Friday, July 30, 2010


Quick update before I am off to the Mets/Diamondbacks game.  Last night I had one beer, a 25 oz bottle of Josh Childress.  That sounds kind of gross when I say it like that.  I drank the beer I had purchased intending to use as my Josh Childress beer.  I think I may have to get another beer though, as this one was way disappointing.  The hell with it.  I'll get another.  The beer I drank last night was a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid.  It was disappointing in two respects.  First, it says its 102 IBUs.  Tasted like about 60.  Second, it tastes like its about 10-11% ABV.  It actually clocks in at 8%.  You know me, I like the alcohol taste, but I generally like that taste to be backed up by actually alcohol.  So a rare miss for Lagunitas.   I mean it was perfectly serviceable, but not what I expected.  What wasn't a miss?  The price of the bottle.  It ran $7 here in NYC for a big bottle.  Lagunitas consistently keeps their prices low and you've got to love them for that.  But perhaps the most disappointing thing about last night: I'm now out of beer in the apartment.  I mean I have three Africa beers that I'm drinking sometime next week, but outside of that?  Nothing.

Also, as a bit of a preview, I'm heading out to Michigan for two weeks in August, meaning its going to get a little slow around these parts.  But what I'd like for you all to do is recommend some Michigan breweries I should hit.  Bonus points for breweries in the Upper Peninsula, because I'll be there for a good chunk of time.  I probably won't be able to actually go to any of the ones you recommend, what with this trip being tied to family obligations and stuff, but it would be nice to know what I'm missing.

Total Beers: 598
Where I Should Be: 575.342

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Too Proud To Turn Around, She's Gone

I feel a little bit like Ace of Base right now.  You remember those guys, right?  Jenny, Joker, Linn, and Buddha?  The Swedish Beatles, as I'm sure someone at some point called them.  You may remember their hit songs, The Sign, Don't Turn Around, and All That She Wants.  Well let me tell you a very brief behind the music story about this band.  Full disclosure: I'm in a folk-rock Ace of Base tribute band.  I love those guys.

As weird as it sounds, the story of Ace of Base is the classic American Rock Story.  So those three songs I just listed are all from 1993's ubiquitous album The Sign (or Happy Nation, as the album was called in every other country on earth, America is weird sometimes).  But let's start at the beginning.  Ace of Base was formed by a group of high school friends back in 1987.   It was a rag tag group of buddies doing what they loved best: playing weird techno songs.  Here's how rag tag the group was: one of the original members left in 1989 because he wanted to go to a Rolling Stones concert on the night of one of their gigs. This was no corporate manufactured pop band.  These were real, honest-to-god, friends that liked playing catchy techno-pop songs.  So, as the classic Swedish Techno Band Story goes, the group of friends keeps playing gigs, gets bigger and bigger, the right song (for the record that song is All That She Wants) gets in the right person's hands, and finally the band bootstraps themselves up into mainstream success.  Ace of Base becomes a huge international success.  Let's enjoy them for a second.

At this point I just want to reemphasize that the members of Ace of Base actually wrote all of the songs that appear on The Sign.  A bunch of Swedish high school friends wrote one of the most successful albums of the the 1990s and one of the greatest albums of all time.  So as what happens when young people gain international success, they got burnt out.  They'd been touring together, non-stop, for several years, playing the same songs, night in, night out.  Not only that, but after writing the greatest masterpiece of the last 2,000 years, they were just tapped out.  So what does of Ace of Base do?  They say, you know what, it's been a great ride, but we'd all like to go our separate ways.  The record company responds, the hell you will.  See, the thing is, they signed like a six record deal or something ungodly like that.  The Record Company said march right down to the practice room, attention and fame a career, a career.  Ace of Base froze.  They had nothing left.  In addition to the exhaustion of world-wide tour, the pressure of recording a follow up album crippled them.  They left song-writing duties to others and then gradually faded out into obscurity.  Tragic, tragic stuff.

All of this is to say, I'm nervous about the crushing pressure that comes with being a newly famous international beer writer.  That's not true in the slightest.  Here's what this comes down to.  I was thinking, "Hey, I have a few new followers now after my epic showdown with Beer and Whiskey Bros.  I hope I don't succumb to the pressure much like Ace of Base did in the wake of their awesome album The Sign."  So that's why I tell you this story.  That and I love that story.  Ace of Base was just a gang of friends that happened to become famous and then got taken down by The Man.  Damn The Man.

So I'm trying to avoid being taken down by the man.  It's been a pretty wild week here at My 1000 Beer Year.  First, my interview with Drink With The Wench drops.  Then the Bethlehem Brew Works people get in contact with me for something that is yet to be determined but will surely be amazing (if it involves me going to the Brew Works for any reason what so ever, it will be awesome).  But yeah, they have my full name and real e-mail address and everything so there's that!  If you're in the Bethlehem area,  go check them out and tell them My 1000 Beer Year sent you.  And then, as if those two things aren't enough, I find myself in the middle of a blood feud that's reverberated across the internet.  For real though, big ups to the Beer and Whiskey Bros. for responding to criticisms in a rational, coherent manner, and convincing manner, unlike, say, uh, James from BrewDog.  Sensible and cordial disagreement.  If only craft beer drinkers occupied the other two branches of government.  Anyway, crazy week.

