Tag Archives: united states of america

Revolution Brewing Fist City Chicago Pale Ale

Revolution Brewing pride themselves on being Illinois’ biggest craft brewery.

They were founded by an ex-brewer from the now-defunct Golden Prairie and the now-macro Goose Island and have been growing since 2010 with an expansive presence across Chicago. I haven’t been to their brewpub in Logan Square but have heard good things about it. They provide a lot of ingredients information about their beers; a curse and an advantage. I tried their Fist City Pale Ale after a pleasant stroll along the Bloomingdale Line in early autumn – just managing to work a sweat up.

This beer is a sight for eager eyes: gold colour, clear with a touch of chill haze and a rebellious, fluffy head that stays glass down. The aroma is resinous, streaked with caramel and sweet orange. It’s a singular combination – the orange note giving it real character. On tasting a moderate to thick, silky mouthfeel delivers a creamy, dextrinous profile of pancake batter and citrus.

Hop character doesn’t push through and bitterness just offsets the malt, leaving the a thick honey aftertaste to wreak pleasant havoc on the palate. The bar described this beer as dry, but it’s not. Lies, all lies. No tip for you. I did leave him a tip.

Overall this is a pleasant pale ale, but more of a late than early autumn beer. Not sure I would choose it again in the heat, but no faults present – purely down to the recipe.

I drank this draught beer at the Northside Bar & Grill, Wicker Park, Chicago, Illinois. It’s a roomy venue with a lovely outdoor beer garden, friendly staff and at least seven televisions, probably more. All playing sport of course. Happy hour is 4-7PM weekdays for 1/2 price draught beers.

Elegy to Cigarette

An excerpt from a satirical Guangdonghua love poem named “Elegy to Cigarette” and shared by folk in South China during the American boycott of 1905. This was a general protest against the United States’ exclusion of Chinese labourers.

You are really down and out
American cigarette.
Look at you down and out.
I think back to the way you used to be
In those days when you were flying high.
Who would have rejected you?
Everyone loved you
Saying you were better than silver dollars
Because your taste overwhelms people
And is even better than opium.
Inhaling it makes people’s mouths water.
We’ve had a relationship
In which up to now there has been no problem.
I thought our love affair would remain
Unchanged until earth and sky collapsed.

Ah cigarette,
You have the word American in your trademark for everyone to see
So I must give you up along with my bicycle.
Our love affair
Today must end.

Cigarette please don’t harbor resentment.
Perhaps a time might come when we meet again,
But it must be after Americans abrogate the treaty.
Then as before I shall be able to fondle you.

A romantic, ironic tragedy to be sure! The forbidden fondling of American cancer crutches. There’s a whole novel in that.

Excerpt from Lang, Che. 1960. “Tiao yin-chai”, in A, Ting (Ed.). A collection of Anti-American literature relating to the exclusion of Chinese labourers. Peking.

Blended from 33 Kettles

Now here’s a weird one. Total and incredible marketing guff from 1940. I love it.PBRAd1940

So what Pabst are really saying here is that in 1940 they found it easier to brew thirty-three beers averagely and then blend them to ensure consistency of their recipe rather than simply brewing consistently in the first place. Is it a more expensive way to brew? Of course! But that’s what makes the beer unique. A goodness that never varies (well, thirty-three goodnesses that always vary, shhh!).

Fix Acne with these Golden Suds

What an amusing comparison this ad from eighty years ago draws. How reassuring to know that the lager you’re drinking is made from clean grain. Also bemusing is that the second-person point of view of the headline taken with the image of the child having his face washed implies that the boy is the drinker. Or perhaps an infantile version of the drinker.

In which case Budweiser was trying to associate drinking their beer with getting one’s face washed – a form of renewal, a refreshing ritual?

Wash Bud Ad

Is the advertisement subtly using cleaning – scrupulous cleaning – as a kind of excuse for the light lager flavour? So clean, all flavour is stripped away! Even the water is washed! With air, clean, clean air! You will never catch influenza from our beer!

But really, were any of Bud’s competitors in the 1930s letting dirt into the bottle? I highly doubt it. Beer has so many stages from the field to the glass that dirt from barley is a total non-factor.

Then there is of course again that creepy “Make this Test” box Budweiser loved so much in those days.