Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Cursed Scary Gypsy Lady Day

Interestingly enough, I'm having a great time writing these Suns updates, but it sort of cuts into my everyday writing about my drinking.  As such, my last update involved my Sunday drinking, but fret not my loved ones (and enemies), I've been keeping track of my drinking.  And in grand catch-up (ketchup?) tradition, I'll be starting with Monday and working my way up to last night.

So on Saturday night...WHAAAAAAT?  That's right, it's Super Psyche-Out Sunday, so I'm going to start from Saturday and work my backwards.  On Tuesday I drank four beers (suckas, Super Psyche-Out Sunday strikes again).  All these were on the couch while watching numbers on my computer screen corresponding to the Suns/Blazers game.  Here's the list: Einbecker Mai-Ur-Bock, Brooklyn Pennant Ale, Coopers Lager, and an Einbecker Brauherren Pils.  Also, you might have noticed that I didn't talk about Monday.  Well, true to my word, it was an alcohol-free day.  So there's that.  Also, that was the worst paragraph I've written in my life.  Nothing to be done about it now though.

Wednesday was somehow more subdued than watching numbers flash on my computer screen.  Had a Brooklyn Pennant and a Brooklyn Octoberfest while sitting on my couch.

Thursday was another kick-ball extravaganza, which means a lot of drinking but very little that I can count.  Although, my friend Alex saved the evening by ordering pitchers of Sam Adams lager for use in flip-cup instead of the standard Bud Light.  So, I'm going to count 2 beers from that, which reasonable AND fair, which is a pretty solid one-two punch.

Now we're approaching Halloween weekend here.  The thing is, all my friends are out of town so instead of dealing with insane crowds and insane covers at bars, Liz and I decided we would spend the weekend on our couch watching movies.  Although, I did have a costume ready to go if we did decide to go out.

But we never ended up going out.  We split a growler of Captain Lawrence Pumpkin Ale on the couch (poured 3 for me) and afterwards I had a Full Sail Session Lager which I bought because it was $1.50 at Bierkraft and the bottle is pretty cool looking.

And that leads us to Saturday.  Went to Bierkraft (second day in a row, which is weird) where Liz and I bought a 25 oz bottles of McNeill's Pullman Porter and AleSmith's Yule Smith Holiday Ale.  We drank the porter during dinner because I figured the Yule Smith would be too spicy to go along with the food.  Turns out the Yule Smith isn't a spiced ale, but rather a Double Red Ale, which would have gone better with the sandwiches than the porter, but live and learn I guess.  Both were good.  Watched Drag Me to Hell and Nightmare Before Christmas while drinking a Fuller's ESB, Leipziger Gose, and Full Sail Session Black Lager.

One quick thing before I leave you for football here.  Apparently George W. Bush, America's most infamous teetotaler, begins his new memoir by discussing his alcoholism.  The memoir starts, apparently, with him not being able to remember the last time he went a day without a drink.  While I'm not saying he wasn't an alcoholic, that's not a very good way to think about addiction and not a very good way to think about alcohol.  Having a drink every day does not an alcoholic make.  For you non-vegetarians out there, can you remember the last time you went a day without meat?  No?  Does that make you "addicted" to meat?  Don't be cute/a douche and say that you are addicted to meat.  You're not.  There's enjoying things in moderation/not letting it destroy things in your life, and then there's addiction.  Having a drink may be necessary to being an alcoholic, but it certainly isn't sufficient.  Sorry for the rant to end things here, but in case you didn't know this, I think society at large has a pretty unhealthy attitude toward drinking.    I mean America obviously has weird attitudes towards consumption in general (see just about anything involving obesity/diet fads/the amount of processed foods we consume and the amount of grief we give ourselves for doing so), but this image of "all alcohol consumption is dangerous/problematic" has got to stop.  And on that note, here are the numbers:

Total Beers: 861
Where I Should Be: 830.136

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Robin Lopez, The Future of the Phoenix Suns

By way of introduction:

If that's your first taste of Robin Lopez, you're welcome.  Here was my encounter with the man:

That's Robin Lopez being greeted by NBA commission David "I'm A Huge Douchebag" Stern after being selected with the 15th pick of the 2008 NBA by the Phoenix Suns.  The video, in which Robin appears to be a graceful gazelle, deftly picking that poor Thunder's pocket and gliding smoothly to the rim, is somewhat misleading.  Robin Lopez is a beast. An absolute monster of a man.  He is a 7'0" mountain of intensity.  I need you all to do me a solid right now.  Take 30 seconds and listen to this.  That voice you hear is Alvin Gentry, head coach of the Phoenix Suns.  That explosion at the end?  That's Robin Lopez.  Here's a picture:

