Beer stories

On his majesty’s service, I mean as requested by ichoosecake, here are a few more pictures of the Viadukt in Zurich with its colorful trains speeding surprisingly silent over our heads. This time kid was along so we spent much more time trying clothes and otherwise just walking around, so a beer to ease the waiting pain was unavoidable. The Bier Factory from Rapperswil (a small town down the Zurich lake) brought a real hit with this IPA, showing a rocket with hops stuck up its rear end. A hit for me, at least - XXA hit my nose immediately with that special strong hoppy aroma you’d have expected from an IPA, and the taste was nothing less: bitter, full and balanced, a great choice I landed here. So I didn’t mind at all waiting around, and I didn’t mind even when kiddo found a japanese jacket which hit us with about double the price downtown. Not that the Swiss fashion houses represented here were cheaper… did I mention we were in Viadukt, the hipster mile of Zurich?

Hipster mile of Zurich, here I come! Hard to believe I found time for this only after… one? Two years? Apologies for calling it this way but how could I resist - modern vintage shops with used looking rags or hats, scarfs or upholstery… all this built under the stony legs of so-called Viadukt - one of the older Zurich train overpasses enriched now with a new life through a touch of genius. Or touch of naivety as the shops don’t really look like being overcrowded, but please don’t allow me to complain. The “Markthalle” market hall in Viadukt offers shelves after shelves of zillions of cheeses ranging from Emmentaler to Stilton, schnaps after schnaps out of all imaginable fruits, next to innumerable sorts of olive oil, pasta, sauces and jams and all that world of gourmet minutiae, and wines, how could one forget wines… fully worth a visit also (or especially) because it offers here and there a few interesting beers - mostly Swiss, but also these English and Scottish at a UK-themed booth called The Mousetrap Pub. Ha, called itself pub. No mice in sight and well, it was just a booth so not much to say about it. My beer to pair with the visit was a Scottish porter which turned out a pleasant choice. I ordered this Harviestoun Old Engine Oil warm like in room temperature warm (fact which barely raised an eyebrow from the Brit-speaking bartender) as an experiment I planned recently. The obvious note says warm beer must be way better than ice cold beer, for once it won’t give you a toothache (or brainfreeze), but today my research subject was how does good beer change. Hope was it would turn into another good beer: and the result confirmed it. I even liked it, this fizzy, light coffee but full taste brew… I promised myself I shall be back to try it also properly refrigerated.

Yes, and for the record, the reverse theory is that warm bad beer turns totally undrinkable, for which I plan to postpone the practical tests indefinitely.

explain this

The distant cheers reassured us, the medieval camp cannot be far anymore. And lo, another turn and between the trees of this small forest not far from Zurich, shone the white tents waiting for visitors just above a little swamp (I think of human origin). The cheers were coming from a few archers practicing on one side of the camp, while we were approaching pacing  bravely over the last meters of the forest road from Embrach. I wouldn’t call this a “renaissance fair” but what else - LARP it is not, neither reenactment… let’s call it medieval fair and move on. I didn’t go the last years to those anymore so I was quite surprised when somebody called me, and to my even greater surprise it was a colleague from the office turning up member of the organizers association. Properly dressed in simple brown and white peasant garb, she was managing with her powerful voice the beer mug sliding table. I had to push a few mugs of course and I discovered that I’m not that good at it… my exercise with beer mugs is normally lifting them so I didn’t mind much the result and walked on, between tents and booths with about anything. Some were cooking the evening meal for themselves, some preparing tasty skewers for the visitors like us, and the Swiss cheese mandatory booths were there as well. Mead was of course flowing, in the sounds of an ad-hoc medieval disco - that is, a few pairs more or less trained dropping curtsies in the sounds of bagpipes, flutes, drums or tambourines. Whatever the guys in charge with music happened to play. But… where’s my beer? There there, brewed newly at Locher after Herr Karbacher the original brewer was too old to take care of it himself, this Köhler-Bier (charburner beer) was just waiting for thirsty me. Balanced and with a thick mouthfeel - not that lager-ish actually, discretely hopped without much bitterness, it was an enjoyable drink next to the salty potato chips cut directly on a power drill. You heard it right, medieval chip-makers using a power drill, eh. Too bad the time to move on came too soon, we barely had time to sniff on the exotic spices, admire handwoven fabrics and elvish handmade jewelry, grab some wild boar dried and peppered specialties to gnaw on the way home… and even the pig on the skewer was only starting to roast. That should teach us, going on such escapades without any preparation…