Fortunately, I love drinking beer and no amount of pressure can keep me from that.  Unfortunately, the Phoenix Suns series will be dropping in October, in the lead up to the start of the season.  Robin Lopez entry is done and I've started the Jared Dudley entry, but I figured I'd write them all and the post them in a series at a time that made sense instead of willy-nilly throughout the off season.  So for now, beer drinking!  Last night I drank three Southamptons (the usual run) on the couch while watching the worst movie I've seen in my life.  You can all make guesses at to what that was in the comments.  Tonight's pretty slow drinking wise (updates tomorrow) but tomorrow I'm going to my first ever Mets game, and I hear a certain Brooklyn Brewery runs that Citi Field, so I'm psyched.  Till then, keep Living In Danger.

Total Beers: 597
Where I Should Be: 572.602

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

'Eh! I'm Walkin' 'ere!

At the risk of bumping my epic BrewDog post down a peg, I do have the everyday business to get back to.    You know, the beer drinking.  Fortunately for keeping the epic post still in view (but unfortunately for my numbers and general drunkenness), beer drinking has been at a minimum these past couple of days.  Sunday I had no beers.  You might have noticed that I needed some drying out.  So that's what I did!  Monday I was right back on (off?) the wagon.  Three Southamptons (Double White, Bier de Mars, and India Pale Ale) on the couch.   Yesterday (Tuesday) I made a trip to New York's famous Spumoni Gardens.  While their pizza was super dope, they had no beer there.  I had a Southampton Bier de Mars on the couch when we got home.  That's all for now.  I'm sitting on some pretty big news and some pretty big posts, but I want to let the previous post stand for a bit.  And now, the numbers:

Total Beers: 594
Where I Should Be: 569.863

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In Defense of BrewDog

I am not lying to you when I say the Robin Lopez post is done.  But given the fact that I have a few new readers now (or so I am intuiting? deducing?), I figure I'd talk about something we can all get behind.  Beer.  Well, I guess what I want to talk about isn't something everyone can get behind.  I want to talk about BrewDog.

For those of you unfamiliar, of which there should be few, BrewDog is a brewery from Scotland known for brewing beers that have an ABV content upward of 55%.  I say there should be few of you unfamiliar with BrewDog because it has a received a huge amount of mainstream press.  They started with a beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin which clocked in at 32%, believed at the time to be the world's most alcoholic beer.  Some other brewer bested that ABV, so BrewDog released Sink the Bismark, which clocked in at 41%.  Well, what's creating the brew-ha-ha (puns!) now is their new release The End of History (EOH), a beer clocking in at a whopping 55%.  Not only that, but they only made 11 bottles of them.  And they're selling them for $760-$1100.  And each bottle is wrapped in a taxidermed (not sure that's a word) squirrel.  Here's a picture:

The mainstream media did their usual "Isn't this wacky!" and

pieces, but the craft brew drinkers went nuts!  Nuts in a bad way.  If you care to register for, which you should, you can read some of the vitriol here.  Beer people are not happy.  But that's anonymous commenting on the internet.  Anonymous commenters on the internet are never happy.  There's just no pleasing those guys!  But here's a funny thing.  Legit beer writers weren't too happy about this either.  Brew Club hints at it.  But lovers of all good things alcohol, and friends of the 1000BeerYear, Beer and Whiskey Brothers go right at it.  I just want to say, Beer and Whiskey Bros. is one of my favorite beer/alcohol blogs on all of the internet.  If you're reading this blog and not theirs, well, you're an idiot, but I appreciate that you're not reading them because their writing makes mine look like amateur hour and if anybody gets wind that there is good beer writing out there, I'm done!  Done I tells ya!  With that precursor of mad props and respect out there, I have to say, I think they couldn't be more wrong on this one.  Allow me to tell you why.

First I want to say that in fairness to the Bros, they didn't really present an argument, just a series of impressions or feelings they had about EOH, and it is pretty silly to try to "refute" or "defend against" someone's opinions or feelings.  That said, I still think they are wrong.  Second, I wouldn't write this at all if it wasn't for BrewDog's brewer James Watts coming across like a complete lunatic and angry, angry person when he tried to defend his beer to angry internet commentators.  I believe his first mistake was responding to people anonymously commenting on the internet.  Third, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, read their piece.  I'll link to it again.  And once more for good measure.  As always I do my best not to strawman, but keep me honest and read the thing for yourself.  With that said, let's do this thang.

If I'm understanding the criticism correctly (which it's very likely that I am not), it's that BrewDog is more attention-seeker than brewer.  And this is bad for beer.  The whole article is essentially an explanation of the facts (high ABV beer, silly costumes, weird packaging, etc), explained in, let's say, a less than favorable manner, in order to lead up to the following sentence:

"If I had any doubt that BrewDog cared more about the media than the people drinking their beers, I don’t now.   The guys are using craft beer for glory and profit and aren’t really giving anything back."

