Archive for the 'Beer' category

Turkey Day Beers

Nov 24 2014 Published by under Beer, Life

Thanksgiving is almost upon us here in the US. I'll bet by now you've got most things arranged. Turkey. Sides. Pies. Guests. Seating. All that good stuff. But what about beer? Have you really thought about what beers you'll have on hand beyond "I'll pick up a six-pack or two before Thursday"? Really?

Now you may be thinking wine would be better. If that's what you like, go with wine. But it's a fair bet the pilgrims had beer, not wine, at that first feast that eventually evolved into Thanksgiving.

I have a few suggestions for you that might take your Turkey day brews from "hmmmm, beer" to "HMMMMM, BEER!!!!!" And I'll try to stick to beers you should be able to find fairly easily.

What you want to do is think about what you'll be doing T-day and what your menu will be and go from there. Here's what I'm planning:

1) I'll be grilling the turkey. Beer and grilling go together like Fred and Ginger, Waldorf and Statler, Starsky and Hutch, beer and pizza. But grilling a turkey is a long process - in my case it will take about three hours. So I'm going to start slow and light. No, not lite, light. Something refreshing and easy on the palate. I happen to have some Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale in my fridge. Perfect. Citrusy with a hint of hops and easy on the malt. Sierra Nevada Kellerweis would also work. Also citrusy with a hint of banana. Are there better wheat ales? Sure. And if you have easy access to one go for it.

2) Appetizers. These are often fat laden affairs, so you want something heavy on the carbonation to lift the fats off the tongue. Something champagne-like if you can. But beer of course. A biere brut would be ideal. But not always so easy to find. And often a little high on the alcohol. Remember, T-day is a marathon event and you want to make it to the end. So you could stick with something like the Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale - the citrus and hops will help wash that fat off the tongue. Or maybe go with a domestic saison/farmhouse ale like Prairie 'Merica. That's what I'll be doing. Prairie Hops is also a good choice. There are plenty of decent farmhouse ales out there. You should be able to find one.

3) Salad. On T-day? Seriously? Okay, if you must do the green stuff, stick with the farmhouse ale. But really, salad on T-day?

4) The main event. Okay, think this one through. Turkey, stuffing, maybe ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, etc. Heavy stuff. You want something with flavor so it's not overwhelmed, but not the kind of flavor that will compete. I'll be having Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh-Hopped IPA. Hoppy, citrusy, piney, a little grassy, and yet malty. Another good choice would be a good brown ale. Something like Bell's Best Brown. Or split the difference - Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale.

5) Dessert. Still hanging in there? Coffee goes with dessert, right? Go with a beer with coffee flavor. A really good stout or porter can bring out coffee flavors without actually having any coffee in them. I'm a big fan of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. But I happen to have some Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout in the fridge (yes, it has coffee added). That's what will work for me. By the way, those big heavy stouts/porters? Often fewer calories than their paler cousins. Although, at this point in T-day who's really thinking about calories?

One final note. That's potentially a lot of beer. Be smart about that. Maybe split a bottle with one or two other people rather than drinking it all yourself. You might not want a full 12-16oz with appetizers, entree and dessert. And you might need to drive.



20 responses so far

Zen and the art of potato grating

Dec 02 2013 Published by under Beer, Life

Last Saturday I peeled and grated 20lbs of potatoes for our annual latke-fest. By hand. Yes, I know a food processor would make short work of the potatoes. But most of you haven't tasted my latkes.* And I wouldn't have this post to write or be able to use such a catchy title** if I used a food processor.

There's something almost hypnotic about grating that many potatoes. It's mindless. I like doing the occasional mindless task. I get two things out of it. One is the ability for quiet introspection, something I tend to benefit from. The other, while not being introspective, is uninterrupted time for free thought. By that I mean I start thinking about something, say an issue with my research, and let my thoughts go where ever they take me. It's amazing how often I stumble on the right experiment or solution to a problem (usually unrelated to the starting one) doing this. So peeling and grating 20lbs of potatoes is time well spent.***

And the post-grating beer is pretty good too.

* They're damn good.

** With apologies to Robert M. Persig, author of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." If you haven't read it, you probably should.

*** I mow my own lawn, paint walls etc. for much the same reason. That and I'm too cheap to pay someone to do it.

2 responses so far

Beer 501: #dinnerdare pairings part deux

Mar 16 2012 Published by under Beer, Life

After the initial flurry #dinnerdare postings have died down. But there were still a few. And here be the pairings.

