Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The 1000th Beer: Wherein I Drink My 1000th Beer

I want to start this post off by saying that I am horrible, just absolutely horrible with remembering names.  I mean seriously, I am awful at it.  People, movies, beers, you name it (pun!): I have a hard time remembering names across the board.  I say this because I am going to mention some people by name in this post.  Some people, I know their names because they're either my dad, my wife, or my friends.  Others, I know their names because they signed it for me (we'll get there) or someone handed me a piece of paper with the name written on it so I could make sure I remembered it.  I say all this for one reason: the woman that kick started this whole shocking party, the woman that played an absolutely central role in all of this, and whose contributions I both vividly remember and wildly appreciate, well, I can't for the life of me remember her name and I have been feeling seriously bad about since I got home that evening.  Also, there are some pictures of me in here.  I'm the guy with the striped sweater that you'll see drinking a beer.  It's the second to last post here and I just don't care anymore.  With that said, let's get back to the story, already in progress.

So Liz sees the note on the chalkboard pictured in the previous post.  I see it and think, "Awesome!  How'd they know I would be here?"  I later deduced that I had been tagging the Gate in all of my twitter posts about the event, so they must have seen it there.  Anyway, I figure, awesome, some local recognition!  When I go up to order my thousandth beer, I'll let them know, hey that's me, they'll say awesome and that'll be that.  Well, next thing I know (this is still around 4:45ish), the woman whose name I now forget (again sorry!) goes and changes the chalkboard.  I think she's updating the draft list, but instead I see she puts up an even BIGGER welcome notice, pictured above and to the right.  After I see that, I go up and introduce myself as the 1000 Beer Year Guy.  We chat for a few a minute or two, talking about the past year and all that, then she goes back over to the bar and I think, "Man, that was super nice of her to put that up there," and again think that will be just about all the fanfare associated with the event.

Around 4:45, my friend Mike shows up with his dog and a super awesome sign he made for me to commemorate the event.  That's the sign to the left there, as modeled in my apartment.  It was displayed prominently (and awesomely) that evening on a mantle in the Gate, book-shelfed by two candles placed there by the woman from the Gate, giving it a cool, important atmosphere, but you couldn't really read the lettering in any of the photos I have from the night.  So there it is!  Additionally, Mike thought it would be cool if everyone who came out for the evening signed the back of it (hence where I'm pulling some names from), which was a great idea!  Thanks Mike!  After the sign goes up on the mantle, I see the woman from the Gate (we'll just go with TWFTG for now, sorry!) talking to Pat Fondlier (whose name is signed on the board, hence why I remember it).  I've seen Pat at the Gate a bunch of times, and his beard is the stuff of legends, but I've never actually met him before.  He's the "beermeister," as the above linked article describes him, at the Gate and he also works for Smuttynose which is pretty awesome.  If you've ever been to the Gate, you'll instantly recognize him in the photos below.

Anyway, he comes over and starts talking to me about the whole 1000 beer year project.  Apparently he's read this here blog before, which just about floored me on account of I didn't think anyone but my parents and in-laws actually kept track of this thing, much less actual beer industry people.  We're also talking about why I chose the Gate as the location of my 1000th beer, so here seems like an appropriate place to talk about that.  The Gate may be the best bar in all of New York City.  Not only do they have one of the best tap selections in all of New York, but they also have the best atmosphere in all of New York.  It's kind of weird, I've always thought of the Gate as sort of a destination bar, because the tap selection really is amazing and it's not really in my neighborhood, but it really does have the quintessential "neighborhood bar" feel to it.  Imagine that your neighborhood was filled with really great people that all loved really great beer but weren't in any sense snobby about it.  Well, this is the bar that would be in your neighborhood.  Also, another huge plus is that it has a ton of space.  I've never been there and not gotten a seat.  The Gate is already my favorite bar in the city, but add to that that I wanted a bar with enough space to sit around and talk with my family and friends, and, well, the Gate just had the perfect combination of ingredients.  Also, everyone working there seemed legitimately excited/honored that I'd chose their bar.  I mean this place has some of the biggest beer events in New York and they were excited that some dood with a seldom-read blog was having a beer there.  Amazing.  Also, and I wasn't aware of this before that evening, but the Gate is the type of place where apparently nights like the one I had there can happen, which is always, always a plus.

