A few weeks ago, during one of the weekly BeerGraphs' Friday Chats, there was some discussion about expanding Beersport into a larger tournament with brackets representing different styles. While I have zero real news toward that endeavor, I bring it up because a beer was mentioned during our discussion of potential tournament pilsners that I had never had: Pinkus UR Pils. If we want to get technical, on our Leaderboards it is listed as Organic UR Pils by Brauerei Pinkus Müller.
Shortly thereafter, I was in the beer section of a fancy Pennsylvania grocery store and saw a bottle of Pinkus UR Pils. It was cheap and so I bought it.
At home, the beer looked and smelled exactly like what you would expect from a pilsner – which is to say it looked good and it smelled good. But the taste, my goodness, the taste was just absolutely perfect – crisp, refreshing, and subtle. Sure, there are plenty of great craft pilsners made by some great American craft breweries, but this one, this Pinkus from Germany, was just effortlessly so delicious in that perfect pilsner way. It was a revelation and a reminder of how a beer with simple, straightforward ingredients (I say simple in reference to the four main ingredients of beer), without any bending of any style guidelines, and just brewed perfectly can be absolutely wonderful. Pinkus UR Pils has, with one bottle, renewed my love of pilsners.
While we're on the subject of pilsners and Pinkus, it might be worthwhile to bring up that just a few months ago I had discovered, on my Pinkus, several irritated bumps. No big deal, just a couple of little bumps near what might be described as 'the ring'. Or 'the ring around my Pinkus'. Or my 'Pinkus ring', which seems to imply that my Pinkus is comparable to a pinkie finger – a metaphor that may open myself up to some immature ridicule, but that I will stick with nonetheless because I enjoy the imagery of a large gold ring on my Pinkus. Regardless, the bumps were most likely the result of some minor abrasions due to overuse, misuse, or improper or unfavorable usage conditions.
However, for a number of reasons, this particular set of Pinkus bumps did have me slightly worried. First of all, these bumps were uncomfortable. There was a bit of pain in an area where pain is never welcome. Secondly, while I have amazingly soft hands that Wife enjoys very much, I do have an irrational fear of infidelity (due mostly to Wife's stunning good looks) and I wondered if these bumps were the result of something more sinister.
Before we advance any further down this rabbit hole, it should be stated that I have been tested for the types of icky things that might produce bumps on one's Pinkus since I began the monogamous portion of my life with Wife, and I am proud to say that I passed them all.
So, in an attempt to gain information about both about my Pinkus and our relationship, I planned on telling Wife about the bumps, and the slight physical pain I was experiencing, in hopes of eliciting a reaction. From there, the plan was to gauge her response and then make any possible inferences about my situation.
I will not go into detail regarding the execution of this plan or Wife's reaction, but I did tell her and I will say that I did not gain any real information about the origin of my bumps. I was, however, able to gain an abundance of information regarding Wife's feelings about many, many things and for that I am grateful.
The third and most troubling reason for my worry was that these bumps would not seem to go away. In the past, a Pinkus bump, really just a small abrasion on a very sensitive area, might appear and then disappear in a day or two, and I was back to my usual self. But these most recent bumps were truely stalwart. The word 'stalwart' may be an unfortunate vocabularial decision given that we are discussing bumps on my Pinkus, and therefore, it would probably be advisable to avoid mentioning warts. But I call them like I see them, and these bumps were sturdy. These bumps were steadfast. These bumps were uncompromising. After two lonely days with zero contact, these bumps were unchanged. My Pinkus was not healed.
People often talk about loyalty in a positive light; a trait that one might look for in a friend, in a pet, or in an employee. It is rare for a person to be 100% certain about anything, but I am 100% certain that those people, those cheerleaders of loyalty, have never had a loyal bump on their Pinkus at any time during their loyal-loving lives.
At this point, my instinct told me that to better understand these bumps, I needed a closer view. All jokes aside, have you ever looked at your Pinkus using a magnifying glass?
I have, and while it was not a pretty picture, it was reassuring. I was able to determine, via magnification, that the bumps were indeed tiny abrasions and that maybe they were a bit infected. From there, my course of action seemed obvious and I applied liberal amounts of Neosporin (with pain relief) to the affected area. I did this several times over the next two days.
After those two days, I conducted a cursory inspection of my Pinkus, albeit sans magnifying glass, and things looked great, relatively speaking. Pinkus appeared to be back in action. Dim the lights.
That next morning, after a night of a lovely togetherness, I again conducted a brief inspection. To my dismay, things were not looking good. The bumps were back and they brought buddies. I reached for the magnifying glass for a closer inspection and what I saw was most unsettling. It was as if my skin could no longer hold up to the rigors of activity that my Pinkus had become accustomed to. It seemed as if the Neosporin (with pain relief) had somehow weakened my epidermis and it could no longer hold up to that constant shrinking and stretching necessary to be a fully functioning Pinkus.
