I’ve been getting some feedback from my previous article here at DWH. And while I appreciate any and all suggestions, let’s lay down some ground rules here, shall we?

A few weeks back I visited the Franconia Brewing Company located in McKinney, Texas. For anyone who hasn’t been there for their weekly tour, it’s $5 to get in and enjoy a few pours of their delicious varieties of beer for a couple of hours. Also, it’s just one helluva good excuse to start drinking at 11AM! I myself indulged in their lager, smoked wheat ale, and new 10% ABV Tripel Dunkel with nary a complaint, save one: their beermeister is only 23 years old. I have been wasting my LIFE, man…

Anyhow, the owner, Dennis Wehrmann, was the one who elected to guide the tour this particularly fluid morning. And he explained to us early on that his beer only contains four ingredients: barley, hops, yeast, and water. And for us to suggest some sort of cinnamon/pumpkin spice/blueberry brown ale would be a bastardization of the art, and summarily ignored (although I think he and I should really discuss infusing peanut butter cookies with his pilsner, but that’ll be a conversation saved for when I don my sprinting shoes.)

Needless to say, if I took ANYTHING from the tour –besides the tasty buzz, of course- it was that declaration. And I couldn’t help but ponder on how he and his crew could create such a variety of different types of beer based on those four main ingredients. But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? The simplicity of the ingredients allow plenty of complexity in the brewing process. Anything else is just superfluous, and if you find yourself needing any added flavor, then maybe you’re not really a fan of beer as much as you are of, say, blood oranges and honey.

Well, in the first of a long line of correlations I’ll be giving between beer and coffee, I subscribe to pretty much the same notion. However, I only require three ingredients behind the making of a perfect cup o’ java: beans, water, and CAFFEINE. Sure, that crème brulee or bananas foster crap may smell terrific, but it’s wholly unnecessary for those of us who prefer our bean juice black. A good cup of piping-hot, caffeine-rich coffee wakes your palate as well as your brain and colon. I actually read somewhere that it also serves as an olfactory palate cleanser, meaning that anything you smell after your nasal passages become awash in the robust, senses-startling aromatic display is much more pure of a scent. Of course, this isn’t always a welcome thing, especially when you’ve got a toddler walking around with a malodorous diaper (seriously, how did Pediasure turn into THAT?!?!)

What’s that? You need a little sugar and half-and-half in your coffee? Well, a few years ago I would have said it was cool. In fact, I habitually bought Land o’ Lakes Half and Half for my coffee, mostly because I assumed one of those halves is butter. But after a long talk with my doctor –okay, he talked, I grimaced- I began drinking my coffee black. And that’s the way it SHOULD be drank, as far as I’m now concerned. If you need sweet and creamy for your go-go beverage, then throw some Red Bull in milk or something.

And last but certainly not least, THERE IS NO POINT IN DRINKING DECAFFEINATED COFFEE, DAMMIT!!! Sure, a nice cup of joe that lacks acidity and has a crisp, nut-like taste is important. But without that active ingredient, you might as well be drinking a muddy puddle. And we all know muddy puddles are only for jumping, right, dads-who-are-forced-to-watch-Peppa-Pig-all-day?

Also, not to get anyone’s beignets in a bunch, but CHICKORY IS NOT COFFEE. End transmission.

Any questions or rebuttals can be directed to me on Saturday at 11AM. I’ll be by the kegerator.
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