But before we delve into the art of being busy in the brewhouse, some loose ends must be tied up here in the schoolhouse offices. Urbain has been conjuring up some magic on The Internets, pounding out some spells on the keyboard that are making die-hard beer geeks die even harder. He's been creating some auctions for bottles of special-release beers, the profits of which will go to saving the Vleteren region's school bus service. The announcement can be found on their website, and the auctions can be found through this link. Up for sale are a bottle of 2005 Pannepot Grand Reserva, four bottles of 1983 Dirty Horse, two bottles of 2008 Earthmonk infused with La Vieille Prune (barrel-aged distillate of prunes), aaaaaaand.... one 9-liter bottle of Earthmonk proper. Earthmonk is a dangerously smooth, fastidiously blended Flanders sour ale that will satisfy your desire for a full-bodied yet refreshingly tart fruity beer. Imagine how many people you could please with 9 liters of this stuff! More auctions, and thus more beers, are on the way.
Might as well make one more thing public; no sense in keeping it a secret. I'm well into ruminating over the fact that I'll need a job when I return to the States. I've been contacting as many New England breweries as possible to see if an assistant brewer position is open anywhere. So, if any of you, Dear Readers, have any leads regarding brewery work (not just in New England), I would love to hear from you. Thanks!
Beer comes out of some random tanks strewn across the farm
One last note: Carlo was feeling celebratory on Saturday, so he decided to open a beer, an American one, for us to try. Trying these American beers (a lot of West Coast beers that are hard to find in the East) makes me excited to go home, wrap the silky stars 'n' stripes around my torso, and sip all the sweet nectars Uncle Sam has to offer. What we tried was 2008 Cuvee de Tomme, from Lost Abbey. Their website describes it as "a massive brown ale base that is made from four fermentable sugars including Malted Barley, Raisins, Candi Sugar and Sour Cherries, this beer is fully fermented before being placed in Bourbon barrels where the beer ages for one year with the Sour Cherries and the wild Brettanomyces yeast that we inoculate the barrels with." I have to say it was Capital, just Capital! A hearty yet delicately tart beer with just the right amount of carbonation and dark fruit character.