Sunday, November 28, 2010

Calling in the CPAs to do Some Number Crunching

Total Beers: 944
Where I Should Be: 906.849

So you might have noticed I put the numbers up front.  The total beers includes my Thanksgiving weekend totals you'll see at the bottom here.  I did the Bethlehem Brew Works Rude Elf Reserve tasting as best I could and you'll hear about that tomorrow, but for now I wanted to talk about some updated numbers.  I'm getting pretty close to the end here and I'm almost 40 full beers ahead.  But the thing is, the "Where I Should Be" numbers are calculated based on my finishing on December 31st.  However, because I want to have some type of celebration for the 1000th beer, and I can't have a party on New Years for logistical reasons, I'm going to be finishing, hopefully, on December 19th.  That's 12 whole days earlier, meaning my Where I Should Be needs to be adjusted as such.

I have 56 beers to go.  I have 22 days to drink them.  As such, I need to be drinking 2.545 beers per day, which is slightly less than the 2.7 or so I've had to drink so far.  So while being almost 40 beers ahead is pretty impressive, it's not so impressive if you cut off 12 days of drinking.  Also, I've got those finals or what have you coming up, so I've got figure at least three or four of those days (tonight included, I need some post-Thanksgiving detoxing here) are going to be beer free.  So let's say I've actually got 18 days worth of beer drinking till my new deadline.  That's 3.111 beers per day.  That's higher than my original pace.  The moral of the story is: I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do this.  I had anticipated cruising into the 1000th beer well ahead, with perhaps a few days of no beer drinking.  But that's not going to be the case now.  Now I'm going to have to work.  And believe you me, I am up for the challenge.  I'll get back at you with a beer related post tomorrow, but I just wanted to fill you in on my new found challenge here.

Wednesday: Bethlehem Brew Works Nemesis at BBW, Sam Adams Old Fezziwig, Sam Adams Chocolate Bock (3)
Thursday: Yards George Washington Porter, Sam Adams Holiday Porter, Sam Adams Winter Ale, Sam Adams Old Fezziwig,  Sam Adams Lager (5)
Friday: Sam Adams Chocolate Bock, Sam Adams White Ale, Bethlehem Brew Works Rude Elf Reserve (12 oz 2010 bottle) (3)
Saturday: Bethlehem Brew Works Oatmeal Stout and Bethlehem Brew Works Rude Elf Reserve on tap at BBW, BBW Rude Elf Reserve (25 oz 2009 bottle), BBW Rude Elf Reserve (12 oz 2010 bottle), 2 Weyerbacher Harvest Ales at the in-laws (6)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Here's to Beer! The cause of and solution to all of life's problems!

Well Happy Pre-Thanksgiving everybody.  I'm writing this post a bus, which is the worst form of transportation ever devised.  I was going to say "devised by man" but this is clearly the devil's work.  Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday in that you get together to eat and drink with family and friends at a holiday whose history and iconography might be the most racist things on earth.  The whole "the Indians got together with the Pilgrims and had themselves a nice dinner where they worked things out peacefully" story might be the most offensive whitewashing of a genocide ever.  Seriously.  To make an EXTREMELY APT analogy, this would be like if we had a holiday celebrating that time when all of the slaves and slave-masters got together for a big meal and peacefully worked out their differences.  I know you're going to say, "Ryan, no one pays attention to that story anymore.  Now its just a day about giving thanks.  You have a problem being thankful?"  To you I say: cut the shit.  First, that racist iconography is everywhere.  Liz once made a similar point to me, and then she went out and bought dish towels with turkeys wearing those Pilgrim hats with buckles on them.  So now, every time they are out, I get to point at them and say, "I am right!  I am always right!  This racist iconography is so seeped into our culture that even you, Liz, you who recognizes that, yeah that story is pretty racist, has purchased and displayed items bearing that racist iconography!"  I anxiously await my Husband of the Year Award.