Here's what you just heard/are looking at.  It's the middle of December during the 2009/2010 season. The Suns stormed off to a 14-3 record to start, only hit a serious lull after that.  Come December, the Suns are in a bit of a losing streak.  So in the midst of this, the Suns hold a practice in which the players scrimmage 3 on 3.  Robin Lopez's team loses.  Afterwards he calmly walks up the stairs and SLAMS THE DOOR SO HARD IT SHATTERS!!!!!!!!!  Robin Lopez is so fiery that he will literally destroy his very own practice facility after losing a light scrimmage during practice.  Yes, Robin Lopez truly is The Enforcer.  Outside of completely demolishing doors and opponents, he also plays the game of basketball, at which he is very, very good.  We'll get to that in a second.

Here's what else you need to know about Robin Lopez: he has an identical twin brother Brooke that plays for the New Jersey Nets.  Brooke went about five spots earlier than Robin in the draft.  Brooke gets a lot more hype.  Brooke has a slightly better offensive game, but because he was on a really awful team, he got a lot more minutes which means a lot more stats.  But here's the thing.  Robin is the better defensive player.  By a mile.  In fact, Robin Lopez is quite quietly the Better Brother.  Basketball people are starting to realize this.  Consider for a moment the 2010 US FIBA Basketball Team.  They're in the process of making cuts.  Both Robin and Brooke were invited to camp.  Robin had to back out because of back problems (puns!), leaving just the Lesser Lopez, Brooke.  USA basketball head honchos went nuts.  Brooke is probably going to be cut and now everyone is freaking out about the lack of interior defense and rebounding on Team USA.  While Brooke gets the hype and the publicity, Robin gets things done.

Robin Lopez is a Stone Imperial Russian Stout.

Let's get the obvious out of the way.  Fro-Lo played college ball at Stanford and Stone is from California, so they've got that in common.  But let's look deeper.

Stone is widely, some would say primarily, known for its wicked assortment of hoppy ales.  They have a whole gamut of IPAs and that are known and admired throughout the world.  Their Vertical Series is the stuff of legends.  But you know what might be secretly better than these beers that are way more well known?  That's right, their Imperial Russian Stout.  And you want to talk about intense?  The Imperial Russian Stout is the definition of intensity.  If we equate hoppy-ness with offensive production, which, I mean, why not?, then we can imagine why Stone's ales are the Brook Lopezes of the beer world.  The Imperial Russian Stout may not immediately dazzle you the way a double IPA might, but in the end, its sheer intensity gets the job done.  If defense wins champions, then I'm drafting (pun!) Stone's Imperial Russian Stout with a lottery pick.  The Imperial Russian Stout is the type of fortifying beer that could, quite frankly, constitute a meal.  If I'm stuck in an isolated cabin in the middle of the Upper Peninsula in January, I don't want my cabinets stocked with IPAs or flashy ales.  No, I want this.  You can keep your Brooks, your centers that can drop 30 points a game (which, by the way, Robin has done as well) but will ultimately lead your team to 20 wins.  I'll take Robin.  And I'll take a Stone Imperial Russian Stout.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Re-introducing Your Phoenix Suns

Hey remember when I posted this in July?  Me neither.  Well to refresh your memory, I'm going to go ahead and combine my two favorite things in life: beer drinking and the Phoenix Suns (sorry friends and family!  You'd definitely make the top 5 favorite things in my life, so no worries there!) In doing so, I will pick a beer for each member of the Phoenix Suns.  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.

(Also, I didn't change that last paragraph since I posted in July, and now Taylor Griffin is no longer on the team.  Prophetic!)

See you tomorrow with Robin Lopez.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Six Pack Sunday

Lost in the negativity of yesterday's post was the fact that I drank 5 beers (3 Heinekens and 2 Stellas) at the fall bash.  Now that that's done, let's move on to the positive: Friday through Sunday!  Friday night was a needed night in.  I drank a whopping total of 2 Brooklyn Octoberfests.  Saturday, on the other hand, was a pretty fun/busy day.  Liz and I went out to brunch and afterwards I was craving a coffee stout something fierce, so we sauntered on down to the ol' beer distributor where I picked up a bottle of Troeg's Java Head Coffee Stout and what amounted to a mystery bag of assorted beers.  The place had cases of random assorted beers from the Park Slope Co-op on sale for 20 bucks.  At a price that low we had to gamble.  Any way, went home, drank the coffee stout.  I gotta say, I am a fan of beers with breakfast.  Here's something interesting.  Did you know that orange juice wasn't always a breakfast drink?  In the 1930s, there was an over abundance of oranges, so growers tried marketing the juice as a breakfast drink when it had previously been more of an evening drink, as it were.  I'd like to see beer launch a similar campaign.