You know, I've tried to wrap my brain around this, and I just don't understand the vitriol for a beer that is 1) admittedly mainly an academic exercise and 2) never been tasted by anyone throwing around the criticisms.  Yes, BrewDog loves hype.  Yes, the squirrels and the wacky press releases primarily serve the hype.  But when has marketing been a no-no in craft beer?  If you look at the squirrels as just another form of packaging, like naming your beer something wacky (and if you have ethical concerns about the use of these road-killed animals, well, you better check your moral consistency meter because I'd wage dollars to donuts that it's pointing directly at "hypocritical"), then how is BrewDog unique?  Craft beer is riddled with silly names and silly roll-out events.  You don't like the squirrels because it's too ridiculous?  Well, I'd imagine you're not pleased with Stone's Arrogant Bastard, or Santa's Butt, or Monkey's Butt (ok, that beer is actually gross), or any number of gimicky beer names.  I don't think you can really have it both ways here.  Either craft beer is somehow above the fray of marketing, or I guess more specifically, irreverant marketing, in which case chuck out the names of almost all of 21st Amendment's brews, or it's not.  To say the only kind of zaniness allowed in the craft beer market is the type that illicits dry, golf-clap-esque chuckles is just wrong-headed.  While it may go toward "Respecting Beer," I think it disrespects beer drinkers.  Because saying this type of marketing is bad for beer is a normative judgment.  It says craft beer drinkers shouldn't be exposed to this.  Or maybe it says that real craft beer drinkers wouldn't want to be exposed to this.  Either way, critisizing EOH based on packaging and marketing makes craft beer drinking out to be an elitist endeavor which, based on just about every beer-festival I've ever been to, it most certainly is not, nor should it be.

As to placing more emphasis on media than the people drinking their beers, I think that it's kind of a strange claim to make against a beer that is literally only available to 11 people.  Those 11 people, the people drinking the beers, I believe, are the people BrewDog most ardinantly cares about.  No one is forcing anyone to buy EOH (or for that matter TNP or STB).  I think the people that are buying it are beer drinkers that think to themselves, "Holy Hell, a 55% beer?  I've got to try that."  Given that's the limited market, BrewDog delivers exactly what those drinkers want.  It's weird to talk about it being a substandard 55% ABV beer, given that at that point, standard tasting criteria for beer go out the window.  If I were still in grad school, and thank Satan I am not, I'd probably write a term paper on Wittgenstein and tasting 55% beer, but the distilled (pun?) point is that at that point, you have to throw out all your tasting concepts and criteria.  You can not like it, but what you can't do is not like it because it doesn't taste like a 55% beer should.  If there were actually criteria for this type of beer, then maybe the claim that they care more about media than their drinkers would be legit.  But there isn't.  So it isn't.

It's another thing to say they don't care about the people drinking the beer if you're talking about the extremely limited distribution/high cost.  If you think that that's just another marketing trick, and that if BrewDog really cared about beer drinkers they would let more than 11 people try this, then you may have a claim.  But similarly, couldn't we also throw stones at Westvleteren for its rather intense restrictions on its beer distribution?  Is it the brewer's duty to put its beer in as many people's hands that want it?  I've talk about this briefly before and will probably do so again in the future, but my gut tells me the limited distribution isn't a marketing trick so this whole point is moot. 

Unfortunately, what I really think is telling in the Bros' criticism is their contention that they would be more willing to accept this beer if it came from a Dogfish Head or a Bruery.  This is sort of a tough point to argue against because I think it goes not just to the core of a beer drinker's philosophy, but to the core of a person's whole life view as well.  Ok, maybe that's a touch overblown.  Unless you have some ethical reasons not to (like Yuengling and their union busting or Macrobrew and their farming policies), I think a true beer drinker shouldn't discount any beer just because of the label on the bottle.  Discounting a beer because it's not sufficiently "credentialed" reeks of snobbish elitism and needlessly puts a limiting principle on a beer drinker's drinking.  When I say this went to the core of a beer drinker's philosophy I mean this: There are two fundamental ways to approach beer drinking.  You can ask what the beer is and then drink it or you can drink it and then ask what the beer is.  I know, I know, 9 times out of 10 you know what beer you're drinking before you drink it, but the point is, would you rather have a pre-conceived judgment of the beer or would you rather go in blank?  Would you rather have a rubic by which to measure what you're about to drink to see if its for you or would you rather drink it, see if you like it, and then see where it maps onto your previous concepts of what a beer should taste like?  When we start forming instant judgments about a beer, Dogfish Head = Good, BrewDog = Bad, before we've had the beer, well, then we're not being honest craft beer drinkers.  It's funny to invoke Dogfish Head here, because if I recall, before they became the rockstars of the craft beer world, they were prejudged for their "extreme" behavior.  10% ABV?  Who would do that?  That's not beer!  Dry hopping for 120 minutes!  You're not thinking of the beer drinker!  You may not like their marketing style, but if getting up in arms about a high ABV beer just because it's a high ABV beer, well that feels a little bit like deja vu all over again.  So I fail to see how BrewDog, just by making a seriously high ABV beer, isn't "respecting beer."  But I would say that if we are judging a beer based on the bottle and not the contents of the bottle, we maybe respecting our previous experiences/prejudices, but we are not respecting beer.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Welcome Drink With the Wench And Followers

Big ups to Drink With The Wench.   I did an interview with them a little bit ago and they posted it today!  You should all go read it here!  I'm pretty excited about it.  Also, for those of you just checking this blog out now for the first time, I think I'd like to direct you to the back history.  This past month (or let's be honest, two) hasn't been the greatest in terms of posting.  But I swear I used to be funny.  I used to have witty things to say about beer and beer drinking.  But the oppressive heat plus the summer 9 to 5 have sucked the life force from  I have no idea.  Anyway, there are some links to the left there that I would personally recommend.  Or hit previous entries a couple of times and I'm sure you'll come across a gem or two.  Anyway, welcome!  I'd love it if you stuck around for a while!

