The Most American Day of the Year

What do other countries think of us on Super Bowl Sunday?  What does it say about a culture that the biggest non-holiday event of the year involves sitting around "man caves" in suburban America to watch a four-hour sporting event?  Even that we call it, with no apparent self-awareness, the "Super Bowl" (or even worse "Super Bowl XLVII") says something, doesn't it?  There is a certain late-empire grandiosity to the whole affair that is slightly odd.  But every culture has oddness, and this one is fairly harmless.

For my part, I'm half-way through the mash of my annual pilsner--or better yet, světlý ležák.  (We'll see if it's actually a ležák--I have a horrible time hitting my efficiency.  But a světlé Výčepní is cool, too.)  My erstwhile brewing partner is now bumming it in Brazil, so I'm on my own.  Each year we mix it up a bit and this year instead of using Sterling hops (a better approximation of Saaz than US Saaz) I'm going with German.  Steinbart's had Tradition and Hersbrucker, so that's what we're going with.  I also added a half pound of wheat, on the slim justification of head grains, but mainly because I tend to put at least half a pound of wheat  in every recipe.

When I was in Prague, I told my tour guide, Max Bahnson, about this beer.  I'd been to Pilsner Urquell and Budvar already, and he was deepening my understanding of Czech lagers.  Since we were on a two-day odyssey, I'm not sure precisely when the moment came, but I remember what happened next.   I proudly mentioned that we call our pils Velvet Revolution.  His nose wrinkled and he shook his head.  "It's too obvious," he said.  "A Czech brewery would never use that."

Obvious.  Isn't that exactly what you'd expect from a couple of American homebrewers?  Go Niners!