I’m going to begin Friday in a rather obtuse and aggravating way: what is man and what is machine? The answer is best observed through the use of a bicycle, or by listening to Kraftwerk.
Formed in Germany in 1970, Kraftwerk sought to capture the human element in the midst of technological nonsense. Predecessors to the Notwist, Radiohead, Stereolab, and flanked by Can and, later, Neu! and no-wave darlings like Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen, Kraftwerk embodied the man-machine. They often performed using lifelike robots to set the mood and to show that in many ways, we are more similar to machines than we would like to admit.
What does this have to do with beer, you ask? Beer is also the product of the man-machine. Beer making is a heavily industrial process, characterized by stainless steel tanks, lots of steam, and bottling lines that hum and churn and eventually deliver beer. On another level, German beer, like Kraftwerk themselves, represents how machines can be used to deliver emotions. At times methodical and cold, the best German beers find a way to rise above their minimalist nature to please even the most discerning pallet.
Minimum. Maximum. Grab yourself a Krankshaft from Metropolitan Brewing in Chicago and let’s get to Suds.
-Notice a theme in Metro’s beer and labeling? It’s all about the industrial process, the minimum-maximum that drives the brewing process.
-From Traverse City, labels should all be required to be this good. I love devonian-era fish like creatures!
-Want to collaborate with the guys from Goose Island? Get in line.
-Minnesotans, get out there in support of Surly!
-More from MN: Summit’s Unchained.
-And a new Brau Brother’s label!
-Seriously, let’s give the guys at Midwest Beer a round of applause. 28 days, 28 different stouts. Wow. We here at MwBC admire you all, and the brave work you do.
-If you’re going to start a brewery, make sure to do it right.
-Finally, beer may have benefits besides being delicious. Not that anyone cares.
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