Later that evening I joined my friends at Brooklyn Bowl.  Their band was headlining some CMJ thing there that night, which meant they got free meal and drink tickets, which one of their other bandmates didn't want, so in turn I got free drink tickets, which is awesome, not unlike this run-on sentence.  So yeah, had a Brooklyn Pilsner with dinner at Brooklyn Bowl.  Then we headed over to the Brooklyn Brewery where I had a Brooklyn Cuvee Noire, which I wish I had more to say about the beer, but I really don't.  While I am constantly excited about all beers all the time, I like to be in a "beer-drinking" head space when trying new beers.  Unfortunately, I was in a "hanging with friends" head space at the time, so the best I can tell you is that the beer was good and I look forward to trying it again and giving it my undivided attention.  Went back to Brooklyn Bowl where I watched their band's stellar performance while drinking a Brooklyn Lager.  All in all, an excellent Saturday.

But check out my Sunday.  I think I'm going to start having every Sunday be a six-pack Sunday.  I mean it has an alliterative name, so how could that be a bad thing?  While my Cardinals lost pretty horribly, as did my fantasy team, the beer was superb.  Five of the six beers (that is, every beer except the first) are from the random case.  I started the day with a Bear Republic Tribute Brown Ale at 2 and finished with a Wells Bombardier at 11.  In between I had a Reissdorf Kolsch (in a kolsch glass no less!  What? You don't have kolsch glasses?  Whatever you say, weirdo), Fuller's ESB, Whale's Tale Pale Ale, and a Leipziger Gose, whatever the hell that is.  Instead of reviewing each beer, I'll just give you my list of preference: Bear Republic, Fuller's ESB, Reissdorf Kolsch, Well's Bombardier, Leipziger, and finally Whale's Tale.  All of the beers were good, but none were exceptional.  Well, I guess maybe the kolsch was an exceptional kolsch, but it's third place position probably tells you what I think of kolsch's.  They're pretty good!  Just other types of beer I think are better!

Well amigos, that was my weekend.  The Suns' season starts tomorrow, and I'm not drinking tonight (Detox Monday, while excellent in practice, doesn't have quite the same ring as Six Pack Sunday), meaning I'll probably repost my rules for the Suns as Beer, and then drop the Robin Lopez post!  Be excited.  Here are some numbers:

Total Beers: 844
Where I Should Be: 813.698

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Adults Don't Deserve Nice Things

So I'd like to think this blog has been, all in all, pretty positive.  I don't really like to say bad things about beers, even macros.  The one time I went on the attack, I tried to be as positive about the whole experience as possible.  As always, I want to highlight the positives of beer drinking and beer drinking culture.

But sometimes I forget that regular old drinking culture can be pretty awful.  Before I get to the negatives, I want to say that I have had a really nice week in general.  Saturday I had a Brooklyn Octoberfest at home and then went over to my friends' place where I had three Long Trail Blackberry Wheats (which I'm pretty sure are completely absent of alcohol).  Then the lot of us went over to a bar next door to the Black Bear Lodge (Cooper something?) where I had 2 Sols (they came in a bucket man, and it was cheap).  Perfectly nice evening with friends.  Sunday, due to my cable company getting in a pissing match with Fox, I had to go to a bar to watch football.  I had three Kelso Pilsners at Half Court while watch several of the games.  Had a Brooklyn Octoberfest back in the apartment while watching more football.  Outside of having to deal with rape-condoning Steelers fans (that is, all of them), a perfectly nice evening.  Monday and Tuesday have very similar arcs.  Both involved drinking 2 Octoberfests on the couch while reading/watching tv/hanging with the wife.  Also, very nice.  Wednesday night was a considerably nice night.  I went out to drinks after class with a friend who just got married.  I had a Speakeasy Prohibition Ale and a Yuengling Lager.  Later that night was pub quiz with friends where I had a Harpoon Octoberfest and a Founders Ale.

See, that's what beer drinking and drinking in generally is supposed to be like.  Having a few laughs with some friends.  Relaxing on the couch after a long day.  Hell, even making a vulgar joke or busting a ball or two.  Fun, I think is the operable word.  Beer drinking should enhance your day.  Even after a thoroughly awful day, when you say to yourself, "Man, I need a beer," the point isn't to "drown your sorrows."  The point should be, "I have had a day filled with doing things I do not enjoy doing.  Drinking a tasty and refreshing beer is something that I do enjoy doing.  I need a beer because for the X amount of time that it takes to drink it, I will be doing something that I like doing, and it's too easy to have days go by where you look back and say 'I didn't do a single thing that I actively wanted to do.'  I am not obligated to drink this beer.  I am drinking this beer because in a day/week/life where I have had to eat so much crow, as it were, this is something I am doing for me."

