Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Point of brew: Have a beery beery Christmas and Prosbeerous New Year

MichaelLewisW

By
From page A9 | December 18, 2013 |

In recent days I have run across beer in odd places:
A) Beer as bribe,
B) Beer on eBay,
C) Beer and bikes,
D) Beer and bricks, and
E) Beer and billboards.

The question is: What has all this to do with Christmas? Are there any Christmas messages here? Let me try to find the connections.

Beer as bribe is an odd story from Holland. A rather unlikely person — a woman and a Muslim — is mayor of a small town. She has a problem with a some homeless and alcoholic people infesting the local park. What to do? Well, put them to work, of course: They can clean up the town!

To make the job attractive at merely 10 euros per day plus clean overalls and a clip-on bow tie, she adds two cans of beer at breakfast, two at lunchtime plus two more at the end of the day provided the cleanup work was well done. Beer as bribe. Massive success.

What is the Christmas message? It’s this: Homeless and even alcoholic folk are people, too, and — especially at this time of year of generosity, good will and gift-giving — we should spare a thought for those less fortunate than we are. For example, among many other opportunities, never pass a Salvation Army red kettle without putting folding money in it.

Beer on eBay (or Craigslist) is also an unlikely story until you remember that some people are beer enthusiasts with special and even peculiar tastes in beer; often enough, those folk already have every bauble and whiz-bang and gizmo a Christmas gift-giver can possibly afford to give. So let us buy a beer that he/she knows about but cannot possibly find; this is called “demand.” Cue the beer black market; this is called “supply.”

Beers that are in limited distribution and have earned an extraordinary reputation in the beer press, such as Pliny the Elder made by Vinnie and Nathalie Cilurzo and their team at Russian River Brewing Company (Santa Rosa), have been appearing on eBay at exorbitant even breathtaking prices.

Isn’t this just a wonderful opportunity to give a thoughtful, inventive and even magical gift at Christmastime to that special person and beer-lover in your life? Well no! Selling beer without a license and selling beer online are illegal and raise many other issues. Nathalie was at the forefront in curtailing the practice.

Beer on bikes struck me as odd because the photograph showed four kegs of beer in a trailer behind a “cargo” bike. Obviously, this would be a grand way to deliver this splendid libation to any Christmas party one might attend. Beer is the best beverage to drink at a party because it is large in volume (and so fills one up faster) and one has to find a washroom on a regular basis; also, most easy-drinking party beers are relatively low in alcohol.

The danger, it turns out in this case, is not so much getting home after the party but surviving the journey to it. A full keg of beer weighs about 160 pounds and four of them would be about 650 pounds plus the weight of the trailer and bike. Pedaling that could well cause a heart attack and the bike would be unsafe at any speed because it would be even harder to stop than start! Nevertheless, such a bike and cargo would be ideal this time of year.

Beer and bricks is really about home and hearth and family where most of us want to be at Christmastime; “warm face, warm hands, warm feet (and warm heart). Oh! Wouldn’t it be loverly?” Well, turns out beer can help here, too. Apparently, clay bricks are made with polystyrene added for strength; unfortunately, the EU regulations for greenness make this expensive.

Enter a brewery waste product called spent grain that, when mixed with clay, maintains the strength of bricks and dramatically improves their insulating properties; apparently spent grain entraps air in brinks that impedes heat flow. Try straw?

Billboards have appeared recently along Interstate 80 to Sacramento, installed by atheists; one might suppose they are a part of Fox “News” annual lament about the War on Christmas. Atheists might point out there is no evidence for God and our most cherished Christmas stories are the result of bad translation and the imagination of first-century journalists. But these atheists want to come out of the closet to show they have as good a moral compass as the righteous, because after all, they are perfectly cool with most of the Ten Commandments.

One billboard reads “I believe in humanity,” which, as far as I’m concerned, has the same impact as saying “I believe I’ll have beer.”

And so here we are, once again, at this wonderful time of year. May I wish you who have honored me by reading this column this far a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year; may you spare a thought for those less fortunate, exchange magical but legal gifts, party safely and sensibly, stay warm and safe, and remember that those age-old stories — myths really — we tell of the first Christmas are merely the outer wrappings around the great core of Faith.

— Reach Michael Lewis at cymro@sbcglobal.net. Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

.

News

Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Winter produce available at Sutter market

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Share your love (story) with us

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Speaker will share computer security tips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Donations to be distributed during homeless count

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Speaker will share computer security tips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Words and Music Festival events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

Davis, Woodland are saving water

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Family isn’t keen on relationship

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

 
 
Caring for the aging mouth

By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

 
We have the right to choose

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

We don’t have to suffer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
City helped immensely

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

 
From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD men take two tennis matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

 
Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

 
UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

 
Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8