Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Update: Wending our merry way to Summer's End

Greetings to all.
Today was a day of minor eventfulness.  I'm not entirely sure what I mean by that.  Rather, I know what I mean, but I am not sure what I desire the audience to take from it.  I got home early from work today and had a nap with Frau Punkinstein and all the kittens and cats in the house.  Then we got up and went to get groceries.  If we are shopping for groceries on a Friday afternoon before 6:00 PM we go to Farm Fresh and visit Richard, the wine steward of the establishment, who always has some 6 or 7 bottles to sample and a palate cleanser such as goat cheese.  Always a good time as Richard is a great person and fascinating conversationalist.  Today he was on vacation (2 week cruise to Europe) so the Sam Adams beer lady was in his spot.  She had cold samples of Sam's Octoberfest seasonal brew.
I am not a beer snob, but I could be.
It's a fine enough brew, very malty, very barley, not as hopsey.  I am less a hops fan.  I like sugar in many forms and malted barley provides that natural sugar I like.  I find the flavor bold at start and subtle on the finish (that was beer snobbery), but it is not a "pumpkin ale" which I also like.  I do enjoy the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors of the pumpkin spice ales, but this is not one of those beers.  This is a dark amber brew, but certainly not a porter or stout.  The website describes it as a transitional beer, which is good at bridging the gap and smoothing the transition between the lighter summer beers and the darker, full-bodied winter brews.
Courtesy of the Samuel Adams website.  Note the  Fall decorated label
More importantly: OKTOBERFEST, which means October, which means "Autumn" which means...HALLOWEEN.  I know, I'm sounding like some conspiracy nut making tenuous connections about the Knights Templar, but honestly, that's the vibe it gives me.  Also, Samuel Adams beer spells it OCTOBERFEST, not the traditional German spelling with a "K".
"Looking up the street, it's clear that the layout of the path to brewery makes a Maltese Cross...the sign of the Templars!"
I didn't start this post to talk about beer, so moving on...
As I stood in the line to put my groceries on the conveyor belt I noticed the Pillsbury "Halloween" book.  Small, digest format, maybe a little bigger.  It is the same as last year, but it is out, which is good.  Then I noticed a full magazine format "Halloween" magazine ($9.99 USD), which included not only recipes, but ideas for children's costumes, decorations, the usual.  I purchased neither, but it was good to see them out on the racks.
Yes, the usual unfortunate confluence of gross with scary but what can you do?
As I have established in the past and will no doubt do so again, I do not like the way the Gypsies have somehow been combined with Pirates and Gross has been identified with Scary for Halloween.  Gory may be Gross, but Gross does not mean Scary.  Not by nature anyway.  Most of these recipes, if not all of them, are available online at the Pillsbury website and on various Halloween blogs and non-commercial websites.  We don't need these magazines, but it is still nice to have them.  The pictures are fun and it is a sign that the holiday is still commercially viable, which is the only way things survive the years anymore.

HALLOWEENSIGN: The list thus far, that I can attest to personally
1. Michaels craft store put out its first round of product
2. Yankee Candle had an in-store party/launch event
3. Seasonal beer from Sam Adams
4. Halloween recipe guides presented for impulse purchase on the grocery checkout rack
5. Bloggers stepping up their games

Looks good so far.  I can't wait to see what September holds.

Keep those pumpkins lit.


  1. Embrace your inner beer snob. I like Sam Adams Octoberfest, but as much as I, and Germany, admire Jim Koch, I believe Sam Adams is still the only American beer that complies with the Reinheitsgebot, it's not the best Oktoberfest. It's funny that so many Americans are searching for good beer, while Germany is struggling with their young people demanding Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft because it's considered "trendy", and costs twice as much as higher quality German beer is half the price. Ship the good stuff over here my Teutonic friends.

  2. I think I do, at times, embrace my inner beer snob, but he's a drunken prick, so he always just wants to fight. He does not get on at all with my outer rum snob. I actually like flavoured beers, so Reinheitsgebot be damned, but I do enjoy the subtle flavors of a good, not-flavoured beer.
    Again, I stress preferring the barley over the hops. Nice bottle too.

  3. When you my dear Punkinstein is back in the region of your childhood, I will have to introduce you to my brewmaster friend. He made a barley wine that was real good plus he makes mead. Real honest to Odin mead and quite tasty.

  4. That would be a fine idea indeed, Kilchester, me old matey.