Tuesday, June 28, 2016


This is a piece more for people who DON'T DRINK or Newbies....
有不喝酒的朋友说,喝酒在亚洲文化观念中 不是什么好事,什么不醉无归,一醉方休,酒逢知己千杯少,一醉解千愁,反正听起来喝酒就是为了醉倒。

Why to them? well--in ASIA--any sort of alcohol drinking is generally perceived as "No Good"--if you do day drinking--that's even worse.
There are many old sayings in Chinese associated with drinking, such as 不醉无归(BU ZUI WU GUI--literally meaning no drunk no home), 一醉方休(YI ZUI FANG XIU--only drunk would do), 酒逢知己千杯少(JIU FENG ZHI JI QIAN BEI SHAO--when with like minded people a thousand glasses is fine)or 一醉解千愁(YI ZUI JIE QIAN CHOU--once drunk all worries gone)
All these words---with 1 final conclusion---that drinking only serve 1 purpose--to get fucking drunk/wasted....BUT --is that the case?
CERTAINLY NOT with craft beer--in the world of craft beer--especially that of Geeks--there are some unspoken 'rules" or "code of conduct" or  whatever one might want to call it---that differentiates the general perception of drinking culture here....
IF you a NON-DRINKER or very new NEWBIES--this is what Geeks believe in:-
Craft is sharing
Every beer geeks knows this and have done this before--still doing it--and loving it. YES--sharing is fun--no decent geeks would like to down 10 bottles by him/herself in 1 session---sharing is definitely the way Geeks love to do.
craft beer是拿来品尝\分享的
craft beer类别繁多,就算同类型啤酒也有成千上万不同品牌选择,只因不是冠上craft beer 字眼就一定好,如何选择好啤酒是门功课。如何选择是好?关键在于品尝。简单说,就是每次尽量找三五个同好,浅尝不同啤酒,既分享也分担,小量喝味蕾可以保持较长时间敏锐度感受酿品,间接也缩短品尝不同类别/品牌啤酒所需的味蕾训练过程。
Much like drinking wine or whisky/bourbon---what so good about craft beer is all in the smell/taste/after taste---if you still think beer is just one dimensional fizzy yellow no taste boring cold drink--wake up from your nightmare--it's time to understand the word craft beer and for god sake get yourself a taste!
喝craft beer重点在于每一支不同酿品的味道,口感和余韵所带来的味蕾感官享受或“受罪”程度。这点跟品尝葡萄酒或威士忌是类似的。好的啤酒会在这三大要诀让啤迷有深刻嗅觉味觉感受,就像享受美食那样。这也是为什么一些少产量上佳酿品会让啤迷不管怎么难找都会设法寻求,就算只能尝试一小口也甘愿的动力。
The way forward
Craft beer drinking is like eating food--there would be items one dislike--it's a very personal preference kinda thing. BUT--the slight difference is the more varieties one try and genuinely seek out the differences--the better one's palate for better beers would become.
In case like eating food--if one only stays in a certain comfort zone of beer variants--and refuse or ignore other styles/variants--though he or she might not know what they are missing--but that's not how the journey of craft-tasting/discovery should be--varieties is the way forward.
喝啤酒有点像吃东西,人难免会有自己偏爱的食物,更有不喜欢不能接受的食物。在craft beer众多不同类别中,有啤迷喝了一段时间只停滞在某个阶段,不尝试不接受其他类型风格啤酒。虽然喝酒是很个人口味的事,对真正啤迷来说,在某个阶段停留不前是可惜的,因为代表着味蕾修炼的停滞,也意味着错过其他类型精彩酿品,不都说偏食不是好习惯吗?更何况,要是踏出“舒适圈”,多尝试其他不同类别啤酒之后,再回来品尝之前觉得最爱啤酒时,很可能会有新领会,或甚至发现原来有更好的,之前自己眼浅了。
Overkill is NOT the way
Chasing after beers is always top of the list of things to do for geeks--but like everything else in the universe--balance is needed--in the process of that--sometimes we see certain geeks become one of these( or all of it):-
-keeping all good beers to him/herself ONLY--(sorry no sharing)
-would pay ANY asking price for a bottle from the grey market
-always brag about own collection/beers drank & Mock others
Well--no matter how big a geek you might be--if you tick one or more of the 3 mentioned---be prepared to be persona-non-grata.
Something is a TOTAL NO NO
All right--craft beer is definitely something that would make you drunk--if you :-
-started on empty stomach
-too tired from no sleep/jet-lag/or whatever you did a night before
-already feeling under the weather(what the fxxk were you thinking to still wanna drink?)
-for whatever reasons--you just feel like getting shit-faced
YES--it's never a good idea to get too drunk--especially if you consider the best thing to do with craft beer is to TASTE rather than heavy drinking---but we are only human--so yes--once in a while even the most decent Geeks do get shit-faced..
BUT--IF anyone think that doing the not unusual act(mostly by Pure Alcohol Lovers seen in ASIA drinking culture)---of "going to the toilet--pluck your throat to force out whatever you have drank b mid way through drinking craft beer---so that you could drink more"---then you are NOT fit for craft beer--you are wasting good beers...
喝酒会让酒精有机会搞乱你的自制力这件事是大家都知道,可是不是每个人都有自知之明或自律的。一班啤迷同好聚在一起分享好酒,偶尔喝到太高兴是可以理解的事,而每个人酒精承受能力不太一样,有人会比较醉过其他人是正常。不过,真正啤迷之间有个很清楚但从来没明言的潜规则--<从不会去厕所呕吐了之后再继续喝!!> 这是大忌,是浪费好酒行为。要是谁喝到一半有呕吐行为,那基本就是自废武功,应该要去深山闭关一段长时间之后再说。(要说那样是因为当天身体早有不适,那更加要打板,身体不适还出来喝什么酒?) 至于一些夜店出现的酒后闹事行为,说真的这些年从没看过懂得喝CRAFT BEER的啤迷有这种无趣行为,这肯定是会被鄙视/断交的绝对大忌。

