lørdag den 23. august 2014

Poesibogen: Mariana Schneider

Hvis du følger Amager Bryghus på Facebook, eller har læst det seneste eksemplar af Ølentusiasten, så er du muligvis stødt på Mariana Schneider, der hurtigt er blevet den danske ølverdens yndlingsbrasilianer. Det vil Stovt ikke sidde overhørigt, og bad derfor Mariana bidrage til poesibogen. 

Jeg har ladet hendes svar forblive på engelsk, så grib den nærmeste røde ordbog før du sætter dig for godt til rette. 

Først en introduktion:

A little about me: I don't really know how to describe myself other than being a dog lover, metalhead (don't hold it against me!), and experimental homebrewer from Southern Brazil who happens to like books, video games and cheeses that smell like fart. I also write for a couple of beer blogs and a beer magazine here in my country. In case you can't tell, I f&%#ing LOVE beer, and I spend more on this precious nectar than I do on shoes, clothing, nails, hair and whatever else girls are supposed to waste their money on.

Anyways, I also really love traveling, and last year as I was spending a little time in breathtaking Copenhagen (Denmark was planned around Copenhell) I happened to “like” Amager’s fanpage on Facebook – and become fan #2.000. That was followed by a post on their page featuring a picture of me simulating using a medieval toilet, so I thought “screw it, we’re bros already” and decided to invite myself over to the brewery where I met Papso and René. It all went downhill from there, became obsessed with Amager Bryghus and Fermentoren, and even more obsessed with the amazing country you guys are lucky to live in. Didn’t take much to convince me to come back for seconds this year, so feel free to blame Papso and Jannick (Flying Couch) for that. By the way, they’re the coolest dudes ever, and I hope you post that.

Anyways, spending the month of May in Denmark/Sweden was completely sick. Tons of awesome people and awesome places and AWESOME beers. Being able to brew with local homebrewers was pretty badass too and it made me feel very welcome. Whatever others told me in the past about people from northern Europe being cold and unwelcoming is complete bullshit, everyone I met was so nice I felt more at home there than I do here in Brazil. So f#*k yeah, Denmark is awesome and I can’t wait to go back!

What is your favorite beer? 
Hell yeah, starting off with one of the most impossible questions to answer of all times, I like your style. 

Well, before we get into specific labels/breweries, there's something I would like to say. As a homebrewer (and a very unorthodox/unmethodical one), there is always this "I'm-wearing-my-big-boy-pants" feel to drinking something you brewed in your own kitchen. Off-flavors and all, I think I’ll always enjoy the hell out of drinking something (not that messed up!) that came out of one of my fermenters. 

That being said, again, that question drives me nuts, because how do you actually choose a beer (or even a handful) considering all the BEAUTIFUL stuff brewers have been doing? It’s pretty unfair, but... Ok, here goes: the one I’m picking is a beer that never ceases to amaze me and I’ll never grow tired of: Orval. It’s one of those “if you were stuck in an island and could only drink (read/eat/listen to, whatever) one thing for the rest of your life…” kinda thing. It’s such a unique and elegant and amazing brew. I genuinely get excited before opening a bottle because it always has these nuances that make drinking Orval a one-of-a-kind experience every time – without you ever being let down. 

Whoever wrote this was spot on: 
Of course there are some other beers that have made tears come to my eyes, but my heart and liver will always have room for the Trappist masterpiece that is Orval. 

What is your favorite beer type? 
I’m a sucker for IPAs, no doubt, I just can’t get enough hops, the bitterness, the aroma… chicks love flowers! But what I don’t like is caramel malt stuffed IPAs. They have to be lighter in body, for sure. I’m a bit sensitive when it comes to sweetness in beers, and too much residual sugar is something that really bothers me in Pale Ales (and variations). It kinda sucks most beers take a while to get to Brazil – and therefore lose their freshness – and this specific type ends up somewhat “deteriorated”, but there’s nothing like drinking a fresh, crisp IPA from the tanks of a brewery. 

I am also EXTREMELY fond of Lambics/Gueuzes. They’re a bit difficult (and expensive!) to find here, so whenever I travel I dedicate part of my luggage space to sour stuff. I am also really into Saisons, and two of my top 3 favorite ones happen to be from Denmark. 

