Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Let This Be My Annual Reminder...

A wise old bartender and i were talking last night briefly about people wanting to drink certain types of beer and even just see certain colors in their beer at certain times of the year. He, like a lot of us, can go for any style at any time of year. Now granted i'll say that as food and beer and history and culture all start to inform me of each's relevence to the others i do take satisfaction in continuing cycles, but i'll drink a RIS in July as quickly as a Pils in January if thats what my mood calls for.

So what is it about this then that makes people think that certain beers are only appropriate during certain times of year? Dark beers in the winter? Ok, they should be a bit warmer to be fully enjoyed - so we're warding off the cold. Cold, crisp refreshing beers in the summer to refresh us and battle the heat. I get that, but season by season is it tradition, marketing, or follow the leader that makes us think that these style rules are in play?

Thinking from a homebrewing state of mind i know that different weather is going to allow me to brew different things, but that is more because i am at the mercy of temperature a bit with my set up. Sure i rushed to brew a pumpkin ale during my first fall and had my fruit infused hefe during the first warm brewing months.

Food on the other hand has me completely playing by the season rules. I think things are a bit more universal in this regard though. Availability of a lot of fruits and veggies dictate a lot of menus and fueling up and giving our body what it needs to operate is a bit different of a situation i suppose. I am completely in tune with seasonal eating though. As soon as the temperature drops and the skies get painted with their normal gray you'd better believe i'll be buying can after can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup and crusty day old bread. Pot after pot of chili is going to come out of my loaner slow cooker (thank you Mom). I've got a snappy little French Onion soup recipe these days too.

But with beer i'm just not making the connection. Thinking about this strictly in the sense of me going into a bar and sitting down for a beer, i know that my mood is usually different 7 or 8 times out of 10. This revolves more around what i've been thinking about through the day, whether or not i'm eating, how long of a stop i'm making, etc. I don't just think...cold air, dark beer. I dunno. I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this. I know at this point this post qualifies as rambling so my apologies.

Any how, i feel safe to say that Fall is here (even though i was sweating bullets a bit in Virginia last weekend) so i am going to offer up my little early Autumn listening list. Like food, i get dialed into these tunes directly the second the sun starts forgiving my sins and letting my walk around in a sweatshirt again. I come back to these albums every Fall and they never ever seem to let me down.

The Band - s/t (The Brown Album)
Tom Waits - Closing Time
Little Feat - Dixie Chicken
Wilco - Being There
The Moonbabies - The Orange Billboard
Arthur Verocai - s/t
Savath y Salvas - Apropa`t

This is my Fall starter kit. More to follow as we get deeper into the greatest season on the planet.

So why don't i fall in line when it comes to beer? Food, music, they make perfect sense to me in the fall, in the spring, in the winter and summer. I dunno, maybe there's some music blogger out there writing about why he or she knows exactly which beer and food to go for in each season but just can't do the same with music. Wow, i really am actually rambling right now. Fall Joel in the house.
And here is the rest of it.


vickie said...

I agree with you that the weather doesn't dictate what type of beer I am drinking. I love nothing more than a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stoudt for dessert in July.

As for music, there are some songs that I will associate with different seasons depending on when I first heard it. (Ryan Adams "Come Pick Me Up" always reminds me of Spring" Any Shawn Colvin reminds me of late Fall/early Winter). Why didn't Ani DiFranco make the Fall playlist? :-)

Scott said...

I see that, like Mr. Bengel, you believe that there's nothing like a good Hold Steady reference to kick off a blog post. I approve, and expect that either Jack or Lew will now have a blog post about their Constructive Summer or something.

tom foley said...

I brewed last night to the sounds of '79 Dead and '76 Bruce