And if you did the unthinkable during a tasting/drinking session with fellow geeks--like vomiting or became aggressive or rowdy--then be prepared to be shun by fellow geeks....
Those behavior belongs to PURE ALCOHOL LOVERS at the local pub or bars or clubbing places---NOT a craft beer place.

Monday, June 6, 2016

WEEK 77---Craft-Spotting@Copenhagen 2016

This week's column is a very brief mentioning of some bars/bottle shop i been to during CBC Week(apart from the obvious 3 of Mikkeller /Warpigs/Mikkeller & Friends which already covered)-- there's some more craft beer places in CPH that's not mentioned here, but it's all right since i don't intent on doing a comprehensive guide kinda thing....
the latest addition to the scene in town--a combo of brew pub/bottle shop/beer bar---It's quite spacious with brewing facilities--including row of barrels--helm by the duo from TO OL--interesting to see if this place would go the direction of doing some exclusive to Brus only kinda of brew/release....
城里最新酿吧--除了卖其他人提供啤酒之外,很多啤酒是在酒吧里面自己酿--酿酒的是已盛名在外的To Ol 两位主创酿酒师。酿吧规模算蛮大型,除了酿酒设备,更有些其他酒类二手木桶供陈年过桶用途,喜欢瓶子选择的,入门处就有架子/冰柜摆满各类啤酒

the name says it all--this is a place where you come for some Belgium lambic-- or perhaps closer styles of wild ale/saison brewed in US or other parts of Europe--if you love your beer sour/funky or "calmer"at a cozy little place--this is the place to be--best part is--walk to next door--and you have another option in Mikkeller & Friends--they are basically being housed in one place.

opened for less than 3 months when we hit town--but words already traveled thick and fast about the beer list/tap list on show--and quickly became a must visit place in CPH for geeks--even if you are not a fan of Blabaer Lambic--which they have emmm both in bottles and on tap---there's still some other awesome bottles/ kegs to look forward to.

yes--everyone who knows would know--this is the small bottle shop in Copenhagen where Cantillon specially brew Blabaer for. This is the place where every year geeks from far and wide lining up for the annual release of Blabaer. Obviously when i visited there NO Blabaer for sale or on show--the place is just a cozy little bottle shop to sit in and chat--drink some beers be it bottles from the fridge or when Morten the affable owner/manager tap a beer .
away from the madness of Blabaer Day--this is just a very neighborhood store with multi-nationals visitors....
小小一家瓶子店,却是每年很多国际啤迷排长龙的一家,为的是比利时天然发酵果酸啤酒酿坊CANTILLON专门为瓶子店酿造的BLABAER LAMBIC--蓝莓果酸啤酒。是的,CANTILLON每年会为这家瓶子店专门酿造不同年份的蓝莓果酸啤酒,更重要的是,只在哥本哈根这家瓶子店发售,你就算去比利时CANTILLON酿坊,也找不到!大名鼎鼎镇店之宝之外,也有其他酿坊专门为店家酿造一些包括上啤酒泵的鲜啤。这是家感觉很邻家,很家常的瓶子店,店内有一两个啤酒泵,是可以坐下来慢慢喝,慢慢聊那种店,不是只能打包拿走那种。如果有去到这家,记得跟友善的店主MORTEN打个招呼。

It is said that if you like your beers local or Scandinavian--you would do no wrong to come here--though in fact they do have a fair amount of imported US/European beers too--either on tap/bottles. This is a place you have the choice of sit out or sit in--and really close to many other craft-places(warpigs/olbutikken/kihoskh/ mikkeller...)

