Talking Trash With Mike Nowak

How To Fight Your Way Out of A Wet Plastic Sack

On June 26th, we sat down with Mike Nowak, president of the Chicago Recycling Coalition and host of the Mike Nowak show. We sampled Revolution Brewing’s Rosa Hibiscus ale, and discussed the campaign to stop the use of plastic bags in the city of Chicago.

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Reactionary of The Week: Ed Schultz and Edward Snowden’s Media Lynch Mob

edMy grandfather was a gruff old city laborer in a small town in Northwest Iowa. I recall John Turck sitting at the end of the old Oak dining room table beneath a Depression Era portrait of Jesus on the wall above his head, usually half obscured in wispy-gray clouds of cigar smoke. He’d remained married to my grandmother better than 50 years, until she passed away in 1978. Together they raised 17 children, most born during or just after the Great Depression, all of them jostling and finding their own place in that tiny two bedroom farm house. I recall doing something rather clumsy or dumb once in front of him. Nothing altogether destructive, mind you, just one of those dopey things kids do as a matter of course. Never one to mince words, he shifted the wet end of the well-nursed cigar from one side of his mouth to the other, and retorted with a notable grin, “ain’t no cure for stupid.”

There was a lesson in that remark, dispensed with all of the brevity and efficiency and exhaustion of a man who’d raised all those kids. I never forgot those words. John Turck was a bear of a man, taking life like a cowhand might wrestle a stubborn calf to the ground; with a combination of reverence and determination. I’ll leave it there for a moment, but we’ll get back to that universal wisdom.

I tell you that to tell you this. Today the media torches and pitchforks came out, universally condemning NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden. Nearly everyone echoed the same knee jerk, status quo, sheepish refrain, that Snowden is a coward and a traitor.

Wow, no trial, no debate, no equivocation or second guessing. From FOX news to so-called Progressive hosts like Ed Schultz, Snowden was roundly condemned. Glenn Beck, the purveyor of rightwing political pornography, who had initially supported Snowden was aghast that he would take to flight via “anti-American” countries like China, Russia, Cuba, and the vehemently anti-American pariah-state Ecuador? Geez, that didn’t take long.

The news and talking heads were replete with Snowden’s travel itinerary, missed flights, his ex-blond girlfriend in Hawaii, the worry of his parents and theories about where in the world was Eddy? There was no shortage of acerbic adjectives to describe Edward Snowden, and plenty of unsubstantiated remarks about how he in fact is an agent for the imminent destruction of the American way of life, and that soon, because of Ed Snowden we’ll all shortly be speaking Russia or Chinese, or, heavens forbid…Ecuadoran! The media mob has even taken to assailing Glenn Greenwald, the reporter that broke the story. But take note, there is one thing glaringly absent from this media lynch mob.

What was missing from all media illuminati was, first, why Edward Snowden released the information and ,second, why he took to flight as he did. Ed Schultz, the Progressive talk show host, who generally I like, came out of the blocks on his show today to describe Snowden as a “coward and a traitor.” There was no true discussion of what compelled Snowden to whistle blow or to run. Several callers tried, but Mr. Schultz retreated to that fake talk show line, when they have closed themselves to the core issue in order to promulgate that status quo, pro-authoritarian agenda, “We’ll have to agree to disagree,” he told one caller with several particularly cogent points.

The caller was reminding all of us what this is actually about, and that we must keep our eye on the ball, despite all the rhetorical dust the media attempts to throw in our eyes. I’ll give you a hint, this really isn’t at all about Edward Snowden. This isn’t about the law either. This is about the ultimate enemies list by this or some future president, and what one or all of them might do with that information. We’ve talked in previous pieces that facts are not truth, and that facts can be arranged at the purview of the wicked. The calls, emails, associations you make can be skewed to create the impression of guilt for all sorts of manufactured indiscretions by a corruptible government. Dissent and patriotism are interchangeable. Your support for one administration becomes dissent to the next.

