Monday, August 18, 2003

Back from the Glimmerglass Festival. I love it out there. They do four operas every summer in beautifully cast, well directed productions that are carefully rehearsed. The opera house and grounds are friendly, not in any way pretentious and the auditorium has great sightlines and acoustics. They also do a good mix of styles and combine rarities with restudied old classics. Heaven for a guy like me.

Of course, it isn't opera all the time out there. I usually drive around the beautiful New York State countryside on any back road I can find, stopping at yard sales, checking out antique barns and visiting caves, historic sites, etc.

This year I discovered the Belgian-style brewery Ommegang just southeast of Cooperstown. Who knew that Belgian beer is brewed in a process analogous to champagne? True--besides using a variety of different flavorings and spices as part of the brewing process, all Belgian beer is given a second fermentation just like champagne and benefits from storing in moderately cool temperatures for a year or two. In any event, the stuff tastes just great and one of their beers (we got to taste four)called Hennepin really comes over as a cross between a good beer and a good white wine.

The bottles (the size of a standard 750ml wine bottle) have to be extra thick to withstand the pressure of the secondary fermentation. They had a special that if you bought a case you got an extra bottle and also a heavy, footed brand crest beer glass. I bought two mixed cases--one to break up and give for Christmas gifts and the other for me.

Otherwise, not much. I have to read play scripts tonight. Then maybe a nice Kristen Bjorn video and bed. :-)

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