Let's visit Thursday night, now.  Thursday night was the annual law school fall bash.  I secretly (quite openly, actually) hate these things.  They host them at some super douchey Manhattan clubs and then a bunch of entitled law students get dressed up and act like they're already making six figures while running around with six figure debt.  In case you didn't know this, law students might be the worst people on earth.  So why do I go?  20 dollar open bar and my law school friends are there.  So despite the considerable negatives going into these things, I generally manage to have a pretty good time.  And that was the by and large the case last night.

But let me tell you about two things that don't mix: an extreme sense of entitlement and being completely wasted.  Unfortunately, those two things were present in copious amounts on Thursday.  Without getting into too many details, drinking too many cheap well drinks apparently made a few people think that it was okay to talk to me and my wife in a way in which respectable people should not talk to one another. It got to the point Liz had to get security involved.  I mean I get it.  You're an idiot and decided to pay sticker price for a non-top 10 law school in the midst of the worst legal job market known to man.  I get that you somehow came to believe that your very presence in law school entitles to a six-figure gig.  I also get that you don't want to wait until you actually get that gig to act like you make six-figures.  But here's what I don't get.  Even IF you were what you acted like and were what you think you're entitled to be, you STILL don't get to treat people like that.

I get that times are sort of depressing.  But you know what's not good to do if you're in a bad spot?  Get super wasted.  I said that I started this blog because I wanted to focus on the positives of drinking.  Sometimes I think the American people get too hung up on the dangers of alcohol.  Alcoholism is a real thing, but I think people are sometimes to quick to associate any and all alcohol consumption with something that is either dangerous or self-destructive.  That's not the case.  Hopefully I've somewhat demonstrated through this here blog that you can actually have a fun and responsible time imbibing.  But when I go to things like this where the whole purpose of the evening is down as many well shots as possible to get as wasted as possible, I don't know why I get surprised when, guess what?, alcohol isn't always a positive for everyone.  Not for me to be telling anyone how to live their life, but if drinking makes you forget to treat other people like human beings, you should probably stop drinking.  I'm not talking about the random drunken fight between friends, because lord knows I've had a few of those (though none really this year, as I said beer = all positives for me this time around).  I'm talking about forgetting that people you don't know are human beings, presumably just like you.  And you're not just hurting yourself or the person you're directly attacking while you're being an ass.  You're hurting all responsible alcohol consumers.  You're confirming every moralist's view of alcohol bringing out the devil in people.  You make it harder for people to believe that alcohol can be an amazing compliment to rewarding and responsible life.  I didn't really mean to get on a soapbox here.  Thursday night just really bothered me is all.  But the moral of the story is, just be cool man.  Have some drinks, have some fun, but if you feel compelled to scream at my wife and then try to expose yourself to her, uh, don't do that please.

Numbers and Friday/Saturday drinking will be posted later today.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Southern Tier's Imperial Pumpkin Ale is So Good It Gets a Mention In a Post's Title

I took a week off from beer drinking.  A whole week.  Part of this was intentional.  I needed to dry out for a day or two after Greg left town.  Part of it wasn't.  Wednesday night I just didn't have any beer in the apartment.  But the beer drinking was rectified (that's probably not the word I'm looking for) on Friday night.  After I thought I had a job for literally four seconds (long depressing story), I needed a beer.  Went home, picked up a case of Brooklyn Octoberfest, and 25 oz bottles of Arcadia's Cereal Killer Barleywine and Southern Tier's Imperial Pumpkin Ale.  Had the Cereal Killer first.  Might be one of the most drinkable barleywines I have ever had, but I think I say that after every barleywine I have.  I just have to face facts here and admit that I can session a barleywine, so...good for me?  Followed that up with a Brooklyn Octoberfest.  Next up, the Southern Tier Imperial Pumpkin Ale.  Do me a favor.  Go out and drink one right now.  You will not regret it.  I can't remember the last time I was so floored by a beer, but man, this beer was amazing.  I'm not kidding when I say it tasted (and smelled like) drinking pumpkin pie in the best way imaginable.  And at only 8 bucks for a 25 oz bottle, man, you can't beat that.  I can't say anything for certain, given I've only had one, but the Southern Tier Imperial Pumpkin Ale might encroach upon Bethlehem Brew Works' Rude Elf's status as my favorite winter beer.  Clearly, much more research is needed.  And I know just the man for the job.

Total Beers: 809
Where I Should Be: 789.041

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Five Borough Bar Crawl: Drunkards Take Manhattan (and Brooklyn, Staten Island, etc....)