Second, I am perfectly fine with giving thanks.  I love being thankful.  Gratitude is one of the best 'tudes there is, probably right behind Latitude and ahead of Platitude.  I am all for family and friends and hanging out and counting your blessings.  But let's go ahead and move it to day that doesn't directly whitewash the greatest American genocide.  I think a helpful way to think about this is if you were an American Indian, how would you feel about the Thanksgiving day story?  Probably not too thankful.

But in the non-racist spirit of the holiday, I'd like to take a moment and discuss some beer things I am thankful for (for which I am thankful, that is): The 21st Amendment.  The fact that I can get great beers from all over the world right in my hometown.  The fact that I can go all over the world and find beers that I can't get in my home town.  Barleywines.  Yuengling's storage caves.  That my grandma knows what a growler is.  The lack of a noticeable (meaningful) backlash to "extreme" beers.  Ceasar Romero from Unibroue.  The internet (someone write a phd dissertation on the internet as propagating the craft beer movement).  That I can get a Sam Adams Chocolate Stout at the corner bodega in my West Indian Brooklyn neighborhood.  Michigan as a Top 5 beer state.  That people with more stones than me quit their jobs office jobs to start brewing full time.  Tap handles.  Arizona's track record of producing great floral IPAs.  That my wife likes beer.  Beer as a universal currency.  That Sudan has a brewery.  Holiday ales.  That there was something called a "Beer Summit."  21st Amendment's cans.  That Obama has been to Bethlehem Brew Works.  Ommegang's commitment to Belgian ales.  That its the beverage of choice for sporting events.  That New York State gave Brooklyn Brewery serious cash to expand their brewery. That I accidentally stumbled upon that super delicious Ommegang Adoration listed below while waiting in line to buy other beer.  That America is the best beer country in the entire world.  And I'm deadly serious about that.

Add what you're thankful for in the comments.  I would like to know!

Tuesday: Hebrew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., Erdinger Hefe-Weizen Dark
Monday: Duchess de Bourgogne
Sunday: Ommegang Adoration Special Winter Ale, Yuengling Premium, Ommegang Three Philosophers

Sunday, November 21, 2010

79 Beers to Go

Apparently most of my updating is taking place in my professional responsibility class now.  This time, though, its appropriate enough.  So, you may know that my cause de jure for these last couple of months has been to dispel the notion that any and all alcohol consumption is problematic.  By in large, most media outlets like to look at alcohol problems through two lenses: either having a drinking problem is the result of the number of drinks drank in a week or the amount of consecutive days one goes drinking at least one drink.  Both these approaches, I think, are pretty idiotic.  With this in mind, I flipped through my professional responsibility book to find a section on Alcohol and Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession.  It starts talk about the widespread problems of alcohol abuse in the legal field and how alcohol abuse might speak against someone's fitness to practice.  But color me surprised when I read the   Association of American Law Schools' definition of alcohol abuse: using alcohol "in a manner that does physical, psychological or emotional harm to yourself and/or others."  This, my friends, is a reasonable, and workable, definition of alcohol abuse.  Bigger picture stuff, guys, bigger picture stuff.  It's amazing to me that an organization representing perhaps the most unreasonable institutions on earth would be the one to proffer a definition of alcohol abuse I can get behind, but there it is.  With that said, let's discussing my drinking (none of which has done physical, psychological or emotional harm to myself and/or others).

Unfortunately we once again have to take a trip to almost a week about.  Tuesday, due to the magic of the mystery cases, I drank an Erdinger Hefe-Weizen Dark and a Black Toad Dark Ale on my couch.  Erdinger = pretty good.  Black Toad?  Not so much.  One of my biggest pet peeves in terms of beer drinking is people referring to beers solely by their color, as in, "I only like light beers," or, "I'm in the mood for a dark beer."  Unless you have that color/taste mix up that LSD users report, you don't taste the color of the beer.  The color can be indicative of the taste, but even then, that's only sometimes.  Saying something like is almost akin to saying, "I don't like orange paintings," but somehow that makes more conceptual sense than judging a beer solely by color.  So with that pet peeve in mind, it breaks my heart that both of the beers I drank use "dark" as their primary descriptive term.  In the Erdinger case its pretty excusable, given that it already tells you its a Hefe-Weizen and you could imagine that a "dark" version of that would be maltier, but just Dark Ale?  That tells me nothing!  Let's be real here Black Toad! (2)

