Sunday, May 18, 2008

Speaking of beef, I mean beer...

Lee Hyo-bok, Seoul WaBar
JoongAng Daily, May 14, 2008
(Image by Kwon Hyuck-jae)

The JoongAng Daily for Wednesday, May 14 -- my birthday, if you recall -- had a couple of useful articles on finding good beer in Korea.

The articles don't talk much about Korean beers. I wonder why.

Anyway, the first article, "Booze news for beer hunters," by Lee Young-hee and Kim Do-eun, describes the Koreans changing tastes in beers:
In Korea, American beverages like Miller and Budweiser, and Mexico's Corona, used to be considered cool, but today European beers, with their stronger personalities and richer tastes are becoming more prominent.

Interest in European drinks has been fueled in part by the tourism boom. As more Koreans travel overseas, they encounter a diverse range of brews. Events like Oktoberfest in Germany have introduced more locals here to that nation's wealth of beer talent. Subsequently, the beer market here is moving away from lagers and is embracing dark, wheat and light beers.
That's a change all for the better here in Korea even if I do choose readily available Budweiser over the cheaper Korean beers, but if my Arkansas beer-buddy John Wells is right about the best, most-creative beers in the world now being brewed in America, then we can hope for a New World reorientation sometime and a Korean return to American beers, albeit of more creative brews . . . unless Koreans worry about getting some of those mind-wasting prions from American-brewed, beef-flavored beer.

(Advice: Don't drink beef-flavored beer -- it's for the dogs!)

But worried Koreans can flush their brains of these concerns and unlikely prions by turning to beers with higher alcohol, described in a section of the article with this heading:
For drinkers who want to get drunk
Lee and Kim obviously know their Korean readership -- and perhaps their foreign readers as well -- for they get directly to the point:
A beer's alcohol content is usually about 4 to 5 percent. But if you want to get really plastered, try a barley-rich Bock, a lager with 7 to 9 percent alcohol. Erdinger Bock is 7.3 percent on the alcohol Richter scale while Paulaner Salvator at 7.5 percent will get you tipsy quickly.
But that's not why I drink beer, and I feel no urge to flush my brain of any putative prion build-up from my many years eating American beef. Moreover, too much alcohol, not American beef, is the real mind-wasting stuff.

My advice to Korean youth with their irrational fears of getting bovine spongiform encephalopathy from American beef and their candlelight protests against importing mad-cow disease from the United States:
Kids, don't follow the example of your elders, drinking to get quickly drunk, but drink in moderation, and your brains will stay healthier no matter how much American beef you eat.
That's my expert medical advice, speaking as a doctor of philosophy.

The second article, "Abide by this guide when you imbibe," written solely by Lee Young-hee, tells of Lee Hyo-bok's WaBar chain of bars offering a selection of international beers.

WaBar doesn't seem to have a website, despite having 100 bars (including one in L.A.'s Koreatown) though a website appears to be in the works.

Anyway, the bar owner, Lee Hyo-bok, offers some advice for would-be beer drinkers, including this final piece on how to drink a beer:
It tastes best with good friends close to you. Beer just doesn't taste as good when you drink alone.
I agree, and precisely for that reason, when I'm hot and sweating after my daily exercise, I like to have an ice-cold beer with a friendly book.

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At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well except for the day I left my last comment I see you've kept mentioning birthdays and now beer.

Am I still getting "hints?"

I admit, JeaniO didn't dare post that the blank check she was sending didn't have the six figures that are normally present and so I went ahead and gave her access to my Swiss account. I was trying, Prof to be discreet in both yours' an Jeanio"s behalf.

OK, the check cleared did it not?

Well expect the six-pack of Milwaukee's Best (Light if I remember correctly) to be in transit as soon as I find myself in a wet county. No, hold on.

The six pack's in the mail.


At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh Oh Professor Jeffery,

There may have been a little mistake. You were expecting a six figure check?

Unless (which incidentally I rather doubt my statement because I cannot believe that my friend spent an extra six figures on a Haagen Das purchase) your deposited check-which apparently has cleared-was not your expected six figure: but rather seven, please remit the extra hundred thousand. Unless En-Uk needs a mating pair of those whatchamacallum eel thingys.

Maybe it's just a statement error, I admit to a difficulty understanding Swissian bank statements.


At 11:23 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The check hasn't posted yet, but I'm hopeful.

On the number of figures, you're obviously correct, and I've long wondered why we say "a six-figure sum" when we're speaking of millions.

Or have I misunderstood all these years?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:32 AM, Blogger jeanie oliver said...

I'm amazed at the things that you educate the less-worldly about from your perch across the world!
I don't much like beer but fortunately I did not damage my sweet sons with this less than charming attribute. The offspring paid no attention to momma and have been equal opportunity imbibers. Since I can only take a little of the hops before melting, they must have inherited from the father!

At 11:43 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

If I recall, Jeanie, old Eddie could handle his beer -- but he was a pretty big guy even in high school. Wasn't he about 6'5" tall even then?

Last time that I saw him was in Little Rock at the FFA fair about 1973 or so, and I called out, "Why, there's Eddie Oliver!" He looked up and smiled, recognizing me as a Hodges boy, I reckon, even if he was a couple of years older and from Viola High, Salem's rival.

Ah, memories. I think that Eddie deserves a beer raised to his memory. I'll get right on that.

Thanks for the excuse...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh Professor Jeffery,

When that seven figure check does clear, you have my permission to send a single can back to wherever it needs addressing to: to satisfy any past requirements.

JeaniO, I realize this must be a mistake, John Henry could not possibly consume a hunnerd thousand dollars worth or Haagen Das,

could he?


At 12:59 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Should clear right soon, JK, for Jeanie is aware of the peculiar delay.

Jeffery Hodges

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