Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beat LA! Beat LA!

So everyone in the country is a little peeved at Arizona right now, right?  I get that.  I mean as Arizona's favorite son, I understand, and mostly agree, with these sentiments.  So when I came back to visit my family I thought, hell, if I can get my undergraduate university honor's program to slightly modify its recruitment brochure (and it only took me two terms as president to do that!) then clearly I can fix this whole immigration ordeal in Arizona.  Because, as should be evident, when I set my mind to something, I do it.  Except when I don't.  Let's be real, I get lazy sometimes.  So did I fix all of Arizona's problems?  I mean, if Arizona didn't have enough beer drinking done within its borders, then I guess I slightly fixed that problem.  Immigration?  Not so much.  So while Arizona does have problems with its laws, its racist, racist, sheriff, and, well, a lot of other things, it does have some good things going for it!  Like check out Arizona's state flag:

Pretty great, right?  Coolest state flag in the states if you ask me.  You know another good thing Arizona has going for it?  Its beers (I bet none of you saw that one coming.  You know, on account of being idiots and all [Way to keep your readership happy, Ryan!]).  Well, Wednesday through Friday, I drank a few solid Arizona brews.  Let's dive in, shall we?

I did a lot of afternoon/lunchtime beer drinking out here.  This started on Wednesday when my whole family went out to the San Tan Brewing Company for lunch.  San Tan is a small brewery in Chandler that is mostly famous for getting in a trademark dispute with ASU over the use of the name Sun Devil Ale.  Turns out, though, they also make some phenomenal beer.  This may sound odd, but I tend to be a little skeptical of brewpubs that have no distribution outside of the brewpub.  The beers, while generally pretty good, never really turn out to be something to write home about.  Well, San Tan turns out to be an exception.  Their HopShock IPA was phenomenal.  It might be the most floral IPA I've ever tasted.  Its a shame they don't bottle that because I buy the eff out of it.  Also good, their Hefeweizen.  Not as good as their IPA, but a pretty solid beer.  If anything, a little too on the banana-y side, but still pretty good!

After lunch, we went back and I split a big bottle of Deshutes Mirror Pond Ale, which is just a really, really good pale ale.  Deshutes is a pretty great brewery from Bend, OR.  However, its distribution hasn't made it out east yet, so the only time I ever have it is when I am in Arizona.  While I like limited distribution in theory, as I think its kind of neat when you can only get certain beer in certain locations and also it prevents all of American from becoming one homogenous strip mall, it does kind of stink when I can get a lot of California and Pacific Northwest brews out in New York.  Similarly, it blows my mind that no one in Arizona can get their hands on Brooklyn or Weyerbacher beers.  Well after the Mirror Pond, I had a Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale.  Don't let the "Double" fool you.  It's an English bitter clocking in at 5%.  My dad loved this beer.  Me?  I thought it was perfectly drinkable, but nothing to write home (or on the internet! zing!) about.  My dad picked up a six pack because my friend told him it was the best beer he had ever had.  Well, drink more beers, my dad's friend.

Speaking of my dad, you might recall that he didn't think this blog was the greatest idea in the world, because I mean who wouldn't want their son to spend thousands of dollars on drinking an enormous amount of alcohol and then post about for all the world and potential employers to see?  But Thursday, my dad set the drinking pace with six beers!  At times he was one ahead of me!  We went out to lunch at Four Peaks, perhaps Arizona's most famous (and probably best) microbrewery after an aborted attempt to go to a different AZ brewery, Papago Brewery. At Four Peaks at had their Oatmeal Stout which is really good.  Not as chocolately as most oatmeal stouts tend to be and I appreciated that.  We also picked up a growler of their Hop Knot IPA, another fantastic IPA.  Arizona, it would seem, loves itself some hops.  Well back home my dad and I split the growler, three full pint a piece, while getting our hearts broken by the lunatic Ron Artest.  So we finish the growler (or should I say he finished his third beer while I'm still drinking mine), we're both at four beers on the day, and lo and behold, my dad walks downstairs with another beer!  I'm not going to let this guy pass me, so I drain my beer, and go up and grab another Firestone DBA.  Well, we finish those, and guess what?  Another round of DBAs!  I think my dad has a problem.  Him and Liz should both go get help.  (I should also note that my mom had about 3 or 4 beers over the course of this day as well.  I don't know what it is about my presence that drives my parents to drink, but if it means more beer for me, well I'll take it!)

Friday was a Tale of Two Ryans.  An old friend, and Friend of the Blog (who also happens to share my namesake), and I met up for lunch at the Main Ingredient, a pretty sweet house-turned-restaurant out in Phoenix.  There I had a Four Peaks Sunbru (their Kolsch-style ale) and a Odell Red Ale, both on tap and both, get this $2.50 a piece!!!!!!!!!  Insane.  Absolutely insane.  I don't know if the restaurant is staffed by illegal migrant workers, but 2.50 for quality craft brew?  Some things about Arizona aren't so bad.  But here's something about Arizona that IS bad.  No public transportation to think of.  I had to think about what beers I got based on the fact that I had to drive home.  For my second round I wanted to get a Stone Imperial Russian Stout, but then thought about its ABV content, and then thought about my drive, and then thought about how its probably not a good idea to drink a 10% beer and then get my car for forty minutes.  So I opted for the Four Peaks kolsch, a beer with literally half the alcohol content.  In NYC, never a problem.  I drink what I want, when I want (that's not even remotely true).  But given that Arizona, while superior to NY in state flags, is inferior to NY in having subways and stuff.  So out here Responsibility is my first, middle, and last name.  And here I have been trying to keep my identity secret.  Well, it's out there now.  This blog is written by Responsibility Responsibility Responsibility.  At home that night I had another Deshutes Inversion IPA (a lot of IPAs, I know) and thus ended my Arizona drinking.

So states I've drank in: NY, AZ, CT, and PA.  Watch out, other 44 states in the continental US, you're next (except for probably Utah, your 3.something limit on alcohol content is too stupid for words).

Total Beers: 421
Where I Should Be: 405.479

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