Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hangover Cures: What Works, What Doesn't

With New Year's Eve less than 28 hours away, you're probably looking for some advice on how to handle the annual New Year's Morning hangover. Live Science comes to the rescue:

'Tis the season to indulge. 'Tis also the season to scour the Internet for some quick fix for the pounding headache and acute sensitivity to all things louder than a fruit fly, brought on by the previous night's adventure with alcohol.

But you've heard it before. Nothing will heal you of that hangover other than time.

Here are some pros and cons of purported cures.

Read the whole story — especially the final paragraph — at Live Science.

Second day on the job

Nine hours of stacking beer today. As of 6:00pm, Brix management still plan to open the doors tomorrow. (I'm even more skeptical than I was yesterday.) Even if opening day gets pushed back yet further, there's still plenty of organizing to do in the coolers tomorrow.

Cases of beer are heavy.

Monday, December 28, 2009

First day on the job

I just got home from my first day working at Brix, a new beer-wine-spirits shop in west Omaha. Once they open the doors (supposedly this Wednesday, but I'm skeptical) my job will basically be to talk to people about beer. Today and tomorrow, however, are all about putting the 850 different beers on the shelves.

I don't know what their plans are as far as a newsletter, Facebook page, etc, but I'll let you know as soon as I find out.

Pictures and the beer list to follow as soon as everything's ready.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Beer Me! mobile for the Palm Pre

According to PreCentral, Palm has accepted my Beer Me! mobile v1.0.2" app, and it's available in the App Catalog now!

Next up: a version for the Blackberry. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


beerme.com is back on the air! Thanks to everyone involved for their quick response.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I just learned this morning that the beerme.com domain expired last Wednesday. Visiting the site today will land you on a generic Network Solutions page. I have asked RealBeer.com (my generous hosts) to look into it, but this being a holiday week, it could be quite some time before the site is restored.

Thanks to John Peterson for alerting me.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Test brewing of "SAPPORO Space Barley"

Thanks to Ralph Wells for this link:

Sapporo Breweries, Ltd. test brewed the first-in-the world beer brewed from the seedlings of barleycorn that traveled the space, "SAPPORO Space Barley." Most of the only 100 litters of brewed beer will be used for experiments, but we would like to offer part of the beer for tasting events to be held at six brewries in Japan (Hokkaido, Sendai, Nasu, Chiba, Shizuoka and Shinkyushu,) inviting 60 persons (30 pairs) of customers.

The beer was brewed as part of the joint research with Okayama University conducted to exploit possibilities of barleycorn for beer in space, "Studies of Impact of Extreme Environmental Stresses on Barley" and uses 100% of the "seedlings of barleycorn that traveled the space."

Finding at Sapporo site are details of traveling the space beer, also inviting directions for you to attend tastings.

Irish firefighters contain blaze at Guinness factory in Dublin

Full story and pictures at Irish Central.

A fire broke out at the Guinness factory in Dublin shortly after noon local time. Over nine fire brigades and three rigs with aerial ladder platforms were able to contain the blaze before it spread to the ammonia plant at the site.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Publican's Ten Commandments

I found this posted at Gasthausbrauerei König von Flandern in Augsburg:

The Publican's Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments of the Publican

  1. You shall believe everything your Publican says.

  2. You shall praise your Publican and glorify him over all others.

  3. You shall visit your Publican daily.

  4. You shall honor and cherish your Publican, and not anger him, as long as he shall live.

  5. You shall, when you are drunk, not become loud nor violent, but keep yourself as proud and peaceful as you would at home.

  6. You shall not be indecent while in the Pub.

  7. You shall pay your bill promptly, and you shall not drink your neighbor's beer.

  8. You shall not covet your Publican's servers nor female friends — they belong to him alone.

  9. You shall not eat nor drink if you cannot pay.

  10. You shall keep all these Commandments, so that you do not go to Hell and suffer from thirst!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Beer ingredient aids prostate

More good news on the health front.

A type of polyphenol present in hops helps prevent prostate cancer, according to new German research.

The compound is a tannin called xanthohumol, and is responsible for the bitter taste of beer.

Xanthohumol blocks male testosterone receptors, which may be why ingesting the molecule helps prevent the development of prostate cancer.

