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These are the words, images, and beers that inspired the GBH Collective this week. Drinking alone just got better, because now you're drinking with all of us.
JAMAAL LEMON READ.// “If the rivers, lakes, or beaches near you are open, and you’re following the CDC guidelines for social distancing, fishing is a great way to reduce stress and have fun.” These are the articles you find while doing a quick Google search to locate the internal temperature of a cooked whole hog. Don’t ask.
LOOK.// The other day, I sent one of my buddies, multifaceted artist Rodney “BUCK!” Herring, a text to see how he was holding up during these crazy times. Head to his Instagram to see some of his latest works.
DRINK.// Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
Every so often, I’ll find a beer I obsess over and ride with it for some time. Usually, it’s a beer that’s only enjoyed by beer nerds, and despised by most novice beer drinkers. Due to COVID-19, I’ve been logging countless hours with my pellet smoker. From salmon and chorizo to pork butt, no meat is safe in these smoky streets. As a result, my palate has made a hard pivot towards Rauchbier, and I’m now a confirmed stan of the smoky style, made with malt dried over beechwood fires.
KRISTEN FOSTERREAD.// “Here we do it fast and loose and dumb and wrong, and occasionally we have a man who manufactures pillows come to the White House to show the president encouraging texts. It all works!” Dave Eggers has been one of my favorite authors ever since a friend loaned me “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” in college. His recent New York Times opinion piece, “Flattening the Truth on Coronavirus,” is a reminder of why I love his work. A Q&A session between the “people” and an unknown person providing answers to questions about the coronavirus, it had me equal parts frightened, amused, discouraged, and hopeful.
LOOK.// My new obsession is gardening, now that I finally have some time to tackle the flower beds, weeds, and overgrowth that needed attention in my yard. The extra motivation to get started came from watching Ron Finley’s MasterClass. The self-proclaimed “Gangster Gardener,” Finley plants vegetable gardens in abandoned lots, traffic medians, and along the curbs of South Central LA. That sent me down a rabbit hole looking for other clips, which led me to the 2015 documentary “Can You Dig This.” The film follows four improbable gardeners as they plant their own food, right in the middle of Los Angeles.
DRINK.// Hudson Valley Brewery’s WindrowThere are not a lot of good things to say about the last few months, but one pivot I've enjoyed is ordering from many of my favorite New York breweries online. Beers from breweries I love but don't always have the time to visit in person are now just a click away, like Hudson Valley Brewery's Lager, Windrow. After an afternoon spent battling weeds and roots in the garden, this biscuity, crisp beer is my preferred reward.
SEAN MCEMERSON READ.// “The hospital P.A. system plays ‘Here Comes the Sun’ when a COVID-19 patient is being discharged, and the staff cheers as the gurney carrying the lucky person rolls by. All too often, though, the Beatles are interrupted by an announcement of a Code Blue: an emergency call for C.P.R.” I wish we could see more candid photography from the frontlines of the coronavirus fight. This is the type of event that people will look back on years down the line, but, in the midst of people demonstrating for their “freedom” and flouting lockdowns, I think it’s really important to see the physical and mental toll being enacted on the people we rely on to keep us safe, healthy, and alive. This piece from The New Yorker is raw, dark, gritty, despairing, haunting: it’s real.
LOOK.// This 1963 TV feature on Southwold beer was recently colorized and shared on YouTube. Having just been there in February to photograph for Adrian Tierney-Jones’ Adnams Brewery Signifier, I was immediately transported back to sipping pints of Bitter at The Lord Nelson. I fell in love with the place, and it was so cool to see what it was like nearly 60 years ago. Neither the brewery nor the pub—nor the clientele—are recognizable anymore, and I wonder how many of our modern breweries will have similarly evolved 60 years from now.
DRINK.// Exale Brewing and Noita Winery’s Ries and Shine
One of my local breweries, Exale Brewing, recently collaborated with Noita, an urban winery from Finland. Together they made a Bohemian-style Pilsner that includes Riesling grape juice, sourced from the oldest winemaker in Austria. It delivers on the sweet, biscuity, malt-driven flavor you would expect from this beer style. A hint of bitterness from the noble Tettnanger hop is quickly joined by the juiciness of the grapes. This is a great addition to the brewery’s growing range of styles, and is perfectly-timed for the warmer weather greeting us here in London.
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The GBH Collective