Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Musings: Beer Tidings; Mad Men Episode 12; Charles River Swim

Yes, those are people swimming
in the Charles River!
Many interesting tidings from the world of beer:

  • Johnny D's, the long-time Davis Square mainstay of live music, has announced that they'll be serving nothing but local brews (a decision undoubtedly made easier by the fact that there are so many good local brews available now, especially Slumbrew).
  • Speaking of Slumbrew, I tried their two latest (at least to me) offerings: Trekker Trippel, a Belgian-style ale that is delicious and not overly fruity (IMHO) like many Belgians, and one of their truly unique offerings (like My Better Half Imperial Cream Ale that I reviewed a few weeks ago), Rising Sun Ale, taken from the German dampfbier style, which uses all-barley malts with their wheat beer yeast to create a flavorful and light drinking beer.
  • "Hyper-local" is the latest buzzword in beer circles, referring to the increasing practice of brewing smaller batches locally using contracting brewing (which avoids the heavy capital required to start up a brewery with one's own equipment). I'm going to a hyper-local tasting at the Armory in Somerville on June 16. Two sessions: 3 pm and 7 pm.
After a somewhat slow and meandering start, Mad Men has really started to take off with the last two episodes. Last week's The Other Woman was superb but this week's episode, Commissions and Fees, topped it in heartbreak and character development. I can't say more as my wife hasn't seen it yet!

My wife is the race director of the Charles River Swimming Club, a group she formed (along with one other person) to run organized swims in the Charles. This past Saturday, she pulled off the race for the 4th time in 7 years. (It was cancelled the first year, 2006, due to a toxic algae bloom, and then in 2009 and 2010 due to last-minute runs, which increase runoff.) This was in spite of torrential rains during the race itself, leaving the racers as the only warm people around (since the water temperature was considerably warmer than the air temperature). It's absolutely amazing to see 100+ people with brightly colored swim caps heading into the basin and then swimming back in from the Longfellow Bridge.

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