It should also be obvious to anyone who has paid even a small amount of attention to what this nation does to whistle blowers. Jeremy Hammond, whose exposure of the corporate firm STRATFOR helped set the stage for Snowden’s revelations about the extent of the government’s spying on us. Hammond spent more than a year in jail without a trial, and was refused a new judge despite that the presiding Judge’s husband was a client of STRATFOR. She went so far as to liken him to a pedophile, before trial began in some third world kangaroo court pre-trial bias. Exhausted, and perhaps understanding he was hopelessly persecuted, Hammond plead guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Bradley Manning exposed atrocities and duplicity by the government, and was tortured in prison, again before going to trial. Little wonder these men-and women must bounce around the globe for safe harbor.

As autonomous and free persons, each of us is entitled to privacy. We are entitled not to feel burdened by spiritual, ideological and intellectual censorship or worse, self-censorship. Bear in mind that the information is being stored-stored-stored and archived. If it is about stopping a terrorist attack, that happens in the present. Why the need to store emails, phone records and other e-data imperpetuity (That means forever to the Tea Party readers). And what of the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of government employees and private contractors with access to all of your personal data? True enough we blindly relinquish that to all manner of private companies, from banks to data back up companies and more, but there is at least an opportunity of redress if that data is compromised or misused. There is no such opportunity with Patriot Act-protected government data farming on the average citizen. We’ll have to defer the geo-political, diplomatic and economic impacts of intruding globally upon other nations for now.

But Ed Schultz and the rest in the media are not having those difficult and long reaching conversations. They prefer the lazy soap opera. But here is the key, argument, spirited debate, and the debate lost is the surest marker of where your-or my ignorance lays, and where the argument falls short. The antithesis, when a member of the media eschews the argument they might lose points to an agenda, laziness or something far more fundamental. As my grandfather would say, there ain’t no cure for stupid…No cigar, Ed, but I am grinning!

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.

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Revolution and Beer TV Show Episode 4: Feminism part1

On this show we explore an issue that might be considered an odd pick for some straight working-class fellas…but only if you’re afraid of working and organizing alongside intelligent, creative, and empowered women. I won’t speak for Turck because it’s not my jurisdiction (I know damn well whose it is;), but as for me; regardless of the nature or breadth of the interaction, I can’t get enough of that spirit.

If you are intimidated or unsettled by that sort of thing, just don’t tell your homies you watched it. You can gain one up on them with some invaluable perspective, and it can be our little secret, man…really.

Feminism has a long and dynamic history. At the better turning points in our cultural development, it’s been the empowered feminine spirit that swept-in to provide the passion and resolve to strengthen the foundation of revolutionary progress and peace.

To help us grasp the essence of what feminism means in our society and culture—as well as our city—we’ve asked our friends Paula Kamen, Regina Buccola (@TheLittleProf), and Linda Bubon to join us; and toss a few back. This may be one of the few informative, and non-awkward conversations that you’ll ever witness in a bar on the topic. It can actually can be done, and not likely what you expect.

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Revolution and Beer TV Show 3: Who’s Paying Their Share

On Saturday March 30th, we gathered with a much larger and very boisterous crowd at Leadway Bar and Grill, 5233 N. Damen. Joining us for the taping of our 3rd TV show were David Hatch from the People’s Lobby, Kristi Sanford from A Just harvest, Toby Chow from Fair economy Illinois, and Michaela Lovegood from IIRON. We had an awesome time discussing corporate tax cheats and the politicians you love them in Illinois–over beer of course.

Don’t forget to sign the Fair Economy Illinois’ petition for The Illinois Corporate Tax Disclosure and Responsibility Act (HB3627 link below.)
http://www.faireconomyillinois.org/close-illinois-corporate-tax-loopholes/

This is a simple piece of legislation that provides for transparency. It asks that all publicly traded corporations disclose the amount of corporate income taxes they pay to the State of Illinois. These corporations’ taxes would be disclosed to the general public via the Internet a full 2 years after the fact.

Special thanks again to Sandra J Alvillar .AGAIN for the beautiful photography. Extra special thanks to Frank, Bianca, and Valentina for the incredible hospitality at Leadway Bar & Grill.

Repeat on Wednesday June 19 at 2:30 P.M.

Time: 7:30-8:00 p.m. Tuesdays, & 2:30-3:00 p.m. Wednesdays
Chicago Cable Channel: 19
Filmed in Chicago
Topics covered: Lots of important stuff
Fueled by: Good beer, good food, and people power

This series runs every Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m., through the month of June. We’ll have updates on what shows follow, an what the schedule will be as we near the end of the month.

