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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

John Foyston is My Hero

John got the call: "Mr. Foyston, president on line one." Not Dubya, Klaus, Vaclav Klaus.

So the president of the Czech Republic walks into this, really: that's why the Chevy Suburbans and the grim faced Secret Service guys were parked in front of the BridgePort brewpub earlier this week -- President Vaclav Klaus and crew were inside having a pint.

"The pub manager came into my office and said, 'Karl, drop what you're doing --- the president of the Czech Republic is on his way,' " said BridgePort brewmaster Karl Ockert after the Monday visit. "I said, 'Go on, Bob, I'm busy, I've got things to do.' I just knew it was one of his jokes."

The entire tale is a must-read, but I will excerpt one final bit because it is too delicious to ignore:

Brewmaster Ockert led them through a couple of taster trays of BridgePort ales and they chose a beer unique to the Northwest, Hop Harvest, which is made with hops fresh from the field, not dried and processed. "This is a most unusual beer," said ambassador Kolar as he took a pull from his imperial pint. "We believe that beer is more than just a drink --- it is medicine, and not just for the body but for the soul."

President Klaus agreed: "To do something in space is irrelevant," he said, raising a glass to Ockert, "but to make good beer, that is something."

Hats off, John. You rock.


  1. Interesting!

    The president of the Pilsner capital of the world, the Czech Republic, drinking ales at Bridgeport....

  2. Jeff,

    this might be better saved for another blog you contribute to regularly, but did you see why he was in town in the first place? After reading a bit more about the guy, I think I might have turned down the offer to have beers with him.


  3. JF--

    I didn't see why he was in town, but I would have met with him in a heartbeat. First of all, I'd meet with the leader of any country if the pretext was the celebration of beer--a few historical examples excepted. Even still, Klaus doesn't strike me as a particularly bad guy. Those former-Soviet countries have a lot of history to work through. And Klaus was one of the Prague Spring dissidents.

  4. Jeff, thanks for the props...yes, VK was in town to speak about his book refuting global warming, but I was still glad to have the chance to have a pint with him...and we did talk about how Pilsner Urquell was the default beer of Czechs and that Sam Adams was the ex-pat's "life vest" in the states when looking for a good beer, though I imagine they'll start searching out other brewpubs soon enough...