So we take some pictures in front of the sign (way more picture taking than I anticipated took place! Also, here's where I'd like to thank Dennis Flynn from Stone Brewing for sending me pics he took that evening, including the one up there. And yes, that served two purposes. 1) To legitimately thank Dennis, and 2) To drop that someone from Stone Brewing was at my 1000th beer.  Sue me.  I was excited!) and Pat says he wants to buy my 1000th beer for me and asks what I was thinking of getting.  At this point in time I was down to two options: 1) A 50 oz magnum of 2005 Anchor Christmas Ale or 2) A pint of Wells Bombadier Cask Ale, one of only two casks of that beer in the US, both rare and perfectly worthy beers for the occasion.  Pat says go with the Anchor Christmas Ale, which I was already leaning towards because 1) I could share some with Liz and my dad and that would be nice and 2) It would take a while to drink so people that showed up late could still partake in me drinking the 1000th beer.  So Pat goes over to get the magnum (pictured left) and then TWFTG (again, sorry!  When I'm back at the Gate next time, I'm getting your name, immediately tattooing it on my arm so I don't forget it in transit to my apartment, and going back and putting it in this post), tells me that the owner of the Gate, Bobby Gagnon (I had Pat write his name down for me so I wouldn't forget it, as I am wont to do), told her a few days ago that, while he couldn't make it, he wanted to personally buy my 1000th beer for me.  They were selling that magnum for $35, which would have easily been the most I ever spent on a beer, and Bobby Gagnon buys it for me.  Amazing.  Seriously amazing.  I'll say it again later, but I'll say it here now, thank you, and I mean thank you Bobby Gagnon and the Gate for seriously hooking me up.

So now its 4:55ish, a few others have shown up, more are coming soon.  I've got a note written on the draft list, a giant plaque displayed on a mantle, and a 50 oz magnum of Anchor Christmas Ale which has been cellared from 2005, courtesy of the Gate, waiting for me at the bar.  If you've ever seen a happier man in your life, well, that man must've been pretty damned happy.  I'm waiting till 5:10ish to open that thing, another test of will power, just to make sure everyone who wanted to be there for the 1000th will be there.  At 5:10, the crowd is as follows: my dad, Liz, Mike, Amy, Brian, Dave, Emily, Eric K, Ben, Ali, Larry, Pat, Dennis, and TWFTG, which is about 10 more people than I had anticipated being there.  So, with a crowd (partially pictured above) assembled, I'm ready to do this thing.  I'm going to break it down in slow-mo for you here.

First, Pat comes and opens the magnum 2005 Anchor Christmas Ale.

Then, he pours it in to the mug Liz had made for me for the occasion (it has My 1000 Beer Year 2010 engraved on it, but you can't really see that in the pictures.  But the mug is awesome.  Thanks Liz!) and into a few glasses they brought over for others (my dad and Liz each drank a glass, the other two?  You know it was this guy.)

I make a short speech (not pictured, and largely incoherent.  I'll make a longer and more coherent one both in this post and the wrap-up one).  After the speech, well, there's nothing left to do but drink my 1000th beer!

I take my first gulp and get a nice round of applause from the people in our group.  After that, TWFTG makes an announcement to the whole bar, explaining to them what's going on over there, and I get another round of applause from the whole bar which was pretty cool!  The 2005 Anchor Christmas Ale was delicious.  As anticipated, it took a little while to drink, but not that long, as by that time, all milestones aside, I was pretty thirsty for a beer.  While I'm drinking, a whole host of other people show up including Jessica, Crystal, Eric H, Sam, Christina, Lisa, and Kate.  Check out the plaque with all their signatures!

After about an hour (okay, a little under an hour, in case you haven't noticed, I like drinking beer), I announce my last gulp, receive a nice "here! here!" and proceed to finish off the magnum.  I did it.  I drank 1000 beers.  I know it sounds like a really dumb thing to feel really accomplished about, but I did it, and it felt great (I'll get more in to that in my actual final post).  But yeah, that's the story of my 1000th beer.

To recap, let's compare what I thought the evening was going to be like with what it turned out to be.