this is not really a craft beer place one might ask? well it is a Ramen place with a vending machine--where you can buy craft beer in can--too bad there's no Heady Topper when we hit the shop to go with the noodles---but it's still good to have a bowl of Ramen with craft beer in hand...
拉面和啤酒,对啤迷来说是美好组合。这是MIKKELLER新搞作,请来日本拉面师傅,搬来日本街头最常见的贩卖机,就那样,哥本哈根出现了可以从贩卖机投币买罐装啤酒配拉面吃喝的店。既是“米记”旗下店家,贩卖机内的罐装啤酒就不会是泛泛之流,早阵子MIKKEL拿着一罐美国最佳IPA之一HEADY TOPPER配拉面吃的照片就引起啤迷关注,更想来这家店时,找罐HEADY TOPPER仿效。

used to be located inside Mikkeller & Friends bar---moved out to be a stand-alone bottle shop inside the food hall at Torvehalleme where it's more accessible to the public--had a Steak Sandwich from next door while sipping on a bottle of FFF Alpha King--best combo of that day....

There is no doubt whatsoever that Copenhagen is certainly one of Europe's main focal point for beer geeks--all you who lives in CPH-or very nearby-i envy you not...:)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

WEEK 76--MUMBLING of GEEK in a beer desert

This piece is actually a back dated one--published in newspaper column the day CBC week started.

It's sort of a situation analysis of how it is to be a geek here in a craft desert--or it could just be some mumbling of a geek not being realistic with the term "craft desert":-
WHAT is it about beer that makes geek go nuts?
to put it in very simple term--it's kinda like when people go far and wide searching for very good food.
what has beer got to do with food? one might ask
if you give it a good go--you will find out more than what you imagine--that craft beer is like food--or in fact more--with so many different taste profile/variants--all beer geek want is to find out how the beer taste---sounds like food tasting?
某种程度上,Craft beer也有被热捧的瓶子,所谓的Hyped Beer -- 有时候会造成啤迷追逐, 或炒卖现象,至于这样好不好,值不值得,看个人心态吧。
WHAT exactly are geeks looking for?
Some says beer geeks are no more than a bunch of SHOW-OFF--they drink harder to seek beers or hyped beers--post eemmm all on social media--trying to show-off that they have better taste in beer than the rest!
IS That true?
to a certain extent-- it is NOT WRONG to say sometimes geeks are a bunch of show-off--i mean--in the age where almost everyone is the victim of social media--where the word "selfie" did not exists until not too long ago---this is understandable.
BUT TO SAY geeks are only a bunch of show-off is not fair--end of the day--what geeks really looking for is very simple---to sample all the beers listed on the WISH LIST--which obviously is not easy at all--even harder if one lives in a craft desert.

IS IT A GOOD IDEA to be a geek in KL?
ASIA as a whole is improving beer brand/varieties wise--though of course is still far from the level of Europe/US bars/bottle shop--as for KL--the market is basically still very much a pale ale/IPA/stouts dominant one.
To be very honest--it's NO FUN being a geek here in KL not just because the market supply cannot satisfy the needs of geeks--but to a certain extent geeks are being seen as some kind of nerd as if creatures from outer space :)  ( yeah i hear you say--it's just beers)
整个亚洲来说,不同类别品牌啤酒选择在增多中(当然不比欧美城市多),马来西亚的选择有限,市场主要只在IPA, STOUTSPALE ALE之间打转。所以,是可以这么说,在吉隆坡当狂热啤迷不是很爽的事,除了市场无法满足啤酒类别选择要求,有点好笑的是,狂热啤迷有被视为异类的危险,虽说有开玩笑成份,不过确实也知道一般饮客对狂热啤迷的投入感到不可思议。(不就是啤酒吗?)
WHAT'S the situation?
basically if you a real nerdy geek--these will happen:-
-Drink less and less locally
-Save up for trips to places like Bangkok-Singapore-Japan(even better if Europe or US is possible) for beers not available here--and of course pull some bottles home
-Starting to observe which are the online shop in Europe/US that would sent beer mail to KL--and inevitably keeping an eye on foreign currency movements.....
-if you have friends willing to help sent beers from Europe/US then even better....
to do OWN IMPORTS/BEER MAIL--isn't it expensive?
YES--it is not cheap to have beer mail here--with the ridiculous alcohol tax basing on abv+ another 6% GST basing on prices--even if the beers are FREE --we still have to pay some silly taxes.

Though relatively expensive--end of the day--in economic terms--it's all about "opportunity cost"--meaning if you have USD100--you can either buy A or B--so what some of us geeks do here is basically drink or buy less locally--save up and drink own beer mail
The logic is simple--craft beer is never about volume--it's about taste-- if i don't drink 20 average beers and only get 2 small glasses of 2 very awesome beers---i'm more than happy--that's all i need really.