Dr24hours' Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches:
Apparently he wore himself out with his first entry... Beer with peanut butter? Sure, why not? How about a decent amber ale? Unibroue Maudite - some nut and maybe caramel, apple and fig notes. Highly drinkable.

ProfLikeSubstance's Stuffed Pork Loin and Green Beans:
Pork and gorgonzola. Sounds like a great combo. I'm suggesting two potential pairings. A German doppelbock - my favorite is Ayinger Celebrator. Dark, rich in malt, bready and slightly bitter, not from hops, but from the roasted malt. ANother possibility would be a Belgian tripel. Try Gouden Carolus Tripel, or for an American version, Anderson Valley Brother David's Tripel. Tripels tend to be malty-sweet with underlying fruitiness (apple, pear), plus some bread character.

SciTriGrrl's Soba Noodle with Spicy Peanut Sauce (no picture):
Apparently loosely based on this recipe. Again, two possible pairings. Avery White Rascal, a Belgian-style wit ale, works well with spicy Asian food. Or you could try Avery IPA - fairly strong citrus notes with good, hoppy bitterness.

KatieSci's Corndog in a Glass:
Also carries the tag #gradstudentstyle. A better use of that glass would be to pour a Avery Joe's Pilsner into it (but don't put the corndog in too!). A huge step up from the usual American pilsner dross, and still affordable enough for a grad student.

PHLane's Bacon-wrapped St. Louis Dog served on Pulled Pork:
Bacon at last! Really people, so many #dinnerdares and so little bacon? And note this also came with fries. I believe Pascale was drinking Yuengling Lager(?) at the ballpark. Not a bad choice as a pairing with this. Probably also about the best you'll do at the vast majority of ballparks. But let's pretend you could get better. How about a Achouffe McChouffe? This is a Belgian dark red ale with a soft malt base, typical Belgian yeast flavor, plus noticeable bitterness from the hops. A well-balanced ale for a warm day in the sun.

Once again, if I missed any, let me know.

3 responses so far

Beer 501: #dinnerdare pairings the first [Updated again!]

Mar 14 2012 Published by under Beer, Life

So the Twitterz #dinnerdare challenge is off and running. Last night saw some strong entries. As promised, here are some beer pairings. I apologize to any #dinnerdare participants whose entries I've missed - let me know in the comments and I will rectify.

Note that for those entries where no recipe has been posted I am taking something of a guess at some ingredients and hence with the beer pairing.

In no particular order...

Dr Becca's Shrimp and Grits (Cakes):
Dr Becca apparently threw this together using whatever she already had available in her epically small kitchen. Impressive. I'm bookmarking this one to try myself. Now shrimp and grits, with the coulis Dr Becca threw together, tend to have mild - subtle even - flavors, so you don't want to overwhelm these with an in-your-face beer. I'm going Belgian. Try the Dupont Foret, a farmhouse ale brewed for summertime consumption. Refreshing citrus notes with a champaign-like dryness. Another, easier to find, possibility is Avery White Rascal - a Belgian-style unfiltered white ale spiced with coriander and orange peel.

ProfLikeSubstance's Guacamole:
Not a dinner of course, but a damn good appetizer. PlS has a bottle of Ithaca Brewing Flower Power IPA in the pictures. A bitter IPA is a great choice to set off the creamy avocado and complement the added lime juice. I've not had the Flower Power, but would suggest a citrusy IPA like Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum or Southern Tier's 2XIPA. The latter is a double IPA, so extra hoppy, but doesn't lose that citrus background.

Jason Goldman's Shrimp, Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya Pasta:
Jambalaya pasta? Looks good. No recipe though, so I'm going to assume it tastes like jambalaya. With pasta. One could go with an English bitter such as Fuller's London Pride or Samuel Smith's Organic Ale. These aren't really bitter, just bitter by English standards. They tend to have malty caramel notes and are well-balanced by the hops. Or go out on a limb and try it with a Scottish Wee Heavy like Bellhaven Wee Heavy - butterscotch and Scotch (whiskey) notes should pair well with a smoky sausage in the jambalaya.

[UPDATE] And here's Jason's recipe!

