I’m no writer…as anyone who reads my emails will tell you. Every once in a while I feel the urge to put thoughts down on paper though so here are some thoughts.
Remembrance of Beers Past…with apologies to Proust.
As many of you know Vickie and I took a trip to Belgium this summer. This week we received our first shipment of beer that was a direct result of the trip! Enjoying it over the past few days it occurred to me how much enjoyment is a sense of place…or a remembrance of place. Not that the exceptional beer we tasted in Belgium was any less exceptional in the Pub – but there really is nothing comparable to being on vacation in Bruxelles and enjoying a Gueuze with the owner of the Gueuzerie. Maybe the camaraderie of like minded company, the gorgeous weather or perhaps just the sexy
French Belgian accent makes it better.
On the flip side, tasting these beers in my bar brings that pleasurable flood of memories back. Vickie and I grin and think about the restaurant owner Dirk, who wouldn’t let us leave until we had drank champagne, or the brewery owner who carted us all around Flanders Fields because he knew I had a fascination with battleground memorials. All it takes is a sour beer to bring it back to life!
Put it down to the vacation factor…finish my Geueze here and I get to go back into my office and do more work. Finish the fabulous little blonde ale that Jean of Moeder Lambic suggested in his café and I get to spend the afternoon strolling in an art museum – or at the very least drinking more Gueuze!
This is why we love beer tourists so much. The are mostly happy people; after all they are on vacation, they are glad to be in New Orleans, delighted to find the Pub… They are happy and we are happy; it’s a nice arrangement.
This past week we have been especially fortunate to have several groups of beer tourists in the bar. Texas, NJ, NY – even a couple on a long stay from the Carolinas…a bunch of them…and they were a real delight. Maybe it’s because they are on vacation and therefore more indulgent with my longwindedness (after all, they have no work to get back to); they always seem more interested in what we are trying to do than most of the locals and we like talking (some would say bragging) about what we do. I’m sure if they moved to New Orleans, the familiarity would breed contempt, in a way. They’d see us, warts and all, if they came in often enough.
So today I’ll be happy to have played host to a rotating cast of happy vacationers in my pub. Maybe they will grin the next time they taste a beer they drank here, and it will taste just that much better because of the vacation memory. At any rate I hope they spread the word and come back soon!