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Messages - nateo

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Beer Travel / Initial thoughts on Munich
« on: February 06, 2014, 12:37:15 AM »
I've been in Munich for almost a week and thought I'd share some brief observations.

The beer stores (Getränkecenter) here are really cool. Most of the beer comes in the 0,5l bottles. I've seen a few 6-packs of the 0,33l bottles, but only a few of the biggest brands come in those. They cost between 0,75 and 0,95 euro, with a 0,08 euro bottle deposit.

So far my favorite Bierhalle was Hacker-Pschorr. It's on the Theresienplatz where they do Oktoberfest. The Weisswurst was great, and it seemed to be mostly locals there when I went. I didn't see any other tourists at Augustiner am Dom either. Schneider & Sohn was good too, but a bit touristy. Our waitress was an older lady, and she seemed very impatient with all the Russian tourists, but I speak a bit of German so she was very friendly to me. Hofbrauhaus was mostly tourists, and a few very drunk, very loud locals. The service there was pretty terrible, too, compared to the others.

The beer prices were typically 3,95 or 4,30 euro per 0,5l, and I think 7,60 for the 1L Maß in the Hofbrauhaus. As far as the quality goes, everywhere the beer was great. It definitely tastes different (and a bit better, to me) to drink it fresh, but it's not a night-and-day different from what you can find in the states.

Also, don't touch anything in the street-vendor stalls or you'll get yelled at.

It seems like most people in the city speak German. In the village I'm staying in there's a lot more Bairisch, which is almost totally incomprehensible to me. It sounds like Old English. Almost everyone can also speak German (or close enough), although I've run into a few old guys who either can't or won't speak German. Maybe half the people can speak limited English, but mostly the younger people. Most of the people over 30 don't seem to speak any (except for that waitress at Schneider, hers was very good).

« on: January 23, 2014, 07:51:31 AM »
Fantastic! Wow, how long are you going to be on The Continent?

I'll be in Aachen from the end of February to the end of July. After that, I've got a couple job leads in Munich. So, at least 6 months, maybe indefinitely.

West Flanders is great for biking, and you gotta hit De Dolle Brouwers. It's one of my favorite tours as long as long as the brewer's 95+ year-old mother is still guiding them. She's a hoot.

Closer to me (I'm in Tervuren) is the new-ish De Kroon brewery ( It's on the rural bike routes and is probably best visited by bike. You won't be the only one. The beer is decent, but it's the brewing kit that's really drool-worthy.

Thanks for the recommendations. I'm sure I'll hit you up for more advice once I get over there and settled.

« on: January 23, 2014, 07:23:01 AM »
I'm taking my touring bike, and hope to take a few long weekends riding around visiting breweries. It's amazing how small everything is in Europe. I can't wait.

« on: January 20, 2014, 05:54:06 AM »
Kyle's tips are good ones. For Saison Dupont on tap, I'd go to Nuetnigenough. Great little Art Nouveau place with a range of Dupont's beers on tap, including Rador Pils.

Nateo (or anyone else), if you're ever in the 'hood (Brussels), drop me a PM if you you feel like meeting up.

Thanks! That'd be rad. Cantillon is doing an open house brew on March 22nd, I was thinking about doing a day or overnight trip for that. I'll drop a line when I know for sure.

« on: January 19, 2014, 10:43:38 AM »
Kyle - thanks for the tips on Brussels! Cantillon looks awesome. I'll be about an hour away and hope to make a few trips there to explore.

I'll be in Munich for a few weeks too. I hope to hit some of the dumb touristy stuff, but there are also a lot of obscure, acclaimed breweries off the beaten path I want to see.

If you don't have time to make it to all of them, I'm told this bottle shop in Munich has the best selection of local beers:

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: January 17, 2014, 04:57:28 AM »
That brewery I was thinking of is in Ummerstadt, in Thüringen, on the border with Oberfranken. It's called Ummerstädter Kommunbräu. The do two 90 min decoction boils, then a 5 hour wort boil. One of the guys on the Hobbybrauer forum (Berliner) took a trip there, and took some pictures. It's pretty wild:

People seem to rave about the beer. It's an easy-drinking copper lager (the color is from all the boiling, no doubt), and people call it fruity, powerfully musty (?), flat, and with a sharp, strong hop aroma. I don't know. I think 50% of a beer's flavor comes from where you drink it and who you drink it with, so maybe they've all got the beerfest goggles on and it's not objectively that good.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: January 16, 2014, 12:07:19 PM »
I seem to think Nateo posted it on his blog a long time ago but I haven't seen him around these parts in a while.

I'm still alive! But yeah, real life has kept me pretty occupied. I haven't had time for brewing since maybe June.

It's been a long time, so I can't remember the details, but from talking to some German brewers, apparently there is a "traditional" brewery over there that still uses the old techniques. IIRC they did a decoction mash pretty much all day, then a 3-4 hour boil. If I remember the name I'll post it.