What I thought it would be: Me, my dad (and even he was late game addition), Liz, maybe three friends, sitting at a table, me dropping $35 on a beer, quietly drinking it with the few people at my table, patting myself on the back, and absolutely zero fanfare.

What it turned out to be: A party with over 20 people, an amazing beer and unexpected fanfare courtesy of the Gate and Bobby Gagnon, and really, one of the more surprisingly and, frankly, touching nights of my life.  I was always a little nervous about the night of the 1000th.  It seemed like it would be one of those New Years Eve/St. Paddy's Day types of deals where because it's supposed to be a big party and a ton of fun, the hype always ends up making the actual party disappointing.  I didn't want to hype up the 1000th all that much because I didn't want it fall under the weight of expectations.  Well let me say, the night exceeded even my highest of expectations.  I seriously did not expect anything like that.

There are a million thanks to dole out here (Side note, this list of thanks is specifically directed at the people who made the evening.  A more comprehensive list of thanks for the year is coming in the next post, so don't feel left out!)  First, I need to thank Liz, because she was the one who kept on getting on my case about actually setting something up.  Also, thanks to Liz for just about everything else you'd thank a wife for after spending a year drinking 1000 beers.  Second, I need to thank my dad who flew all the way out from Arizona to be there for the 1000th.  He literally flew in at midnight the night before and left the very next morning, all for the culmination of an enterprise that he has supposedly been against all year, and that, as you can imagine, meant a whole lot to me.  Check out the two of us sharing in the 1000th (the glass he's holding has some of the Anchor Christmas ale in there)!

I want to thank all my friends that trekked out in the cold for this event.  I know that most of you still had school and work stuff that you were in the middle of, and that it wasn't in the most convenient location for a lot of you, but I really appreciate you all coming out and making the party what it was.  It really meant a lot to me.  As my dad noted the next morning, I've got a really great group of friends,  Check out a few of you (sorry to those not pictured, I've literally put every pic I have of the evening up here, if you have a pic of you at the event, send it my way and it'll go up here!) with the sign for what's next on my thank-list!

And of course I need to thank everyone at the Gate.  What I expected was an awesome bar at which to quietly enjoy my 1000th beer.  What I got was more than I could have ever imagined.  Not only were you guys amazing hosts for the evening, but you also had the perfect 1000th beer on hand.  Seriously, I can't say enough nice things about how much fun I had there and how much I appreciate everything you guys did for me.

And that's the epic (to me, at least) tale of my thousandth beer.  I've got one more year-wrap-up post in me, but it's not going to go up until after New Years.  We'll let this one digest a little and that'll give me time to make sure my final post is exactly what I want it to be.  But even though this isn't my last post, I'm still a little bummed, as that's the last time I'll be describing drinking a specific beer in 2010.  The beer descriptions never got any better (as is evident from my sole description of my 1000th beer being "delicious"), but I've always enjoyed writing about specific beer drinking experiences, whether it be having a cold one on my couch or at a party with friends and family.  And with that sobfest out of the way, won't you all please raise a glass with me while you read the final instantiation of the ol' two-words-colon-number combination.

Total Beers: 1000

Monday, December 20, 2010

The 1000th Beer: The Beginning

I should have named the last post "The Penultimate Penultimate Penultimate Post," or something like that, because you're getting a few more posts.  I originally intended to have the tale of my final beer and my wrap-up post being the same beer.  Then again, I didn't think there would be much of a tale to tell.  I originally thought that my 1000th beer would spent at a table at a bar with Liz, my dad, and maybe a few friends.  I thought I'd have the beer, pat myself on the back, and then just hang out like any other evening.  No big deal.  Welp, it turned out to be a kind of a big deal.  Before I get to the tale of the 1000th, and clue you into what that beer was (though you Twitter followers already know the answer [I thought I'd clue them in given that twitter played an intricate role in the evening]), I'll let you in on the beers that preceded the epic 1000th.  When we last left off, I was at 994.