Read the whole story at hc2d.co.uk.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Brookston Beer Quiz #1

Jay Brooks has put together a fun little quiz testing your knowledge of beer labels. I went ten-for-ten; take the quiz and post your score here!

Brookston Beer Quiz #1

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fixed the problem with brewery updates

A big problem surfaced after I updated the site a couple weeks ago. People were getting 404 errors when trying to send updates or add new breweries. (This would explain why I didn't receive many updates while I was in Germany.)

The problem was a file that didn't make the jump from the old site to the new site. I've installed that file and it looks like it's fixed now.

Thanks to Ralph Wells, Mario Kornmesser, and Robert Sizemore for letting me know!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Esslingen am Neckar and Stuttgart

Yesterday: Ulm

We'll spend this Saturday in Stuttgart, since our flight leaves at 6:00am Sunday. I rented a car at a convenience store in Biberach, picked up Paris at the hotel in Warthausen, and we hit the road.

The first stop was Brauhaus zum Schwanen in Esslingen am Neckar. The Altstadt was closed to vehicular traffic on account of the Christmas market, but we found a parking garage and got directions from a friendly and helpful traffic attendant.

Brauhaus zum Schwanen, Esslingen am Neckar

The restaurant was full of people, but we did find a free table in the corner. We couldn't get any food, though, as there was a group of 60 in the party room, and the kitchen was running about an hour behind. Instead, we settled for the two beers they had on tap.

Schwanen Märzen

Schwanen Bockbier Dunkel

Just a few kilometers away on the other side of the airport is the SI-Centrum, home to hotels, theaters, shops, and restaurants, including Hausbrauerei Schloßturm.

Hausbrauerei Schloßturm, Stuttgart

Schloßturm is interesting for its indoor beergarden, and because it's nowhere near a castle. The food was good, though, and they also had two beers on tap.

Hausbrauerei Schloßturm Dunkles Landbier

Hausbrauerei Schloßturm Pils

I dropped Paris off at the hotel and dropped the car off at the airport. I walked over to the hotel shuttle area and waited about a half-hour with no shuttles in sight. So I called the hotel and they said the shuttle only runs Monday through Friday. I got in a cab and the driver had never heard of the hotel. I thought I remembered what street it was on, and he found the street, but it still took a couple times around the block to find the place. The fare was €14,50 and I only had €12,30 in cash and his credit card machine was broken. He decided to take my money and let me go.

I told the cab adventure to Paris, and she asked how we were going to pay for the cab in the morning if we didn't have any cash. There was no ATM in the hotel, but the front desk people directed me to a nearby gas station, where I restocked my wallet and bought myself a can of Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Hell.

Sunday's cab ride to the airport was uneventful, as were the flights home. And in the interest of fairness, I'll note that Delta actually got us from Amsterdam to Minneapolis an hour early, so we were able to catch an earlier flight to Omaha.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Yesterday: Günzburg and Leipheim

Paris only worked a half-day today. A colleague who lives in Ulm within spitting distance of Kronenbrauerei Söflingen offered to drive us there, and since Paris hadn't been there before, we went.

Kronenbrauerei Söflingen, Ulm-Söflingen

Kronenbrauerei Söflingen's Bierprobe

Kronenbrauerei Söflingen's Party Keg

Kronenbrauerei Söflingen Weihnachtsbier

We took the streetcar into central Ulm and wandered around the Marktplatz. I thought I sorta kinda remembered where the Barfüßer brewery was, but lots of walking around proved me wrong.

There is a Barfüßer in Neu-Ulm, but it's not the one we were looking for

In the end, we found Barfüßer, had a couple of beers, and took the train back to Warthausen. Once there, we drank the two bottles of wine that Paris' colleagues gave her as a going-away gift.

Tomorrow: Esslingen am Neckar and Stuttgart

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Günzburg and Leipheim

Yesterday: Augsburg again

First, this tip from the "Beer Me!" Travel Bureau...

The gates at German railroad crossings close while the train is still a long way away. Still, walking around the gates to catch a train, even when the train is a good thousand yards off, will earn you a stern lecture from the train driver when you board.

Now, back to the trip...

Günzburg used to have quite a few breweries. Some of them have closed, and some of them have moved their production either off-site or out of town altogether.