ProfLike's Grilled Fillet, Portobella, Curried Broccoli Rabe, and Roll:
Good old grilled steak calls for a good old... porter! The caramel, chocolate and coffee notes in a good porter pair well with grilled red meat. And portobella. Try Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter or Bell's Porter.

NatC's Chana Masala:
Indian food, and Asian food in general, tends to be chock full of flavor. A beer that can hold it's own, without being overwhelming, is called for. The Avery White Rascal described above would be good. Or you could try an English-style IPA like Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey.

Dr24hours' Chili-lime Grilled Swordfish, Grilled Squash/Carrots w/ Balsamic Reduction, and Piñon Rice Pilaf:
This dish screams "Summer!". It needs a refreshing beer that won't mask the subtle flavors found in swordfish. Dupont Avril would work. Fruity dryness with almost champaign-like effervescence. Or if you can't find that, try Avery Joe's Pilsner. I'm not a huge fan of pilsners - or "pisswasser" as I may have referred to it - but this is a good one. Very drinkable. Don't be put off by the fact it comes in a can - pour it into a glass and enjoy!

Katie's Moroccan Chicken with Lentils and Basmati Rice:
Yum! I haven't had Moroccan in a while... Let's go Trappist(-style)! Sierra Nevada's Ovila Quad is a Trappist-style dubbel with plum, date and fig notes, with a low level of bitterness. Or you could go with an authentic Trappist ale like Chimay Grand Reserve (Chimay Blue) or Rochefort 6, both medium sweet with candied fruit characteristics.

And lastly for today, while not tagged as a #dinnerdare entry...

DrugMonkey's Arugula/Mushroom/Mozzarella/Prosciutto Pizza/Calzone Thing:

I think this needs a good pale ale. My current favorite is Schlafly's APA. Founders Dry-Hopped Pale Ale would also work. If you're a little adventurous, try Stone's Cali-Belgique IPA - an IPA brewed using a Belgian yeast which gives it a fruitier, spicier flavor than most IPAs.

[UPDATE] I knew there was one I missed...

Geeka's Simplicity: Pea Shoots, Goat Cheese, Pear Vinegarette:
A beer with salad? Why yes. Goose Island Fleur. Strawberries, maybe hibiscus tea. Perfect with a vinaigrette.

[UPDATE] And another I missed...

SugarScientist's caramelized Onion, Potato, and Broccoli Quiche:

Hmmm, quiche... I'm going to give you three potential pairings. Each quite different from the other two. First, Goose Island Matilda, a Belgian-style amber ale. Somewhat acidic with apple and cherry notes. Second, Sierra Nevada Kellerwies, an American hefeweizen (wheat beer). Both bready and fruity. Lastly, Brooklyn Summer Ale, a crisp, light ale with bread and citrus undertones. Take your pick!

Now I'm hungry. And thirsty.

16 responses so far

The return of Beer 501 with #dinnerdare pairings

Mar 13 2012 Published by under Beer, Life

It's been a while - a long while - since my last Beer 501 post. I've been meaning to get back to those. Now I have an excuse.*

A number of people in the Twitterverse have decided to participate in a little challenge with the hashtag #dinnerdare. They're basically trying to out cook one another. Some of the participants are listed in ProfLikeSubstance's post on the challenge. ProfLike and Isis, the reigning blog cook-off champ, have been engaging in some friendly banter that has resulted in ProfLike firing the first shot with a guacamole recipe.

Now I'm no great shakes in the kitchen, so I won't be participating. But here's what I can do. I will suggest a beer pairing for each dish that is blogged as part of the challenge. Stayed tuned - I'll put together a post or two once more recipes are posted.

What better way to restart Beer 501!

* Not that I really needed one.

6 responses so far

I'm still alive

Mar 10 2011 Published by under Beer, Life

Work, travel and life in general have kept me from blogging recently. Here are some thoughts:

Beer 501:
People asked for brown ales. I had to travel. Perfect, thought I. I will sample brown ales in my travels. Wouldn't you know it, none of the fine establishments graced with my presence had any. Other than Newcastle, which is a rather boring brew. They did however tend to have some rather fine pale ales. 🙂 I suspect pale ales may be next after all...

And, I have dispatched a roving researcher into the field. My piratical older brother, JollyRgr, is currently working his way through SE Asia sampling beers at a furious pace. Look for a special report soon. Which, hopefully, will be followed up by a second report on Australian beers (Fosters = Australia's Bud).