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Revolution and Beer… of the week: Boulevard Brewing and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Terra Incognita

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You don’t just get Beer and activism at Revolution and Beer. You get a good story and a bit of history as well. My travels and explorations have always had an element of beer somewhere within those various, sometimes risky and occasionally epic adventures. Beer always held an element of destination, and as a student of history, an indication of place and time as well. I wrote about beer in Sarajevo amid the siege in my memoir, and wove several scenes in my 2011 e-novel “Burn Down the Sky,” over a potent Vietnamese wartime brew called 33 1/3, fermented with formaldehyde in a Saigon café.

Trolling the selections at a local Binny’s, looking for something interesting and new for the Beer of the Week, my buddy, CJ, mentioned that he had a couple bottles of a new offering in back. A collaboration between Boulevard Brewing and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, both of which create consistently good quality beers. This new brew is called Terra Incognita, with a dark mahogany color, reminiscent of Brazil’s perennial Xingu. I poured it into a heavy chalice, one of a dozen (a baker’s dozen until the cat broke one the other night) of those old heavy pub chalices. Terra built a foamy and light chocolaty ¾ inch head that evaporated quickly, leaving minimal lacing behind.

I’d first come across the words “Terra Incognita” while sifting through classical Roman sources researching a now extinct southern European civilization. Little remains of those ancient Illyrians, but for neglected archaeological sites and all too brief mentions in Roman and Greek literature. Perhaps fewer that 50 words remain of a language that dominated the region for thousands of years. The Illyrians were apparently prolific beer drinkers. Their reportedly very bitter recipe was called “Sabaia.”

I pulled up a couple old photographs and pulled out a worn and dog-eared journal I’d kept. I flipped through the softly yellowing pages, my scribbles and sketches still vibrant as I explored a bottle of Terra Incognita. The 8%ABV helped coax details I’d believed were long forgotten. The taste was sugary and malty, with hardly any hint of hops. The Espresso warmth was tempered in fruity plum and raisin notes.

Terra Incognita means unknown land. Certainly that’s what the Balkans were for the Romans and Greeks, but that isn’t what reminded me of Boulevard and Sierra Nevada’s beer, which was modestly priced to compete with any casual bottle of wine. Pausing for dinner the wife and I mulled this beer over a couple of Rib eye steaks, grilled and blackened with a cardamom, cayenne and cumin rub, warmed yellow corn tortillas, homemade black beans fork mashed with fresh cilantro and a bit of mole sauce, and a salad of sliced avocado, fresh jalapeño, tomato wedges, cilantro, red onion and crumbled Queso Fresco with a squeeze of lime. The beer reminded me of one truly amazing moment.IMG_3851

There is a place on the mountain overlooking the Sarajevo valley. The city fills the valley below, surrounded by the Dinaric Alps, like frozen green and gray waves upon a stormy sea. It’s a quiet place, the solitude intruded upon now and again by a church bell, the momentary rattle of a tram or the call to prayer from one of the many Mosques that add their spindly texture to the terra cotta rooftops abounding throughout the valley. When the light is just right, mid-summer clouds collecting at the horizon, in which the sun appears to set into the mountains. It is a most magical spectacle, the sunset colors rich and bold. I found something in the lightness of Terra Incognita’s body that reminded me of the breeze coming across the valley as I beheld that rare sight.

Make a memory with this beer. Its light enough to enjoy its complexity on a warm summer’s night. Act quickly though, This one is a limited run, and we may not see it again.

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.

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Revolution and Beer TV Show Episode 2

On this show, we take the time to just sit back, explain our backgrounds a little, and say why we do what we do. We also take a very worthwhile amount of time to get acquainted with our chef, AJ Francisco, who joins us for the first time. It was super worthwhile because he made some totally badass food.

http://revolutionandbeer.com/

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Revolution and Beer TV Show Episode 1

We talk how to enjoy beer, hydraulic fracturing, and alternative energy at Chicago’s Hopleaf. Our guests were Michael Roper, of the Hopleaf; Dr. Lora Chamberlin, of Don’t Frack Illinois; and David Funcheon, of 101 Celsius.

