Okay, this is going to be a little complicated, but I just saw something that made me pissed, intrigued, nostalgic, and happy, all at the same time. It's this entry in Evan Rail's excellent Czech beer blog (which I really need to read more regularly). He's talking about how he wants the already excellent Pardubicky Porter to be better, less of a sweet finish, so he's "beer hacking" by dosing some of it with Orval yeast, in hopes of getting some brett dryness in it.
But that's not what zinged my cortex. It was this:
For example, take Pardubický Porter from Pivovar Pernštejn in Pardubice. The Czech Republic’s premiere Baltic Porter and perhaps the southernmost traditional exemplar of the style, Pardubický Porter is a very filling, strong black lager with lovely treacle and licorice notes.As anyone knows who knows me, I'm a sucker for Baltic Porter. And this is Moby Dick for me, because of a bastard bus driver named Ivan. The whole story's here, but I'll condense it. I was on a beer junket in the Czech Republic (courtesy of Distinguished Brands Int'l, who no longer own the rights to the beer they had us over there to pimp, Budvar, so no real conflict here, okay?) with the beer writers mentioned in the post title ("Uncle" Jack Curtin, Kerry "ColdHard" Byrne, Gregg "Let Me Get That For You, Miss" Glaser, and "King" Ron Givens).
Jack's buddy, Czech beer demiurge Honza Kočka, had lined up a sample case (that's pronounced "free effin' beer") of Pardubický Porter for us, direct from the brewery. And our bus driver, Ivan, damn his black heart, refused, simply refused to go half a mile out of his way and let us pick it up. That bastard! After three years, I still get pissed off when I think about it.
And when I saw Evan's post today, well, it all came back. Finding out how highly Ron Pattinson regards the beer didn't help. Ah, me. Some day.