Monday, August 30, 2010

Do You Like Nachos? Do You Like Football?

We're almost there.  Believe you me, I want to go back to day to day updates (and post the numbers!) just as bad as you guys want me to.  Which is to say, I mean, sort of.  But first things first, let's finish up with Michigan!

After a whirlwind tour of the U.P. and the upper part of the L.P., Liz and I parted ways with my family and set off on our own to Ann Arbor.  Well not really on our own, we were staying with our friend Molly.  I have to say, Ann Arbor is awesome.  Like, really, really awesome.  At the end of our four day jaunt, Liz was ready to declare NYC as the worst city on earth and set up shop in a Midwestern college town.  Here's something awesome: Ann Arbor has four, FOUR, microbreweries!  We went to all of them!  And I remembered to take a lot of pictures!  And they all turned out super grainy because they were taken with my phone!

When we first arrived, Molly had a nice itinerary outlined for us.  For our first night, we went to the place she thought had the best food and some of the best beer.  So congratulations, Grizzly Peak, you have the best food out of the Ann Arbor brewpubs!  And yes, the food was awesome.  I had a mushroom burger which actually tasted mushroomy!  Normally mushroom burgers taste like mush, but not this one, so nicely done guys.  I was originally going to order just a pint, but then my own wife shamed me into ordering a flight of all nine beers.  Here's a picture:

And for good measure, here's a picture of the list of beers:

What I liked about the Michigan breweries, which I hadn't seen elsewhere, was they wrote the list of beers for their flights on coasters.  I thought it was clever, but in case you couldn't tell by me liking just about 98% of the beers that appear here, I'm easily impressed.  I would again like to say that my common complaints about flights apply here as well.  Can't really recall much about all of the beers, but once again, I found myself really enjoying their Gold.  Also, their hibiscus ale was really awesome, floral (not really hop-floral) if that makes sense and actually hibiscus-y!  Also, their rye ale was really good despite not really tasting like rye.

After dinner and beers at Grizzly Peak, we went to the place that Molly said had the best beers in Ann Arbor, Jolly Pumpkin.  They didn't have a flight option, so I was forced to discuss the beers with the waitress (figuring we were only staying for one, which actually proved to be the case).  I say forced, because an uninformed server might be one of the most frustrating things on earth.  Our server was super friendly, but she kept on describing every beer as "sour."  And by every beer, I literally mean every beer.  Our IPA is pretty sour.  Our farmhouse ale has that sour taste but it's not over powering.  Everything was sour.  I ordered their Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere, their farmhouse ale.  The waitress left and I discussed with the table how either 1) The waitress, to once again paraphrase my dad, "didn't know shit about beer," or 2) The waitress had some mental lapse and kept on saying sour instead of hoppy.  Turns out I was wrong.  All of their beers were legitimately sour.  Sour in a good way, but sour nonetheless.  So I am sorry, waitress, for doubting your descriptions.  It was short sighted of me and I promise never to be crass again!

The next night we had a nice little cookout, in a backyard no less!, where I had a Bell's Amber Ale and a Bell's Two Hearted Ale.  Moving on!

The next, and final, evening in Ann Arbor, we achieved what has been called by both Henry and Gerald Ford (no relation...that I know of) as the Triple Crown, hitting three breweries in a single evening.  First we hit up the Ann Arbor Brewing Company.  The Ann Arbor Brewing Company, or as Chris Weber called it when he went to Michigan, Randy Jackson Presents AABC, did not offer flights so I went with their Anniversary Ale, a high-ABV belgian ale.  A few things about this beer.  First, check out this picture of it:

