All Over the World

                                                                                                                                                                   c/o HOPS
Not content with the International beer scene, Jackson later fronted a Beatlesque Brit band. 


Lounging in the opulent time capsule that is Peter’s Luxury Apartment® can’t help but inspire nostalgia. Gary and I dabbled a bit yesterday and I’ll continue the theme with beer this afternoon.

I could pinpoint my beer awakening to lots of different events. Gary would prefer it be my $.75 Heineken nights at Super Salad Alley c. 1981.  In a similar vein The Moose is Loose Thursdays at Chesterfields or three-fers (yes, a different era kids) at Horsefeathers injected some foreign into my dinking. But those were regular outings and not a singular epiphany.


Ground Zero for my later obsession may well have been the purchase of The Pocket Guide to Beer by esteemed beer and scotch writer Michael Jackson. Margaret and I were window shopping in Victoria Crossing on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue in 1986 when such leisurely pursuits were actually quite common.  I can’t recall why I decided on this small brown paperback but combined with a $50 gift certificate Christmas bonus to Haskell’s Wine shop a new life was born.


I would peruse the shelves at Haskell’s on Ford Parkway and leave with a United Nations collection of six-packs. Some of the early beers I recall from memory. Anchor Steam, Schlenkerla ("this is infected"), Pilsner Urquell, Aass Bock, Schell’s wheat beer. I’d catalog each new beer with a dot by its entry, rarely pausing to add tasting notes. The book has traveled with me over the years and sits on my desk as I ruminate.  

Let’s take a look at some of those early treasures:
San Miguel light and dark, Tsingtao, Kirin, Sapporo, Cooper’s Sparkling Ale, Fosters, Lone Star, Rolling Rock, Ballentine Ale, Little Kings, Schlitz, Schell’s Weissbier (“sour!), Leinenkugel’s Bock,  Rainier, Anchor Steam, Anchor Porter, Molson Golden, Moosehead, Gosser Stiftsbrau, Kronenbourg, Fischer Export, Guinness Extra Stout, Sam Smith Strong Brown, Mackeson, Grolsch Pilsner, Heineken, Heineken dark, Amstel Light, Ringnes, Spaten Pils, Spaten Club Weisse, D.U.B. Export, Becks, St. Pauli Girl, Becks Dark, Pilsner Urquell.


Pedestrian by today’s standards but each was a momentary insight into a strange new world. I later met Michael Jackson on two occasions—once chatting alone with him at a pub about his week. He had been to Seattle and some exotic foreign country I don’t recall. He said his girlfriend was irritated that she didn’t get to travel with him much so he told her she’d get to pick a spot for the weekend. She wanted to go to Dublin and Michael was thrilled, but certainly wasn’t going to let her know.


Day Eleven: The Games
Yes, soccer was played. England romped as expected. After two weak opponents we’ll all be curious to see if the English squad can handle the super talent of Belgium on Thursday. I’m recording the other games to view later.


On to the Beer:
Let’s visit our 1980s list to see what's still on tap. Spain play Morocco tomorrow so let’s pop a San Miguel. Yes, I know this is a Filipino brew, but Spain has also brewed it in Madrid for decades.   




The Model

Artist: Kraftwerk 

Nation: W̶e̶s̶t̶ Germany

Album: The Man-Machine (1978)


I’m guessing that Toni Kroos has paid for beer for the last time within the boundaries of Germany. 


Deservedly so, and in direct refutation of Peter’s jaded and curmudgeonly set-piece beat-down from early in this series. I’m out of my jurisdiction here, but I’ll tell you what, Toni. Next time you’re in the Worth Brewing Company Tap Room, it’s on Peter. 


Of course, I wanted the draw to hold and for Germany to crash out. But that strike — my goodness gracious. I’ll gladly exchange my anyone-but-the-usual-suspects preference for that. You’re forced to. 


But you know what also impressed me about that free kick — maybe even more so than the kick itself? The demeanor of Marco Reus — Kroos’ collaborator on the shot. 


I bet you missed it as Kroosmania ran wild. Do yourself a favor and dial up one of the 70 million YouTube videos now available of the moment.


And watch Reus. His job is to accept Kroos’ little nudge to improve the shot angle a bit, step on the ball and stop it dead, and stand aside so Kroos can nail it for real.  


This is not a grueling assignment but, if I were Reus, I’d totally have found a way to mess it up. But no. Most-pressure packed moment of his career, and he stands there with all the apparent tension of someone lazily rolling a ball back and forth with a puppy. Pulse rate of about 28. Even the slow pivot of his body in apparent interest of where the ball goes — it’s the most nonchalant, couldn’t-be-arsed thing you’ve ever seen. He doesn’t even raise his arms from his sides until the netting snaps.


So ice-cold. So clinical. So that team. 


For today’s track, here’s one of my favorite purveyors of similarly nonchalant German brilliance. I’ve been fans of this group since I was little and my brother brought home a vinyl copy of “Autobahn” after a high school trip to Germany. The sound captivated me. (That, and my angling-for-retirement high school German teacher’s propensity to show us “Soccer Made in Germany” films to eat up lecture time, helped shape my nascent admiration for the German game.)


I had the very rare chance to see Kraftwerk perform in the Twin Cities in 2008. It was in a suburban club adjacent to a Pannekoeken Huis, strangely. And it was also, by far, the loudest concert I’ve ever attended. And one of the best. See them if you can — trust me. High-wattage stuff in a low-wattage package, just like their side on the pitch.






Nat’s Kitchen

                                                                                                                                             The Daring Gourmet

Saudi Arabia plays Egypt in a meaningless conclusion to Group A on Monday. The football won’t be engaging but we may as well dine with purpose. Kabsa is a national dish of Saudi Arabia and one that can make use of your grill if you’re so inclined.


Kabsa is a basmati rice dish containing meat (chicken, goat, lamb, beef, camel, fish, or shrimp), vegetables, and spices (black pepper, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, saffron, black lime, and nutmeg). Other additions include pine nuts, almonds, peanuts, onion, and sultanas (raisins).

It’s often garnished with Hashu (a combination of oil, onion, raisins, and spices) and daqqus (a spicy tomato sauce).


There are three methods used to prepare the meat for Kabsa: Mandi- roasted in a below ground Earthen oven; Mathbi- cooked over hot rocks over burning embers; and Madghut- stewed in a pressure cooker. As for beer, if you’re using saffron, find something light and refreshing for this rare spice to shine. Perhaps Inedit Spanish witbier to prep for the later Spain-Morocco game.



Uruguay scores an early stunner. Putin removes his shirt to inspire the troops. 


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