As foretold in the last post, I spent Friday afternoon cleaning and drinking a 25 oz Long Trail Imperial Porter (995).  That was my sole beer for that day.  Saturday morning I woke up and drank a Bethlehem Brew Works Rude Elf Reserve (996) while making breakfast for the in-laws, because what else am I going to drink while making breakfast?  The in-laws came, we had a nice Manhattan/Christmas-y day, and I drank a Harpoon Winter Warmer (997) with dinner.  In-laws left and I drank a Weyerbacher Merry Monks (998) while waiting for my dad to arrive in from Arizona.  My dad got in to my apartment around 12:30 in the morning and we split a 25 oz bottle of Dogfish Head's Miles Davis Bitches Brew (999).  It was delicious.

Jesus had his 40 days in the desert.  I had my Sunday, December 19th 2010.  Normally, not drinking a beer till 5 PM would be no big deal.  I mean that's all I had to do.  Just don't drink a beer till 5.  My dad and I wanted to watch the Cardinals/Panthers game, so we headed on over to Half Court at 1 to watch the game.  I don't know if you've ever gone to a sports bar and NOT bought a beer, but man, let me tell you, it's tough.  So halfway through the 2nd, my dad wants to get lunch.  He asks if there's any good sandwich places to eat at.  Of course there is.  And of course it's Bierkraft.  So we go to Bierkraft for lunch and I can't get a beer there.  Difficulty level of going to Bierkraft and not getting a beer > difficulty leve of going to a sports bar and not getting a beer.  So we eat our sandwiches and then head over to another sports bar to finish watching the game.  Still can't get a beer.  Finally, FINALLY, the game ends around 4 and we decide to head over to the Gate to secure ourselves a table for the two or three people I expect to show to this thing.  You know what's EXTREMELY difficult to do?  Sit at the Gate for an hour while your dad and your wife each drink a 21st Amendment Fireside Chat while your wife goes on and on about how it's much better on draft than from a can and not be able to taste it or buy a beer.

I want to first state that I did not call the Gate and tell them about drinking my 1000th beer there on that date.  I didn't drop in, didn't e-mail them, didn't message them on facebook, or do anything else to let them know about this event.  So we're sitting at the Gate, just me, my dad, and Liz, killing some time before 5 when I seriously expect maybe two or three people to show up, when Liz looks up at the chalkboard with the draft listings and sees this....

To be EPICALLY continued.....

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Penultimate Post

This is the last post before the post describing my 1000th beer.  It's weird how conscious I am of every beer now.  Starting this is endeavor, the 1000th beer seemed almost impossibly far away.  Prior to even, say, beer 700, every beer I drank seemed like Don Quixote taking another swing at the windmills.  You slay the mighty 1000 Beer Year by drinking one beer at a time, but I was fully expecting to find out the goal just couldn't be accomplished.  I'd get sick of drinking.  I'd just flat out get sick.  I'd run out of money.  I'd find that it was effecting my studies too much.  I'd find that it was effecting my health too much.  I'd find it that it was effecting my job hunt too much.  I'd find that it was effecting my life too much.

But the thing is, I never found out any of those things.  Drinking beer remained fun.  And, surprisingly enough, writing about drinking beer remained fun.  One of the unexpected parts about this year was finding that it was sometimes difficult to post.  When I started this thing, I figured that of course I would have at least 15 minutes a day to sit down and write something unique and entertaining about my previous day's drinking.  I thought I would have 365 discrete things to say about the life of a beer drinker, each one more insightful and funny than the last.  Well, as you probably noticed, that turned out not to be the case.  I feel like this thing has had its moments.  To the day I die, I'll still believe that the moral compass line in the BrewDog post was the best thing single sentence I'll have ever written in my life.  The sentence I just wrote might stand amongst the worst.  So what's so hard about writing amusing musings* every night?  Well, at least 65% of my beer drinking took place while hanging out at night on the couch with my wife.  You know what I like to do while drinking beer and hanging out on the couch with my wife?  Nothing.  Here's a real life conversation I had with someone in the past year.  This is exactly how the conversation went down, and I know you might not believe that based on how absolute douche-tastic this is going to sound, but seriously, this happened.

[setting: a party at a family friend's place.  a handful of us are about to play Scene It: Seinfeld]
Person: I've never seen Seinfeld.
Me: You've ever seen Seinfeld?
Person: Ummmmm, I'm too busy living my life in New York City to watch a show about people living in New York City.

And scene.