Delta, you suck.

Hotel toilet paper would make great fine grit sandpaper. Even the stuff in the four star hotel I was in.

Apparently a 15 year old girl can get a bottle of nail polisher remover through security. And use it on the plane. While at 30,000ft. one really does not want the smell of such a highly flammable solvent wafting over the head rest of the seat in front of you...

Atlanta airport sucks. Sure, there are worse, but it still sucks.

So does Delta.

5 responses so far

Beer 501: Stouts

Feb 07 2011 Published by under Beer, Life

So I'm a little late with this one. Sue me. I have better things to do at times than write about beer. Like drinking some.

Okay, stouts. Many will picture a Guinness when they read the word "stout." If that's the limit of your stout knowledge then you've been missing out.

There's some disagreement as to whether stouts and porters are the same thing. They are made from the same basic ingredients and are both dark beers. There is some thought that stouts are stronger (i.e. higher alcohol percentage), and that's certainly true when you get to imperial stouts, but not so much with more "regular" stouts. Today we're just going to deal with beers labeled "stout."

A lot of the variation in flavor among stouts comes from the degree to which the malt is roasted (much like with coffee beans). The darker the roast, generally the more bitter, fuller the flavor. Stouts will sometimes have things added to enhance the flavor or body. Oatmeal most commonly, but sometimes coffee and even chocolate. Interestingly stouts can be brewed to have a distinct coffee flavor without the addition of coffee.

Probably the best known worldwide. It's not a bad beer, but compared to many good stouts it's a little... watery. It has that thick creamy head and leaves lace (that lacy pattern of bubbles) on the sides of the glass as it's drunk, both good signs for a stout. Has a slightly bitter, toasty flavor from the roasted malt and perhaps a little coffee flavor (but no coffee is added).

Murphy's Irish Stout
Another common, mass-produced stout. Sweeter than Guinness with a very thick head. Perhaps a slight chocolate taste to it. It's okay - I prefer my stouts a little bitter rather than sweet.

Sierra Nevada Stout
Sometimes billed as the best American stout. I'd have to disagree. Looks like a stout - dark with a creamy head - but tastes like... an IPA! I like IPA's. One of my favorite beer styles. But when I drink a stout I want it to taste like a stout. And to be honest, the IPA flavor of this "stout" isn't wonderful. Not bad, but there are many better. I just find this one to be a schizophrenic drinking experience.

Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout
Oatmeal is used in some stouts to give it more body. This is a really, really good oatmeal stout. Dry, slightly bitter, malty, toasty and even a hint of hops. This is one to sit and enjoy in front of an open fire. If only they would drop half the words in the name.

Rogue XS Imperial Stout
Russian Imperial stouts were originally brewed for the czars who wanted a beer of their own, not to be served to the common people. Or so the story goes. These tend to have higher alcohol contents - 7.5% upwards to nearly 20%. The Rogue XS clocks in at 11%. Rich, creamy, strong flavor (from the oats). A hint of coffee and chocolate in the flavor. Good, but pricey - around here a 7oz. bottle goes for about $7.

Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti
This is an imperial stout (9.5% alcohol) that has been aged in oak. Beers are typically best drunk fresh, so it's a little odd to talk about aging a beer, but there are some that have been brewed specifically to be aged, usually in oak barrels or with oak chips, but sometimes in used bourbon or gin barrels. The Yeti is currently my favorite imperial stout. Smooth and rich, with a very strong coffee flavor, despite there being no coffee added. Woody overtones from the oak. This is a great one to have with dessert.

Bells Java Stout
This one has a very strong coffee flavor. Not surprising given it's brewed with coffee added. If you don't like strong coffee, don't bother. The flavor is bitter, almost like coffee that has been allowed to "cook" in the pot too long. A glass of this starts well, but the slight "overcooked coffee" flavor builds up towards the end. Not one of Bells' better brews. If you want the coffee flavor you're probably better off with the Yeti above.

That will do for today class. Your assignment this week is to try a stout you've never had before.

Next time: I haven't decided yet. Maybe amber ales. Or barrel aged beers. Or something else.