That is no trick photography.  That beer is really that cloudy.  Ridiculously cloudy.  But the thing about it?  It doesn't taste it at all.  From the looks of it you'd imagine it would be like drinking bread but it drank like a regular (and not all that spectacular) belgian ale.  But the actual beer aside, their beer menu was divided into two parts, normal beers and strong beers.  Strong beers they would only serve in 10 oz glasses because, as their menu said, they didn't want their customers to inadvertently drink too much of them and get housed.  I forget the exam wording on the menu, but it came across as super patronizing.  But the really funny thing?  The cut off was 7.0%.  Like, there was a beer on the "normal" list, which you could get a 22 oz glass of, that was 7.0%, but there were two beers on the "strong" list that were 7.5%, meaning you could only get them in 10 oz glasses.  Weird and also pointless!  I get that high ABV beers are generally served in smaller sizes, but don't say you're doing it to protect your customers and don't do it arbitrarily!  All that aside, much like everything in Ann Arbor, AABC was pretty awesome.  Also, I drank one of the ESBs, which I remember being good.

Then it was off to the 4th microbrewery, Blue Tractor.  Blue Tractor is weird in that it's primarily a BBQ joint that just sort of happens to brew their own beer.  And it really does seem incidental to their operation.  I saw where they brewed their beer on my way to the restroom and it did seem like an after thought.  Here's the picture:

Anyway, they DID have samplers, I was the only one that ordered one.  I'll post a picture when I have room!  The sampler came in a muffin tin which was pretty clever.  I thought I was being clever taking the picture with the coaster/list of beers on it, but now I can't read the list and I can't remember any of the beers names!  I know the beers were all pretty standard, there was a brown ale in their for sure, and no IPAs (they were out of their IPA).  Funny (not true!) story.  Molly wanted the IPA, they said they were out but she should have X beer (I say X because I forget what it was) because it tastes the most like an IPA.  I get the sample.  The X beer is the least hoppy beer they have!  This waitress ACTUALLY didn't know shit  about beer!  How's about that!  Anyway, probably the least impressive beers out of all four breweries there, but that's like saying Jackie Brown is Tarantino's least impressive film.  So what?  It's still great!  Here's a picture of the sampler:

At this point in the evening, the ladies were ready to pack it in.  But nay, I said, nay!  Molly's partner (a dood, but saying boyfriend sounds weird and Molly herself kept on referring to everyone else's boyfriends or girlfriends as his or her partner and I thought that was cool!) is a big beer fanatic and he said Jolly Pumpkin had the best beer in Ann Arbor.  I didn't want to short change them, having had only one of their beers, so we went back.  I had their Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire, a super sour and super hoppy beer.  It was delicious.

And so ends our Michigan trip!  Since coming home, Liz has talked nonstop about wanting to move out to Ann Arbor, but it turns out that Michigan not having any jobs isn't exactly a myth.  But thanks for the memories and the beer Michigan!  Sorry you're broke!  I'll try to help your cause by buying as much Avery beer as I can out here.  Any little bit helps I guess.  Tomorrow: Montreal debauchery.  Then it's back to normal.  We're almost there!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Presque Isle's Haunted Light House

In stark contrast to my time in the U.P., my time in the upper lower peninsula, or I guess I should say the upper part of the lower peninsula, was decidedly more laid back.  Not to say that the U.P. is super stressful, but my grandparents' place on Grand Lake near Alpena is the definition of relaxing (except for the meals being at extremely specific times, but we can let that slide).  The week was spent laying by the lake, water skiing, reading, getting ridonculously sunburnt (which you would never know based on my complete lack of complaining), and playing the occasional game of euchre.  Additionally, as opposed to being packed to the brim with all sorts of family members like the farm, at the lake it was just my immediate family, my one uncle, and my grandparents.  Suffice it to say, my highest beer total for a given day at the lake was 3.  So instead of doing an event by event break down, I'll just post my beer list for lake and then talk a little bit about a couple of the beers.  Here's a copy-and-paste from my word doc I kept while I was there:

8/11 – Bells Oberon
8/12 – 2 Bells Oberons, 1 Bells Two Hearted Ale (all at lake)
8/13 – 2 Short’s Brewing Pandemonium Ales (all at lake)
8/14 – 1 Short’s on Boat, 1 North Peak Archangel at the Portage, 1 Short’s back at lake