There wasn't any real reason to do it.  If you think about it for more than, like, a second, it actually doesn't sound all that fun.  But you know what else no one would have any reason to do and doesn't actually sound like any fun?  Riding every ride at Disney World in one day, but they made a whole Step by Step episode about that (also weird that the kid they had running around doing that in the episode wasn't a regular character.  Why wouldn't Cody be the one do that?).  I had bandied about the idea of doing a bunch of mini-challenges in the context of my over arching challenge of drinking 1000 beers.  Drinking a beer in every state (too expensive).  Drinking a beer from every state (still on the table, but it sounds like more time and effort than I actually have).  Drinking a beer from every country (scrapped on account of I don't want to alienate any readers that hail from countries that don't recognize other countries as existing, that is, much like LeBron James, I'm concerned about alienating the Chinese).  Drinking a beer in every borough in New York City in one day.  Now this is a pointless challenge I can knock out with minimal planning/effort.  Also, I didn't google "five borough bar crawl" before undertaking this, so I assumed that I was the only one ever to think about doing this.  After some post-borough-bar-crawl research, I found out that I was apparently the only person in New York City that hadn't done a five borough bar crawl and wrote about it on the internet.  Welp, now the circuit is closed.  Not to spoil anything, but I did it.  I mean of course I did it.  Also, not to spoil anything, but I'm about to write about it on the internet.

The adventure started in Staten Island.  Or rather, the adventure started in Manhattan, waiting for the Staten Island Ferry terminal.  We got on the ferry at around 12:30.  As you can see from the picture below, a league of followers joined me on the boat, ready to start our five borough crawl.

I don't know what happened, but when I got to the bar I noticed that everyone on the boat except Greg and Liz didn't make it to the bar.  I assumed they all got lost, but I didn't have time to wait around for 200 people to show.  The first bar on the adventure was Jimmy Steiny's Pub in Staten Island.

We got to to Steiny's around 1.  Steiny's was chosen for the sole property of being close to the Staten Island Ferry terminal.  It was one block away and we could walk there.  Also, they had beer.  I mean not a lot, or anything good, but they had Yuengling and were open when we needed them to be.  Steiny's was fine, but we had bigger fish to fry.  We drank our Yuenglings and took off at 1:30.

The question I've been asked the most since accomplishing this feat is, "So you must have been so wasted."*  No, no I wasn't (I mean not until my victory laps).  Here's why.  If you'll remember from four sentences ago, we left Steiny's at 1:30.  After waiting for the 2:00 ferry back to Manhattan and then taking the 4 train all the way up to the Bronx, we didn't arrive at the next bar till 3:25.  That's two hours between beers, which, if my calculations are correct, is a long time between beers.  I'll be giving you the time stamps as we go along here so you can read this post in real time like that show 24 if you want.

The Bronx was the only borough we didn't have entirely planned.  The Yankees were playing a home play off game that night, so we thought it would be cool to drink a beer up by Yankees Stadium.  Turns out the game didn't start till 8:30 and we got to the Bronx around 3:15 and I guess Yankees fans are a bunch of wusses and don't want to pre-game for over 5 hours.  We ended up in Yankees Tavern, one block away from the stadium, at around 3:15.

This place was pretty cool.  As you can imagine it had a bunch of Yankees memorabilia up on the walls, but unlike every other bar out there at that time, it wasn't completely empty.  Also pretty amazing: the tap selection.  Unlike Steiny's, I actually had to think about which of the many beers they had on tap I wanted.  I ended up drinking a Victory Donny Brook Stout, which I felt was appropriate for reasons that are beyond me.  You may not know this about me, but I'm a task-master.**  I'm also a fast drinker.  This problem first arose in the Bronx when I finished my beer and had to anxiously nudge my co-conspiritors (wait for it) to chug-a-lug and get moving.  We had a schedule.  To avoid being at lagerheads (we're getting there) for the rest of the day,  Liz and Greg didn't sass me and, much like the Dude, aimbibed (and there we go) my instructions.

We took the 4 train back down to Manhattan.  Liz developed a mini-challenge within our mini-challenge (insert picture of snake eating itself here.  That's not a missed prompt to myself.  I'm actually telling you to go do it, just go ahead, tape it right on your computer screen/smart phone) of taking as many forms of transportation as possible in the day.  So far we had ferry and train down.  She wanted to ride a bus.  So instead of walking the few blocks from the train station to the bar, we took a bus.  We got off the bus, had a quick sandwich, and then made it to our third bar, the BXL Cafe in Manhattan at 5:05.

