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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Taste Test... The Secret Ingredient

Drinkers Can't Judge a Beer by Its Taste, Study Finds

Good beer is not something you should think about.

Knowing what's in a beer, or who made it, can taint your taste buds, a new study finds. Past research has revealed that knowing the brand or other information about a product can lead to higher consumer ratings. For instance, Coke is rated higher when consumed from a cup bearing the drink's logo compared with one that is unmarked. Whether this conceptual information could affect the actual gustatory experience of drinking a Coke or certain type of coffee, for instance, has been a mystery.

Beer tasting

Leonard Lee of Columbia University in New York and his colleagues had 388 patrons of a pub taste-test two types of beer: a regular beer and the "MIT brew," which was the regular beer plus a few drops of balsamic vinegar. The tasters were divided into three groups. One tasted the samples "blind," with no knowledge of the secret ingredient. A second group found out about the vinegar before tasting the MIT brew. The third group learned of the additive immediately after tasting the special brew, but before indicating a preference between the two beers.

The blind group preferred the MIT brew over the regular beer significantly more than either of the informed groups. Apparently, vinegar can improve a beer's taste, the scientists said. The timing of information made a substantial difference in beer choice. Patrons with prior knowledge of the ingredient showed a much lower preference for the MIT brew compared with those who learned of the vinegar after drinking it. If the vinegar knowledge had acted as just another factor — like temperature or sweetness — in a patron's beer preference, the scientists would have expected similar results from both groups. This wasn't the case, suggesting disclosure affected the actual taste experience.

Taste buds

The results could have implications for the beer industry. "One might say that beer companies should always get customers to taste their beer first, especially if it is a new beer or one that has unique ingredients, and let the customers decide how much they like the beer before revealing the beer's contents to them," Lee told LiveScience.

"On the other hand, we also know how easily customers can become upset, or feel they have been tricked if they have no prior knowledge of what they consume, so there are obvious limits to the 'try-it-you'll-like-it' implication."

The research was detailed in the December issue of the journal Psychological Science.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Amateur Hour is Over

For all of you who have not yet made your plane reservations, the price of poker just went up!

Tuesday's weekly airfare adjustment had fares jump $300 from San Diego. Seats are filling up, and the airlines, Keynesians they are, are raising fares.... because they can.

Make your reservations now!

Grand Puhba

Monday, February 26, 2007

Thank you GrandPuhba!

So glad you I can post again (thanks to our blogmaster). I promise I will only post what today is allowed by our new government.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Hi Barbus...

Posting working fine for me.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A new day!

Children of the barley & hops,

I have continued the training of PrivateHops. Tonight was a special evening. Instead of a local prayer meeting, I took him to a regional tabernacle. It was called The Stone Brewery in the ancient city of Escondido. There was much learning this evening.

The first prayer consisted of a Double Dry-hopped Inspriation Ale and an Oaked Ale. Second prayer was a Smoked Porter and a Barleywine. We feasted on Trout and Jerk Chicken with Mango Habenero salsa, with a side of deep fried mashed garlic potatoes. God has blessed us this evening.

We then went to a local plebian worship center and had a Sierra Nevada.

I hereby present, for the edification of joy and mercy, these graven images....

Respectfully yours,

Grand Puhba

Monday, February 19, 2007

Movie Review --- BeerFest

While sitting at home last week with the wife (a snow day from school for her, and working from home for me), we decided to watch a movie using the Movies On-Demand feature from Time Warner Cable. Nothing extraordinary popped out at us, so we decided to watch BeerFest.

We didn't expect much, and it didn't deliver much for the average movie aficionado. However, for us beer enthusiasts, it was definitely worth the watch. Even my wife, while not rating this a "must see", agreed that it had its moments, was funny and enjoyable. The premise of the movie is five American guys take on the onerous task of representing the United States in the International BeerFest (a top secret beer drinking Olympics held, coincidently, at the same time as Oktoberfest). Much of the push to compete comes from the desire to uphold the honor of the family of two brothers whose grandfather and grandmother were of German royal decent (well, kind of).

Anyway, very sophomoric humor, with even some gratuitous nudity for the voyeurs in us (can you say BarleyMan???). Somewhat like Animal House. An overall rating of C+ as a movie, but again, a must see as a training video prior to this year's sojourn.

Check out the web site here...

Mr. BarleyMan, your mission, as the Grand Puhba, should be to find the secret location of this year's BeerFest. If we can't compete, maybe we can observe. Prost !

Friday, February 16, 2007

Snippets from Wikipedia...

Now we know why we didn't hear Alice during the day:

"To make the Oktoberfest, and especially the beer tents, once again friendly to older people and families, the concept of the "quiet Oktoberfest" was developed in 2005. Until 6:00 PM, the tents only play quiet music, for example traditional wind music. Only after that will Schlager and pop music be played, which has led to more violence in earlier years. The music played in the afternoon is limited to 85 decibels. With these measures, the organizers of the Oktoberfest hope to curb the over-the-top party mentality and preserve the traditional beer tent atmosphere."

Some other interesting facts....

After 2004 the queues for toilets became so long that the police had to regulate the entrance. To keep traffic moving through the restrooms, men headed for the toilets were directed to the "Pissoir" (giant enclosed grate) if they only needed to urinate. The number of toilets was increased in 2005 by 20%. Now approximately 1,800 toilets and urinals are available.

Many Oktoberfest guests visit the quiet stalls in order to use their cell phones. For this reason it was planned in the year 2005 to install a Faraday cage around the toilets and to prevent telephoning with a mobile telephone. However such constructions are not certified in Germany, and so instead signs were placed warning toilet users not to use cell phones in the stalls.

Enjoy... learn... drink.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Chugger

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday, Mr. Chuuuuggggerr!
Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to Me ! Happy Birthday to Me ! ! !

Well, someone had to say it. Where are all my buds (or should I say bro's to not be confused with the folks in St. Louis) ?

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rumour has it...

That there are two more "confirmed attendees". Details to follow.

Well, maybe saying "confirmed" is a bit much. While these two have confirmed they are going, there have not been flight reservations made. So, I will not disclose these potential troubadours of the golden nectar until that final act has been accomplished.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Last Minute Training Plan


You now have a chance to have some last minute training. Yes, while you are in amsterdam, you can stop off at my buddy Patrick's place......

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Self-conscious about what you wear while working out? A Dutch gym plans to introduce "Naked Sunday" for people who like to huff and puff in the buff.

Patrick de Man, owner of Fitworld gym in the town of Heteren, said he got the idea in part from two of his customers who are avid nudists.

"I heard that some other gyms are offering courses on 'pole-dancing' as a sport, so I thought: Why not bring something new to the market?" de Man said.


I'd like to see Chugger and Einfahrt doing nude pole dancing in an Amsterdam gym.... On second thought, I am glad I am going to Munich first. ;-)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Great Dinner - Yak Penis

Excellent for those of us in training. full of good nutrients.

We should all try this Tibetain treat!

Grand Puhba