As you can see, lots of Bell's action there.  While I have read some unfavorable reviews of the Oberon (sorry to keep throwing Jim out here, but his review of Bell's Cherry Stout is spot on), I actually thought it was the absolute perfect summer beer.  Although, I would like to try it while not on a boat or lounging by a lake, as probably any beer is the perfect summer beer in that context.  Oddly enough, the Bell's Two Hearted Ale says on the bottle that it's perfect for an adventure in the Upper Peninsula, but I only ever had it in the L.P.  Suffice it to say it was a really great.  How's that for descriptive beer writing?

But let's get to the other two breweries you might not recognize here.  I'll start first with the North Peak.  North Peak Brewing Company is a brewery out of Traverse City, MI.  You might know two things about Traverse City.  1) They have wicked awesome sand dunes (which were once featured on the venerable Tim Allen's Home Improvement!) and 2) Their cherries are quite literally internationally known.  I had the North Peak Archangel at local restaurant on the shores of Lake Huron.  The Archangel is a cherry wheat beer made with authentic Traverse City cherries, which is pretty cool.  So while I've got you here, Jim, if you're looking for a stellar Michigan cherry beer, I would look to the North Peak Archangel.  It's super cherry-y but not sickly sweet like Sam Adams' Cherry Wheat can be.  All together, both Liz (a notorious cherry wheat hater) and I thought it was great.  Plus it comes in a Red Stripe-esq bottle.  Check it out:

You can see my grandma in the back there looking just thrilled at how much beer I have consumed at her place.  Also, when we were in Ann Arbor, we saw someone wearing a North Peak t-shirt at literally every microbrewery we went to, so I take that as a good sign that their other beers are also pretty good.

And now to the not so good.  Went on a beer run on day to Alpena with my dad and Liz.  When we got to the beer store we were inundated with Michigan breweries.  It was almost overwhelming.  We could only get one six-pack (as drinking in large quantities, as you can see, isn't the type of activity that goes down at the lake) and we were sort of rushed in our selection.  I immediately ruled out breweries I could get in NY (sorry Arcadia, Founders, and Avery).  I finally decided to go with a Short's Brewing Company beer from Elk Rapids, MI.  They had a ton to choose from.  Being me, I gravitated to the extreme end of the beers, your double-this's, your imperial-thats.  There was an interesting looking beer that was describe as a high gravity berry beer, but my wife gently reminded me that other people would be drinking this as well, so I went with a six-pack of Pandemonium Pale Ale.  I'm just going to preface this by saying that something could well have been wrong with the bottle.  I have never seen a beer pour foamier in my life.  As you should know, I am well aware of how to properly pour a beer.   This beer pour about 3 inches of foam to ever, let's say, quarter inch of beer.  And here's something else: the head NEVER went away.  It wasn't even like I could wait for it go down.  Nope.  It stayed that way making the beer almost undrinkable from a glass.  So I tried from the bottle.  SAME RESULTS.  I would take a sip and then foam would start billowing out from the top of the bottle and would not stop until half the beer was on the table and what remained in the bottle was an inch of beer and four inches of foam.  It was insane.  I honestly couldn't even give you a proper recall of what this thing tasted like.  I could tell you what the foam tasted like (seemed like the beer could have been hoppy), but man.  This was nuts.  That's how it was all six bottles.  I would like to give Short's another shot next time I'm up in MI, but I would also like to know if I had a one-off six pack or if that's actually how their Pandemonium is supposed to act.  I hope not!  If any of you are in Michigan, grab a six pack and let me know the results.

Tune in tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion of the Michigan Beer Tales where we head to Ann Arbor and I take lots of pictures of flights for some reason!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Roll Out The Barrel!

