Pleasure. I am, by name, Fritz. By nature, a flâneur – and if you miss that French word in the dictionary, advance: I am a hiker. I spend more time outside my Kingdom than inside it, which is why I now tell this story. It all started on my last walk when I took a little-visited path and stumbled into a bottle of beer whose brand I still did not know. As we, “Jipius”, shared the bread, the barley, and the laughter, I brought it into my Kingdom.
But I should have drunk it all by my self! That beer, as I discovered later, was special. The suspense began when we put the drink into a goblet and felt my eyes wrinkle in the forehead, curious as to what would be in those depths. The beer was not the straw color I was used to. She was more golden and beautiful. Besides, it was more full-bodied than the Pilsens I knew.
And its malty flavor and floral scent made me want to talk about travel and adventures, as well as to please the most demanding and traditional Jipius. Unhappiness it was only one. We would no longer know how to be satisfied with the beers that did not have a craft preparation.
It was at daybreak that an idea spread among us like a cane field fire. One of the Jipius should be in charge of finding the factory in Prussia and discovering the ingredients of that beer to try to make it into our Kingdom. As I knew part of the way and had already crossed distant lands during a harsh winter, everyone agreed that I was the most prepared for the mission.
The next day, on the first sunrise, I prepared my bundle and fell on the road. The trip took two days and one night. I walked by train, took a ride on the ass of an ass, and walked again.
At the arrival of the Kingdom, the road was winding, lined with earth and surrounded by trees so high that they seemed to have been born long before any Jipiu. The noise of the creek came from far and was the most beautiful sound of the place. Although my eyes were delighted with everything they saw, the fatigue came sneaky and I ended up napping against the inside of the Kingdom gate. I woke up in a different place from the landing. It was tucked inside a cage, on a mattress softer than a bed of grass. Outside the cage, a chubby lord looked at me with a mixture of wonder and curiosity. A great journey was beginning to take place. And what happened after that is already history for a next time …
As you already know, in the previous chapter, I was given the task of trying to discover the formula of Prussia beer. After a long journey, I fell asleep at the gate of their Kingdom. I woke up in a different place from where I had landed. It was a room with brick walls and a large lighthouse coming out of the window.
On the wooden table, all kinds of goodies and breads. The red and fluffy chairs made me want to sit up and not get up so early. Behind the bars of the cage where I was placed, the King of Prussia looked at me.
“Sorry if I caused you any inconvenience, little being I never saw.” One of the Prussians brought you into this cage just because he found you in deep sleep. What is your grace and what do you do in our lands? King Frederick asked as he opened the lock.
– No nconvenience, Your Excellency. This goose-down mattress and these velvet covers allowed me the best of dreams. I said, giving a greeting and thanking the King.
– “Call me Fritz.” I belong to a small people with pointed ears, we are cousins of the gnomes. I am here because we have tried your Pilsen beer and we are delighted with the malty taste of it, the ease of drinking it, and correct me if it is wrong, but we also notice a slight presence of cereals. I came with the mission to get the formula.
“I like the direct ones, Fritz. Unfortunately, the formula I can not give you. But since it is not in my power to dislike anyone who likes a good beer, I risk a proposal. I can offer our beer for free to you and your people while the full moon stays in the sky. For this, you only need to get the approval of the four Dukes of this Kingdom.
“I like the proposal, Your Excellency. But I can not help wondering: why go after the Dukes? Are not you the one who gives the final say?
“It turns out, Fritz, that here we are as a family. We decided everything together. If you want the beers without penniless, you will need to win the sympathy of each of the Dukes of Prussia.
I accepted the combo and won in exchange a map with the direction of the four territories where it would have to arrive. Before I set off in search of the first Duke, I was invited by the King to savor a Red Ale bottle. I was intrigued to find that there was a style other than Pilsen, but I preferred to remain silent and give one’s understanding. Soon, you will discover that this has also happened in other territories.