15 responses so far

Beer 501: German beers

Jan 28 2011 Published by under Beer, Life

If you have been to Germany and drunk the beer commonly served in bars, or have partaken of the German brews generally served at Oktoberfests you may have come to the conclusion that Germans can only brew pisswasser. Not so! The most common beers in Germany are pilsners. These are light on flavor. They are brewed specifically to be downed in great quantity. A litre at your morning break, a litre at lunch, a litre at afternoon break, a litre after work, a litre with dinner and then several more after... The goal here is quantity over quality. What many may realize is that all beer-loving countries tend to have something similar - mass produced beers designed specifically to be drunk in quantity. Budweiser calls it's beer "The Great American Lager." The "Great" is clearly indefensible, but it is a lager - a pale lager, or German-style pilsner to be precise. Pisswasser. Pisswasser brewed with rice in it. But I digress...

And continue to digress for a moment. As I noted above, all beer-chugging nations have their mass-produced pisswasser. Germany has its pilsners (or pils), Australia is the land o'lagers (but not necessarily pilsners), England has ales, the US pilsners and other lagers, and so on. Quantity over quality. Mostly, but not necessarily all, forgettable stuff. Bottom line: don't judge a country's beer quality by it's mass-produced dross.

Back to Germany. If all you have sampled from this country are its pilsners then you have missed out. There are bocks (strong lagers), doppelbocks (double bocks), wheat beers (but not necessarily the yeasty Belgian kind), dunkels (amber to dark ales) and even rauchbier. Below I will briefly discuss some of my favorites and others I have sampled.

The goal when brewing any dunkel (or amber ales in general) is to aim for a balance of the malt, hops and yeast flavors. That might sound like all amber ales will be pretty much alike, but that's not the case. Even within the restriction of balance there's a lot of variation available to the brewer. A good amber ale is a refreshing beer with a noticeable, but not strong, hops flavor. A good German one is Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel.

It would be a mistake to lump these in with the common mass-produced lagers. These have higher alcohol (7-12%) and are much maltier. I'm a big fan of hoppy beers, but really enjoy a good doppelbock on occasion. Originally brewed by monks to consume during their fasts,* doppelbocks have a malty, slightly sweet, almost toasty flavor. The names of these often end with "-ator" (pronounced "ah-tor" - channel your inner-Arnold Schwarzenegger when ordering one). My personal favorite is the Ayinger Celebrator. Good toasty flavor. The Spaten Optimator is another good choice.

Wheat beers:
As is obvious from the name, wheat is used in the brew. Many of you have likely tried the yeasty Belgian wheat beers. These tend to be a little sweet with a citrus undertone. German wheat beers are not necessarily the same. Belgian brewers like to highlight the yeast, Germans more the grains and hops. I'm not a huge fan of wheat beers in general, but do like Erdinger Pikantus - a dark wheat beer. Yes, a dark wheat beer. This has a good toasty flavor.

Rauchbier means smoke beer. Before brewing any beer the malted barley is dried in a kiln. Over the centuries brewers have experimented with different levels of drying from just barely dry up to roasted malts (more about those next week). The brewers at the Brewery Tavern Schlenkerla in Bamberg tried something different - smoked malt. Yes, smoked like you would smoke meat. And that's what this interesting brew, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, tastes like. It has a very strong smoked flavor. In fact that's all you taste with the first sip. And the second. By the third you begin to notice the malt a little, and perhaps the hops on the fourth sip. To be honest, I didn't get past the fourth sip. It's like drinking this. Not pisswasser to be sure, but not drinkable either. Might make a good marinade though.

That's it for today. Your assignment for this week is to go taste a non-pilsner German beer and report back in the comments.

Next week: Stouts. More than just Guinness.

* I always imagine two monks solemnly approaching each other in the darkened cloisters.
"Brother," the first nods at the other.
"Brother," he replies.
"The Lent fast approaches."
Brief pause.
"YYYYEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!" they yell together while high-fiving and belly-bumping.
Then off they go in their solemn way.

19 responses so far

Beer 501: The Wonderful World of Beer - Introduction

Jan 21 2011 Published by under Beer, Life

Settle down class. Settle down. Right, welcome to Beer 501: The Wonderful World of Beer, a course for graduate students and advanced undergraduates pursuing a degree in any of the alcohol-related sciences. This course is designed to educate you about the wonderful world of beer. Today we'll take care of some administrative stuff and introduce the course.

First up, Beer 101: Chuggable Beers for College Students is a prerequisite for taking this course, no exceptions. Anyone not take 101? Good.