Also part of this trek was only going to bars that I had never been to.***  Researching Manhattan beer bars, I'd found that I had been to all of the noted ones except for this one.  Fortunately for me, it was also on the right side of Manhattan, so it was a win-win-win.  Also of note, at this juncture, our group grew from three to four, as my near and dear friend Eric joined us.  Cafe BXL is a fancy Belgian cafe/beer bar that only has belgian ales on tap.  Suffice it to say, it's pretty pricey.  I had their house ale, the BXL Cuvee, in part because it was cool that they had a house ale and in part because it was the only beer under 10 dollars.  It was ok!  Prior to beginning this trip I thought that if I wasn't on a time crunch, I would start doubling down the beers once we got to Manhattan.  While we weren't quite on a time crunch, I was anxious to get to the next bar in Queens and also to get out of there without a $50 bar tab, so we finished our one round and then took off at 6:05.

From the BXL Cafe, we jumped on the E train (which was running on the M track) and went on to the beer garden in Queens.  No, not that one. The other one.  We arrived at Studio Square at 6:45.

Studio Square is awesome.  I mean really awesome.  It has a ton of beers on tap, a ton of outdoor space, a ton of indoor space, and really cheap and really good cheese fries.  Also, I think why I liked it so much was that it was a "German" beer garden that didn't try to be kitchy or anything.  It was like someone decided they wanted to open up a nice, modern bar, but then came into a ton of retail space and then just decided to tastefully fill it with actual seats and extremely reasonably priced beer.  Gone was the "hey let's pretend we're in Germany" vibe and present was the "hey, let's be an actual awesome bar, just a really, really huge awesome bar."  I first order a liter of Hofbrauhaus Octoberfest.  Here's a picture of Liz's hand next to my second beer, a half-liter, because I thought the size of the whole liter needed perspective.  Also there's Eric in the background repping Free Energy.  Also, I forgot to take any more pictures after this.

After we get our beers, a fifth party, Sam, joins us.  Given that this place is super awesome, and that it's still relatively early, I get a second round, this time a half liter of Shipyard Pumpkin Ale, which has the distinction of being the wateriest pumpkin ale I have ever had.  It was still spicy and drinkable, but if you hated the previously mentioned Blue Point Pumpkin Ale, well, you're going to really hate this.  It's at this point that I am finally starting to feel the effects of drinking beer, which I guess can be directly attributable to drink 1 1/2 liters of beer in a marginally short time.  We finish up and depart Studio Square at 9:20.  From there, we jump on the N, and arrive at our last location, Mission Delores, in Brooklyn at 10:10

Mission Delores is a super awesome beer bar out in what I would call Park Slope but what neighborhood purists might call something else.  I don't know.  I don't play those games.  It's something like 2/3 indoors and 1/3 outdoors, but its set up like a railroad apartment with the outdoor third sandwiched in the middle of the indoor thirds.  It's pretty cool.  Also cool and somewhat unexpected?  Being psyched that I was about to drink a beer in every borough!  As dumb as this sounds, I was sort of just looking at this as a way to kill time with some friends, but I genuinely felt accomplished when I ordered that Brooklyn beer.  It made me anxious for the 1000th beer, because if I was genuinely excited to finish my mini-challenge, well I can't imagine what it will be like to finish my actual challenge.

I ordered a Mikkeller Centennial IPA as my first fifth borough beer.  It was awesome.  I'd never had Mikkeller before, but I had heard of their, let's say, commitment to hops and the IPA did not disappoint.  Also of note, another friend, a different Eric, joined us here, bringing our total up to six.  Up next was a Saison du Buff, a sweet collaboration from Dogfish Head, Victory, and Stone.  Also amazing.  I finished off the evening with a Six Point Crisp Lager, which apparently is a fancy lager, but at this point in time, well, I'd be hard pressed to give any tasting notes.

So that's the story of my epic five borough bar crawl.  From what I can tell, while I may not be the first write about such a journey, I am the most long-winded in so doing.  Here's a little cheat sheet for the evening.  Sorry I didn't post this at the beginning, but what with giving you and incentive to read and all:

Staten Island - Jimmy Steiny's Pub - Yuengling Lager - Me, Liz, Greg
Bronx - Yankee Tavern - Victory Donny Brook Stout - Me, Liz, Greg
Manhattan - BXL Cafe - BXL Cuvee - Me, Liz, Greg, Eric
Queens - Studio Square - HB Oktoberfest, Shipyard Pumpkin Ale - Me, Liz, Greg, Eric, Sam
Brooklyn - Mission Delores - Mikkeller IPA, Saison Du Buff, Six Point Lager - Me, Liz, Greg, Eric, Sam, Eric

I look forward to the inevitable Life According to Jim episode based on my experience (I'm unsure they actually make that show anymore, or any sitcom really).  Maybe Dan Aykroyd will play the non-series regular that makes the journey.  That would be fun.

