“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





13 November 2016


Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen Premium Cloudy Wheat Beer 
($5:40 500mL; 5% alcohol; crown seal)

Wheat beer? First, let's consult Mohammed ibn Zakariya al Razi, Arabic medical writer (865-925AD), who with excellent precision advised that "Ale, especially that made from barley, clogs the sinews, causes headache and congestion of the head, yet it overstimulates the action of the kidneys, and, when drunk to excess, lowers the temperature. That, however, which is brewed from wheat, and is flavoured with mint and parsley, is judged better for everybody."

Pardon my stutter: that quote has long sat in the right hand column here. It consoles me.

Wheat malt, a small addition of barley malt, hops, yeast and water. Nothing else. No flocculants. No additives. Sounds terribly simple. And simple this Frankfurt perfection is, in a pristine and innocent way.

I pour it to ensure it has a lovely thick head, creamy and moussey enough to support the thinnest sliver of lemon. This is not to disguise its flavour, as is necessary with certain central American suds, but to enhance the beer's lovely pithy freshness: while its overwhelming air is along the lines of your ripening wheatfield after a gentle sunshower, it also has a disarming lemony freshness about it, with some other alluring fruity esters of the tropical sort. (Yep, these include the popularly-reported banana, which the the easy critic's way around it, but there's more in here than that.) That lemon slice is purely an aroma toy: you should be able to drink your pint without the slice ever actually touching the beer, but remaining supported by the head.

And yes, it works deliciously with a leaf of mint or parsley instead. Or just plain nude.

You don't really need anything other than the beer.

To drink, it's not as thick as its cloudiness would hint: it is indeed an uplifting, bright and fresh zephyr of a bevvy.

I don't drink much beer, but I promise a six-pack of this gloriousness never lasts long at Casa Blanca. You can somethimes get it discounted well below that advised price, too, which seems to improve the flavour no end. Perfect in this springtime weather.

But you know the old rule: don't drink beer in the sun. As Doc Razi concluded: "Still, in the case of persons exposed to the sun’s heat, in feverish conditions and sultry weather, its use is inadvisable."

In other words, if you're dying, water's probably better. But don't trust me. I don't yet know.

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