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BREAKING: Students-Parents Occupy Lafayette Elementary School

Around 3 p.m. this afternoon students, parents, and activists moved-in to occupy Lafayette Elementary School in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Volunteers blocked the doors to the school while the parents and students made their way into the school building to begin the occupation.

 

Lafayette’s last concert. Photo from DNAinfo.com

Earlier this month, the school performed it’s last concert for a very emotional and upset audience. These scenes of heartbreak and fractured communities are becoming all too common as Rahm Emmanuel continues to impose austerity through school closings, health facility closings, and all sorts of other cuts in public services. This ironic approach to “balancing the budget” is laughable in a state where two-thirds of corporations pay no income taxes.

“Closing Lafayette will kill our neighborhood and our families,” says Rousemary Vega, who is occupying a classroom at Lafayette Elementary. “We demand that this school stay open. We demand to keep our music programs, and our special ed program. We’re not leaving until this school is saved.” …nor should they. The favorite allotments of public tax dollars by our beloved mayor go to such badly needed things as high-end rental and condo units in neighborhoods with no real demand for them, and a $300 million basketball stadium for Depaul. Yes, our schools and institutions are getting closed while the likes of Depaul and Loyola Universities, and BJB Properties get nice slices of the tax pie through TIFs to push “business as usual” to an all new level of neoliberal budgetary scams. Guess who gets the bill, again?

So big deal that our children get shuffled around as our work days are made more stressful by sluggish CTA service, failing infrastructure, and anxiety-laden hoop-jumping in order to try and get our kids into a decent school (if you even can take the time away from the office); and affordable housing becomes an endangered species (despite being the original purpose for TIFS). Well…we know for sure Rahm Emmanuel doesn’t, unless Coca Cola wants to come in and buy up what’s left of a failed public program; with a nice little tax break to do it. If we could only see those corporate logos a few hundred more times a day, we might remember where all our money went. Then we would certainly buy more stuff.

Original Press Release:

Lafayette Elementary School Occupation – 2714 W. Augusta Blvd., Chicago
#LafayetteOccupation | #SaveOurSchools | @nini0179 (inside school) | @OCPress
BREAKING NEWS
For Immediate Release
Lafayette Parents, Students Overtake Lafayette Elementary School Classroom
to Halt School Closure on Last Day of Classes
Community calls on President Obama to overturn Mayor Emanuel’s School Closings
Chicago 6/19 2:45PM — Nine Lafayette Elementary parents and students have just peacefully occupied a school classroom, at 2714 W. Augusta Blvd., to demand Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his handpicked Chicago Board of Education reverse the school’s closing.
“Closing Lafayette will kill our neighborhood and our families,” says Rousemary Vega, who is occupying a classroom at Lafayette Elementary. “We demand that this school stay open. We demand to keep our music programs, and our special ed program. We’re not leaving until this school is saved.”
The Humboldt Park neighborhood school serves Pre-K to eighth grade students. Lafayette School focuses on fine arts and music education, boasting an award-winning string orchestra in partnership with Merit School of Music, bilingual classrooms, and an autism cluster site. The school is home to 442 students in 2012, 97.7% from low-income homes. Emanuel and the Board of Education voted to close the school as one of 50 public school closures citing “underutilization,” population decline, and astronomical building maintenance costs. Those claims have been refuted by individual CPS auditors, the media, parents, and community members, who have all been ignored by Emanuel and the unelected Board of Education.
“We are at Lafayette Elementary to support the students and parents who are fighting to keep this school open,” says Denise Bisley, a parent from the Von Humbolt school. “Shame on Mayor Emanuel, and the Chicago Board of Education. This is a national problem. President Obama told us change was coming, and his buddy Mayor Emanuel has changed the city – closing our clinics, our schools, and wrecking our children’s futures.”
CPS and Emanuel propose Lafayette students be displaced to Chopin Elementary, seven blocks away, where the future of the Merit School of Music program is uncertain, as is the program for autistic children. Emanuel and the Board of Education have faced severe public backlash and outcry against the school closures.
- END -
Steal these tweets!
GET TO HUMBOLT PARK! LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY IS OCCUPIED! Follow #LafayetteOccupation for breaking info | 2714 W. Augusta Blvd, Chicago
Parents overtake Lafayette School, demand reversal of #CPSclosings #LafayetteOccupation
Support #LafayetteOccupation against #onetermmayor #chicagoBully & #CPSclosings Bring food to 2714 W Augusta Blvd, #chicago
Food donations are encouraged and be dropped off at 2714 W Augusta Blvd #lafayetteOccupation
Fuck you @chicagosmayor @rahmemanuel! We’re taking over #LafayetteOccupation against #CPSclosings
#SaveOurSchools SUPPORT NEEDED at #LafayetteOccupation, 2714 W. Augusta Blvd #CPSclosings

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Revolution and Beer Reactionary of the week: Dis-elected representative, and ideological masturbator Joe Walsh.

