Lately, I have been taking the train (or driving) down and back up on a section of I-95 that I have been referring to as “The Corridor.” From Washington, DC down to Richmond, VA and finally down to Fayetteville, NC, it is pretty much a straight shot. As you can imagine, there are some pretty boring sections and there are parts that make you sit up and say “hmm.” Remind me to tell you that part about three big Confederate flags sometime…
So, one Monday morning, I got out my electronic beer map and decided to see what breweries had been developed along with the interstate. Surprise! Outside of the section from Washington to Richmond, there was not much developed at all. (Raleigh, NC will be covered separately because I do go that way on occasion) So, with that in mind, I am going to fill in all of the breweries along the Corridor and give a brief glimpse of those that I have been able to visit on my journeys. Some are pretty interesting, and some I have a hard time qualify as breweries.
North Koreans enjoy beer and snacks last August during the Taedonggang Beer Festival in Pyongyang. The festival, the first of its kind in the country, was held as a promotional event for the locally brewed beer. Korean signs in the background read “Our country is the best.”
If an event is branded as annual but it happens only once, can it still be called annual? This is the case for Pyongyang’s “annual” Taedonggang Beer Festival, the second of which was slated to take place during August.
“The reason for the cancellation is unclear and we don’t expect full information to be forthcoming but it is possibly down to the ongoing drought in the country that has caused a great deal of trouble,” Koryo writes.
According to Koryo, last year’s event was a good opportunity to try some local brews and mingle with locals. A menu from the 2016 fest shows several types of draft beers, fried chicken and mutton on a stick available for purchase. North Korean alcohol is a curiosity for many connoisseurs around the globe, especially given its announcement last year that its scientists have invented “hangover-free booze.”
While it may suffer the label of “Hermit Kingdom,” North Korea does want tourism, offering surfing, rice planting and history tours. As Hawaii Public Radio found, “You can join the ‘Liberation from the Japanese Empire’ package tour — 8 days and 7 nights next month over the dates marking Japan’s surrender in World War Two.”
But forget about it if you’re an American passport holder. The U.S. State Department will announce a travel ban to North Korea for all Americans later this week. It follows the detainment of 22-year-old college student Otto Warmbier, who returned home last month in a coma and died days later.
Over the past 10 years, at least 16 Americans have been detained in North Korea.
OK, I come from the Left Coast. Specifically, Piedmont, CA, which you won’t find on anything but a detailed map of the San Francisco Bay Area. We like our anonymity because it is a small town and we like to keep it that way.
But people in Piedmont like to travel. If there is a corner of the world, someone from Piedmont or associated with Piedmont has been there.
So, in the midst of my beer blogging, I get a message from Mr. Rich Kitchen. Mr. Kitchens served as one of the gatekeepers coming out of Piedmont High School. For a lot of us, if you didn’t pass Kitchens class, you weren’t going to be leaving Piedmont.
Mr. Kitchens, and his beautiful wife Carol, who also taught for a while at Piedmont (still trying to figure that one out – nice going Mr. K!) send a note from Easter Island in the South Pacific that they are visiting. And then a second note with a picture of a beer from Easter Island! Yeah, Easter Island, addressed to me and for incorporation into the blog.
Mahina Pale Ale is bottled at Cerveceria Rapa Nui at Hanga Roa which is on Easter Island and it under the administration of Republic of Chile. It has a rich peach and apple taste taste combined hop flavor.