Let us return to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Fair be thee warned.  These numbers are going to look absurd.  Pretty, pretty, pretty absurd.  But a little context might put things in order.  Context to the large numbers #1: Blatz/Strohs/PBR drink like water when you've been engaging in a pointless drinking challenge for almost a year.  Literally, like water.  Context #2:  I was in the Upper Peninsula for a Responsible (being my last name) Family Reunion/Grandma' 80th Birthday Party.  So I've got my wife, my parents, my cousins, my uncle, my grandma.  We're all up at this farm.  As family reunions tend to go, and I shouldn't be blowing anyone's mind here, evening beers tend to get consumed.  Speaking of evening beers, here comes Context #3: A great tradition in the Responsible Family is making giant bonfires.  And by giant, I mean pretty giant.  Here's a picture of my sister, my cousin, and me (you can guess which is which) sitting before one of our patented bonfires two years ago:

They tend to reach heights of about 15 feet and burn for hours on end (I recognize the needless carbon emissions here, but, uh, sorry earth!).  We've been building these at the farm since my cousin and I were ten.  It's pretty fun.  My cousins and I spend the day dragging giant dead trees across acres of the farm to build these monstrosities.  We light them up at night, the "adults" go to bed, and we stay up for hours just shooting the breeze.  Well, since we all turned 21(ish, but lets not get technical here), these late night bonfire chats have involved drinking a beer or two.  I see my cousins once a year tops so these bonfires are pretty important to me.  I've long thought of this blog as being more about beer drinking culture than beer reviews, and I'd really like to write extensively about sharing a few beers with family to the wee hours of the morning around one of these bad boys, but I'm pretty sure the 2003 entry in this article sums it up nicely.  Suffice it to say, we had one of these every night at the farm.  With those contexts in place, let's get back to the beer drinking.

August 8th was my grandma's 80th birthday party.  In preparation of that, I set up one of those bonfires myself (my cousin had yet to arrive) and then rewarded myself with a Keweenaw Widow Maker.  Then a shower and off to the party!  To set the stage, the party was held here.  Yes, there was an accordion player playing polka.  Yes, there were a bunch of old people polka-ing.  Yes, I polkaed with them.  Yes, I drank one Old Milwaukee and 2 Sam Adams (hey, it's a VFW, what're you gonna do?).  After the party, we went back to the farm, lit up the fire (not to be mistaken with "lit up at the fire," which didn't go down), and I drank 3 Blazts and 1 Keweenaw Liftbridge.  The beer numbers around the fire are a bit iffy because 1) it was hard to tell when one Blatz ended and another began, and 2) my uncle's dog would knock over and drink your beer whenever you put it on the ground.  I've done my best about being conservative but not too conservative in the numbers.

The next day we went into Houghton where I had one Keweenaw Pickaxe Blonde at a super dope pizza place the Ambassador.  After the Ambassador, we went to the other microbrewery in Houghton, the Library (which doesn't seem to have a website).  I got the ten beer sampler.  Check it out!

I have a lot of pics of samplers from my camera phone.  They're all kind of dark like this one, but what're you going to do?  In case you're interested in what these 10 beers are, here's a picture of the list:

Yeah, I can't read that either.  Here's what I can make out: Whiteout Wheat (but they were out of this one so I can say that's not on the tray), Keweenaw Golden Ale, Rock Harbor Light Ale, Portage Premium Lager, Redbrick Rye Ale, Copper Town Ale, Miner's IPA, Bumbletown Ale, Rabbit Bay Brown Ale, and Something? Dry Stout.  As you'll see when we get to Ann Arbor, I did a lot of sampling.  The problem with doing these samplers is that its near impossible to remember every specific beer if you're not taking detailed notes, which I wasn't.  Another problem is that all of these samplers are needlessly inflating my numbers.  So what I'm going to do is for Michigan, 3 samples = 1 beer, and I'll round up or down depending.  So here, 10 samples = 3 beers?  Cool?  Also, I'll talk about what I can remember, and that's being shocked by the Keweenaw Gold.  Normally I'm not too huge of a fan of standard brewpub golden ales.  They tend to be there for macrobeer drinkers that want something they can drink.  But I've got to say, I liked this golden ale so much that I got a growler of it (my dad got a growler of the IPA, which was also really good).  It had a nice sweet taste to it and was an absolutely perfect beer for a warm Michigan afternoon.  Back at the farm, we split the growlers amongst a whole host of people (I had 1 IPA and 1 Golden) while playing cards.  And just for good measure, I also had a Blatz.

