Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 just won't end

And now a word from our sponsors.

TripAdvisor would like to point out that this photo of The Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Let's talk about Trappist beers. Somebody somewhere once said that the best way to learn is to teach, so I'll try to edumacate you, and myself in the process.

(Last year around this time, on our annual Christmas outing with My Good Friend F, I bought us and some strangers we'd met a round of Westvleteren. Set me back like fifty euros or something. But goddamn it's worth it, and I might make it a tradition. We're going out again this year, tonight or tomorrow. Always fun.)

So what is a Trappist? Well, something something monks, vow of silence blah blah Belgium, etcetera boring whatever. Just check Wikipedia.

Well I just checked Wikipedia, and it turns out that, contrary to popular belief, Trappist monks do not take a vow of silence. They do have a Trappist sign language though, 'cos they're not big on talking. And they think laughter is evil? Hahahaha srsly wut. Well that'll teach me, for wanting to learn stuff. Let's point at them and laugh.

Just follow the instructions and you'll be fine

Anyway, back to beer. Check out this episode of the Beer Hunter on Youtube, made in olden times (1989). He visits the monasteries of La Trappe and Chimay, and also Brouwerij 't IJ and a bar in Amsterdam, and some more Dutch microbrewers. Also there's a young monk who goes red in the face after drinking one Triple. It's kind of adorable.

So what's new in the world of Trappists? A whole bunch of stuff, actually. First of all, Westvleteren, generally considered the best beer in the world, always used to come in a bottle without a label. But it looks like that's about to change in 2015. To comply with European rules, they have to put a lot more information about the ingredients on the bottles, and it won't all fit on the bottle cap anymore.

Critics have pointed out that this may be the end of civilization as we know it.

Also, there's a bunch of new Trappists! Oh by the way, to make sure that a beer is really a Trappist, look for this logo:

Image courtesy of... Well jeez if you can't figure that out there's not much hope for you really

Here's a list of all Trappist beers: dummy text to link to a list of all Trappist beers

And here's a newspaper clipping I thought was funny:

From Bad Newspaper

Back to Trappist beers again. Big news: there's now an American Trappist beer! Specifically, it's brewed in Spencer, Massachusetts, by monkeys? No wait, monks. Well that makes a lot more sense.

Ok my mind is wandering all over the place. Maybe I shouldn't drink beer while writing, but come on. I got a huge bottle of La Chouffe for taking care of that one huge hamster, and this is the perfect moment for making it gone.

Speaking of which, and in addition to my previous post, you should check out Drunk History. Warning: there's real puking in that video... But also the quote "Tesla was the electric Jesus." Every episode they get a famous(ish) person drunk, and get them to tell us about a piece of the history of where they live. And it's re-enacted with lip-synching.

Anyway, new Trappist beers. There's an Austrian monastery, Stift Engelszell, brewing Gregorius, Benno, and I guess Jubiläumsbier but that sounds temporary.

Also there's Zundert. Ugh this is taking way too long and I'm out of Chouffe. I don't know if you can tell but I write really slowly. I'm going to clean out a hamster cage. Later, everybody (one person who may be reading this).

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