Flags from the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium, England and Ireland are placed in the brewery.
A few years back after I sold 33, I hit the road with the intent to learn more about some of the great beer producing cultures in the world. I have always worked long hard hours and my time in Europe was no different. For 7 months, I criss crossed and wandered from city to city in search of beer, beer halls, and pubs. Munich, Bamberg, Pilsen, Ceske Budejovice, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Brussels, Brugge, Ghent, London, Dublin.
When I arrived in Bamberg, I was greeted with the aromas of a brew in process. I smelled it time and time again when I walked through Pilsen, Ceske Budejovice and Dusseldorf. The sense of smell is one of the most powerful human senses and its deep roots in the brain has the ability to catapult you back to a time in your life when the same aroma occurred. When we brew here at the Civil Life, I have been known to walk around the block and enjoy the aromas wafting through the neighborhood. It is such an amazing aroma because it signifies the creation of something. Like the sound of hammers working on an old warehouse, someone feverishly typing a novel into their computer, an artist toiling away on a canvass or a chef cooking. The aroma of brewing gives me the same feeling I get when I see a painter dipping her brush onto a palette and reaching for the canvass, an author pulling words from their mind, a chef creating a new dish or a ninja doing origami. It is these things we all must do.
I grew up in St. Louis and am well familiar with the aromas of Anheuser-Busch and it truly is my first experience with a brewery. But I realized while walking the streets of Bamberg that I felt differently about Brauerie Heller-Trum/ Schlenkerla than I ever felt about Anheuser-Busch. When I was hit with the smoked beer aroma wafting through the town, I realized I had come several thousand miles to Bamberg because of the way the beer they make tastes. Not because I had seen some super model drinking their beer or a dog named spuds mackenzie or even ridiculous frogs sitting in a pond. And not because they had sponsored some sports teams or donated money to some charity I believe in. I was there simply because I adore the smoked beer from Brauerie Heller-Trum and the uniqueness of drinking it on cask at the brewery was something I will always remember.
I spent considerable time in the great German Beer Halls and for that reason we have installed the German Flag in our Brewery. But please don’t ask me to chose between Bamberg and Dusseldorf, I couldn’t possibly. I always feel quite comfortable in Germany and i suppose it is because my family has German roots. The Czech flag reminds me of the day I spent taking the brewery tour at the never updated Eggenberg brewery. It reminds me of the massive quantity of Pilsners produced traditionally with barley, hops, water and yeast that somehow gave rise to American beers produced with rice and corn. This will never make sense to me. If someday they rank our beers with the great session beers of England, I will die a happy man. Better yet, if the Civil Life Pub can get a crowd on a Tuesday like a great English pub, I will know we are doing things right. The England Flag flies as a brother in arms commitment to session beers. The pub culture and the people of Ireland are as welcoming as any people I have come across and music is so entwined in their culture that I could spend my life wandering the streets of Galway. It is with great pride of my Irish heritage and my adoration for their pub culture that I fly the Irish Flag. Brugge in Belgium ranks as one of my favorite small cities and it is without a doubt home to some great bars and the most unique bar experience of my life was at T’velootje in Ghent. The Belgian monks have contributed a tremendous amount to the world’s beer styles and you can find these styles emulated by many American Breweries.
So we fly many flags here, including a pirate flag on the top of our building and we proudly put out the American Flag every day at opening time (read the Grand Opening re-cap post and yesterdays post if you are wondering) and we are immensely proud to acknowledge the inspiration in our beers and design of our pub from those countries who for many years have been providing the world with truly beautiful pubs and beers.
If you live a life without being influenced by the dynamic world around you, you have yet to live.
Either way, you should come on down to our public house and have a beer. Cheers!
Hello earthlings. I have been sent here to open a brewery. I hope you have time over the next year to check in from time to time and see our progress (or lack there of at times).
Morning beer delivery at Tynan’s Bridge House Bar in Kilkenny, Ireland.