Total Beers: 806****
Where I Should Be: 780.821*****

*Not a question, geniuses.
**That's not true in the slightest.  You probably did know that about me.  Double joke in a footnote!  Score one for resurrecting an admittedly annoying thing I did a lot when this blog first started. [ed. note, meaning still me, when Liz first read this, she said, "You're right.  That is annoying."]
***Note to the editors/ghost writers of my future book: fix this sentence.
****Sunday I planned go dry out, but the Cardinals were within striking distance of the Saints at half time, so I high tailed it over to a local sports bar where I had one Kelso Ale while watching the second half.  Worth it.  I've been beer free since then though.
*****Also of note, while it seems like I've upped my beer intake, which I mean I guess I have, my lead has actually dipped a bit.  I would attribute this to my 3 day beer absence, as well as the epic kickball night where only two counted.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

There's a Picture of Marlo from the Wire At the Diner On My Block

Hey there.  I did an epic 5 borough bar crawl yesterday.  I have pictures and junk.  But that'll have to wait till tomorrow.  Let's do the Thursday and Friday drinking before that.  Ok, so Thursday was nuts.  Like absolutely nuts.  Epic kickball, epic post-game party.  I went on a Flip Cup Survivor run that I will tell my grandchildren about (including winning a B.S. flip-off to get into the finals, I had that guy on the first go-round by a mile).  So how many beers do I get to count?  Two.  Two beers.  I had a Sam Adams Octoberfest before the game at Aces and Eights and a Climax IPA which I probably shouldn't have had at Jimmy's No. 43 after the post-game party.  The rest?  An un-quantified number of macrobrews.  You see how committed I am to authenticity?  Friday I had two Six Point Bark Red Ales at Bark, then a Jolly Pumpkin ES Bam at Washington Commons (Michigan beers fo' life).  Back at the apartment had a Abita Save Our Shore, a Laughing Dog (a brewery from Iowa!  a first for me!) Devil Dog Imperial IPA, and a Brooklyn Pennant.  This is a lot of beer drinking, I know, but Greg was in town so all bets were off.  Epic update tomorrow (or potentially Tuesday, what with me having another double date thing tomorrow night).

Friday, October 8, 2010

5 Boroughs, 5 Beers, 1 Day

So that's the tentative plan.  We'll be getting to Staten Island around 1 and moving on from there if anyone wants to join us.  You know how to contact me.  Also, I'll be updating the twitter feed when we move locations.  Technology is nuts.  See you chumps tomorrow.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This is My Advanced Legal Research and Writing

Let's look at my lackluster drinking for the past couple of days:  Sunday I had a Long Trail Ale while eating pizza and watching football.  You know, on account of being a dood, I guess.

Mexican Monday (not racist! just wait!) I did a fair amount of drinking.  Had two Yeunglings (to the chagrin of labor enthusiasts) at City Tavern, then off on a nice double-datey evening to Benny's Burritos (hence the dubbed by Liz "Mexican Monday") where I had a Dos XX which is actually super good.  Fun Ryan trivia: the first Dos XX I ever had was at a Mexican restaurant in Amsterdam.  That won't be on the test though.  Also, there will be no test.  After that it was off to a bar whose name I forget where I had a Captain Lawrence Nut Brown Ale.  The bar is directly across from Crif Dogs/PDT if that helps.  It doesn't?  Well not my problem.  Next Monday is "Momofuko Monday" which will also involve PDT.  I'm pretty excited and also, apparently, made of money.  I've been bringing my lunch to work every day though, so don't get on my case, Dad.

Tuesday I ganked a free bottle of Brooklyn Lager from an event on campus, took it home, drank it on my couch, and followed that up with a Brooklyn Pennant that Liz had purchased.  Uh, no incites from that night, except that I like free beer, especially when it's actually good beer!

Last night (Wednesday), I had a Blue Point Pumpkin Ale, and that's it!  As Liz pointed out to me, ratebeer and beeradvocate hate this beer.  I don't get it.  Sure, it was a bit thin, but man it had a nice spice smell that really hits you upfront.  Sure, the beer itself didn't match the spice nose, but the spice smell upfront really gets you where you need to go, spice-wise.  I'm going to say spice, like, seven more times.  Spice spice spice.  For you math wizards, that was only three times.  The point is, this beer had an awesome spice "nose."  After that, whatever.  People online, as always, need to chill out.  I really don't understand the point of wasting precious time to go online to spew negativity about a perfectly fine brewer that is doing its damnedest.  Positivity people.  Celebrating and all that.  Get on it,  Also, the label said it was a "pumpkin malt beverage."  I'm always a little confused when brewers call something a malt liquor or a malted beverage.  Not confused to actually research it, though.

