Friday, 3 August 2007

What I did on my holidays

Last night I got back to Amsterdam after a gruelling but wonderful 6 days in Franconia. Like a returning Vietnam veteran, it may take a while to readapt to normal life.

Unlike Stonch with his modern gadgets, I have no mobile posting capability. I'm having enough trouble just uploading the 400 photos I took to my ancient coal-fired computer. So for the next few days you'll have to endure my dull holiday tales.

Making sense of my notes may take a little while. Today I'll just post some general observations.

Beer paradise
I shouldn't tell you this. The last trhing I want is the area being ruined by mass tourism. Rural Franconia is the world's last beer paradise. Other claimants - like the USA or Belgium - offer a meager 3% or at most 15% quality beer. The vast majority of what gets drunk in pubs is frankly crap. Go to a Franconian village and it could be 100% good stuff. I know of nowhere else where this is true.

How do tiny one-man breweries manage to turn out some of the best beer in the world? Because it's more than just a job or a hobby. It's part of their identity. Brewing is so deeply rooted in the community that it's continued even though it makes little economic sense. The brewer makes beer for the village and the village drinks the brewer's beer.

The best beers I drank had zero distribution. The very best - Will - is available only at the attached pub or in barrels directly from the brewery.

Please don't go there. I want it to be the same when I next return.

A photo for Stonch
One of the few liquid disappointments on the trip was Weltenburger beer. Not quite in Franconia, which could explain the lower quality. But our visit to the monastery beer garden was saved by the wackiest waitress I've encountered in a while.


Stonch said...

Looking forward to reading reports from someone with ten times my drinking capacity and a notebook.

Ron Pattinson said...

I hope I can decipher all my scribbles.

If I can read it all, I have posts for the next month.

Anonymous said...

ah, the notebook dilemma. What's the greater risk - looking like a beer nerd on tour, or forgetting the wonderful things you drank?

(we took a notebook last time...)

Welcome back, I look forward to reading all about it. Very surprised by your reviews of the Weltenberger Barock-Dunkel, one of my favourite dunkels. Maybe it's better in bottles? Heresy!