Wednesday was another mix pack mash up.  I drank a Leipziger Gose, Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' IPA, Erdinger Hefe-Weizen Dark, and Lindeman's Peche Lambic all on the couch.  Nothing too much to report here, except maybe that I don't like Lambics all that much.  To each his own though! (4)

Thursday I actually left my apartment!  Went to a Nick Kroll comedy special taping at the Music Hall of Williamsburg where I drank 2 Sierra Nevadas.  So leaving the house is fun, but also expensive.  While I copped the tickets for free, buying my two beers, plus two beers for a friend, ended up costing more than a whole case of Park Slope mixed beers.  When I got home I had a Roscoe's Hop House Pale Ale which was really good. (3)

Friday, in a weird turn of events, I only had one beer, a Hebrew Lenny's R.I.P.A. which is a phenomenal imperial IPA. (1)

Saturday was a pretty big drinking day.  Liz and I decided to make the most of the fleeting fall weather and take a walk around Cobble Hill.  So we walked the three miles down there, but instead of spending the afternoon walking around stores and junk, we found ourselves planted at Strong Place for about three hours.  Here's how this happened.  I've talked in the past about those awesome Brokelyn Beer coupons I have.  Bought a book of 25 coupons for free beers from bars around Brooklyn for $25 about a year ago. The goal of this coupon book is to get people into beer bars they wouldn't generally go to and to stay and spend money after the first free beer.  Well normally Liz and I have gone for the free beer and left without getting suckered into spending money.  Well, on Saturday we got sucked.  Strong place is awesome.  They have about 20 taps on hand are pretty reasonably priced (for example, a Smuttynose Barleywine went for 5 bucks).  To top it off, we had about the friendliest waitress on earth.  Here's a trick that serves can use to get me to stay for more drinks: give me samples of beers I haven't had without me asking for them.  So after I have my first/free beer there (a delicious Allagash Curieux, a Belgian Triple) Liz and I get an unprompted tasting of some cider (which Liz ordered) and a Jasmine IPA which was super delicious.  So clearly I have to stay now.  I order a flight of four four ounce beers (which I'm counted as one beer).  In this flight was an Allagash Odyssey (a bourbon aged Belgian ale), a Smuttynose Barleywine, an Elysian Jasmine IPA (super delicious, could really taste the jasmine but not in an overpowering way), and a McNeill's Oatmeal Stout.  After this I ordered a can of Oskar Blue's Gubna, an imperial IPA I've been wanting to try, but buying it at the beer distributors it still costs 5 bucks a can.  Well, they had it at a bar for 6 so I jumped on the opportunity.  Then we went home!

You might think that would be it for me for the day, but you'd be wrong.  That night I went over to my friends' place for a TV party and drank two Negro Modelos and a Brooklyn Pennant bringing me to six beers total for the day!

Total Beers: 921
Where I Should Be: 887.671

Monday, November 15, 2010

(Less Than) 99 Bottles of Beer to Go!

I'd like to say that my weird, prolonged absences were intentional.  I'd like to say that I have about 8 Suns posts in my pocket that I've been working on.  I'd like to say that my once a week posting has been due to me trying to build suspense about the numbers.  I'd like to say a lot of things.  This is all just laziness though, pure and simple.  Here's how bad this is, I had to go back and check when then last time I updated was.  Here's something worse, my recollection of specific beers is pretty hazy, but we'll power through.  Given that I'm updating in my professional responsibility during a discussion on misleading statements to the courts, I'm only going to give you the real deal here.  I may have to post some corrections later after I talk to Liz, because she may be able to provide some insights.  The problem isn't that I've been getting so wasted that I just don't remember what I've been drinking.  The problem is that I haven't been writing things down.  Try to remember what you had for dinner last Monday.  Try it.  Pretty difficult, right?  But we'll get there.  I'm actually going to update in reverse here, because maybe by the time I get to Monday, the ol' memory will be jogged loose here.  I'm going to put the numbers next to the day to make things a little easier, math-wise, for me.