And for your viewing pleasure, here's the picture of myself I submitted:

Can of Pennies

Thursday: 3 Southampton (India Pale Ale, Altbier, Bier de Mars) on the couch.
Friday: 2 Brooklyn Lagers, 1 Brooklyn Summer at Lunasa.
Saturday: 1 Brooklyn Lager, 1 Kelso Pilnsner at Mullholland's, 1 Brooklyn Lager and 1 Lagunitas IPA at Charlestons, 2 big ol' Blanche de Bruxelles at the beer garden in Williamsburg.

I spent today recovering and watching Inception.  My brain is fried, fried I tells ya.  It's too hot to function here.  The title is literally the last thing I heard on television.  You ever read Flowers For Algernon?  I feel like this blog is that story in reverse.  I'll explain that metaphor (that's a simile!!!) when my brain turns back to something something.  That doesn't even make sense.  The story is essentially the same in reverse.  I guess I mean inverted?   Holy hell I'm going to stop now.


Total Beers: 589 (I had to add the numbers about 7 or 8 times to make sure this total number was correct)
Where I Should Be: Does not compute.  Does not compute.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

So Much Housekeeping

You may think my infrequent posting has to do with my having a 9 to 5 now.  Well as always, you'd be wrong.  I've pin pointed exactly why it is I'm taking longer post now and as always, it's not my fault.  It's Liz's.  See, she doesn't have a job now (well she does, it's just her summer vacation).  So now she wants to go out at nights, and you know me, I can't say no to anything.  This wouldn't be a problem during my school year, when I could post during the day.  But with being at a job where I can't post?  It hampers my posting time.  I'm at work from 9 to 5 and have been out on the town from after work till going to sleep for the past several days, so I ask you dear readers: where's the time?  So thanks a lot, Liz.  You're really screwing the pooch here.  Really, the only day I don't have an excuse for is Monday.  Let's talk about that day.

On Monday I had the Jared Dudley mystery beer.  For those concerned, the Robin Lopez post is about 75% written.  The thing about these posts, I'm recognizing, is that they are going to be looooooooong.  I've got a lot to say about all of the players and a lot to say about all of the beers.  As such, while I thought this was going to be a week-long series, I think I'm only going to be able to do about one a week.  After drinking the Jared Dudley beer, I had three Southamptons (India Pale Ale, Altbier, Saison).

Tuesday was a little crazy.  Liz had a groupon for a sangria tasting at this restaurant in Union Square and she was going to meet up with a girlfriend and us it on Tuesday.  Last minute it turns out the friend couldn't make it so I get a call.  I go down to meet her, we have the sangria, and I see written on the chalkboard they have a saison on sale for 5 bucks.  I ask what it is, thinking it's going to be a normal 12 oz bottle of something.  The bartender pulls out a 25 oz bottle of Southampton Deluxe Saison.  That goes for at least 10 bucks in stores so when you get a chance to buy a bottle for 5 at a bar, well you gotta jump on that.  While we're drinking that, I notice that they also have "Insanity" written on the board as well for 5 dollars.  No way.  No way.  I ask if that's Weyerbacher's Insanity.  It is.  He pulls out a 25 oz bottle of it.  So of course we have to drink that as well.  While we're drinking the Insanity, I see a 25 oz bottle of Victory Baltic Thunder Porter.  The bartender asks if I want that as well.  I say, "Well, if it's 5 bucks I do," he goes back and asks the manager.  Comes back.  Sold.  In conclusion, on Tuesday I had (split) a 25 oz Southampton Saison (8%), a 25 oz Weyerbacher Insanity (11%), and a Victory Baltic Thunder Porter (9%), which would run about $40 at a store, all for $15!  After that I am quite drunk, so instead of getting another bottle of each, which I seriously, seriously considered, I did the wise thing and went home.

Last night (Wednesday) was a simple one beer night.  Being fancy-pants New Yorkers, we went to a Louis Black show in Central Park and didn't back till late.  I will say this.  I do not really care for Louis Black.  I get it.  You like to yell.  Maybe tell some jokes while you're yelling?  I had a Southampton Double White at the apartment and passed out.  So there you have it.  Late nights.  Average (for me) amount of beer drinking.  Fun times!  Robin Lopez probably drops tomorrow.  I can promise you it will be worth the wait.

Total Beers: 577
Where I Should Be: 553.424

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Road To Hell Is Paved With Something, I Hear

Look.  Robin Lopez was supposed to go up today.  But things happen.  Things like me stumbling across a bar that has 25 oz bottles of Weyerbacher and Victory on sale for 5 bucks a pop.   That's literally cheaper than you can get them at the brewery.  More later.  kljkl1jejwlkjfklqwflkwjfl;jw

Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Belated Bastille Day!