The King confessed to me that this was his favorite Prussian beer, because it had an incredible balance between malt, hops and aroma. Besides, he thought it was fantastic to have a beer with a percentage of alcohol as low as that, to offer a flavor and aroma so different.
I left the halls of the lively King with the challenge of having to get the approval of the Dukes of Prussia, and thinking that family is not the same blood that we are, with whom we shared sadness, joy and decision. The Kingdom of Prussia was already surprising me, and I still could not imagine the adventures that awaited me. But what happened after that is already history for a next time …
Days ago, the King of Prussia proposed to supply my people with beer since I obtained the approval of the Dukes of the Kingdom. The sun pointed to the end of the day when I arrived in the Hidden Forest. There was, hidden among the trees, a bunker, made of concrete, and a green wood covered the surroundings. It was only later that I discovered that in that bunker the Prussians kept all sorts of equipment – from brewing equipment to swords, shields and food, in case the gloomy days would return. The one who received me was a smaller lady than all the great people I had ever seen. Despite her size, her eyes were steady and she seemed to have led and won many battles. I went ahead:
– Pleasure! My name is Fritz and I visit in the name of the King, I said, taking the cap from my head and placing it on my chest. – He said that if you and the other Dukes approve the idea, I could take a bit of beer to my Kingdom. If I win your yes, Duchess, you can be sure that you will always find refuge in Jipiu land.
– “Well, of course you have my approval.” I’m Frida and I do not have bad weather! But I also understand that the correct thing is to help the other. So, would you mind fetching a golden bird to give to Aunt Frida?
Combined, I set off in search of such a bird. I saw him under the shadow of a “jabuticabeira”, shining more than shooting star. Other than what I thought, I did not have to do anything about it. The little bird itself, sensing my presence, landed on my shoulder and weaving away. But after traveling halfway back, a squeeze hit my heart. Would Frida have the courage to imprison a soul as free as that little bird? With a bit of regret, I paused for a second to respond to the creature’s whistling. And the bug, realizing my insecurity, took the liberty of flapping and leaving. Then I found Aunt Frida empty-handed, and she was quick to ask:
“What happened, Fritz?” Could not find the bird?
– I found it. But, with a free heart, I was afraid you would not arrest the pet. The walk ran out of music, and he flipped away …
– You know the mission was more than completed, Fritz. To give you my approval, I had to check your intentions. Around here, we treat fondly to the shadow of a subject. Now, please come in and snuggle up and I’ll offer you a beer.
We sat at an old wooden table with drawers and cup holders, typical of a tavern. There were several parchments scattered across the table, drawn with strategies and beer delivery routes. Aunt Frida shared a Weiss with me and told me that this term in German means white and refers to the use of wheat in the drink. He showed me the aroma of this beer, and I could see there was a mixture of cloves and bananas, which made me delighted. In addition, Tia Frida said that she could bet that if a German took the Weiss from Prussia, he would think it was developed in Germany. That’s because, at Weiss, they follow all the German standards and rites for making a traditional wheat beer.
I left when a telephone hung on the wall and Tia Frida had to go back to work. I took a cookie of almonds that she had made for me and thought that friendship is to treat us well and offer freedom for those who are willing to sing on our side. I followed the path towards the next territory, and what happened over there is history for a next time …
The road to my next destination was of heavily trodden land, with red coloration. There were no larger grains and the ground seemed to be smoothed by horse paws. After walking for a full day, I arrived in an orchard that served as a landing for hummingbirds and well-being.
With the task of resting, I lurched under the shade of a tree and watched the little critters almost crash into seemingly aimless flights. That’s when I was thinking of continuing my journey, that I saw in the corner of my eye a rider coming towards me. The horse had a long dark mane, and the boy over it held a flag with an embroidered eagle. They stopped about ten feet from me:
– What is a being as small as you do in our lands? Need a ride? Asked the knight, introducing himself as Klaus.
– Pleasure, Duke Klaus. Actually, what I’m looking for is your approval so I can bring some beers to my Kingdom. I’m here in the name of the King.
I said after introducing me.
