Sunday, May 31, 2009

G20 Beer Festival in Pittsburgh

The Obama administration announced a G20 Summit that will take place in the United States on September 24 & 25, 2009. The host city will not be New York, Los Angles or Crawford, but my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My guess is that he wants to take in a Steeler game or a pub-crawl on the South Side. As past news stories have shown we can expect demonstrations. So, what can we do to keep mayhem at a minimum and help developing countries boost their economy? I suggest a G20 Beer Festival inside the convention center. Beer brings people together and drinking together usually solves the world’s problems. I should know; me and my mates do it every weekend. Admission will be free to all demonstrators (proper ID required) and world leaders will pay for the beer. Democrats will do a food service and Republicans will check ID at the door and clean up afterwards. There will be two children’s play areas, one red one blue.

The beers on tap will come from the G20 developing counties as shown below.
Bolivia (Huari), Brazil (Frevo), Chile (Kunstmann), China (Zhujiang beer 珠江啤酒), Cuba (Bucanero Beer), Ecuador (Cerveza Nevada), Egypt (Sakara), Guatemala (Moza), India (Cobra), Indonesia (Bintang), Mexico (Negro Modelo), Nigeria (Guinness made with Sorghum), Pakistan (Murree), Paraguay (Baviera), Peru (Cusquena), Philippines (San Miguel Pale Pilsen), South Africa (Zulu beer, it’s pink), Tanzania (Safari beer), Thailand (Chang beer), Uruguay (Patricia beer), Venezuela (Polar beer) and Zimbabwe (Zambezi)

A few notes on some of the above. I drank the Nigerian Guinness in London last year. It is high gravity beer in a bottle and was wonderful. It was not what I expected and if I could buy it in Pittsburgh it would be (one of) my beers of choice. A surprising note is that more Guinness is drunk in Nigeria than in Ireland. The Zulu beer is served in milk containers and you don’t want to know how it became pink. The Polar beer will be served by Al Gore but don’t expect it to be warm. From what I have been reading beer seems to be doing well in Muslim nations.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

South Side Hole in the Wall

On May 19, 2009 the Pittsburgh Post published a story on the doings of a bar on the South Side. S Bar applied for a permit to work on the former Tom’s Diner on East Carson Street in the city’s beer haven district. They told the city that it was to be used for retail and no mention that it was to serve alcohol. So says the city. Then S Bar applied for and received a liquor license extension. The bar is the adjoining building. Some city folks don’t like this so his building work was ordered stopped. What caused the work stoppage was that S Bar made an opening between the two buildings. When S Bar sealed the opening (how?) the city lifted the cease-work order. Can it be reopened when the city isn’t looking?

The city is bent out of shape that S Bar did not tell them they got a license extension, but guess what, they still have it. So they have a license to serve in a building that the city says should not be serving. The city is upset because they say S Bar lied to City Planning and sent Zoning down to close the place. This entire affair is about a hole in the wall and not alcohol. If it was the city’s desire to limit licensed bars then City Planning, Zoning and Council should have the balls to bring S Bar in for questioning. Can they stop this? If so why haven’t they? There are a lot of things not mentioned in the Post’s story. Future posting will highlight some of them. For the record, I have been in the S Bar a few times and it is a very clean and well run place. I have no connection to it or it's owners. On a legal point, is the license extension valid if ther is no direct passage from one building to another?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bocktown Beer Tasting

I have a post below that mentions a few tastings on the South Side. There is a great bar out west that has tastings every Wednesday. Well, they are not that far out west that you need a cowboy hat but Bocktown has a beer tasting at 6 pm. Usually you can meet a brewer or rep that can give you good info on the beer. Their website can give you details and directions. Talk making its way down the barstools has it that they may put a beer engine on. Let's hope so. They do beer good and serve good beer. The food is great too. Plenty of free parking as well.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Guinness 250

I stopped at one of my favorite pubs for a pint of the 250th anniversary Guinness. For several years now Guinness have been toying with the brew and how it is served. They continue to play games. I can describe the beer in one word, nothing. It has nothing. No body, no flavor (rather lackluster), no head. I wish it had no nitrogen but that will never happen now. Gentlemen, you make a classic beer. Why are you not happy with what you have? Just to be fair I had two pints to make sure that I wasn't drinking anything. What else can I say. That about sums it up. To be a bit more descriptive; Guinness started out as a porter and became a stout. The 25 is neither but more like a dark mild. I am happy that they did not replace the original Guinness. On the other hand I did get a free Guinness Tee Shirt from a pretty girl.