This post is all business.  I'm saving my creative juices for the Robin Lopez post which I am working on now and will be dropping tomorrow.  Although I just want to say one thing I've realized: if I could post from work this blog would be one million times better 

Saturday: for being mind-numbingly hot, I only drank two beers.  Liz and I went out to the new Brooklyn Bridge park at Pier 6.  It was awesome.  Except I wasn't allowed on any of it.  Stupid not having kids.  It's literally all kids playground stuff, stuff I would have gone nuts for when I was younger and would go nuts for now if it wouldn't be creepy for a 26 year old man to be playing in a children's playground.  Sexual predators ruin everything.  I used to think about that when I would eat lunch in Union Square.  I'd always try to grab a bench by the dog park there because it was in the shade and I like dogs so hanging out there watching the dogs play was an ok gig.  Not creepy or anything anyone would get up in arms about (if you say that is creepy, then punch yourself in the face if you've ever walked into a mall pet shop just to look at those caged puppies because you sir, or ma'am, are a hypocrite of the first order).  But imagine if instead of a dog park that was just a regular ol' kids park.  Then me eating lunch watching kids play would be super creepy, which is weird because I have the exact same intention of abducting/harming kids as I do dogs, which is none whatsoever.  But one activity is ok and one is not.  So again, thanks a lot, sexual predators.  After Pier 6 we went to Pier 1 (the park not the store) which has a ton of grass (the lawn stuff, not the stuff you smoke).  Liz read a book while I took a nap in the park like a hobo.  Anyway, to avoid making this a "life-casting" blog, I'll just say that only other beer I had on Saturday was the Robin Lopez beer, of which you will hear a lot about tomorrow.

Sunday: Different story.  Had lots of beers.  6 to be exact!  Had a Sixpoint Signal at Bar Great Harry.  Signal is a fruity smoked beer that Sixpoint brewed only for distribution at bars that carry the Good Beer Seal, which I think is a silly thing so I won't even link to it!  Regardless of my thoughts about the Good Beer Seal, the Signal was super delicious and tasted like two separate beers at once.  Its initially super fruity but the aftertaste is a hops/smoke explosion.  It really seems like the aftertaste belongs to a different beer than the Signal you just drank.  Also at BGH, I had a 21st Amendment Bitter American (which tasted about the same on tap as it had from the growler) and an Avery Collaboration not Litigation, a Belgian strong ale, which actually has a pretty interesting story.  Avery and Russian River Brewing, two stalwarts of west coast brewing, both had beers out called Salvation.  Instead either of the breweries ceasing to brew their Salvation or cease using the name, the brewers got together and decided to make a beer where they would literally mix both of their fully brewed Salvations.  The result is Collaboration Not Litigation.

At home Liz and I split a growler of Victory's Brauhmeister Pilsner, of which I had three full pints.  I have a horrible secret to share with you all.  I'm not so great at differentiating pilsners.  I mean I can tell the difference between an actual pilsner and "true Pilsner Miller Lite," but the difference between Victory's Prima Pils and its Brauhmeister?  Not so much.  Pilsners aren't my favorite style, but I like Victory and this was certainly serviceable.

So there you go.  A post with no basketball, a lot of beer, and some other junk.  See you tomorrow!

Total Beers: 569
Where I Should Be: 545.205

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hedo's Missing Gallstones

Ok, lest you fret, I did pick up some beer for my Suns related posts.  So far I've got a Robiz Lopez, a Jared Dudley, and a Josh Childress.  I had ideas for Grant Hill and Steve Nash, but Bierkraft didn't have what I was looking for.  I'll probably drink the Fro-Lo tonight.  BUT I did end my near-beerless week last night.  I had a Harpoon Belgian Ale at Bierkraft with dinner.  I think I've had that four or five times but always forget 1) that I've had it and 2) that it's not very good.  I mean its a perfectly serviceable beer, just nothing to write home about.  At home Liz and I split a growler of Coney Island Luna Lager which, to steal a line from a group of old ladies after they just watched A Serious Man, I just did not care for.  It seemed overly carbonated and tasted a lot like the much maligned Red Oval.  I had three beers poured from that.  So, four beers, zero that I actually really liked.  For shame.  Today I'm off to Coney Island, maybe, so we'll see what kind of antics I get into today, but a tomorrow or Monday, Robin Lopez should be up!

Total Beers: 561
Where I Should Be: 539.726

Friday, July 16, 2010

Don't worry about it, Ryan, I did all of the work

So I read Ryan's blog and saw that he was planning to match a beer to each Suns player.  Well, I know next to nothing about basketball - and absolutely nothing about most of the people he claims are on the Suns - but I did the matching for him.  I even have reasons!

Since Ryan's at work, I'll post my picks - I'm sure he'll totally appreciate it!
 - Liz

1. Steve Nash --- My Pick: Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale
- Canadian Brewed Beer
- - - - Steve Nash is Canadian!
- IPA style beer (so a beer that was designed for travel, if you will)
- - - - Steve Nash is a true traveler who is a "citizen of the world"
- Alexander Keith's is the oldest brewery in North America (1820) but not the oldest brewery in the world
- - - - Steve Nash is also really old - but not the oldest player on the Suns

2. Grant Hill --- My Pick:  Yuengling Lager
- American Brewed Beer
- - - - Grant Hill is American
- It's the Oldest Brewery in America
- - - - He's the oldest player on the Suns
- Not offensive taste-wise to most.  It's just a "safe" beer choice.
- - - - His mom wanted him to go to Georgetown and his dad wanted him to go to UNC.  He chose to attend Duke because it was "safe" and it wouldn't offend either of his parents.
- Union-busting!
- - - - Record-busting!