Brauereigasthof zur Münz, Günzburg

Gasthaus und Brauerei zur goldene Traube, Günzburg

The Brauereigaststätte zum Rad serves beers from Günzburg's Brauerei zum Rad, which specializes in wheat beers. They offer a tray of 100ml samples of all five of their beers, plus a glass to take home, for €7.50. Plus their Schweinehaxe is massive.

Radbrauerei Günzburger Märzen-Spezial

Radbrauerei Günzburger Hefe-Weizen

Radbrauerei Günzburger Leichtes Weizen

Radbrauerei Günzburger Ur-Weizen

Radbrauerei Günzburger Weizenbock

I walked up the hill to get a look at Münz-Brauerei, but I couldn't find any of their beer on the way down to the Bahnhof.

Münz-Brauerei, Günzburg

Leipheim is a four-minute train ride from Günzburg, and Gaissmaier Brauerei is a four-minute walk from the train station.

Gaissmaier Brauerei, Leipheim

Two half-liters and a bottle cost me just €5.90, and that included the bottle deposit.

Gaissmaier Helles

Gaissmaier Dunkles

Tomorrow: Ulm

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Augsburg again

Yesterday: Augsburg

(The WLAN here at the hotel is finally working, but it's mind-numbingly slow. Most of my connect-time has been used up typing beer notes and uploading pictures. The blog will follow as conditions allow.)

Knopf & Knopf Erlebnishotel in Warthausen in the rain

I got an early start today, and I paid the extra money for the faster trains. I should have an hour at Augsburg Hauptbahnhof where I can connect to the Internet.

The Öchslebahn is a narrow-gauge steam-powered "museum train" that runs from Warthausen to Ochsenhausen during the summer.

Paid nine bucks for an hour of connectivity. Dropped the connection after ten minutes, and couldn't reconnect. Bastards. Had a 1516 Weihnachtsbier in the meantime. Augsburg's "Brauhaus 1516" appears to be an actual brewery in the Hauptbahnhof, but it isn't; they're affiliated with 1516 WestParkBräu in Ingolstadt.

1516 WestParkBräu Weihnachtsbier

Thorbräu Augsburg is one of the city's oldest breweries, since 1582. They note on their menu that there were at one time 97 breweries in Augsburg. The beer wasn't bad, and the Braumeisterpfännle was very filling.

Thorbräu Augsburg

Thorbräu Celtic Bio-Bier

Thorbräu Maximilian's Schwarzbier Unfiltriert

Thorbräu Maximilian's Kellerweisse Unfiltriert

Thorbräu Maximilian's Spezialbier

Thorbräu Portator

The nearby old city gate features a sundial, which was pretty much useless this day.

My brewery list includes Wieser Brauerei at Senkelbachstraße 29a. Consulting my map while walking through the neighborhood, an old gentleman noticed my confusion; he lives in one of the apartment blocks on the street, and he pointed out that if there was a brewery there, he wouldn't have to carry this half-liter bottle of beer in his coat pocket. So my brewery list won't include Wieser Brauerei anymore.

Stick & puck at Curt-Frenzel-Stadion, Augsburg

On my way to Charly-Bräu, a streetcar stopped at the intersection where I was standing. I asked the driver if he went to Oberhausen Bahnhof, and he said yes, and he sold me a ticket for €1.20. The streetcar went all the way to the end of the line at Augsburg-Nord, turned around, and went back to the stop where I got on in the first place. Turns out that line doesn't actually go to Oberhausen Bahnhof at all.

Continuing my walk to Charly-Bräu, I ducked into Bayrischer Löwe for a couple of beers from Klosterbrauerei Scheyern and Hasen-Bräu.

Bayrischer Löwe, Augsburg

Schey'rer Export-Dunkel

Hasen-Bräu Extra

Finally arriving at Charly-Bräu, I found that it's an interesting mix of German Gaststätte and American Brewpub. They appear to have some affiliation with Hofbräuhaus Traunstein, although it's not clear what that affiliation is. There are pictures of clowns about the place, and on their logo. The Helles wasn't bad, the Dunkles and Primus were drinkable, and the Weizen was all kinds of nasty.

