Hi again beer fans! Happy Friday!
Jay Brooks has a great piece on his blog this week about history and an under-appreciated beer style, describing the connection between Vienna-style lager and Cinco de Mayo.
I will paraphrase it:
5 May is not Mexican Independence Day; independence from Spain is celebrated on 16 September.
In 1864 the French ruler Napoleon III decided to cause trouble in Mexico, and installed the Hapsburg Maximilian as Emperor of Mexico. This didn't last long and 5 May is the anniversary of throwing out the French and Austrians.
The Mexicans were smart enough not to throw out all the Austrians, because Max's entourage had included some brewers, who established Mexico's brewing industry based on an amber lager popular back home. Today Vienna lager is probably more common in North America than in Austria; popular examples are Dos Equis Amber and Sam Adams Boston Lager.
Details of style: Vienna-style lager is based on "Vienna" malt, which is the lightest of the roasted malts, at 2 to 3 on the Lovibond color scale (running from 1 to 600). Munich malt, the basis for dunkel and Oktoberfest styles, is darker at 7 to 10 L.
I doubt that's what I'll be drinking tonight though. It's homebrew club night, so I'll be drinking what others bring, and some of the club's keg of Hop Stoopid. What are you drinking?