On page 986 of Against the Day, Frank Traverse has just recently put his engineering skills to use rigging a train with an imperial fuckton of dynamite and now finds himself in the Mexican Capital. (Why the Capital is Capitalised isn’t clear to me. Was Pynchon working on Mason & Dixon at the same time and crossed some stylistic wires?) Frank runs into Günther von Quassel (heir to coffee empire, probably some kind of spy, I don’t remember):
In the Capital, at a dark, out-of-the-way restaurant near the train station, Frank ran into Günther von Quassel, whom he hadn’t seen since Tampico. Günthen was drinking imported German beer in a stein. Frank ordered a bottle of the local Orizaba product.Against the Day, p. 986.
They talk about what they’ve been up to, Frank offering to help Günther with coffee machinery repairs, Günther troubled by revolutionaries. Günther is gesticulating wildly and splashes imported German foam on Frank’s hat.
German beer of course finds its way to every worldly corner. They are the masters. And the masters among masters, the preeminent mash paddle wielders, well, in my opinion Weihenstephaner just can’t be beat. I like them so much I can spell and even more or less pronounce their name. They claim to be the oldest brewery in the world, brewing for almost a thousand years, and the experience sure has paid off. I had three or four Weihenstephaner’s in the fridge, but discovered that by the time I came to write this entry, all but one had vanished unaccountably.
The one remaining is Korbinian, a dark doppelbock named after the Weihenstephaner monastery’s founding monk, St Korbinian. I assume that’s Korbs looking pious on the bottle. His namesake beer is bloody good—rich malt flavours of toffee and dark fruit, hints of chocolate, herbal hops, all in a highly drinkable skillfully poised balance.
Shall we interrupt these pretentious tasting notes to observe that a German beer is a wanky order for Mr von Quassel to make in an out-of-the-way Mexico City drinking hole? I guess he misses his homeland. Frank’s order is more down to earth, sticking with the local Orizaba product. I may find that one a little harder to track down myself however. It may even have to wait until such a time as I should find myself on actual Mexican soil.