Where do you buy your beer? 
I live in southern Brazil, and the city I’m from (Florianópolis) doesn’t have the greatest beer culture in the world. Not to mention people here are completely clueless when it comes to pricing – not just in beer. So buying at local stores/supermarkets can be problematic (translating, insanely expensive). Most of my beer shopping is done through online stores and distributors, because even with shipping it is cheaper and you have way more stuff to choose from. And because most of my drinking happens at home anyways, it makes more sense making bigger orders (and save on shipping) as to always have a reasonable stash. 

I also buy beer when traveling. The one upside of flying from-to Brazil is that we are still allowed 2 x 32 kilos pieces of luggage, so I always pack light because I know I’ll be stuffing my suitcases with bottles on the way back home. 

What has been your greatest beer experience? 
I had some pretty awesome ones. Judging is always fun, I absolutely LOVE visiting breweries as well as homebrewers, but I guess nothing beats beer festivals. I went to CBC for the first time this year and I had an amazing time. But Olfestival was also a blast, especially because it was so chill and easy. Not to mention having a collab beer at Flying Couch’s stand and pouring for Amager – I adore those guys! You Danes know how to have a great time, that’s for sure. And I love how humble everyone is. The month I spent in Denmark/Sweden I met nothing but nice people who talked to me like I was their equal. ‘From one brewer to another’, though I’m light years behind and have no clue what I’m doing. I guess the sense of camaraderie between brewers (well, not so much in Brazil but I won’t get into that) is what makes festivals so awesome. But no matter what CBC and Olfestival will always bring a smile to my face, and it’ll be very hard to be a part of anything greater than those events. 

Completely unrelated, another beer experience I will never forget happened right here at home. Nothing spectacular about it, but a cherished memory nonetheless. My dad happens to be my drinking buddy, and after trying to get him to like sours twice, I decided to give it a last try before deciding it was a lost cause. The first time I gave my dad a sour beer, it was Cantillon’s Gueuze. After trying it, he looked at me like “what the hell, are you trying to poison me?”. Anyways, after a while, decided to give him Boon’s Marriage Parfait, which is a little easier I guess. He said ‘interesting’, though he was not as happy about it as he usually was when I gave him other styles to drink. But I’m stubborn and one night I decided to give Cantillon another try, and after analyzing the beer I had given him and sipping it repeatedly, he said: “new house rule, you don’t open any of your sour bottles without me being around, I’m loving this!” and since that unforgettable evening, I haven’t opened anything remotely sour without him being present. It became a little tradition of ours, and because I’m one of those my-dad-is-my-hero girls, it just means so much to me sharing stuff with him, specially being something I’m so passionate about. It has also made it very easy to pick birthday/father’s day presents! 

What makes beer so great? 
Well, first of all: BEER. I mean, beer is what makes beer great. It tastes great (well, of course, there’s always gonna be shitty stuff out there, but that goes for everything, books, music, food…), it’s ridiculously versatile and it makes life worth living. Beer also acts as a “social lubricant” and has helped me make great friends – and I’m not that good at developing friendships, so that’s saying a lot. Most places you go to you end up getting to know this “micro-community” made up of brewers and beer enthusiasts, and it’s so cool sharing experiences and beers with those people. 

Beer also takes gastronomy to a new level because it is so multifaceted. It has also made traveling more fun – beer tourism takes you to some pretty amazing places and gets you in touch with phenomenal people. I could go on and on, I mean, beer did in fact change my life. It made me spend way more money, yeah, and made me gain significant weight and has ruined a bunch of other stuff for me – because beer has taken over a lot of areas of ‘civilized’ life, but I don’t regret any of it. If it’s across the globe at a bar or if it’s at home playing Free Cell, beer will never seem “wrong”. It’s like coming home to your dogs after a shitty day and feeling that things will be out OK the minute you see them wagging their tails – you get that feeling with beer too, that there’s still hope in better days. 

Thinking about this answer I couldn’t help but remember Bukowski. He once wrote: “Stay with the beer. Beer is continuous blood. A continuous lover.” 

Man, was he right!