Learned this week that Jim Timbie, Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security at the U.S. Department of State is retiring. His credentials as a nuclear physicist are one impressive thing; his contributions to the field of nuclear arms reduction include the bilateral treaties START, SALT and SALT II, with the Soviet Union and New START with its chief nuclear successor state, Russia (2009); JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action) – the 2015 Iran nuclear deal – saw Timbie work closely with Wendy Sherman in Vienna to basically dethrone Jimmy Carter as History’s Greatest Monster. That sobriquet now rests squarely, forevermore, on the desk of President Barack “Thanks” Obama.
So it goes; grumble about Nixon, carp about Carter – from the other end of the parlor, bitch about Brezhnev and the lost years of leaden plenty he wrought over the second-to-last generation of Soviet citizenry. The world has been safer because of your efforts, Dr. Timbie. May you enjoy a lifelong, fruitful retirement.
Consider Jimmy Carter, co-signatory to Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty II (SALT II). and understand that his signing of HR 1337 in October, 1978, legalized homebrewing and most certainly paved the way for things like this – the domestic gose, based on a centuries-old top-fermented Saxony ale with a dose of coriander and (you guessed it) salt (and served regionally around its traditional center in Leipzig, with a cumin-flavored liqueur.) But before we quibble over whether Jimmy Carter is the king of beers or the laboratory of state and local brewpub deregulation really made for this historical craftbrewing moment we’re in – or out of, depending, evidently, on how one feels about gose – let’s remember our fathers and grandfathers who add(ed) a flick of salt to the pints of beer they drank (or drink.)
Must be a class thing, you know? Maybe a post-Prohibition thing?
…Salt on the mind…
But wither Jimmy Carter among the peanut eating beer-salters of Middle America:
“Everyone is free to his own interpretation of the American mainstream’s drastic loss of confidence in Jimmy Carter. My own hypothesis is that Carter started his downward slump in national popularity the summer night he invited jazz musicians to the White House and, in an unguarded moment, “sat in” as a vocalist. Using his finger as a baton, Dizzy Gillespie led the President. After the bouncy riff that is the backbone of the tune and a sharp break into silence, Carter chimed in and irreversibly sang the song’s only lyrics, “Salt peanuts! Salt peanuts!”‘ This was an unprecedented breach of cultural decorum, and an unforgiving public has been sending the errant bebopping President messages that it will see him at the polls.
In a carefully staged presentation at Howard University, Lyndon Johnson could declaim “We shall overcome!” and get away with it. Richard Nixon could safely chant “Black Power!” because nobody believed he meant it. Both slogans had struck terror in ethnocentric American hearts in their day, but neither was ultimately so menacing as “salt peanuts.” “Salt peanuts,” as near as anybody can tell, doesn’t mean anything, and so its presence on the President’s lips condemned him of playful irrelevance and dadaist flippancy. The President had gone too native, and Gillespie had had his revenge for all those photos of first ladies and lady ambassadors in Africa being campy in African dresses.”
How’s that for salt in the wound?
If this Bud’s for you, then that gose for you too! It’s actually pretty good stuff, for the most part. Here are my five cents on the gose; a pome pennyeach.
So it gose.
The Gose. The salted coriander wheat lager lately in vogue. I remember my father salting flat, bad beer. I won’t overthink the phenomenon…but it’s strangely refreshing.
I read an article in the NY Times last summer (or was it next summer? Hard to tell, the NYT is so behind the curve they’re a flat circle) about goses – and from me to you, this salty, coriander and lemon salt boor has been made with only one purpose in the life of its yeasts: to be born again in a michelada next month. It would be the best michelada ever. Alone, it’s the death of a party…and I like salty things plenty…
Made with Mediterranean sea water may not be a traditional selling point, but it makes for a slightly off Göse clone. A bit of salt carries a balanced ale nicely. Supposedly hangover free – For bros in the knows about gose.
Saltbeer! Tastes like something ruined by a child – yet it is ingrained in brewing history! Meanwhile, Miles blowtorches his cigarette.
From a brewhouse focused on resurrecting historical, micro-regional styles and juxtaposing them in new, flashy ways contra the German mainstream, a dud. Disappointing; I think the bottle got a little overconditioned, let’s say, on the journey over. Absent were any sprucey notes; most of the sour was confined to a dim shine way at the back of the mouth…I’d say this was stale. I’d give it another go – maybe closer to home in Germany this summer.
One could imagine Jim Timbie as the one with the tired eyes in this classic (and first solo) Nick Lowe single. Fly on home, Jim.
“In the tall buildings sit the head of our nations
Worthy men from Spain and Siam
All day discussions with the Russians
But they still went ahead and vetoed the plan
Now up jumped the U.S. representative
He’s the one with the tired eyes
747 put him in that condition
Flyin’ back from a peace keepin’ mission
And so it goes and so it goes
And so it goes and so it goes
But where it’s goin’ no one knows”
Nick Lowe, “So It Goes” (1976)