Now this course will meet roughly once a week, most likely on Fridays. Attendance is not mandatory, but grades are 100% based on participating in weekly assignments, so attending is probably a good idea.

I don't mind if you bring laptops to take notes, but I won't tolerate twitting, tweetering or whatever it's called during class. CPP, if you see anyone being a twit you have my permission to hit them on the head with a heavy blunt object.

If you're in this class because you have to be, not because you want to be, and want to sit in the back and surf porn sites on your laptops, I won't stop you, but please mute your computers. Yes, GR, I'm looking at you. Old Professor Schmirnoff will be in therapy for a long, long time after that Mexican midget and donkey porn incident in Vodka 220.

My Qualifications
I'm not a cicerone. I have no formal training in the art of beer. But I am Australian and have sampled a great many beers from all around the world. I've also been known to brew my own beer. Good enough for me.

What Will Be Covered
We are going to talk about a wide variety of beers during this course. There is no formal syllabus. We will talk about beers by country, type or whatever else strikes my fancy. Yes, I will be making this up as we go along. Hopefully we will have a guest lecturer or two as we go along.

What Will Not Be Covered
Heavily fruit-based beers. Dross like Magic Hat #9 and Samuel Smith's Organic Raspberry. Abominations such as these are not worthy of the title "beer." Anyone who likes to drink these namby-pamby, frou-frou "beverages" best served with a little umbrella and slice of pineapple held in place by a cherry-skewered toothpick should drop this class now. Go on, bugger off.

Some beers brewed with a hint of fruit, primarily citrus, may be discussed.

What is Beer Anyway?
At it's simplest beer is brewed using just water, hops, malted barley and yeast. Other grains are sometimes used. Wheat is common. Others such as rice, rye and corn can be encountered. Some brewers will add hints of herbs or spices. Perhaps chocolate or coffee. But in the end, most of what you taste will come from the grain, yeast and hops.

The Beer Experience
Let's talk about the drinking of beer. It's an experience, not just something you chug down to get a buzz. Firstly, draught is best. Then bottled, preferably poured into a glass. Cans should be avoided if possible.

Beer should be savored. When you have a beer, before you drink, look at the beer. What color is it? Is it clear or cloudy? Does it hold a head? Is it heavy on carbonation, or are there few bubbles? All these things vary tremendously between beers and have a profound effect upon their taste. Then take note of the aroma. As you should all know, much of what we generically refer to as flavor actually comes from aromas. Think about what you can smell before you drink. Only then should you begin drinking. Hold that first sip in your mouth. Swirl it around a little. Enjoy the complexity of flavors. After you swallow take note of the after-taste - the finish. Take a second sip. Compare to the first. No, it won't always be just like the first. Enjoy the beer.

But wait, color, aroma and flavor are not all. The circumstances under which you are having that beer are important as well. A beer that tastes good when drinking alone can be elevated to very good when it is drunk in good company. Of course a really bad beer is always a really bad beer, but it's all in the experience and you should take note of that.

And that in fact brings me to your first assignment. I want you to describe to me, in the comments, the worst beer you have ever drunk. Not just what the beer was, but the circumstances that may have contributed to to it being the worst.

To get the ball rolling, let me tell you about my worst. When I first moved to the US I hung out with a local rugby team. A good bunch of lads who would drink copious quantities of very forgettable beer. Copious, copious quantities. After an early Fall game where the temperature approached 90F - hot for rugby - I piled into a car with five of the team for the one hour trip home. Being the smallest I was asked politely to sit in the very back of the station wagon. That is, I was thrown in the back. Along with a number of sweaty uniforms. Did I mention this was a Ford Pinto? And that I was in the very back, inches above the gas tank?* Anyway, it got rather hot back there with the smelly uniforms, so I was passed a beer. An Old Milwaukee. An Old Milwaukee that had been sitting in the hot car all day. Now this is a truly dreadful beer to begin with, but a hot Old Milwaukee in the back of a Pinto station wagon, where there's no ventilation, with freshly used rugby kit? I'll let your imagination fill in from there.

That's it for today. Don't forget you grades are based on participation, so do that assignment.

Next week: German beers. Not all are pisswasser.

* Okay, I'll 'fess up, it wasn't one of the exploding models. But it does make for a good story.

65 responses so far