Joe_WalshIt is easy to understand why the unseated right wing former representative-turned-blowhard on AM560 Joe Walsh dislikes Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor. For one, she supported the Madison protests against Governor Walker’s bullying of teachers, fireman, garbage men and cops. Two, she’s African American, in fact the only African American woman in the Wisconsin senate. And three, she was reelected, unlike the loud Mister Walsh, who inserted himself into American politics, unfortunately via the faux wave of the Tea Party. And when that wave crashed and was gone, so too was ole Joe’s political career.

On his basis-for-lack-of-reality radio show Monday night he took issue with Taylor regarding comments on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” with Ed Schultz, in which she likened the actions of her Republican State counterparts to the Taliban during last week’s fiery abortion debate in Madison.

The comments came after Senate President, Republican Mike Ellis abruptly cut off debate on the issue while another democrat Senator Kathleen Vinehout read aloud letters from female constituents concerned over a bill that would make ultrasounds mandatory for any woman considering an abortion. It is a pattern repeated time and again by Republican controlled legislatures around the nation as they seek to roll back the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that made a woman’s right to choose the law of the nation. Unable to overturn that decision, republicans have opted instead for harassment as a means of ending a woman’s right to make choices regarding her own life, future and health.

Walsh, the great moralist, who uses the right wing radio station as a propaganda tool to deflect criticism regarding allegations he failed to pay child support, regularly and vehemently defends policies and cultures of misogyny. Though he claims to be pro-life, his penchant for the cowardly conceal carry initiative essentially mandates a death sentence for petty crime, and places all of us in far more danger. Those who demand the “right” to carry a weapon everywhere are in the opinion of this writer, clinically afraid of their own doughy shadow.

But Walsh took issue with Taylor’s statement’s condemning the tantrum by senate President Ellis. Walsh did not take issue with a grown State Senator throwing a tantrum, however. Taylor told Ed Shultz that. ”Anti-women legislation has been their priority. Not creating jobs. We were silenced that day. The president broke his gavel. The women in the assembly were escorted out.” She went onto say that the current legislation, “…is no different than what I experienced when I went to Turkey and heard of what the women in the Middle East are experiencing with the Taliban, trying to silence them for being at the table.”

Walsh was unhinged, or at least played the masterful part of the pretend unhinged, like any theatrical lawyer. Playing to the lowest common denominator nightly to his lowest common denominator audience, Walsh bitched that he was “Sick and tired of (Democrat’s) war on women claims. I’m not going to stand for it anymore!” In a frothing rant that was about as fact based and coherent as the dad on “The Family Guy” cartoon, Walsh went on to accuse senator Taylor of insulting Muslim women with the Taliban comparison.

Truly heartfelt words from the man who appeared to have called The Council on American Islamic Relations terrorists in the preceding segment. And Walsh is well known for his empathy for both Muslims and women alike. His latest perversity on the issues facing our nation is to organize a small number of reprobates in his continuing pornography of gun proliferation he’s dubbed freedom fighters. Our bellicose friend here is keen on the prodigious misuse of the word “liberty,” which apparently only refers to Christian White women who self-police themselves into their husband’s cultural and selectively moralistic constraints.

But why should any of us care why an ideological wanker like Walsh even exists? He is a panderer on the super highway of base emotion and ignorant self-interest. But where the danger lies in “men” like Walsh is that they legitimize hate. For such men, their railing against so-called political correctness, is what the rest of us call manners and culture. I don’t walk into a room full of women and say, “What’s up…?” with some derogatory refrain about women, not because of political correctness, but out of politeness and respect.