I hate to invoke that type of sentiment, but often I found I was too "busy" drinking beers on the couch with my wife to write about drinking beers on the couch with my wife.  Add to that the fact that I never got any better at actually describing beers, and sometimes writing would be a bit of a chore.**  But on I wrote!

Back to being conscious of every beer.  I went out to lunch with some friends after my last final yesterday.  We went to the Heartland Brewery in Union Square.  I had myself a Smiling Pumpkin Ale.  It was pretty good.  But then I thought, do I really want this to stand as one of my last 10 beers?  This is rarified air for a beer to be in (in which to be [that still doesn't seem correct]).  And normally I would get a second beer, because, you know, why not?  But I couldn't!  I had to think, "I have three days left of beer drinking and only 8 (now 7) beers I can drink!  Ration man, ration!"  And then I realized that every subsequent beer I would drink between then and the 1000th would likely take place on my couch.  Well, not wanting to spoil my last 6 or so beers on the dregs of a Park Slope Coop mix pack, I hit the Whole Foods beer store and got some supplies.  I picked up a Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Wild and an Avery The Reverend Belgian Quad, both of which I drank last night.  I also picked up a Long Trail Imperial Porter, which I'll probably drink today while cleaning my apartment, and a Dogfish Head Bitches Brew which I'll split with my dad when he gets in on Saturday night for the ol' 999th beer.

I'm pretty excited about the 1000th beer.  Not to get into it too much here (as my 1000th beer post is going to be the one that I finally talk about why I did this whole thing), but that'll be the 1000th time this year that I did something that I really like to do.  Can you think of 1000th things you did this year that you really enjoyed?  I can!  And with friends and family coming out, well, that'll just  be the icing on the cake.  I did the index for the book Beer and Philosophy.  In there is an article that I thought was pretty stupid at the time about Beer and Friendship which talks about the special bond you have with a person while going out for a beer together.  In my headier, analytic days, I thought the whole article was filled with too much continentally-I-can't-describe-it-but-I-know-it-when-I-see-it-or-feel-it type of gobbledegook.***  But now?  Now I sort of get it.  It forces you to communicate in an immediate and intimate way that other activities just can't.  Even going out for a meal with friends, you still have the breaks while you're actually eating.  When you get a beer with someone, it seems like you have to mean it.  And I've been extremely privileged to share a lot of beers with a lot of people this year.  Sunday, you should all come down to the Gate at 5 o'clock.  Because I sure would like to have one more beer with all of you before this year is through.

Total Beers: 994
Countdown: 6

*If I ever get a "color column" in a local, small town newspaper, I'm going to name it that and write under the name Hank Higglesworth.
**Here's a question, what's less interesting than writers writing about writing?  If you answered "Nothing.  Literally nothing is less interesting than writers writing about writing.  And aren't you being a pretentious ass calling yourself a writer?  And isn't this blog supposed to be about beer drinking?  Why aren't you writing about beer drinking?"  Well, you're probably correct!
***And you thought I would go the whole year without using that word.  You owe me ten bucks, Mr. Higglesworth!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Motorcycle Made of Fire Named the Flamemobile

NO TIME!  Last night I had a Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale.  It's ok.  It tasted "new," as it were.  Liz liked it, but she's sick so what does she know?  I also drank a Sam Smith India Ale and a Moa Lager (the non-dark variety!).  It had a weird, foamy texture!  See you tomorrow with a real post!

Total Beers: 991
Countdown: 9!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Dirty Dozen

This is getting real.  By the end of tonight, I will hopefully be in single digits.  While the drinking part has gotten easier, the finding time to post is uh, still a tad difficult.  The problem is that literally every minute of every day from now until I drink my 1000th beer is booked.  Seriously.  Check this out (I'll start with tomorrow):

8:00-12:45 - Breakfast/study/interview prep
12:45-1:45 - Interview
1:45 - 10 - Study/dinner

9:00 - 1:00 - Final
1:00 - Bed time - Eating/grocery shopping/cleaning

Waking up - 7:00 - Cooking/prepping apartment for the in-laws' visit
7:00 - bedtime - Liz's school's Christmas party

Waking up - Going to sleep - Brunch with in-laws/Pee Wee Herman on Broadway/Dinner with inlaws/Christmas stuff with in-laws

5:00 - 1000th beer!!!!!!