Look at these totals: 1 beer, 4 beers, 2 beers, 1 beer.  As you know I need to drink 2.7 a night to keep on pace.  Welp, we'll do some catching up this weekend.

Greg gets in this evening.  We'll hammer the itinerary for Saturday and put it up Friday.  Join us, won't you?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Look at This Photograph

I do have a funny definition of tomorrow.  The problem is, it's been kind of quiet on the Western front.  For instance, Wednesday night I went to pub quiz at Franklin Park.  Here's all I can think to write about that: their tap system is definitely messed up some how.  I went to order myself a Rare Vos and Liz a Coney Island Lager.  What I got back was two metallic tasting beers that didn't taste at all like a Rare Vos or a Coney Island Lager.  I couldn't even tell which one was supposed to be which.  Then I ordered a Duvel.  The Duvel tasted, while at least sort of like a Duvel, pretty hoppy.  Have you known Duvels to be pretty hoppy?  Me neither.  After that I ordered a can of Pork Slap.  That tasted like it was supposed to.  Also, our team the Pen 15 Club finished a disappointing 4th.  In fairness, there's only three of us and most other teams had at least 5 people.  So if anyone wants to join a bad-ass pub quiz team, hit me up.

Thursday I had...nothing!  This will change though.  I'm in a kick-ball league that plays every Thursday.  Our team pre and post-games with other teams, but I couldn't join this week on account of work/the impending apocalypse storm that was coming.  While I drank no beer, I did bust out my good Hudson Baby Bourbon for a drink to celebrate landing an interview that day for my dream job.  I was saving that stuff for when I actually get a job, but hey, gotta celebrate while the celebrating's good, you know?

Friday I had a Great Divide Scotch Ale at my apartment, which really might be my favorite scotch ale now.  It's seriously very good.  Then I had three Simpler Times Lagers at a friend's party.  Now, despite what you make think about a dood that runs one of the most boring beer blogs of all time, I don't go to a lot of "cool" parties.  I mean I go to parties with my friends that are cool, but I'm barely ever at a party where I don't know the majority of the people.  Well, this one on Friday was one of those.  People were wearing fedoras!  They had a guy DJing the whole night!  There was exposed brick wall!  It was nuts!

Saturday, well Saturday was a good drinking day where I inadvertently went to the same bar twice.  Also, for the first and hopefully last time I went to Greenpoint/Williamsburg twice in one day.  See what happened was Liz and I had to go to Greenpoint to pick up some sorbet.  That's a weird thing to go out there for, but that was why we were there.  We figured since we were out there we'd go on a little bar crawl using our remaining beer coupons for that day.  Well we start out at Bar Matchless, where I get a Brooklyn Weisse.  Then we called it a day and go home.  Some crawl right?  Well I get a call from a friend who just moved to Greenpoint and he wants to do a bar crawl out there.  How can I say no?  So I meet up with him at...Bar Matchless, where I get a Brooklyn Lager.  From there we move to Manhattan Inn where it took us about 20 minutes to get the bar tender to get us beers (we each got a Victory Donnybrook Stout).  I might be the first person to ever say, "I did not like Manhattan Inn."  Given that I didn't say that then, I just mentioned it, I'll say it now.  I did not like Manhattan Inn.  Logic.  It will get you every time.  From there we went to the Turkey Nest where they serve you something like 32 oz styrofoam cups full of beer.  I go up and order a Brooklyn Lager.  It costs me 8 bucks.  Not an absurd amount for 32 oz, but apparently their macros go for 4.  Unsure if upgrading to a Brooklyn Lager was worth doubling the price.  After that we head to Charleston, which has stopped serving free pizza with their beer, but they still have a sweet juke box and the prices are still cheap.  I have a Lagunitas IPA and a Six Point Sweet Action.  Then I went home!

You may also been waiting for the announcement that I promised in the last post.  Well here it is.  Next Saturday, October 9th, I will be doing an epic 5 Boroughs, 5 Beers, 1 Day Bar Crawl.  The goal is to drink a beer in every borough in of New York City, that's Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, in the course of 24 hours using only public transportation.  Since I'm not going to be starting till about noon, that's really a beer in every borough in less than 12 hours.  I wanted to post an itinerary so if anyone cared to join me for any part of it, you'd be welcome to, but I don't have one yet.  Anyone know of any good bars in Staten Island by the ferry stop?  If you did, that would be much appreciated.

Total Beers: 781
Where I Should Be: 753.424