Just FYI, most pro and hobby brewers in Germany think decoction is wasteful of time and energy (it is) and kinda silly. However, they love step-mashes with at least 3 steps, although 4-5 are typical, which I think is also silly.

FWIW I think most of the allure of decoction is merely the fetishization of the popular conception of German brewing. It's kinda like foreign branding, or the nonsensical use of umlauts, a la "Haüs Of Growlers."

The Pub / Re: Pronunciation of "Saison"
« on: June 27, 2013, 08:18:24 PM »
Saying nasal vowels when you're speaking English is silly.  The word Saison has been used enough to be considered an English word of French origin.  Don't use phonemes that don't exist in the middle of an English sentence unless you want to sound pretentious.

Actually, if you want to get all technical here, nasal vowels are used in American English, appearing before nasal consonants, in words like "man," "can't" and "then," and "embalm." In British English they're not all nasalized, noticeably "can't." You probably don't notice how they're nasalized because you're a native American English speaker.

If you've ever heard someone who uses African American vernacular English, or some related southern accents say "Hey man" you've definitely heard a nasal "n."

The Pub / Re: Pronunciation of "Saison"
« on: June 27, 2013, 01:58:37 PM »
But when the waiter corrected me at Drai's for saying Belgian endive~in-dive with "it's awn-deev" it nearly got nasty.

Yeah, that's a really bad idea. I've been a waiter, and I've sold ferr-in sounding named skis and bikes. The appropriate thing to do is to pronounce it correctly yourself, when it comes up naturally, but not correct them unless they ask you how it's said. The worst thing you can do is mimic the customer's bad pronunciation, because it sounds like you're mocking them.

The Pub / Re: Pronunciation of "Saison"
« on: June 27, 2013, 01:44:27 PM »
Re: Missouri, yeah, it's baffling here. Versailles = Ver-sales, Lebanon = Leb-uh-nin, Kimbrough = Kimbroo. People are really assholes here if you don't know how to say things in their peculiar, messed-up way. It's not bad in the cities, but outside of KC/STL/Springfield, if you speak standard American English, people are pretty rude. I swear, when I moved here from CO people treated me like I was a Martian.

In CO, everyone said "Say-zahn" which is probably why it's so weird for me to hear everyone say "Say-sawn" here, with a stress on the middle s. Say-zahn is at least closer.

And yeah, I hear you on the whole "correct pronunciation sounds pretentious" thing. If you order a croissant from an entrepreneur, with proper French pronunciation, you'll sound pretentious. I think it's just as pretentious to go out of your way to deliberately mangle the French, like RAM described in Texas court.

@Bboy - the n is like, barely pronounced, in your nose, not with your tongue touching the top of your mouth, like a "regular" n. For the nasal n, you tongue shouldn't have to move.   

The Pub / Re: Pronunciation of "Saison"
« on: June 27, 2013, 09:43:54 AM »
Well, IMO it's better to call them "American farmhouse ales" or just "farmhouse ales" than butcher the original, French word.

And don't get me started on "hefeweizen". . .

The Pub / Re: Pronunciation of "Saison"
« on: June 27, 2013, 09:28:27 AM »
I just say "one of those" so I can avoid the pronunciation all together.  It's like Duvel, I'm never sure if I'm saying it right...

Duvel is a weird one, because some Dutch-speaking areas pronounce the v as f, and some pronounce v as v. In north Netherlands, especially Amsterdam, v=f is more common, and v=v is maybe a little more common in Belgium, but as far as I can tell, there's no rhyme or reason to it.

So I think you could say either "Doofle" or "Doovle" and it'd be "correct." The "el" is pronounced like the le in double. 

Now, the β/ʋ/v issue is even crazier. I can't even hear the difference between them, really, but Dutch people say they can. Also, sometimes w=w, sometimes w=β/ʋ/v

The Pub / Pronunciation of "Saison"
« on: June 27, 2013, 08:04:51 AM »
Not sure why, but it really drives me crazy when people say "Say-sawn."

It's sɛ.zɔ̃, where s is just like s, ɛ is like the eh sound in "celery" or "men,"  z is like z, and ɔ̃ is a nasal vowel that sounds like "own" if you cut off the n on the end.

So it's kind of like "seh-zohn" with a nasal n on the end.

You can listen here, on the left-hand column, click the little play button next to saison:

The Pub / Re: Has anyone noticed
« on: June 24, 2013, 11:43:20 AM »
Guys! Did you know that whales and junk totally pee in the ocean, like, all the time?!?!

Seriously though, urine is sterile, so as long as that ALL that's in there, whatever. Swimming in a pool with babies in it is much more distressing to me.

The Pub / Re:
« on: June 21, 2013, 07:55:41 PM »
I'll be on for a bit before bed, if anyone else is bored on a friday night.

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