, Irish English, and English English when they come from a background that isn’t quite familiar with all the variables that they might end up facing. It’s even harder to learn English when the punctuation rules vary from English speaking nation to English speaking nation. Plus, there are all the added phrases from other languages that end up part of the bigger national picture of those local English languages. Capiche?

c u l8r ;)

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

When I stayed with my paternal grandma at the end of a dirt road, I was a a mile or so from the next neighbor. If I had been raised by that grandma, I'd be speaking like one of Mr. LeRoy Tucker's characters.

But I mainly grew up in town with my maternal grandparents, so I spoke Modern Hillbilly, e.g., "warsh" for "wash," and so on.

I now speak fairly standard American English. Hearing about other people's experiences with language is always interesting.

Jeffery Hodges

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