Thursday, June 26, 2008

Days of the Beer, June 26

The Beer for today is Berliner Kindl Weisse.

On June 26, 1963, John F. Kennedy, in a speech in Berlin said "Ich bin ein Berliner." Which meant, I am a Berliner (a citizen of Berlin).

Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis romanus sum [I am a Roman citizen]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein Berliner'… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner!'
There is an urban legend that says that at the time in Berlin, a Berliner was a jelly filled doughnut (in other parts of Germany). The joke was that Kennedy said "I am a jelly doughnut". Which is not the case, apparently people from Berlin do call themselves Berliners... heck, look at today's beer.

Berliner Kindl clocks in at a whopping 2.5% ABV. Don't drink too much of this stuff. "Kind" in German means "Child" and at 2.5% it's definitely a kiddy beer. It's described as very tart, almost lemonade-y in flavor. Germans (and some others) normally put some sweet syrup in it; either Waldmeister (woodruff, a green aromatic herb with a hint of vanilla/amaretto flavor) or Himbeer (red raspberry). I had this beer, May 26 last year at Illinois Brewing Company in Bloomington Il. I'm not sure of any other places that have this beer. I had it straight, without any flavoring.

So, to celebrate being a Berliner, go and have yourself a Berliner!

(Image from World Brewery Glasses, check them out, there's a good selection and variety of styles of glasses; who has a set of Kölsch glasses at home?)

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