The Viridian Design Movement

Subject: Viridian Note 00374: Viridian Beer-Tasting

Key concepts:
New Belgium Brewing Company, wind-powered beer, alcohol, product-testing
Attention Conservation Notice:
Announces winner of our latest contest. Wind-powered or no, excessive beer consumption can cause one to wreck large fossil-fueled vehicles.

The Viridian "Embrace the Decay" Contest has a winner! Note these spectacular entries by David Nelson Epstein, Duncan Stewart, Monty Zukowski, and Aubrey LaPuerta.

Viridian Contest Judge Lola Brine mellifluously remarks:

"'Spore Ink'
Monty Zukowski

gets my vote.

"His generative
and grow
so smoothly, like a fluid spill,
like time lapse in summer,
a winner with his conscious
technical merit alone.

"But more.

"This decay, growth instead,
reminding me of something inside my head
— of critical
analysis of text:

"the way it sumptuously,
takes a mere
scan of a text
and sprouts tangential assertions
from every
line and angle.

"And from every noun, from every cultural observation...
in a self-asserting stroke of genius masturbation,
it grows stems
and branches
and thickens them into trunks
of intellectual ballet and philosophical gunk,

"a dance,
a sport,
which departs so utterly
from the text at hand
strangling the life from the author's gest,
making it
a trellis
for the critic's best,

"the text becoming
a brick wall in effect,
a blackened host,
for a parasitic, narcissistic
growth of a boast.

"A flagrant display of literature's helpless decay,
in the mind of the reader who reads words into words
into words
into dogma
into historical relevance
and theoretical smegma,
"'Death to the Author'
the fractals declare.

"Yes this is my choice:
embrace Monty, the winner!"

((Yeah, right, uhm, Ms. Judge, okay! Monty Zukowski will receive the Media Destroyer contest prize!)))


"New Belgium is the first wind powered brewery in America
— eliminating 1,800 tonnes (metric tons) of CO2 emissions
per year."

Hillary Mezia, the "Sustainability Goddess" for New Belgium, is impressively cognizant of the beer consumption cycle.

(((As you know, we Viridians are determined to solicit honest, design-centered assessments of today's cutting- edge Green products.)))

(((Let's be perfectly frank about this: excellent environmental policies don't make your product taste any better. Since New Belgium boldly runs their enterprises on 100% renewable power, we painstakingly purchased an extensive representative set of New Belgium's product. We then assembled a testimonial panel of willing guinea pigs at a boozy party after a writers' workshop! Critical highlights follow.)))

Beer-tasting at the Viridian Vatican

Loft Beer

THE OFFICIAL PITCH: "Loft Beer is a refreshing ale brewed with both barley and wheat malt, a blend of Liberty and Sterling hops, and then spiced with the exotic kaffir lime leaf. Loft delivers an uplifting zest, a taut, hoppy line and a mouthful as big as the sky."


Bottle features a nifty pic of hop vines and a kite, plus wind-power propaganda right on the label! Nice graphic design!
Flowery aftertaste == interesting!
Hoppy lawnmower beer. Fizzy/fruity.
Dry with a perfumy finish.
Doesn't get there.
Tastes like too many European standards.

I'm guessing this is one of the few American beers best served warm.

Fat Tire Amber Ale.

THE OFFICIAL PITCH: "Like the ageless delight of pedaling a bicycle, Fat Tire Amber Ale's appeal is in its feat of balance: toasty malt flavors (sorta like biscuits just pulled from the oven) coasting in equilibrium with crisp hoppiness. Delicious stability — in the sometimes precarious world of beer flavors — is perhaps what prompted a consumer who wrote us to say 'this beer just makes you smile.'"


I drink this regularly. It's a nice, full-bodied, mellow amber, very nice on the palate.
Good stuff. Nice finish. Fruity flavor.
Easy drinking and light.
All kick is up front, with little backup taste.
Good. A no-brainer.
Adequate but somewhat dull. A little too fizzy — sweet finish.
Blah. No there there.
Pleasant, but unfortunate notes reminiscent of photographer's hypo.
Not what you expect, but pleasing in any case.

Sunshine Wheat Beer

THE OFFICIAL PITCH: "Sunshine Wheat is a great beer for erasing thirst. Yet, it has attributes that induce more attention than just a hot summer day's consumption. Sunshine Wheat swirls in the mouth with ripples of coriander and orange peel tartness which settle nicely to a tranquil sea of apple and honey tones."


Nice, light, lots of flavor — not too fizzy.
Smooth, fruity, no bite at all.
Tart, citrusy, lots of top notes, lacks malt.
Lemony. Summer beer. Ehhh...
Surprisingly fruity. Interesting for a wheat beer.
Light, citrusy, floral, but watery.
Fruity, with a lackluster finish.

Blue Paddle Pilsener Lager.

THE OFFICIAL PITCH: "Blue Paddle Pilsener, crafted with malt-only brewing and noble hops, explores the boundaries where American lagers seldom journey. Reflective of Europe's finest Pilseners, Blue Paddle delivers a refreshing bitterness, vibrant finish and a subtle but intricate depth of flavor. Unlike the old world examples, this landlocked Pilsener is only shipped within our small Western territory."


Light, foamy — no finish.
Too much tang.
Paddle back to the dock.
A very mellow light beer with a bit too much hops.
Undistinguished, neither pilsener nor lager — like Schlitz.
Needs a bar code.
Another over-hopped brew.
Light and easy.
Dry, almost a sour taste.
Too sour! Like fruit juice that's gone off.

1554 Brussels Style Black Ale

THE OFFICIAL PITCH: "Other than being dark in color, 1554 has little in common with porter or stouts. The beer is fermented at relatively high temperatures using a European lager yeast that imparts a refreshing, zesty acidity. With 1554 our staff hoped to create an ale that would be easy to imagine as a beer served 446 years ago, but also a beer that doesn't ignore 446 years of brewing advancements."


Nice bold flavor, very close to a porter.
Roasty. A little bitter on the finish.
Smoky — but like a good cigar.
Tough finish: industrial strength.
Dark and mysterious, best of the bunch.
I like anything with the word "Brussels" in it.
Hearty... yet light, smooth.
Meaty, yet amusing.
Rich. Very nice. Not so malty as to be cloying. Yum.
Rich, tingly. A good blend.
Thick and intriguing.
Smooth... but with an abrupt finish.

O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O
O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O O=c=O

Go back to the Viridian Design home page.