I am told again and again by friends on the Right that the Reactionary pieces sound bitter. No, they are meant to strike at the heart of the reactionary in question. This is not the lawyerly sparring of an issue. I am not like so many in the mainstream media with limited issues to speak on. There isn’t enough time in 10 lifetimes for all the topics I want to explore, issues to follow, injustice to battle or stories to tell.

We aim to get at the heart of the matter, which was a challenge for this particular piece. Search and search was we might, Brian and I will be damned that Walsh doesn’t actually appear to have one.

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.

ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.

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Revolution and Beer…of the week: A truly Revolutionary Beer-Sarajevsko Pivo

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I recall my very first sip of Sarajevo beer, or Sarajevsko Pivo. It was amid the siege of the city. I stumbled into the city aboard a United Nations APC and hitched a ride to the center of the city with a Canadian cowboy war photographer. Read my memoir for the full story, but I eventually ended up in a small apartment overlooking Sarajevo’s notorious sniper alley. It was a gloomy and chilly march evening. A single oily candle flickered across the pale and shrapnel pocked walls of an Austro-Hungarian era building. My would-be hosts were Nadja and Hasan Haljevac, both local artists. Sniper fire crackled along the boulevard. Hasan produced a single bottle of Pivo he’d been saving. He graciously opened in as my welcome to the city. Their audacious 10 year old son Sulejman was curled for warmth against his mother.

I’m drinking one now. Each time I crack a bottle of this southern European-style lager, with an ABV of a modest 5%, a flood of memories from dozens of trips to the region revisit me. How many times I have sat and pondered politics, humanity and fate over a glass or bottle, musing over the fine champagne carbonation, which the beer and its inch deep white head holds nicely. I can’t fault Beeradvocate for a meager 3 1/2 stars. One must know the history to properly appreciate the beer. There is a history in this beer, perhaps like no other beer on the planet.449px-Sarajevo_brewery_1

This is a truly regional variant. Don’t make the mistake of comparing it to other brews. Take a look at a map. Sarajevo is an island in the wilderness. The bitterness that finishes to a watery plum note, and a buttery-warm aroma is a product of history and individual character not found elsewhere. With a brewery, or Pivara, founded in 1864 over a rich and deep natural mineral spring-whose local character attracted Romans more than two millennia ago, this beer is historic. The Pivara witnessed Napoleon, two World Wars, forty years of Communism, the fall of two empires and a civil war. Within its oriental style architecture, and the beer hall within, Austrian, Turkish, French, German and NATO soldiers have toasted. I come to it with all of my memories, layered upon that auspicious one, including Sarajevsko Pivo as an excellent elixir for the worst sunburn I have ever suffered.

Pairing the flavors, this beer might be enjoyed with any number of foods. I recommend going local on this one. Many times I’ve enjoyed this over a local Bosnian dished called Chevapi, grilled meat, fresh diced onion and a brick over baked bread called somun. Try a bit of red-pepper spread called Ajvar as a side. Or try with a Turkish-inspired meat, potato, cheese, spinach or pumpkin-filled pastry called Pita.

Bosnian Pita, has a Turkish origin, that can be filled with meat, farmers cheese and spinach, pumpkin and potato.

Bosnian Pita, has a Turkish origin, that can be filled with meat, farmers cheese and spinach, pumpkin and potato..

But always I will recall that first glass during the war. I did not speak much Bosnian, and neither Nadja nor Hasan spoke English. Sulejman spoke some English. I spoke some French. Nadja new a bit as well. For the next week we enjoyed this wild round house of three different languages, and somehow managed to make it all work. And so began my history with Sarajevo beer.

And that’s the key, as I finished the glass, and before I go for another one. Sometimes we can over think a beer. Brian and I love exploring and critiquing beers, pulling apart the flavors and layers, and even going after ill conceived or executed brews. But in the end, it is about memories and loved ones and that perfect moment. It is about the history, the one that is, the one we bring to it and the history we make.

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook.
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ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: If you have a cause to champion, please let us know. We proudly stand with you in the important work of strengthening the grassroots support network for the city of Chicago.

BEER! Catch the Beer of The Week review with 900poundgorilla, along with weekly food pairings for our featured beers by Chef AJ Francisco and Simply Healthy Gourmet author Carole Cooper here. Find all of the great beers we review each week at www.glunzbeers.com.

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