Wissinoming Brewing Co. got in full swing today after much waiting for brew kettles and sundry items befuddled by a nasty sinus infection. So in the much admired (by me) tradition of brewing beer as they do in Oregon, Ian and I got soaking wet in the rain cleaning crap out by the hose outside. Brewing beer on a rainy day, how my Oregon bretheren would be proud. And the temperature outside was a balmy 45 degrees as Oregon is most of the year! I'm homesick, can you tell?
Ian brought up a bit of irony as we yakked about Oregon weather. He said that brewing in Oregon now is like what it used to be like here in Philly. Philadelphia in the 19th century had in the area of 1200 brew pubs. I think ideally that things have changed much since then. Well, prohibition killed ALL of the small breweries. Very beneficial for those very few that were able to survive and completely dominate the market. I'm not gonna flame all of the survivors as corrupt entities in my conspiracy theory banter because there was a brewery in Portland, Oregon called Henry Weinhard's that survived by brewing Root beer and Orange creme soda, a few others did as well. But what I am talking about ultimately is how people have changed due to whatever circumstances. Philadelphia at one time was the center of culture and progressiveness on the east coast (shared of course with it's other major coastal cities) and now it seems almost dead to what it once was. I can't see the brew pub culture that is so strong in Oregon being popular in more than a few sections of the city not to mention the whole state! Although I am hearing good things about Pittsburg. For the last 15 to 20 years I hear it has turned itself around and has a pretty progressive attitude. Though I have never been. What I am saying is that I would like to see areas other than college towns take on a better view of the world around here on the east coast. Well now that I think of it, those rural farm towns in Oregon seem to be on the same "head up their azz" track as some of the short sighted thinkers around here.
The connection here is that brew pubs (public houses) were places where things happened. They were cultural hubs and I think we need to bring back that atmosphere if this country is to prosper. I read an awesome little article today in: the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News called Landmark Taverns, by Rich Wagner about such things. Major issues debated, governments gathered and formed, the Liberty bell was hidden from the English in 1777, how they were centers of commerce and even courtrooms and how inkeepers were highly repected. Mr. Wagner is writing a book on the topic. He is speaking November 22 @ 2PM @ the Philadelphia Brewing company. I do beleive that I would like to attend!!
Wiss-Brau is just a name for Ian and mine's homebrew. But there is a dream of a public house in there somewhere. Maybe one day there may be another cool public house where the Delaware River meets the Tacony/Palmyra bridge and lads and lasses can relax and shoot the shite about every topic under the sun, or to find a quiet corner to read, or even to have an occasional live band play. A place where the past, present, and future come together over a tankard of ale and some crusty bread and cheese!