Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving thanks


I’m in an early Thanksgiving mood this afternoon and I’m thankful for a glorious warm sunny day, a fine German motorcycle to ride and a six-pack of Spaten Oktoberfest.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMr. T’s Riverside, just over the St. Francis River in Missouri is my go-to place for good German beer and it made for a soul-satisfying ride.

I took back roads, riding east from Brookland on Ark. 230 to Dixie, which amounts to a few houses clustered around the intersection of Ark. 230 and Ark. 135.

I paused for a shot of my bike in front of the Dixie sign. (I think I’ve blogged it before.) Then I turned north on Ark. 135 and rode up to U.S. 412 on the east edge of Paragould where I turned east and rode the short run to Mr. T’s.

The guy behind me in line said he liked my German POLIZEI leather jacket, asked where I got it and was surprised when I told him it was only $179 from SportsmansGuide.com. This jacket has won more compliments than any I’ve ever owned.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow I’m home, having poured three bottles of Spaten to fill a one-liter seidel.

What’s a seidel, you ask”

A Krug is an earthenware or stoneware beer mug with a handle. The litre version is called a Mass Krug. A glass version of the Mass Krug is called a Seidel -- this is the one you see in Munich beer gardens. Some people tend to call both the Mass Krug and the Seidel "steins". In fact, a Stein, or "Steinzeugkrug" is a stoneware beer mug with a hinged, thumb-tabbed pewter lid. It is widely believed that the lid was introduced as a hygiene measure after bubonic plague, or "black death", killed about a third of Europe's population in the fourteenth century. Some areas made lids on beer mugs compulsory after plagues of flies caused understandable concern about hygiene in the sixteenth century. Decorative steins, often with ornate relief decorations, became a symbol of status and can be quite collectable. However, some of the steins you'll find are modern corporate marketing gimmicks and have no connection to German beer whatsoever, including some that are produced by industrial lager giants like Anheuser-Busch and Coors. I'm not a fan of steins, as I think you can't appreciate the appearance of a beer if you drink it from an opaque vessel but there are many other websites dedicated to beer steins and stein collecting (see, for example,www.steincollectors.org). – From http://www.germanbeerguide.co.uk/glasses.html

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