These are the words, images, and beers that inspired the GBH Collective this week. Drinking alone just got better, because now you're drinking with all of us.
READ. // “There still must be a place for wood-paneled walls, Golden Tee & Big Buck hunter machines, two-4-one wing specials on Mondays, and the like. These are places where there is nothing for the beer to hide behind. Just beer and conversation. And a jukebox.” Pete Bissell seems to have a continuously evolving and sharper view of the future of craft beer than most, and when he and his team started visiting accounts outside the craft bubble that serve Bissell, they realized that, among all the trendy, industrial-chic, craft-focused bars and restaurants out there, life finds a way.
LOOK. // I’ve been obsessed with pitching gifs and slow-mo rotation shots lately. The @pitchingninja has been a daily read for a few months now. But this particular shot of a changeup grip being released makes the human arm looks like pure magic. It’s a kind of elegant torture.
DRINK. // Pivovar Kout na Šumavě’s Koutska 12
There are wedding beers, and then there’s this wedding beer. From the historic and revived Czech brewery Pivovar Kout na Šumavě, this beautiful double-decoction Pilsner is made from local barley; well water; all the floral, spicy Saaz; and just a touch of caramel malt for color (a bit of a Czech secret for some). It was a delight up in the mountains of Vermont just as the crisp fall air crept in during our friend Matt Canning’s vows.
READ. // “...the project forces us to imagine a world without Springsteen in it to take care of us, a world which we must assume is now closer at hand than it is far. He’s a sixty-nine-year-old performing a career-spanning selection of music, interspersed with stories from the length of his life. It’s hard to watch if you’ve recently lost somebody, harder still if Springsteen is somebody that you don’t want to lose. It conjures thoughts of the unthinkable. I loved it and I wish I hadn’t watched it. I’m not ready to confront Springsteen on mortal ground.” I've read Rax King's essay on Springsteen, Springsteen on Broadway, and her father's untimely death at least 10 times. It’s full of power, weathered sentimentality, and vulnerability—like a great Springsteen song, I just want to put on repeat and read it over, and over, and over again.
LOOK. // Li Ziqi's YouTube channel offers up a hypnotic array of visuals from the heart of pastoral China. In a recent video, called “Corn,” you see Li Ziqi plant, tend, harvest, dry, and utilize corn in a variety of preparations. Her videos are the perfect mix of education and escapism I'm looking for to forget my work day.
DRINK. // Bell's Best Brown Ale
Brown Ales are solid and stable beers. It's ironic, then, that it’s still so hard to find a stable and solid Brown Ale. Balanced but generally malt-forward, they remain an afterthought. Recently, Chicago got its first whiff of fall. I went to my corner bar, checked out their updated beer list, and practically leaped for joy when I saw Bell's Brown on tap. With a shitty grin on my face, I enjoyed the subtlest of brisk breezes, and got excited for the sweaters, boots, and flannels in my near future.
READ. // "You pay for a temporary escape into pleasure, the assurance that, even if you’ve done nothing all day but spit wine and sunburn, you’ll be treated like a business tycoon who just closed a deal. At times, overwhelmed by the opulence, I felt like a character in a sci-fi movie who had sneaked onto a spaceship for the 1 percent, now orbiting a burning planet." In a new piece for The New York Times, California restaurant critic Tejal Rao visits three of Napa Valley's culinary colossi, all of which have three Michelin stars: The French Laundry, the Restaurant at Meadowood, and SingleThread. In her careful dissection of her experiences, she allows herself to luxuriate in the spoils—sweetcorn custard and caviar, bowls of seaweed and raw amberjack—before negotiating the ensuing queasiness at the moribund excess.
LOOK. // Writer and art historian Anne Louise Avery's account is one of my recent Twitter favorites. In an ongoing series, she combines images of historical dresses and paintings and creates dreamy micro-fictions to go with them: one character might be stalking Budapest's streets "in her tattered gown of birds," another working for a London-based lepidopterologist. They're pockets of brief beauty in my TL, and I'm grateful for them.
DRINK. // Jauma Like Raindrops Grenache 2017
I've been making an effort lately to drink more wine—not the worst kind of homework!—and Jauma's exceptional Like Raindrops is a recent highlight. Jauma, which operates in Australia's McLaren Vale region, has its natty-wine plaudits, and this 100% Grenache is evidence of its fine touch. It isn't a fruit-bomb, and it lacks the single-note bombast you might expect from a hot climate. Instead, it's ruby-bright, and tastes like biting into a just-ripe cherry whose skin still has a bit of snap. It's got a bit of spice, and a floral character, too. If you filled a swimming pool with it, I'd make my best effort to drain it.
The GBH Collective