The next day (and sadly last) day in the U.P., the cousins, my wife, and I went bowling and gambling at the casino.  Because I'm at a bowling alley in a casino in the Upper Peninsula, I had a Bud Tall Boy (my dad bought it for me so it counts!).  Get this.  You know how much we paid for shoes and two games a piece for four bowlers?  9 dollars!  I felt so bad about paying so little that after bowling I promptly gave the casino 45 of my dollars.  That should even things out.  Later that night we had an epic poker match/bonfire during which I drank a Celis Grand Cru, Dundee Stout, and 4 Strohs.  And so ends my Yooper journey.  Stay tuned tomorrow for when we go visit the Trolls down below!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Say Yeah to Da U.P., Eh!

And Lo, for the Earth was empty of forms, and void.  And Darkness was all over the Face of the Deep.  And We said: Look at that guy drink some beer.  Yes, I'm back from Radio Silence (big ups to anyone that recognizes the Madame Psychosis intro there, which is probably no one, and I only thought about it because it's taken me about 3 weeks to get 200 pages into Infinite Jest and that was literally the last page I read and I thought it was apropos here.  Aren't I supposed to talk about drinking beer on this blog at some point in time?).  I've been away for over two weeks here on a whirlwind international (really!) tour of the north.  I was in Michigan for a little under two weeks, then back to NYC for a whopping one day, and then off to Montreal for the weekend for no discernible reason.  Over two weeks and ton of beer drinking and a lot to talk about.  I'm breaking this up into four to five posts.  Michigan breaks itself nicely into three.  I spent about 4 days in the Upper Peninsula, about 4 days in the Alpena area, and about 4 days in Ann Arbor.  Then I'll drop a post or two about Canada.  I'm not sure how I'll figure in the beers I drink this week, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.  I'll just try not to do too much interesting beer drinking on my last week of summer break I guess.  So with much more ado, on to the U.P.!

Glad to start this off with one of the dumbest visual puns I've ever made.  The trip began inauspiciously. Got in to Detroit around 10 pm, went to the hotel where my dad had a Mission Street Brown Ale from Trader Joe's waiting for me.  Drank that, went to sleep.  Woke up at 5:30 the next morning to begin the epic 8 hour drive to my grandma's farm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

For those of you that don't know, Michigan has two peninsulas.  Also, for those of you who don't know, no one actually lives in the upper one.  For a little comparison, Manhattan has a population of about 1.7 million and is a total of 23 square miles.  The U.P. has a total population of about 300,000 and is about 17,000 square miles.  It's a little nuts.  My grandma's farm is located up near the Keweenaw Peninsula (Yo Dawg, I heard you like peninsulas so I put a peninsula in your peninsula...), pretty close to Lake Superior in a town called Baraga.  Baraga is so small that the farm is on a road literally named after my family.  It sits on about 300 square acres.  It's absolutely beautiful but there is no one and nothing (and I really, really mean that) around it.  We arrive at the farm around 5 at night, my grandma has a growler waiting from us filled with a beer which she can't name from a brewery in Houghton (a town about an hour away) she can't remember.  Using my deductive powers, I figure its from the Keweenaw Brewing Company and some kind of porter.  I have a glass of that, then its off to dinner and to do some grocery shopping.   At dinner I have a Keweenaw Lift Bridge Brown Ale.  You remember when I talked about the Hotel Hershey restaurant that didn't have any real selection of Pennsylvania brew?  Well we went to the Hilltop Diner in Lanse, literally just some small, quintessentially midwestern diner in a super small U.P. town.  Well guess what?  They had SIX different Michigan craft beers to choose from!  Michigan is insane!  We then go to the grocery store where I pick up a six pack of Keweenaw's Widow Maker, their black lager, and 30 pack of Blatz.  I am in the U.P. after all.  I have one of each back at the farm.