Last night (Monday): Had a Sierra Nevada Lager at John's Pizza in the Village.  Then went to Peculiar Pub where I had an Avery Old Jubilation (their winter ale) which was super delicious.  Then at home I had an Alhambra Negra.  It's from Spain!  And not that great! (3)

Sunday: nothing at all.  Detoxing the body night.

Saturday: This one's easy.  I was in Washington D.C. for a friend's birthday.  Started the evening with a 21st Amendment Fireside Chat at my friends' place.  Followed that up with a Goose Island Matilda and a Founders Cerise, their cherry ale, at Marvin's.  This was followed up by a Dale's Pale Ale at some electronic dance club whose name I did not get.  Piece of advice: it is hard to dance with glow sticks while holding a beer.  In future cases, I would recommend forgoing the glow sticks. (4)

Friday: Split a 25 oz bottle Lagunita's Imperial Stout with Liz (which was delicious) and drank a Golden Pheasant.  Let me say a few words about Golden Pheasant.  There were 4 combined in the cases we had.  I was jazzed at first because I thought they were Pilsner Urquels.  They were not.  If I knew anything about the law or trademark, I would say that Golden Pheasant probably shouldn't package their beers like that.  Also they were kind of gross.  Also, they're from Slovakia, so there's a first!  An international week, eh? (2)

Thursday: Ahh Veterans day, which I had off from work but not school because I guess my law school hates the troops or something.  Anyway, I had an Old Speckled Hen at Chip Shop out in Park Slope during a late lunch.  The next beer I drank was a Sam Adams Winter Lager in the Upper East Side at midnight.  Kickball happened in between (2).

Wednesday: Wednesday, had a Reservoir Ale at Reservoir of all places during what my friends Dave and Emily have dubbed "First Dinner."  Later that evening I split 25 oz bottles of Troeg's Mad Elf and Goose Island's Christmas Ale 2009 with Liz on the couch.  All were delicious (can't stop to elaborate here!  my memory!  it's a jogging!) (3)

Tuesday: Traquair House Ale on couch.  Delicious!  Wexford Irish Cream Ale!  Delicious and fun to pour! (2)

Monday: Two 21st Amendment Fireside Chats and a Southern Tier Harvest Ale on the couch!!!!!!! (3)  We did it!  Take that, short term memory loss!!!!  I vouch for all of these beers.  Every last one of them.  Man, I did not think I'd be able to do that.  Here's to more frequent updating!

Also, remember when I said I drank a Harvest something ale at Cornelius?    It was a Harviestoun Ola Dubh!!!!  That update's for the archivist.  I'm on a g-d role here baby.  You know how I figured that last one out?  I went to the Whole Food's beer place on Wednesday and saw it there.  So Whole Foods beer, in stark contrast to their, you know, food, is actually pretty cheap and they were selling it for 16 dollars for a 12 oz bottle!  That's nuts!

Total Beers: 905 (holy shit, we're down to the final 100!!!!!)
Where I Should Be: 873.972

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Long time, no see! It's Liz!

Well hello.  Ryan doesn't know I'm posting, but I am.  So shhh...this is just between you and me.

Ryan has casually mentioned something on this blog once or twice, but it's just too awesome for me not to talk about and where else to talk about it but on my husband's blog while he's not watching?

The beer place by our apartment is pretty great.  And I mean, honestly, pretty great for being in the middle of Brooklyn.  Not the gentrified, beautiful, moms-with-strollers-and-too-much-money Brooklyn, but the real "Haaaay, I'm'a wawking heeere" kind of Brooklyn.  But honestly, this place is great.

Much like Michigan, New York is a great beer state.  Now.  As a native Pennsylvanian, I know we have amazing microbreweries and brewpubs.  PA is a great beer state - but also a terrible beer state.  Did you know that you can only buy beer in cases in PA?  Yes.  Fact.  Except at like 3 stores in the entire state (and no, I have no idea how they get around the law), you have to sell by the case and you have to have limited sales on Sundays.  You know..Blue laws.  Totally relevant.