Charly-Bräu, Augsburg-Oberhausen

Charly-Bräu Primus Weizen-Doppelbock

Charly-Bräu Weizen

Charly-Bräu Dunkles

Charly-Bräu Helles

Tried to get out a bit early, although it wouldn't have mattered since the connection in Ulm was the same. And it turns out the ticket I bought this morning, the one that the machine said would be good on all the trains, cost me an extra €5 on the ICE from Augsburg to Ulm.

Gold Ocshen Pils at Ulm Hbf, and Meckatzer Ur-Weizen at the hotel.

Tomorrow: Günzburg & Leipheim

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


(I'm having some trouble connecting to the hotel's WLAN, so this might get posted later than usual.)

There's a little snow on the ground here in Warthausen this morning. Paris and I are staying in the Safarizimmer at the Knopf & Knopf hotel. It's kind of a weird-yet-fun little place, and it's conveniently located right next to the train station. We got here about 6:00 last night after three planes, three trains, 18 hours, and a beer at Stuttgart airport and another at the hotel. (Follow along on the map.)

The Safari Room at Knopf & Knopf

Two buttons good for two free beers at Knopf & Knopf

So yeah, it's snowing and raining. I waited at Warthausen Bahnhof for the bus to take me to Biberach. Then the train to Ulm was delayed, so I had to take a different train — which stopped at Warthausen Bahnhof — to Laupheim, where I would change for Ulm. While I was waiting at Laupheim for the Ulm train (which was delayed) two more (delayed) trains stopped at Laupheim on their way to Ulm, but I couldn't get to them in time. I eventually got to Augsburg an hour and 45 minutes later than planned. I'll have to rework tomorrow's schedule, and maybe consider paying the extra €15 to take the fast trains. I did have time for a short Gold Ochsen beer at Ulm.

On the walk from Augsburg Bahnhof, I passed Brauerei Hasen. I'll look for an Ausschank tomorrow.

Brauerei Hasen, Augsburg

Augsburg's Brauerei zur Goldenen Gans serves lunch from a buffet. An all-vegetarian buffet. The spinach spätzle and curried broccoli were actually very tasty.

The former Brauerei zur Goldenen Gans, Augsburg

Apparently I was invisible. Other people got beers, water, wine, etc, but I never did. I left my money on the table and hit the road. This is the first time I've been to a Brauereigaststätte (in any language) where I didn't get a beer. But then, their sign says they serve beers from Kloster Scheyern, so I don't think they actually brew here. I'll take them out of my database, and unless you're really in the mood for vegetarian cooking, I'll recommend that you skip this place.

Augsburg's mascot is apparently a guy beating something to death with a stick

I walked right past Gasthausbrauerei König von Flandern, and I almost walked past it again before I found it. It's in the cellar of a building near the north end of the Fußgängerzone, and once inside, it does feel like you're in an old beer cellar. The brewer said he got a late start today, so he was just mashing in when I got there around 2:00pm. Except for the overly-floral Dunkel, the beers were very good indeed.

Gasthausbrauerei König von Flandern, Augsburg

On the way back to the Bahnhof, I figured I had time to stop by Der Commerzienrat for some beers from Brauhaus Riegele. It's a nice place, located in the former Riegele brewhouse, but the bartender didn't seem too happy to have a foreigner ordering small beers. I had a Dunkles and the eponymous Commerzienrat Helles, and he told me the bill was "four yuuuu-rohz and eighty pentz", and "enchoy your schtay in Chermany". According to his conversation with one of the regulars at the bar, they thought I was English.

Der Commerzienrat, Augsburg

Brauhaus Riegele, near the Augsburg Hauptbahnhof

I killed a little time at Ulm Hbf with a Gold Ochsen Pils. If I had my shit together — or at least an Internet connection — I'd know that I haven't taken notes on any Gold Ochsen beers. I should be able to rectify that tomorrow.

Paris wasn't at the hotel yet when I arrived at a quarter to seven*, so I had some Meckatzer Weizen in the bar while I tried to get the WLAN to work.

*It turns out she got to the hotel just a couple of minutes before I did, and she was up in the room during the two hours I was in the bar. Once we finally connected, we went back to the bar and had more Meckatzer Weizenbiere.

Tomorrow: Augsburg again