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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Things that are good to know


In the alternate universe in which we lost World War 2, there is at least still beer. That is something, I suppose.

9 comments to Things that are good to know

  • I drink beer rarely, so what do I know? Nevertheless, “still beer” doesn’t sound very appealing.

  • the other rob

    Your first sentence was almost a Dos Equis commercial, Brian.

    I beg to differ on the subject of still beer, however. In the USA it’s nigh impossible to find beer that isn’t carbonated. Even when one does find a micro-brew, there seems to be a consensus that a good beer must be a ridiculously high in alcohol beer. I never thought that
    I’d say this, but God, I miss Greene King IPA!

  • David Crawford

    other rob,

    Could you explain to me beer that is “ridiculously high in alcohol beer”? I always assumed that the beer I drank was 1) beer, and 2) contained alcohol. I’m always open to learning something new.

  • The Sage

    Just remembering the German custom of Oktoberfest would have been sufficient for the original proposition; but if someone has managed to find a decent brew from Japan, then that is a separate miracle.

    @David Crawford
    Ridiculously high is when you get well in excess of 5% ABV, at times on the high side of 8% — the stuff that verges on barley wine. A decent session bitter is in the 3.5-3.8 range, and any more than that just cuts down the amount you can get through in an evening.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Hmm… during the Vietnam War I was stationed on Guam. The locally-brewed beer was ‘Guamanian’ San Miguel, made from imported concentrates. It was… not as good as Philippine San Miguel. So I wish these new brewers luck.

    By the way, ‘ale’ isn’t beer.

  • I think Japanese beer is pretty decent, actually. (Korean beer, on the other hand, is indeed terrible). Guam not actually being in Japan, the relevance of this here is somewhat questionable, which was more or less the point I was trying to make.

    And my understanding is that “ale” is a subset of “beer”, specifically that subset that is made with top fermented yeast. We can probably argue about this.

  • Alsadius

    Er…in the alternate universe in which we lost WW2, the Japanese flag would be different.

  • Phantomcat

    Hello English dudes!
    Sitting in Beijing, many of the blog sites I read at home are blocked; however, the link to Samizdata works!

    Go figure!

    I live in Hawaii and have travelled to Guam quite a few times. I think I can shed some light on the sign.

    Tamuning is a district in Agana, the administrative capitol of Gaum; it is near the airport and adjacent to Tumon, the tourist/beach area. Like Hawaii, it is a popular destination for Japanese tourists. It is closer to Japan than Hawaii and is therefore the bargain destination for them.

    The sign says Toshi Ishii is from Japan, that he brews in Tamuning, exclusivly for that restaurant.

    I disagree with the idea that there are no good Japanese beers, they make decent Pilsner-style brews- just no English-style ales and porters.

    I will brag though that in Hawaii, you can get all the IPA/Porters/Stouts the your alcohol-ravaged livers could desire! Tasty stuff too! Each of the islands have micro-brewers and brew pubs. Hawaiian Island Brewing Company in Honolulu makes an incredible IPA and, some surprising brews too; Macadamia Nut Porter and Kona Coffee Stout are two examples I can think of. The IPA runs about 5% the Porter and Stout are even stronger; once a year they brew a very competent barley wine.

    Btw, Guam is part of the U.S. – It is a Territory (like Puerto Rico).

  • Phantomcat: J D Wetherspoon is an English pub chain. Every now and then they have an “International beer festival” in which they offer a selection of ales that they have imported from foreign countries. (Presumably it is along the lines of “Would we be able to brew us an exclusive beer of the following style if we agreed to buy however many hectalitres of it?”). When they will do this, they will have a line of handpumps behind the bar, each labeled (as above) with the description of the beer and the national flag of its origin.

    You are right that it is at least possible to infer from this label that it is the brewer and not the beer that is from Japan, but they do seem to be trying hard to imply that it is Japanese. That’s more interesting than saying it is American, presumably. (From Guam strikes me as more interesting than either, but possibly that is too obscure).

    I had a pint. It was excellent.