Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Killa Stella" -- read the whole column at

There'll be more to say about horse pimps and foreign beer as Derby approaches. Until then, remember that Stella is Belgian for beer just like Foster's is Australian for beer, which is to say, it isn't at all.
In his autobiographical book, “The Factory of Facts,” the Belgian-American writer Luc Sante recalls the drab post-WW II industrial reality of his childhood home of Verviers, a city in the Wallonian rustbelt. Reading Sante’s reflections on a society stratified by factory life and traumatized by its wartime experiences, my thoughts turned to lager beer, which originated in and around the German lands, to the east of Belgium.
We know that lager developed in lockstep with the industrial revolution throughout Europe, gradually departing from its original, artisanal methods to fatally embrace pure science utterly devoid of a guiding aesthetic, eventually supplanting traditional ale styles – many of which survived only in the countryside in cantankerous places like Sante’s Belgium.

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