3. Robin Lopez --- My Pick:  Skyscraper Brewing Company's Sancha beer
- American Brewed
- - - - Robin Lopez is American born.
- Mexican-style beer
- - - - Mexican-style man
- Most people haven't heard of it unless they are a fan of the brewery
- - - - Most people haven't heard of him (unlike those first two dudes) unless they are a basketball or Suns fan.

4. Goran Dragic --- My Pick:  Union Beer
- Slovak beer
- - - - Slovak man
- There are only really two beers in Slovenia and this one (Union) is the one consumed in the capital city while the other beer is generally found outside of the city.
- - - - Phoenix is a city!

5. Jason Richardson --- My Pick:  Atwater Michigan Lager
- It's from Michigan!
- - - - He's from Michigan!
- It's award winning (so says their website) but not for anything exceptional or noteworthy
- - - - He's a dunk-contest winner.  Meaning he won awards that weren't even part of the actual basketball game.

6. Channing Frye --- My Pick:  Four Peaks' Barrel-Aged Blind Date Ale
- It's from Arizona
- - - - He's from Arizona too (which I think should be how teams are put together like in High School, but this is a rant for another time...)
- It has Arizona-grown hops
- - - - He's Arizona-grown...I know nothing else about this guy.

7. Jared Dudley --- My Pick:  Brooklyn Brewery's Lager
- It's a U.S. Beer
- - - - He's from the U.S. 
- Brooklyn Brewery is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is serviced by the G train, L train, and the JMZ lines.
- - - - On Twitter, Jared Dudley goes by the name "JMZ"
- It's a good, solid beer.
- - - - I will assume he's a good, solid player.

8. Hedo Turkoglu --- My Pick:  Efes Pilsen
- It's a Turkish beer (and really all that they have on a large scale)
- - - - He's a Turkish man!
- When you Google the name of the beer, the first link is for Basketball (Euroleague).
- - - - When you Google the name of the man, the first link is also for Basketball (American, NBA)

9. Hakim Warrick --- My Pick:  Yard's Pale Ale
- It's from Philadelphia, PA.
- - - - He's from Philadelphia
- The Brewery's name is Yards
- - - - He can jump YARDS higher than other people to dunk in their faces!
- Other beers "pale"in comparison to this beer
- - - - Other players "pale" in comparison ... bla bla bla ... I'm really running out of steam here.

10. Josh Childress --- My Pick:  Zoes Blue Mak
- It's a beer from Greece
- - - - He may not be Greek, but he played basketball in Greece for a while making a ton of money.
- It's blue!  Meaning it has a gimmick to get people to buy it before tasting it because they like the color blue.
- - - - He was on the cover of a PS2 game to get people to buy the game before playing it because they like Josh Childress

11. Earl Clark --- My Pick:  Flying Fish Brewing Company's HopFish IPA
- It's really one of the only real breweries in New Jersey
- - - - He's from New Jersey (should I have picked a skunked beer??  jokes!)
- Here's my one and only use of it:  It's hoppy!
- - - - He's a basketball player so he hops.  There.  I said it.

12. Taylor Griffen --- My Pick:  Marshall Brewing Company Atlas India Pale Ale
- It's from the state of Oklahoma (when I typed that I sang the song in my head to be sure I spelling it right)
- - - - He's from the state of Oklahoma too
- It's a pale ale
- - - - He's a pale white guy!

13. Gani Lawal --- My Pick:  Sweet Water Brewery's Georgia Brown
- It's from Georgia, a state with few micro-breweries
- - - - He's also from Georgia
- It's a brown ale
- - - - It this getting racist now?  I'm getting tired of this...

14. Dwayne Colins --- My Pick:  My Home Brewed Beer
- It doesn't exist.  I talk about home brewing, but I just haven't done it yet.
- - - - This dude doesn't have a wikipedia page.  Does. Not. Exist.

Well, this was very exhausting and since I know very little about any of these guys (especially as the list went on...) it was a lot of Wikipedia.  Maybe Ryan should still give this a go...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your Phoenix Suns

As anticipated, I did not drink any beer last night.  Even more disturbing, I still don't have any beer in the apartment nor am I making a trek to Bierkraft to rectify that situation.  I have a lot of job application stuff that is due tomorrow morning that I figured I should work on.  Also, I want to go to Bierkraft with a plan, a plan that I will formulate tomorrow during work (you know, in addition to actually working).  But this Suns/beer thing is legitimately happening.  Here's some, not rules per se, but consideration for each player's beer.

1. The beer should be from the player's home country.  This seems obvious but also raises problems,  See Nash, Steve.
2. For our domestic players, states should be considered.  Home state, state where the player played college ball, state where the player played the bulk of their pro-career.  All of it.
3. Style of play matters.  This is kind of weird but I'm convinced that I'll somehow be able to translate "likes to play off the elbows" or "point-forward" into beer related terms.  I haven't figured out how I'll be able to do that, but I'm positive I'll figure it out.
4. Personality matters.  Both on court and off court.  This one should play a pretty big role.
5. I'm limiting myself to only using the "he has mad hops" for picking a hoppy beer once.  Guess which player? (Hint, sadly it's not Amar'e).
6. Career arc.  Injury plagued?  New to the league?  Heady veteran?
7. Miscellaneous.  Things like "Went to Duke but is still a cool guy," "Dope fro."  Could fit into the personality portion I guess, but I already typed those things so its staying a separate category.