It seemed unlikely that Neosporin was selling a product that doubled as a Pinkus Erosion Serum, so I considered some more likely alternatives. The most obvious was that perhaps we got back in the saddle too soon and there just wasn't adequate healing time. From there I considered that perhaps my Pinkus, in its advanced age, required more time to regenerate and heal itself. In the back of my head I couldn't help but be terrified that my Pinkus, now officially closer to 40 than 30, was simply worn out. Perhaps a Pinkus only has a finite number of opportunities before it can no longer get up and go. Perhaps my Pinkus had reached and exceeded that number and was now simply breaking down little by little with each additional use. How many more times could I call on Pinkus before there was no more Pinkus to call on? And to be clear, I don't mean that Pinkus would be dysfuntional - I mean that Pinkus would slowly be ground down to nothing. Essentially, my Pinkus would become a Vaginkus.
It was a good run Pinkus. It was a real good run.
No, no, no, no, no, absolutely not. I looked up from my Pinkus and right into the mirror; I looked myself right in the eye and I said, “No!” I looked back down at Pinkus, first through the magnifying glass, and then without, and I said, “No!” I was determined, now more than ever, to nurse Pinkus back to health – no matter what it took.
The first step in my new action plan was to stop using the Neosporin (with pain relief). I figured these bumps healed on there own in the past, I will let them heal on there own now – no more special treatment for Old Man Pinkus. The plan was to rest and then rest some more.
So we rested. And whenever I got the urge not to rest, I would do something silly, like push ups or plank:
“Easy Pinkus. Just relax. That's it. We're just going to plank through this. Together.”
After a few days of controlled breathing and plank sessions, I was ready to check the progress.
Unfortunately for Pinkus and I, progress was not in the cards that day. In fact, when I think back to that morning, I still shudder. On a positive note, I lost four pounds.
Remember those old laundry detergent commercials that focused on 'ring around the collar'? Well, if this tale of my Pinkus was in book format, “Cheese Around The Collar” would be an excellent title for this chapter. Or for fans of rock and roll record albums, specifically Kurt Vile, if this moment were a rock and roll record, it would be called “Cheese Ring For My Halo”. And while such a chapter might be one you'd rather not read, and such an album might be one you'd rather not listen to, I assure you that it is here, at this moment, that my tale of woe slowly turned into a tale of triumph.
We can all agree that cheese on your person is generally never a good sign, but at least it is a sign. I can read a sign. And I can google 'cheese'. And when I say “cheese on your person,” I mean cheese growing on your body, not that you went to the market and purchased an assortment of cheeses – because obviously, that would be a sign that great things were about to happen.
At work that day, I googled many things – many different combinations of 'cheese' and 'Pinkus' and 'collar'. I googled images because I am a bold man that wanted answers. I saw many things, some familiar, and some quite foreign. I read many things that I could relate to and of many attempts at personal home remedy, some well thought out and successful, and others not so much.
I left work that day with a sense of accomplishment. I also left feeling confident I had found a potential remedy and that my Pinkus wasn't nearly as hopeless or ugly as I thought it was. Oddly enough, as soon as I read of this particular solution, I knew immediately that it would work. I also knew that I had more than enough of said remedy at the house.
It took two days of treatment for the bumps to go away. Two more days and my Pinkus, like Cher, had turned back time. My Pinkus had found a way.
You are probably wondering, "What was the home remedy?" Not that you need that information for any real reason - it's just that you're asking for a friend, or a friend of a friend, or a friend of your cousin. It's fine. I understand. It was Diaper Cream. Anti-Fungal Diaper Cream.
Organic UR Pils, Brauerei Pinkus Müller (3.2 BAR, 110 Style+)
Appearance = 3.5/5
Clear, pale yellow, not much head after the initial pour. No lacing. This all changed with my second glass from the bottle – it was hazy, had a decent white head, and also had some lacing. I must have got more of the remnants in that second pour.
Smell = 3.75/5
Bread yeast and just a touch of barnyard dirt. Some citrus, some spice, and some malt sweetness.
Taste = 5/5
Light hop flavors of lemon and spice followed up with nice dry grass and bread notes. There is a bitterness, lemony and slightly peppery, that hangs around in the aftertaste in a good way. The taste is crisp, clean, and refreshing.
Feel = 5/5
Crisp and fizzy to start. Light and smooth in the finish. A perfect feel for a light bodied beer.
Overall = 4.75/5
A true delight. A perfect, easy drinking balance of hops and malt. Very refreshing. My love of pilsners is renewed and this is my new favorite.
J. R. Shirt will be in Chicago next week (July 17th, 2014) for the FanGraphs/Beergraphs meetup. Follow his misadventures on Twitter and Untappd @beeronmyshirt.