Relevant you say?  Right!  Back to my point.

So the beer store here in Brooklyn sells lots of cases of random crap (PBR, Coors, etc.) as well as cases of really cheap bad stuff (ie:  This post.)  What's that?  That's not a link?  Correct - Ryan has titles that do not relate to the content so I can't find it.  What I meant to link to was when I bought a 24-pack of beer for like $11 and while it was gross, it was suuuuper cheap.  That being said, they also have awesome cases, 6-packs, and individual bottles for good prices.

Additional side note:  There is an amazing place, Bierkraft, that we go to a lot.  They have great growlers, bottles, and aaaaamazing sandwiches.  But the bottles, while of a great selection, are more expensive than the regular case-place near us.  So, from time-to-time, we head over to the beer place near our apartment with our granny cart and get some beer.

A few days (weeks?) ago, Ryan and I went to get some beer and spotted these random mystery cases put together by the Park Slope Food Co-op (read all about it by cranky, lazy people in the NYTimes!)  It's a plain brown box full of 24 beers ... for $19.99.  Now, when I say this to my brother in Central Pennsyltucky, he thinks that's pricey.  In NYC, though, 6-packs are $10-$15 each.  Case places are few and far between, so heading the few blocks to get a $20 case rather than spending $40-$60 on 4 six-packs is a good idea financially.

Whew, this is getting really long for me not saying much.  ANYWAY.  We got a case and it was decent - lots of German random beers.  And one non-alcoholic beer.  WHAT?!  We then went back for a second - and it was waaay better.  Lots of awesome microbrews, great beers that usually go for $6 each, etc.  But also 2 Shandies.  WHAT?! (again).

Today we went back for 2 more cases.  Here's what I wanted to say.  It was nerve-wracking to pick which case to buy.  What if you choose a case of 24 bottles of German whatever rather than that other case which is holding 24 bottles of Westvleteren.  It's so nerve-wracking!  But we did okay.  Two cases of pretty decent stuff (although my case won:  Ryan's had SIX ciders!  Bwahahaha...Mine only had 2.)

I was reminded to say that this was a great idea and a great ploy by an organization to try to unload stuff they couldn't sell by simply putting a couple of good beers inside of the box.  Much like this.

Or this!  And now...the purpose of this post.  This song has been in my head since we bought these cases, so I am now putting that fate on you.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Bring Out Your Numbers

Liz is admonishing me to post.  So here it goes. Wednesday: no booze!  Unfortunately, I could have used some, as I saw the second worst play I have ever seen in my life.  Thursday I drank 2 Reissendorf Kolsches (not in kolsch glasses, unfortunately), a Fuller's ESB, and a Brooklyn Octoberfest on my couch.  Friday was one of the best beer days of my life.  I don't know about that for real, but it was a seriously great winter beer drinking evening.  First up, an Ommegang O Kyndnes, a new belgian scotch ale from possibly my favorite brewery.  So I love Ommegang, belgian ales, and scotch ales, so you'd probably imagine I hated this.  Well you'd be wrong.  It was great!  Up next was a 21st Amendment Fireside Chat, a self-described "winter spice ale" from a phenomenal brewer.  I love, LOVE, spiced ales.  Much like hopheads, I fancy myself a spice-head.  Additionally, you may recall Monk's Blood is one of my favorite beers of all time, so my expectations for this beer were through the roof.  That's unfortunate because, while the beer is phenomenally good, nothing could have met my expectations on this one.  I wanted a spice-explosion and instead got a reasonably-spiced, perfectly delicious beer.  But check out the can!
After that was a Full Sail Wreck the Halls which was pretty dope.  It's essentially an IPA and a winter warmer smashed up into one beer.  While it's a pretty interesting combo, it's neither hoppy enough nor winter warmer-y enough to make it really stand out.  More, damn you! More!  I followed that up with a Southern Tier Harvest Ale.  Southern Tier.  I need to drink more of you.  After their Imperial Pumpkin and the Harvest, I have to say they have the market cornered on winter/seasonal ales.  It's delicious.  I finished off the evening with a Einbecker Mai-Ur-Bock.  Great beer drinking evening!  I love winter ales!