And in the grand tradition of legal balancing tests, no single factor is dispositive for what beer I choose and some categories may carry more weight in some cases than others.  Also, I'm not going to break my write-ups down into those 7 categories, I just wanted to put that up there so you know my thought process going into this.  Also, you have to be currently under contract with Suns to get a profile.  Sorry Dwayne Collins!  If you actually sign with the team I'll write you up!  Also, I think I'm going to go in order of "Will certainly be on the team after the February trading deadline" to "Taylor Griffin."  It's very possible that after I do a write up for a few of these players, they will no longer be on the team.  So there's that!  Also, if I still have the energy, I have three surprise Suns related persons that I will beerifying.  I am excited.  There will be basketball talk.  There will be beer talk.  It's everything I could ever want in life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Have A Sweet Day!

Let me tell you a little story about Hershey, PA.  It has an amusement park called Hershey Park.  I went there for two days for my anniversary.  End of story!  So the last update came on Friday, which Liz kindly put up for me while I was in the process of being kidnapped by her.  I didn't update Saturday through Monday on account of being on an anniversary trip and all.  Liz is cool with a lot of nonsense, but I wasn't about to push my luck on that one.  Tuesday I didn't update because my mind was too busy being blown by this:

This has seriously been keeping me up at night.  Not because I don't like it, I'm just wicked, wicked confused.  How does this work?  Why is this happening?  What becomes of Hakim Warrick?  I have so many questions!

In terms of beers, there's not actually too much to update on.  See, when you're riding roller coasters like this one:

all day, drinking beer isn't really a big part of the equation.  But lest you fret, I did do some beer drinking!

Friday night, we got to the hotel around 11:30.  Drank one Blue Point Hoptical Illusion (we packed the two beers we had left in the fridge) and passed out.

Saturday we started the day off with lunch at Harvest at the Hotel Hershey.  Harvest is a pretty famous PA restaurant that doesn't use any ingredient that doesn't come from within 150 miles of the restaurant...except for beer.  Some pretty famous beer bloggers complained about it to them, which you can read about here.  Well, suffice it to say, Harvest hasn't actually done much to up its PA beer selection, which is a shame.  I had an Appalachian Brewing Company Mountain Lager, which was kind of sweet but very average.  Then it was off to the park!  Then it was back to the hotel from park!  After we got back, we went across the street to a pizza place, where I had two Yeungling Black and Tans.  We picked up a six pack to take back to the hotel, where I had two Sam Adams Blackberry Wits.

Sunday was the actual anniversary.  We were at Hershey Park till about 10, when we went back and had some year old wedding cake (which was surprisingly delicious) and some fancy-pants champagne.  I also had a Blackberry Wit for good measure.

Monday we drove home after our trip.  I saw a group of Amish people playing baseball while we were driving back which was pretty cool.  Also, I sort of lost my voice when shouting the lyrics to that song "Breakfast at Tiffany's" at Liz while she was trying to drive.  I'm the best!  When we finally got back on Monday night, I was pretty exhausted from spending two days in the sun and just passed out, beerless.  Tuesday night I had one Sam Adams Summer Ale at a friend's place after work.  See?  Not too much beer drinking.  I had 8 beers over the course of 5 days, which for you math whizzes, is behind pace.  To add to this lack of beer drinking: except for my Africa beers, I have no beer in the apartment!  But don't worry, I have a plan.  A sweet, sweet plan involving Hedo Turkoglu.  Let's talk about that now.

So as Liz can attest, basketball and the Phoenix Suns have been making my mind explode in pretty good way recently.  I really, really want to write about basketball, but unfortunately my only place of writing junk is this here beer blog.  So in a stroke of genius (which I just misspelled, by the by), I came up with this idea: I'm going to pick a beer that I think best represents each (projected) member of the 2010/2011 Phoenix Suns, buy it, drink it, and write about it and why I chose it in a series of posts entitled, Beer and Basketball: Alienating All of My Readership.  These posts will actually start tomorrow when I post a whole set of rules I've already sketched out.  Tomorrow I'm hitting up Bierkraft and stocking up.  Let's do this.  Be prepared for regular posting.  I'm back suckas!!!!!!!

Total Beers: 557
Where I Should Be: 531.506 (and the lead starts melt...)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Its'a me!

Well, it's Liz again.  Ryan is fine -- but I've kidnapped him.  It's our one year anniversary and so I told him to pack a swimsuit and comfortable shoes and to be ready after work on Friday.

Now that we're HERE, I can let the cat out of the bag - we are in Hershey PA for a weekend of roller coasters, water rides, and good food.  It should be a lot of fun - if we don't have heat strokes in the process.

Last night Ryan emailed me asking me to update since he knew he was being kidnapped.  I did, indeed, take him out of the state - but I brought his laptop with us.  That said, I'll still do the numbers...ish.

Wednesday: 1 Blue Point Toasted Lager, 1 Blue Point Hoptical Illusion
Thursday: Same two beers from Wednesday plus 1 Blue Point Summer Copper Ale

That was the email I received - so there you go.  

Total beers:  549
Where I should be:  I'll leave this math for "the man" as Ryan put it -- even though I did better on the math section of the GREs......ahem.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Just Say No to David Lee

Consecutive posts on back to back days?  Hell has not frozen over.  It is too hot out for that.  If nothing, my posting now is summoning Bill Zebub himself to scorch this earth.  Quite the intro for merely this: last night I drank one Blue Point Hoptical Illusion while watching Moon on the couch.  Moon, not quite as trippy as I had hoped but Sam Rockwell delivered the heat as always.  Also the beer was solid (non-literally my friends, otherwise I couldn't drink it).  See you tomorrow!