– It turns out, Fritz, that as proof of my consent, you would need a document that is not now with me. But that’s whats we can do: I go to the orchard to get some fruit, meanwhile, you get on the horse and we’ll leave soon to get this paperwork in my house.
I tried to explain that there was no height for that horse and that the most I had ever done in my existence was to get a ride on a donkey’s tail, but the Duke left without listening to me, humming. When he returned, I had a cock in the middle of my forehead, my cap was no longer in my head, and despite riding the horse, I was inside out, facing the other side of the road.
– Sorry for the inconvenience, Duke Klaus. Unfortunately, I could not do the job the way I needed it … – i said in a discouraged tone.
– Actually, little Fritz, I figured that when I arrived, you’d still be in the shade, waiting for me to put you on Tom. I can not think what such a small being had to do to complete this mission! You know, Fritz? What I admire most in life are people who are not afraid to take the first step. To me, courage is something between wanting and having. And if I was still doubtful of giving you my approval, know that now it is guaranteed. As far as I’m concerned, you’ll take our beer to your Kingdom.
And so it was that Klaus and I took the road, he watched the landscape coming and I watched the landscape that was leaving, back to back. Klaus told me that his favorite beer from Prussia was Pale Ale, a beer of medium bitterness, copper color and notes of caramel, bread and cereal. He taught me that it was a beer with an impressive drinkability for that style and that, especially in the cold, it is very easy to drink it, even though it has an imposing alcoholic content.
Klaus also shared with me one of the harmonies that the Prussians had created for their Pale Ale. I should start with such a Bean Tutu. Klaus explained to me that the sweet taste of the bean dough, contrasted with the seasoning used, would perfectly match the sweet and bitter taste of Pale Ale. To finish, it was only to eat a sweet of grated cider, ideal for the sweet notes of Pale Ale of Prussia. When it came time to go to the next challenge, I was mouth-watering. But I tried to stay focused. After all, if a man of that
He had thought me brave, I should not be little. But what happened the next day is already history for another time.
My next destination was the most colorful place in the Kingdom of Prussia: a valley with a rainbow that rarely leaves the sky, violet flowers that claim to be trampled and several of those birds called “ligeirinhos”, doing aerial games that makes impossible counting them. In this territory, live the Prussians who have the soul of an artist. They draw as if they had fairy fingers and prepare all the cards of the Kingdom, besides the beer labels and the materials that tell who the Prussians are. I was greeted by a girl with violet hair, a fascinating purple: just the same tone of the flowers that were scattered on the floor. Her eyes were dark and so sweet that they conveyed the safety of those who know many things. Some of her curls were hidden by a boot, which used to be a hat and kept balanced on her head as if she had been there for many years. I approached, delighted:
– Good afternoon, Duchess. I like this task of changing the function of objects. And if I may, I’d also like to make my hat boot. I said as i bent down to untie my shoelaces.
– Welcome, little Fritz. I have heard of your wanderings for our Kingdom. Know that the best thing to put boot on head is that it serves for the days of sun and rain. When it’s sunny, I gain a span of shadow ahead. In rainy season, I put my boot upside down, storing every drop of water that comes with the intention of getting me wet.
– I’m glad to see my thought of you, Duchess. In my Kingdom, they often say that I have the head of a plumber, just because I do not like the common. The other day, I invented a river shrink using a glass bottle. At first they thought it was strange, but then everyone was adopting my invention.
– Well, Fritz, I have this fame here too. And I’m glad to meet someone with whom I can share thought and boot in the head. After this prose, you have already gained my approval and sympathy. Give the King this dandelion and he will know that I want you to take some of our beer to your Kingdom.
I left after sipping a glass of Bohemian Pilsner beer next to Duchess Bella. She told me that she likes to drink Bohemia in a narrow-necked bowl to retain the striking aromas of beer. And that this was her favorite beer from Prussia, not only because she had a medium body and bitterness, but also because she had a balance difficult to find in beers from other Kingdoms. I also learned that the Bohemian of Prussia has three types of hops, which bring a floral feature, a bit spicy and quite citrus for beer, something that is not common in the Lagers family.