Autumn is here in my garden, without any trace of doubt. I’m much less into gardening than I’d like, always blaming it on the lack of time…  the truth probably is I have other things above it on the priority list. Poor garden, wouldn’t it be great to have the time to properly take care of these apples, now so biological that almost every piece hosts its own food chain? Well, at least I am still able to find the time to cleanly remove those intruders before squeezing the fruits to a great (although sour) juice. The grapes are unbelievably many this year, after the hail of two years ago which left me with about five bare twigs and the twenty-or-so leaves of last year. I can only now understand my old man and his sour attempts at homemade wine - I can barely resist the idea of trying it myself. And I’m not even a wine drinker, you know? If that wasn’t already obvious, I’m into beers, and I’m into this one in particular. The brew is fairly new, launched by Sonnenbräu to quite some success on this 1st of May 2014 under the proud name “workers beer”. Büezer ist just worker in the local Swiss German dialect and us workers bought the beer seemingly a plenty - the brewery stocks were already exhausted twice these months. What can I say, I liked it as well even though it’s no autumn beer (no pumpkin, no funny stuff). Little bitter but yummy malts, this wonderful color and an aroma to love… a perfect drink for this indian summer.

Note: the special tomatoes (kumato, big rainbow) are not my production, I only thought they looked nice in that bowl…

I knew I’m gonna spend the afternoon at the water rafting Limmatclub Baden, so I brought a Hawaiian beer to pair with it: the Island Longboard Lager from Kona Brewing. I know, it’s a bit backwards but… couldn’t resist. Between the wooden oars decorating the club walls the air was cooler, but why stay inside on such a wonderful day, maybe the last nice one this year? Yes, the day was really nice - warm and friendly, quiet maybe also because of the peacefulness of the nearby flowing Limmat, Zurich’s emblematic waterway… In any case the beer was also good - cool and refreshing, just enough bitterness and perfect mouthfeel, a really good choice under the late summer sun shimmering on the green ripples nearby, ripples almost inviting you to try their depths. The members of the Limmatclub chose to raft on this kind of flat bottom boats named “weidling”. The popularity of these special boats is rather limited to the Swiss rivers - and lakes too, I think. Where there are rafting clubs there are also rafting competitions (notice the many colorful accolades gathered by our folks?) and… unfortunately there are also rafting casualties. An impressive bronze plate at the entrance remembers a crew of two going under during a competition years ago… poor Otto, poor Josef…



Cee - BrewHeads (Official Video) from The Movement Fam on Vimeo.

With the craft beer explosion happening in every corner of the globe, it was only a matter of time before the revolution gained a soundtrack.

Cee, originally from Melbourne, Australia but now located in Montreal, Canada, created the song ‘BrewHeads’ (produced by Dr. MaD) after connecting with Phillip Hinson via Instagram. Phil owns BrewHeads, a craft beer merchandise company based out of Phoenix, AZ. The two had a mutual admiration for each others business, so a collaboration was inevitable. The track celebrates all aspects of the world of craft beer unlike any other tune before it - this is most definitely not your typical ‘let’s get drunk’ theme song.

Now although a song and video like this is big enough news in itself, what truly makes this special is that Phil and Cee have created a super limited edition merch collab which is currently still available via the BrewHeads website! The black and gold box set contains a gorgeous BrewHeads Bière Sommelier Glass with 22 carat gold print; a custom 100% made in the USA snapback, complete with hop print under the brim and gold-stitched barley on the flip side; and, of course, a digital download of the track.

Order the Cee x BrewHeads cap x glass combo while it lasts:

Listen to ‘BrewHeads’ on Bandcamp:

Shot by Richard Bastarache and Shane Russell
Edited by Shane Russell

Cameras: Canon 6D and Canon XF100

9Block Productions -
Twitter: @9_Block

BrewHeads -
Twitter: @brewheads
Instagram: @brewheads

Special thanks to all the breweries:
Benelux -
Broue Pub Brouhaha -
Vices Et Versa -
Dépanneur Peluso -
Dieu du Ciel -
Choppe a Barrock -
St. Ambroise -

Cee - This Is All I Know

Cee & Dr. MaD - Steps To The Peak

Notion - Pride On My Cufflinks EP

Twitter: @CeeFor
Instagram: @ceefor
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Because “Tap the Bottle” doesn’t quite go with craft beer.