Total Beers: 544
Where I Should Be: 512.328

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hard Sci-Fi

I was talking to Liz the other day about how about 1/3 of my life is "excused time."  Don't you mean that 1/3 of your life is made up of excuses?  Nope.  It's excused time.  For instance, I can't go to the gym for that hour because I just worked 8 hours and still have chores to do around the apartment.  That's not excuse for not going to the gym, it's just that my not going to the gym is excused.  Likewise for not eating healthy on vacation.  I am on vacation, so I am excused from eating healthy.  All of this is to say that my "updating this blog" time happens to fall under excused time.  I can't update at work, obviously.  I have to eat and sleep and all that good stuff.  Add on top that that I am at my job applying apex which means writing cover letter after cover letter.  It's not that these are excuses, it's just that I feel that my work/sleep/job application schedule excuses my posting daily.  So thank you for your time and consideration.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time get the gist.  Excused.  To the beer drinking!

The Fourth of July!  What a holiday!  I feel like my "what should Obama send?" post would aptly fit here. Liz and I had planned a glorious day time outing to the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, but it was oppressively hot outside so we stayed in and split a growler.  Works for me!  We split a growler Two Brothers Long Haul Session Ale (side story here, when we went to go fill the growlers, I wanted to get the Two Brothers Belgian Tripel, but miss "I hate high ABV beers but get mad when people question my beer credentials" said no.  What's her deal?).  Sessions are generally pretty light, low ABV, drinkable beers.  This one fit the latter two descriptions but was weirdly dark and kind of syrupy.  I asked Liz if she wished we would have gotten the Tripel.  She said no but I think she was lying.  That evening we went to my friends roof for the normal watching July 4th fireworks shenanigans were I drank three Yuengling Lagers.  Huzzah!

Monday I had one Blue Point Toasted Lager on the couch while watching Party Down on Netflix.  Double Huzzah!  See you when I next drink a beer!

Total Beers: 543
Where I Should Be: 509.589

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hakim Warrick is the Greatest Ball Player on Earth

The summer heat is apparently sucking out all of my writing ability/motivation.  We've been trying to keep the AC off in our apartment, for the whole money saving thing, making it pretty sweltering in our place at times.  I don't even know what I'm going on about here.  Let's just cut this excuse making opening paragraph and go straight to the drinking.

Ok, so this is a sort of interesting coincidence.  Wednesday night Liz and I went out to dinner due to the magic of groupon.  Well, just so happens that the restaurant we go to is right by Bierkraft, so we bring our growlers and fill them up.  We drink the first of them on Wednesday night, 21st Amendment's Bitter American, an English style bitter, but when they say bitter, they aren't joking.  This beer had mad hops.  Some might say this beer's hops were Hakim Warrick-esque (I'm still talking myself into this thing, bare with me).  Anyway, that pours 2 for me.  What's funny, though, is that my parents are at the 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco LITERALLY AS I AM TYPING THIS!  I have no idea what beers they are drinking (maybe I'll have my mom type up a report when they get back home) but I know what ever it is, it is delicious.  As I've mentioned, 21st Amendment might be one of the best brewpubs I've ever been to.  After we kick the growler, I have a Harlem Sugar Hill Golden Ale, which prompts Liz to play the Sugar Hill Gang all evening while drinking it.  It was a weirdly molasses-y beer.  Almost sickly sweet.  I appreciate that Harlem is trying to get in on the beer making, but it needs to up its game something fierce.

Thursday, in another weird San Francisco beer drinking/my parents being there moment, Liz and I went to the Gate for a Speakeasy Brewery event.  Speakeasy is another great San Fran brewery (also, their website is which I think is pretty cool) and they had I think 9 of their beers on tap at the gate.  I had a Ritual Coffee Porter, an imperial porter made with some local San Fran Coffee, and their Betrayal Ale, an India Red Ale, which is exactly what you'd think it would be, a super hoppy red ale, except this clocked in at around 10%.  So while I'm drinking this San Fran beer, my dad calls me from San Francisco.  Ok, that's not as fortuitous as my parents being at a brewery I'm writing about while I'm writing about it, but still I thought it was interesting (I'm easily amused).  At home I had a Lagunitas 13, their imperial red ale, meaning I had 2 imperial-ish red ales in one day.  What are the odds???!!!!

Friday was one of those days where I drank a lot but it didn't seem like it because it was super spread out.   I had the day off of work, so I had a Simpler Times Lager with lunch.  Then I napped, walked around and did stuff, and then I had a Simpler Times Lager with dinner.  Then we went to visit a sick friend who provided us with Bud Light Lime, which I hesitate to call a beer.  Then later I went to a different friend's party where I had two Harpoon Summer Ales and a Sam Adams Summer ale.  So I had six beers on the day but it felt like a 2 or 3 beer day.

Saturday I had a Blue Point Summer Copper Ale with dinner, and then a Blue Point Blueberry Ale hanging out with the apartment!

I'll see you all here tomorrow!  Promise!  Maybe!

Total Beers: 536
Where I Should Be: 504.109