So there you go.  There's no time.  There's never any time!  For instance, right now?  I really need to be studying.  I don't say that in a "I'm a neurotic studier" way.  I say that in a "I have a final Thursday I haven't started studying for yet" way.

None of that had anything to do with beer.  Let's talk about beer, shall we?  Now that I'm in the final stretch, I'm trying to make every beer count (uhhhhhhh, pun?).  Gone are the Simpler Times (although tonight I think I'm going to drink TJ's bottle conditioned holiday ale).  On Sunday I limited myself to one beer, on account of having an 8 AM final.  That beer?  Probably my favorite of all time (at least top 3 that's for sure): Ommegang's Three Philosophers.  When two of those showed up in the Park Slope Coop Mix Pack, well, I was just about as happy as a clam.  Monday I had two Goose Island IPAs at Reservoir following a final.  Later that night I had a Duchesse de Bourgognes.  Well that's enough beer talk!  I'll remind you all about the 1000th beer, still happening this Sunday at 5 at the Gate in Park Slope on 5th Ave at 3rd Street!  Tomorrow you'll get a pretty lame-o update about tonight, but Thursday/Friday will be epic, epic I tells you!

Total Beers: 988
Countdown: 12 (ok, the video at the beginning is a bit premature, but the whole point is this is countdown time.  Also, that song isn't racist in the context of the musical, soooooo..........)


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Beer Regrets

Much like John Adams on his death bed, as I approach the end of this year, I find myself looking back at what I've accomplished and what I wish I would have done.  Not that I'm filled with remorse or anything, but I do have a few beer regrets.  To be clear, these aren't regrets for things I've done after drinking.  These are regrets over what I should have drank, where I should have drank, etc.  For example, I regret not compiling a spreadsheet from day one of every beer I drank and where I drank.  It'd be nice for analysis purposes now, like a spreadsheet could tell me what percentage of the beers I drank were, say, Brooklyn Lagers.  I tried to put together a comprehensive list a few weeks ago, but it was taking forever so I quit after logging like 50 beers.  That will be a task for an intern at the publishing company that inevitably releases my best selling book I suppose.  What got me thinking about my beer regrets is that Draft Magazine just arrived and it has their list of the 25 Best Beers of 2010.  I was glad to see beers like 21st Amendment's Monks Blood and Brooklyn's Sarachi Ace on their.  But what stood out for me was the inclusion of Short's Brewing Key Lime Pie.  Let me take you back to Michigan for a second.  While in Alpena, Liz and I went on a beer run with my dad.  We found a beer store with a TON of Michigan microbrews.  The stipulation was that we could only get one six pack, lest my grandparents think we were total drunks (a weird stipulation, but it was what it was).  After narrowing down the beers to Michigan microbreweries that I couldn't get in New York, I decided to get a Short's Brewing beer.  They had a ton of different things, from weird fruit beers to classic pale ales.  Seeing as how my family would be drinking this beer, I decided to go for a standard.  I grabbed the Pandemonium Pale Ale.  If you recall, this was the beer that was perpetually foamy and just not all that good.  You know what was sitting next to the Pandemonium Pale Ale?  The Key Lime Pie, one of Draft Magazine's Best Beers of 2010.  I had to make a choice, and I chose incorrectly.  Beer regrets.  This is sort of like when I go to a beer bar with a ton of different things on tap.  Do I get something I've already had that I know I like?  Do I try something new?  What if I get something new that's not that great when there are other beers that I haven't had that would be better?  It can get paralyzing at times.

Well, there's my daily dose of producticrastinating.  As to the beers for the past two days:  Friday I drank a Redbridge Gluten-Free Beer (still gross) and an Avery Brown Ale (still good).  Saturday was an excellent beer day in terms of both quality of beers and also quantity.  I had a Sam Smith Taddy Porter, 2 Duchesse de Bourgognes, a Two Brothers IPA and a Golden Pheasant Pilsner (okay that last beer wasn't so great).

