Jan 26 2009 4:14 pm

pork shoulders are half off at the nice Kroger

A sharp Canadian wind blows hard across the flat middle portions of our fair nation.  It’s been cold here for too many days straight.  Highs in the upper teens.  Copious quantities of pig fat and fine, strong German lagers are the only remedy.

So I bought a nine pound pork shoulder the other day.  A Boston Butt.  A Boston Blade.  With apples and shallots and garlic and cabbage and beer the meat roasted for nearly seven hours.  Like overripe fruit the slow-cooked muscle yielded easily to fork and finger, falling plump and juicy from the bone.  Savory, dripping hunks of pork smeared with melted sweet apples and cabbage were followed quickly by bite size bits of Megan’s tart, vinegar laced potato salad.  Malty swallows of Schlenkerla Marzen, redolent with wood smoke, washed the food down the gullet where it was slowly digested, pushing a flush of strange pig fat induced hormones coursing through the blood to warm the body. 

Hansa Dortmunder Lager, 4.8% abv: Susanne, our resident German at the tasting, brought this fine light lager to bear on our fresh palates.  Though the nose was reminiscent of dried vegetables, this beer finished without any of the acidic twang one might expect in a light lager.

Tegernseer Hellerbock, 6.8% abv: I brought this beer back from Berlin.  It was extremely pale even for a Hellerbock.  It let fly with malt notes in the nose and followed on the palate with a refined sweetness that belied the light body.  It finished as soft and clean as falling asleep. 

Chris’ homebrewed Roggenbier: Like a swift kick in the face this beer explodes with weizen yeast character in the nose, big cloves, big esters.  Finishes sweet with molasses character.

Southern Tier Krampus Imperial Helles, 9% abv: if train A is traveling at a speed of 40mph towing 63 boxcars of serious American hops and train B is traveling at a speed of 341mph carrying 28 boxcars of crystal malt, is Der Struwwelpeter the name of the book Dwight Schrute reads to a group of children on Bring your Daughter to Work Day?

Tegernseer Quirinus Dunkler Doppelbock, 7% abv: also smuggled from Berlin, this might have been my favorite of the night.  It was more like a double dunkel lager than a bock.  It showcased the plump, juicy Munich malt character better than any beer I’ve ever had.

Etaller Curator Dunkler Doppelbock, 9% abv: much like in Contact when they build the second apparatus in Japan, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) constructed a second Large Hadron Collider in a Monastery in Bavaria.  After the proton beams successfully circulated the main ring for the first time a small black hole was produced and this beer fell out of it. 

Veldensteiner RaucherL, 5% abv: smuggled from Berlin, the only non-Schlenkerla rauchbier I could find there.  It was a shade disappointing.  Nick Floyd once said that the monk’s only involvement in making Trappist beers is that they fart on them.  This was a decent dark lager that someone might have blew smoke onto for a minute.  This makes sense as Susanne says the “L” on the end is probably a diminutive.

Landsberger Bockbier, 7.2% abv: smuggled from Berlin, this beer has a cool label with purple ram horns on it.  It was toasty and a bit roasty and maybe even a little astringent in the finish.

Berliner Burgerbrau Berliner Weisse, 3.3% abv: smuggled, this beer was like a Michelob Ultralight but with a bit more tang. 

1809 Berliner Weisse, 5% abv: the final beer of the tasting.  It’s brisk Lacto tartness served us well in cutting through the remaining pig lipids and kicking up digestion one more notch. 



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