Here's where I'm going to go on a little mini-rant and then probably end this post.  Michigan somehow turned into a "The Town I Went To Grad School In Really, Really Sucked" Tour.  We all should know that Michigan is an excellent beer state.  Avery, Founders, Bells, you all know.  But it also has a million different excellent local breweries.  But let's put that aside for a moment while I do a comparison of Town A and Town B.

Town A has a total population of about 7,000 people.  It also has a "Tech" school with a total enrollment of about 7,000 students.  Town A has two different microbreweries.

Town B has a total population of about 40,000 people.  It also has a "Tech" school with a total enrollment of about 31,000 students.  Town B has no microbreweries.

Town A is Houghton, MI.  Town B is where I went to grad school.  You'll see another amazing snapshot like this when I get to Ann Arbor.  Spoiler alert.  Town A will be Ann Arbor.  Town B will be where I went to grad school.  I show you these comparisons to illustrate not just how much where I went to grad school sucked from a beer drinking perspective, but also to show you just how much Michigan loves craft beer.  Michigan has an unemployment rate of about 14.5% but somehow a town like Houghton can support not one but two craft breweries.  Amazing.

One of Houghton's microbreweries is the aforementioned Keweenaw Brewing Co.  They are great and actually have a pretty decent distribution of canned beers throughout the U.P.  I never actually made it to their brew pub but I did have many of their canned beers while I was up there.  I'll end this post now.  I know we're only two days in but I promise things will pick up.  Glad to be back and posting and you'll get some numbers from me in about a week!  See you chumps tomorrow!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hide Your Children Hide Your Wife

What a time to shut this blog down for two weeks.  I just get a slew of new readers and, let's say, international exposure, and I'm out the door?  This is nonsense.  Vacations are the worst.  Here's a better real life example.  So I get a call today about an honest-to-Satan paying job.  I say, "Hey, that sounds great!  But I'm going out of town for two weeks, can we schedule it for when we get back?"  They say, "Nope!  We're filling this job now!  Sorry, chump!"  So there are worse things that can happen than having to go on a little hiatus at the height of my fame.  But on the plus side, I'm coming back refreshed and, thanks to not being able to go to that interview, job free!  Late August will be this blog's renaissance.  But the business at hand:  Tuesday I had a La Playa Lager (here's the review, tastes like you'd think!)  That's it!  Wednesday we had a fancy dinner party here and I had three Victory Whirlwind Wits.

I just want to say that I am marginally concerned about keeping pace out in Michigan.  I don't think my numbers will dip below the line, but I think when I get back my lead will be around 5 to 10.  Those are just predictions though.  We'll find out!  Nee you sex time!  Back in two weeks!  Before the numbers, I'll leave you with some pics of where I'm going:

Ok I'm not really going to that last place.  I just love that song.

Total Beers: 615
Where I Should Be: 591.780

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When Exorcisms Kill

I don't mean to go all dead air on you guys here.  The thing is, I've had some ass-kicking and name-taking that I needed to be doing in my non-beer drinking related life that has consumed a fair amount of my time, both for writing and for beer drinking.  As you'll see by these paltry numbers: Sunday I had one Harpoon UFO Raspberry.  Monday I had one La Playa Lager (Trader Joe's newest 50 cent beer, I'll review tomorrow because I'm drinking one now) and one Harpoon UFO.  Here's the schedule as of now though.  Thursday a real posts drops.  Same with Friday.  Then I go dead air for two weeks while in Michigan.  Then this blog sees the most prolific posts it has ever seen.  Here's a sample: on the subway home the other night (Saturday I think), I was drunkenly explaining to her how I had a seven page post comparing a line discussing Sam Adams in an article about Carlsberg banning their drivers from drinking beer to Descartes' introduction to the Meditations, not the Meditations themselves mind you, just the introduction.  I wish I had a lap top on that train because I'm sure that would have been epic.  I mean it will be epic, once I remember what exactly I was going to say about that.  Wait.  I remember.  Oh boy do I remember.

