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Showing posts from 2014

Respect Beer, Honor Lambic

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Brussels, capital of Belgium. This often overlooked destination, situated just between its more popular cousins Amsterdam and Paris, is where I find myself on my wandering beer journey. The de facto capital city of the EU has quite an underrated amount to offer in terms of culture and variety, not to mention some of the world's most excellent beer cafes and historical breweries, hence it's no accident that I find myself trekking here.

Brussels is also the capitol of Lambics, the only beer in the world still fermented by wild yeast and bacteria, and until the mid-19th century was the only type of beer that you would find made here, being home to at least 100 producers at its peak.

Lambic beer has been produced since the 16th century and quite differently from that of your typical beer. While most beer in this day and age is fermented from specialized strains of brewing yeast that's added to the wort after brewing, Lambic beer ferments from wild airborne yeast and bacteria …

The Kulminator: Perhaps the Greatest Beer Cafe on Planet Earth

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The Place

The Kulminator isn't exactly in Antwerp's bustling, touristy city center. Nor is it that easy to spot at night once you get close (the street signage has no lighting). There's not much space to sit once you step inside and there's hardly any room to actually approach the bar unobstructed due to the random, dusty clutter. Many of the tables inside the bar seem to be reserved as record keeping office desks with loose papers and office supplies messily strewn across them, and many of the corners of the cafe having accumulations of over-sized, spent, novelty Belgian beer bottles collecting dust. There's at least one cat who wanders the cafe as if it's her own and the service is quite remarkably slow. By the time you sit down it becomes quite obvious that the proprietors of the establishment aren't spending too much energy on what you might call 'aesthetic upkeep'.

With that said, wandering into this setting was one of the most memorable and ch…

Latvian Beer is Better Than You Think

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As I lay half awake in my cozy, warm hostel bunk listening to the cold rain fall beneath dark Latvian skies just feet away, I try to remember why I was trying to drag myself from such relative heaven and into the cold. Ah, but because beer of course! Alas not just any beer, but a certain Latvian craft species produced by the fun-to-pronounce name of Valmiermui┼ża Alus Daritava.

Since my first sip of this micro brewery's delicious dark lager a few nights prior in a Riga pub,  I knew I had to find out more about one of the smallest and youngest currently in Latvia.

I must admit that I was quite surprised when my bar tender informed me of their immense popularity and infancy status. After all, judging by the super-classical label designs and accompanying glassware alone, one would probably assume a firm footprint in the Latvian beer industry for centuries, not making such market waves in just a meager five years.

Now I'm intrigued. So I decide to myself: a trip to this brewery mu…

Ethernet Switching with Virtual Output Queuing

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Imagine a building with three floors - a lobby, a second and a third floor.

This building has an elevator [Think: An Ethernet Switch] that services people [Frames] between the three floors [Ports].

However let’s also pretend that this is a fairly busy little building, and since there’s just one elevator car [Fabric Bus], people entering the lobby are having to queue to get into the elevator while it’s busy transporting earlier-arriving people to their desired floors. So regardless of the destination floor that people wish to go, they’re being held up in an elevator line in the lobby.

At this point some of the people now entering the lobby will see this impasse of a line and decide to turn away (take the stairs, leave for the pub, etc). Regardless of the floor that newly arriving people wish to go, they’re being discouraged [prevented] from even queuing in the lobby for the elevator because of the time it will take to service the folks already ahead of them [Head of Line], let alone t…