Total Beers: 984
Countdown: 16.  All right.  Here we go.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blinding You With Science

It's finals time, which means I'm doing just about everything but study.  I get pretty good at doing productive-ish things that aren't exactly what I need to be doing.  For instance, I've got to eat dinner right?  So why wouldn't I make an elaborate meal that takes two hours of prep time?  I'm not procrastinating, I'm making dinner!  I've got to work out right?  So why not spend an extra hour doing the most non-intensive yoga possible?  I can't neglect my health just because it's finals time!  And in this vein of doing things I "need" to be doing, you're getting two posts, two days in a row, something last seen I think in 2007.

In the past, say, two years or so, I've been growing increasingly angry at myself for not getting an undergrad degree in science.  Nevermind that I'm terrible at science, that I withdrew from THREE separate intro-to-different-sciences courses in college, and that I'm 80% sure that I have the fine motor skills of a toddler, making lab work pretty impossible for me.  If I had a science degree, the world would be my oyster.  It's literally the best thing you can have in the legal world.  You can do all the law nonsense that us liberal arts majors can do, PLUS EVERYTHING ELSE.  Oh yeah, you know who's still hiring in these dire times?  Patent/bio law firms because like three people on earth can do that stuff, the three people who had the foresight to major in some science before going to law school.  You know what else you can do with a science degree?  EVERYTHING ELSE ON EARTH.

Why this rant right now and what does it have to do with beer?  Well I was watching the excellent show Brew Masters last night, which chronicles the comings and goings of the Dogfish Head Brewery, and I noticed that everything everyone was doing on that show was science related.  Their yeast expert?  I looked her up.  She's younger than me and she has one of the dopest jobs on earth.  How'd she get it?  Well, she majored in a science in undergrad, applied for the job and got it!!!!  All of Dogfish Head's brewers?  Science majors.  So my ultimate plan in life is to work a crappy legal job that pays the bills and then quit to do something awesome like start a brewery.*  You know what would make both the getting a job and starting a brewery parts infinitely easier?  A science degree.

Both of my parents are engineers, which is another major that is science-y and super practical.  Like all good modern parents, they instilled in me a belief that I could be anything I want to be/do anything I set my mind to.**  I didn't have to be an engineer.  I want to go into liberal arts?  Go for it!  There are plenty of useful things I can do with a poly sci/philosophy degree!  Well hopefully when I have kids, I can instill in them the same attitude.  You don't have to be a student till you're 27!  You don't have to get two worthless undergrad degrees and a somehow more worthless grad degree!  You can study things that will make you a contributing member of society!  But of course macrobrew will still be strictly verboten.  Another thing I wonder about in Brew Masters is this: Sam Calagione's kids have to be trying some of that beer, right?  Unfortunately the Discovery Channel can't show/broach one of the more interesting subjects about the life of a brewer: the brewer's attitude regarding his product and his kids.  I'm sure he's not getting his kids wasted, but there's got to be some kind of healthy balance between "Don't touch this stuff till you turn 21" and "Go nuts, kids!"  I'd imagine an artisan cheese maker's kids would know a whole ton about cheese.  Why wouldn't a brewer's kids know a ton about beer?  I don't care about erecting a retired Burning Man fort on your brewery's grounds!  Answer these questions, Brew Masters!

And so we get to the beers I drank last night.  It actually was a fair amount, because 1) the studying during the day went well, 2) Sunday is a one-or-none beer evening and 3) I could!  I had an Erdinger Weizen, whose bottle notes that it is "Crystal Clear."  I was hoping it would be like Crystal Pepsi and actually be clear, but unfortunately it was just a piss-yellow beer flavored beer.  Followed that up with a Stone Pale Ale, an Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter, and 2 Fuller's Extra Special ESBs.  So there's that!  In the grand scheme of producticrastinating (which is my new term for doing things like this), I'm sure you'll be hearing from me tomorrow!

Total Beers: 977
Count Down: 23 (I realize putting this number here is pretty stupid, but being but a liberal arts major, I don't have any real conception of what does and doesn't constitute a good idea)

*Note to potential employers, I'm not talking about quitting your job, which is surely great.  I'm talking about quitting that other one, you know, the one that sucks, which again, is not your job, which I'm super jazzed about.
**Like drink 1000 beers in a year and end a sentence with a preposition!  Thanks folks!