Total Beers: 611
Where I Should Be: 586.301

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Beer City, Beer Beer City

Today is August 1st, and we all know what that means:  Everyone and their mom is moving today.  Literally a dozen moving trucks are parked on our street with people moving into their new apartments.  I claim that August 1st is the busiest moving day in NYC because most leases start on the first of the month (narrowing it down to 12 days of the year) and that August would be a good time for both students moving to the city to start college and for families who wanted to move before their kids' school year started.  I said "claim" because I have no actual data collected to prove this, but I think my word should be good enough for you.  That said, Ryan has been helping a friend move all day and is now tired, sore, and (hopefully) working on job applications.  So I, Liz, am going to post today.  Whoopie!

Today I was on the couch (not helping friends move) and was watching My Fair Wedding with Dave Tutera.  As I was once a bride-to-be, I used to watch a lot of WE television and spend my whole Sunday watching Bridezillas, Platinum Weddings, and My Fair Wedding.  I now watch it occasionally when there is nothing else on.

For those of you who may not know, Dave Tutera is a Jason Bateman look-a-like who plans really expensive weddings.  The show is about how he meets a bride three weeks before her wedding, tells her how tacky everything is, redoes her whole wedding, and then is weird at the wedding by making a speech at the reception and standing between the two newlyweds constantly at their wedding.  Overall, the work he does is beautiful and he really does a great job.  Usually, the bride loves what he did to her wedding but she just couldn't have afforded it without him stepping in and doing all of the work (and paying).

Today I saw an episode that took place in Texas.  Dave Tutera is a New York City man, and usually only does weddings in the NYC area.  Apparently, they wanted to take him out of his comfort zone, and that's exactly what they did.  This girl had planned a wedding themed around corn, straw, cowboy boots, and bottles of beer. 

Tutera throws a fit about a lot of things.  He always hates the venue.  And the dresses.  And her centerpieces.  And her hair.  And everything else.  In this episode. her shoes were an expected fight -- he wanted her in strappy little heels and she wanted cowboy boots.  She got her way.  (They were covered by the dress anyway.  But as a bride who wore sneakers to her own wedding, I think that shoes are something a bride should not have to compromise on)  But he also got upset about the beer.

You see, he's a fancy-pants New Yorker who only does things 100% classy.  He said that no bride of his would be walking around with a bottle or can of beer at her wedding -- and sent her to a wine tasting class!  Well I never.

As you can see from the wedding video (from the venue's website) he allowed her to make s'mores but not drink a beer!?!  Beer drinkers are often seen as the low-brow Homer Simpson types - but to deny a bride her beverage of choice because it's not classy enough is insane.  I know that I am now preaching to the choir, but I just found it a tad bit outrageous that the bride could get drunk and make s'mores at her wedding -- as long as she was drinking super classy wine.

I felt that there was more to say about this outrage, but it turns out I don't actually have to type it - you all know what I'm thinking and so I will just leave you with this set up and let you assume you know the rest.  Meaning, I think it's ridiculous and all that good stuff.

As for the numbers, on Friday we went to a Mets/Diamondbacks Game and so some of the beers are...subpar.  On Saturday we had dinner and drinks at a friend's apartment and so we stuck with the theme of Mexican to go with our yummy taco dinner.

Friday at the Game:  1 Goose Island IPA ($7.50 for 12 oz), 1 Bud Light ($7 for 16 oz.), 1 Brooklyn Summer Ale ($7.50 for 16 oz.)
Friday after the Game:  4 Rolling Rocks (they were $15 for a bucket of 6)
Saturday: 1 Harpoon UFO Raspberry on the couch and then 2 Tecates with tacos

Total Beers:  608 beers
Where he should be:  580.821