Monday, February 18, 2013

Tour of Italy

Happy Washington’s Birthday/Presidents’ Day/President’s Day/Presidents Day or whatever this holiday in the middle of February is actually called. For this first time that I remember, the company for which I work has decided to include this day as a corporate holiday. Every year, our company give its employees twelve days off from work to celebrate holidays. Several of those days are fixed. The list of fixed holidays varies from country to country and from year to year. In the United States, the list of fixed holidays always includes Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Other fixed days are primarily based on what day of the week holidays fall. In previous years, fixed holidays have included New Year's Day, the days before or after Independence Day and Christmas, and New Year's Eve. The remaining unfixed days out of the twelve are flexible holidays for the employees to use as they want. For some reason unknown to me, it was decided this year that today should be a fixed holiday.

I am using part of this day off from work to do a blog post. I have previously posted on and about holidays. I suppose that is when I have the most free time. In comments to my previous post, I mentioned that while I have not been posting as much as I did back in 2010 and 2011, I am hoping to post more this year than I managed last year. My stated goal was two posts per month which would be a total of 24 for the year. We are more than halfway through February, and I am working on only my second post. I will hopefully be cranking up my production in the following months.

I am titling this post "Tour of Italy" after the sampler dinner from the Olive Garden. I have never been to Italy however. Instead, I was recently on a business trip to Orlando, Florida or at least the Orlando area. The conference was at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. The conference was in the convention center connected to the Dolphin while I stayed in the Swan. Some of my coworkers enjoyed the local golf courses, but I am not much of a golfer. The conference also hosted a night at Universal's Islands of Adventure, but I passed on that opportunity.

After spending the day standing in a trade show booth, some of my coworkers and I would invariably end up at Il Mulino New York which is one of the restaurants in the Swan. Il Mulino is an Italian restaurant and thus features Italian wines and beer. Their bar menu included five different brews from Italy. I intended to try all five but instead only tried four. Three of the five beers were from Birrificio Ostiense Artigianale which is located in Rome, Italy. ("Birrificio" is Italian for "brewery.") I had two of the three. Pictured to the right is 'na Biretta Chiara which is a pilsner-style lager. As would be expected, I found it tasty. The second was 'na Biretta Rossa which is tasty bock. I did not try the 'na Biretta Kuasapa which is a pale ale.

The second picture on the right is a bottle of Taquamari which is a unique hefeweizen from Birrificio Pausa Cafe. One of the bartenders at Il Mulino told me about the organization that brews the beer helps rehabilitate inmates from local prisons by giving them an occupation. Pause Cafe is a cooperative located in Saluzzo, Italy that produces coffee, chocolate and beer. The beer itself is made from tapioca, quinoa, amaranth, and basmati rice. The bottle has a good bit of sediment at the bottom. I thought the other bartender had erred when she poured the whole bottle including the sediment into my glass. Interestingly enough, the sediment was not yeast (at least not all of it) as I had expected, but tapioca et al.

I also tried a bottle of ViaEmilia which is another pilsner. This one is from Birrificio Del Ducato which is a craft brewery located in Roncole Verdi Di Busseto, Italy. As I have previously stated, pilsners are easy to drink and this one was. Thus concludes my tour of Italian beers from a bar in a hotel located at Walt Disney World.

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