Saturday I had a Harvest (something? My plan was to take a picture of the lengthy name on the blackboard on my out, but I forgot to and can't seem to find the name on the internet) at Cornelius.  The waiter hyped this thing up a ton.  I thought, hell, I'll get it.  It was 8 bucks and, as I would discover, 8 ounces.  8 ounces!   You kidding me?  You're not Sam Adams Triple Bock!  Get the hell out of here!  I mean it was good, it was sort of a cross between a harvest ale and a barley wine, but temper your enthusiasm waiter!  I then had two Red Stripes at Woodwork, which would be sleeper candidate for top 5 bars in Brooklyn.  Later that evening I had two Presidentes at my friends' place before seeing Rocky Horror Picture show at midnight.

Sunday.  Sunday I had a Southern Tier Harvest Ale, a 21st Amendment Fireside Chat, and a Einbecker Pils.  Sorry for the straight run down of numbers here, but I have things in the works.  I know on facebook I said Channing Frye was in the works, but I think I might outsource that on account of that needs to be an Arizona beer and I just can't get any of those out here.  So instead I've been working on Jared Dudley, who, in awesome form, just graced the cover of a San Diego magazine about bars.  I love Jared Dudley!  I love San Diego!  I love bars!  Someone get me a copy of that!

Total Beers: 886
Where I Should Be: 852.054
Number of Exclamation Points in this Post: 13 (I actually counted.  Also, I thought about adding one here, but it would make the final count ambiguous, and this is a black and white zone my friends)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Listen to this Engine Whine

It was the death of six pack Sunday.  I mean not really.  I just had work to do during the day so I couldn't down my customary three beers while watching football.  Doing work on Sundays is the worst.  Instead, my drinking was limited to splitting a growler of Brooklyn's Cuvee Noire with Liz at night (poured three for me!).  It's really good.  Liz is going to write up a review for it as soon as I tell her to, which is right now!  So get to writing Liz-o!

Since Sunday wasn't Six Pack-ified, Monday didn't require the customary detoxification.  I intended to have three beers, but only had two.  When I say intended to, it means I pulled three beers out of my fridge, except only two were actual beers.  The third?  Einbecker Brauherren NON-ALCOHOLIC MALT BEVERAGE!  Those bastards at the Park Slope Food Co-op thought they could slip in a non-alcoholic beverage without me noticing?  Well those moms have another thing coming!  I can't tell you how upset I was over this.  I didn't notice that it wasn't a beer until I pulled it out of the fridge.  Worse?  It was the only "beer" in the fridge at the time!  The other ones weren't cold in the slightest, so after receiving the insult of being sold a non-alcoholic "beer," I had to wait until I could drink an actual beer!  But, BUT, did I drink the Einbecker?  Well, I tried.  I always wondered what the NA beer tasted like, and I really did keep an open mind to liking it, but man, it was disgusting.  Later I drank a Brooklyn Octoberfest and a Wells Bombardier.

Speaking of Wells Bombardier, last night (Tuesday) at James in Prospect Heights, Liz paid 9 dollars for one!  I mean they're super good, but 9 bucks?  Let's be real.  Also, at James I had Lagunitas IPA for a somewhat reasonable 6 dollars.  At home I had a Reissdorf Kolsch (in my kolsch glasses again, chumps) and a Leipziger Gose.   I did that while watching re-runs of the office which, all in all, was a better option than my original plan for the evening which was, after spending almost 12 hours doing law school related nonsense, going home and putting my head in the oven.  Hey, did you know that I like beer?  Seriously though, I can't emphasize this enough, I like doing things that I like doing, and drinking a beer is towards the top of that list.  Seriously.  What's the point of going through life just doing things you hate to do because you have to do them?  Eventually I write a whole coherent (not likely) post about all of this, but for now, this'll do.

Total Beers: 869
Where I Should Be: 838.356