Joseph Fiedler
Beer & Pencils
Franziskaner and Hoegaarden

Speaking of inspiration, I gotta mention beer.  More specifically, White Beer, Wheat beer, Weiss Beer, or Heffe-Weizen depending on where you come from [or where IT comes from!].  Maybe inspiration isn’t the right word, but it’s something like that anyway.  Well, it’s a supply, like pencils.  I asked my accountant many, many years ago whether or not I could deduct my beer expenditures.  I reasoned that since I used beer in much the same way that I do pencils, and that if I could deduct the pencils, then why not the beer?  Needless to say, I’m still with the same accountant after 17 years!  No, I can’t deduct!

My featured brews today are two of my all time faves: Spaten Franziskaner [Germany] and Hoegaarden [Belgium].  For those of you who don’t know, beer made from wheat originated in the Belgian lowlands in a town called Hoegaarden.  Belgian brews, unlike their Germanic cousins, were not subject to the Reinheitsgebot [see below] and so were open to various flavoring additives such as Cloves, Coriander and dried orange peel.  These additives lend a distinctive caste to the taste of Belgian Whites [and honestly, even though I’m 100% Austrian, I prefer that].  German brews, under the strict purity laws, do not use additives and so have fewer peculiarities in their taste.  Either way, White beer is normally served with a lemon wedge to temper the yeasty flavor.  I suggest using Meyer lemons [if you can find them].  I discovered the Meyer after moving to the West Coast in June.  You may not be a citrus head like me, but dude a Meyer can make you stop and consider.  Well worth the effort and extra expense.

If anybody has figured out a way to deduct libations, please let m know before I send out my taxes!


Reinheitsgebot [German Beer Purity Law]

Beer brewing has been regulated by law in Germany for over 800 years. A long-standing tradition to which all German brewers still remain true today:

 German Beer Purity Law from 1516

 "How beer should be served and brewed in summer and winter in the principality"

 "Herewith, we decree, order, express and wish, together with the Privy Council, that from this day forth everywhere in the Principality of Bavaria, in the countryside as in the towns and marketplaces, wherever no other specific ordinance applies, from St. Michael's Day until St. George's Day a measure or head of beer shall not be sold for more than one pfennig Munich currency and from St. George's Day until St. Michael's Day a measure shall not be sold for more than two pfennigs of the same currency, nor a head for more than three haller. Violators of this decree shall be punished as prescribed below. Whoever should brew a beer other than Maerzen, is forbidden, under any circumstances, to serve or sell a measure for more than one pfennig. We especially wish that, from this point on and everywhere in the countryside as well as in the towns and marketplaces, nothing is to be added to or used in beer other than barley, hops and water. Whosoever knowingly disobeys this decree will be severely punished by the court having jurisdiction over him by having his barrel of beer confiscated whenever this offense occurs. Whenever an innkeeper buys beer at the prescribed price from any brewery in the countryside as well as in the towns and marketplaces, he is allowed to resell it privately to the lowly peasantry for one haller more than the price of the measure or head of beer stipulated above."

 (Translator's note: "measure" and "head" were units of volume and "pfennig" and "haller" were monetary units in use at that time. "Maerzen" was a somewhat stronger beer brewed in late winter, which is still brewed today.)
Meyer lemons
Please stay tuned for more faves.  No arguments!

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