Bella tell me with pride of that innovation and waved goodbye to me. As I did so, I noticed that there was a little bird “ligeirinho” on her shoulder.
When I left Bella, I had a smile on my face and a boot on my head, carrying only the certainty that thinking differently, and beyond what already exists, is the only way to dream. And what happened at my next destination is already history for a next time …
There was only one territory left to complete my mission and bring a lot of Prussia Bier to my Kingdom. To get to the Hop Mountain, I climbed steep lands and felt so cold that the tip of my fingers began to numb. Arriving there, I was greeted by a man named Antonin:
– Welcome, little Fritz. The King told me about you. Come on in, I’ll show you some of the factory.
Antonin had white hair and messed up and held a wand that only later discovered the function. He showed me the steps of making the IPA beer, which is a slightly drier, copper-colored beer with notes of caramel and bread, and an amazing aroma. In spite of having a higher alcohol content than all the others in the Kingdom of Prussia, Antonin told me that it was a very easy and delicious beer to drink, and it has already been compared to IPAS from very distant kingdom where the specialty is to prepare this beer. With Master Antonin, I learned that the color of the beer gives the size of the body, that there is an ideal temperature for the preparation and that the ingredients need to be placed in precise amounts.
I confess that having my hands distressed and dream bigger than myself wanted to give a master brewer and ended up adding some ingredients in the beer that was being prepared. While Antonin was distracted, I put them in the tubs, where the beer was being prepared, an orange blossom, a pinch of gravel, and a piece of cheese that was stored in my hat. When the beer was ready, I was eager for the first sip, suspecting that I had invented an even tastier formula. The first to disagree was Antonin:
– What is it, my son? What have you been doing in this beer? Antonin asked, spitting the sip he’d put in his mouth.
I ended up admitting it, and Antonin tapped his wand on my head. He said he did not want to rebuke my creativity, something they value very much. But that in the Kingdom in Prussia they follow a strict standard in the preparation of each beer. And that’s what keeps them going the same way any time of the year. He added that if I ever wanted to go back to make a new beer, the innovations would be welcome. And that he would be waiting for me with open arms, for even with my clumsy manner, I had gained his approval.
Antonin dismissed me with a hug and when I was leaving, he shouted: “And there’s one more thing! If you venture to brew beer in your Kingdom, do not forget to invite me! – and I received another wandering on the top of my head. I left there aching and knowing that I would have to face the cold of the road again. Still, I was radiant! He had obtained the approval of all the Dukes and now he only had to go to the King to get the beers promised. When I arrived at the castle, King Frederick was waiting for me at the door, next to a cart with several gallons of beer.
– Does that mean I’m not even going to need to make my way back on foot? I asked enthusiastically for the horse and the beers.
And before he could answer, I continued:
– You know, Your Excellency, that in this adventure I have discovered that this story of formula is too complicated for a being as intricate as I am. And even if I could follow every step of the recipe, I understood that more important than formula is form. Prussia is a mixture of Antonin, Aunt Frida, Bella, Klaus, you and all the other Prussians. It’s a combination of everything I’ve learned here: sympathy, courage, the importance of thinking differently and doing what we love with dedication.
I imagined that the King might have other commitments and did not want to extend my prose. But the truth is that I had not yet spoken about everything I learned in the Kingdom of Prussia. It was with the Prussians that I discovered the expression “high ruler” and understood that quality is more important than quantity. To achieve quality? It takes a group united as a family, thinking tactics, studying processes and traveling long ways in search of a dream. This they had. And they walked together, almost hand in hand.
It was with this piece of thought that my mission in the Kingdom of Prussia ended. I left in a cart full of beers, with a smile that did not fit in my face so small of Jipiu. True, I had not abandoned my curiosity to discover the ingredients of those beers, but I was sure that friendship is more important than the recipe. The adventure was over, but there was already a desire to return to the Kingdom of Prussia.