Sunday, May 10, 2015

Is This a Beer Or Not a Beer ...

©Carl-Schurz-Haus


Red Baron likes to improve his English and came across The Freiburg Writers' Group. The participants I met at the Carl-Schurz-Haus are all younger than me, mostly students, some are of English mother tongue, others speak Italian, French, or German. We talk around the table, have a good time, and have homework to do.

Here is what we’re working with for the 19th of May:

Write out your favorite joke (or fairy tale or poem). Then rewrite that narrative as a tragedy, as a limerick, as a haiku, as a serious academic treatise, as a breaking news story, or as the script for a music video.


German beer specialities at the Black Forest Brooklyn:
Gaffel Kölsch and Köstritzer Schwarzbier


There are places in Germany where people are proud of their local beer. A good example is the Gose, a top-fermented beer, brewed in the region of Leipzig. Originally the mixed ingredients barley, hop and water, the mash, were left open to the surrounding air attracting lactose bacteria that will start the fermentation. The resulting wash eventually transforms into a beer of a slightly sour taste. Already young Wolfgang Goethe appreciated the Gose beer when he was a student at Leipzig University.

Everybody in Germany knows about the Weißwurstäquator (white sausage equator) separating my country at the height of the Main river into a northern and southern part. However, further north there is not only another dividing line running west east and separating two beer drinking regions but a beer border triangle: Kölsch, Alt, Pils.

In Cologne in the south they brew and they are proud of their well-known Kölsch, a top-fermented light beer the inhabitants of Cologne regard to be the one and only beer in the world. Further north in the city of Düsseldorf people sitting at the longest bar on earth proudly slurp their Altbier, a top-fermented beer too but dark. Driving east you will get to Essen where in good tradition of the former miners men down the coal dust with liters of Pils, brewed in the Ruhr district as a bottom-fermented beer in the Pilsen style.


Breaking News: Native of Cologne Blows Beer Summit

This morning three men met for a beer summit in a pub located exactly at the point in the Rhineland where three "beer borders" meet. When the waiter approached their table asking the man from Düsseldorf what he would like to drink the expected answer was: "Bring me an Alt". Then the waiter turned to the former coal miner from Essen who answered: "Gime a Pils". When, however, he asked the Kölsch Jung, the man from Cologne: "What would you like to drink Sir?" the answer was: "Serve me a Coke". "But why don't you order a Kölsch", the shattered waiter retorted. The answer was: "Well, when the other guys don't drink beer I do not want a beer either".

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