#December2012

Friday Brew Review: Verloren

We should all aspire to be a bit more like Indiana Jones.

What’s that? You say you don’t approve of Indy? You think he’s a poor choice for a role model? Well then, why could that be? Is it the fact that he makes murder hilarious? Or do you have some serious qualms about his freewheeling sexual ways? Oh, let me guess – you’re going to give me some malarkey about child endangerment? These’re all arguments that’ve been presented to me before, and as such I have no hesitation in brushing `em off with a Donkey Kongian nonchalance.

`Cause at the end of the day, Indiana Jones is a Nazi-battlin’ scholar who hunts down ancient artifacts.

It’s by conjuring this spirited admiration for the Jones-lifework that I approach the prospect of reviewing tonight’s featured beer. Although I’m not a philanderin’, bull-whippin’, gorgeous-as-man-can-be archaeologist like Indiana Jones, I certainly share his love of the arcane. Y’know, the stuff that’s too elusive or frightening or challenging for mass consumption. Like the Star Wars Holiday Special. As such, my reverence for the hidden truths of antiquity and inebriation and maybe even existence itself have led me to sip upon the splendor that is Verloren.

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Friday Brew Review: Imperial White

Today is Friday. As such, I’m drinkin’ beer. And while I normally use this weekly inebriatory-ritual to seek out potions by breweries foreign, enticing, and sometimes entirely alien to my palate, today’s beer-drankin’ is goin’ to be an exception.

After all, I’d be remiss to not follow the advice of my good friend Grandeur Faex.

Grandeur Faex was a dude I used to work with at the post office. He was older than my grandfather but still alive, drunker than my dad but twice as strong, and funnier than my brother but more diseased. Mostly venereal. Also, he regularly made claims that he came from a utopia-future in which sex was currency and everyone was a millionaire.

Truth.

With these credentials, it’s not hard to believe that Grandeur proved to be an indispensable dispenser of advice. One afternoon, upon noticing that I wasn’t sorting mail with my usual panache, the old pervert wrapped his arm around my shoulder and began spouting out some words of wisdom. Totally unsolicited, of course – but I always open to getting some guidance from a self-proclaimed time-traveler and state-proclaimed maniac.

“M’boy, you ain’t got no soul today! Bones? Guts? Fat sack of shit in your gut? Sure. But no soul! You done broked, huh?”

I look at him and laughed. “Yeah, I guess I’m feeling a bit down today.”

“H’ain’t no worries, son!” He matched my chuckle with one of his own, except that his had more black abscesses than teeth. “Lemme give a wordda wisdom – when life gets you down, yagutta go to the stuff that yaknowle makkya happy! Your favorite pop song. Your woman’s bosom. And, most especially, a beer that you trust.”

Finding myself at the end of an incredibly overwhelming workweek, I’ve decided to follow the instructions of Grandeur Faex. Rather than seeking out a beer by a brewery I’ve never heard of, I’m diving into the deep end of my comfort zone. Today, I’m drinking Imperial White from the folks at Sam Adams.

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Saturday Brew Review: Mighty Oak Ale

There is no greater trial of will than that of the reigning champion. Sure, on the one hand champions are bathed in the adulation of admirers, those lesser-thans who need this hero to represent them in all the ways they can’t represent themselves. On the other hand, great kings also inspire the dissident hordes who want nothing more than to see the crown filched from head, smelted down, and forged into shackles.

When you’re on top, some people love you. But others want to watch you fail. And as such, you have to constantly watch the throne.

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Friday Brew Review: Porter Square Porter

When people think of Boston’s beer, they probably think of Sam Adams. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering that the Boston Beer Company not only helped usher in the wonderful epoch of craft brewing in which now find ourselves but also continue to produce quality products. What would be a shame is if one were to think that Sam Adams is the only worthwhile suds-soda brewed in Greater Boston.

`Cause the fact of the matter – it ain’t.

Sure, if you’ve ever visited Lord Bergeron‘s domicile, you’ve probably stumbled across Boston Beer Works or Harpoon. While these brewers are good folk, and deserving of your palate’s attention, they’re essentially part of the same crew that John Adams’ cousin rolls with. But if you’re willing to look beyond even these supporting players, you might just find another star-to-be in the cast of Boston’s Brewahs!

And that’s exactly what I’ve done.

Tonight, I’m sipping on Porter Square Porter from the up-and-coming Slumbrew.

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Friday Brew Review – Revolutionary Rye Ale

I have no shame in admitting how I choose the beers I drink. Although I know that my tum-tum favors dark brews, porters and stouts, I often drink the beer with the most appealing name, packaging, or slogan. It’s shallow, I know. But hell, marketing campaigns are almost as irresistible as the executives that create them. Throw in a silly cartoon mascot or the right buzz-word and I’ll give your beer a shot.

Today, I’m drinking Revolutionary Rye Ale. The reason? Other than the fact that it’s brewed by the indomitable Sam Adams, I like the word revolutionary. From a language standpoint, I think the word is attractive both visually and auditorily. Six syllables. Every vowel represented, even the bastard-son Y. An adjective. Or a noun! What’s not to love about the word itself?

Moreover, I can’t help but fall victim to the connotations. And I’m not even talking about those of American history, the butt-whomping of King George III‘s dominion over the colonies. Although that was pretty sweet and inspired one of cinema’s greatest accomplishments.

No, I love the most stripped-down conception of revolution: a drastic upheaval of accepted traditions and dogmatic practices in favor of originality and progress. Why live according to yesteryear’s tired structures when new ones can be constructed? Why don’t we demolish the mausoleum and put a fucking museum over it? Why sail the seas when we can explore the stars?

Maybe I’m just dreaming of a world in which the collective consciousness continues to evolve. But I’m not alone. The Beatles knew what I’m rambling about. Hell, so did Pantera.

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Friday Brew Review – Infinium

Progress is a tricky concept to grasp and an even trickier one to execute. On the one hand, there is something to be said of tradition. Of the fact that there are those who have stood the test of time, proving their worth while the novelty of what’s considered in vogue crumbles into ephemeral ash.

It’s foolish to disregard the ones who help to set the sun.

However, we must also avoid becoming dogmatic adherents to yesteryear’s traditions. In dodging such an existential bullet, we remain receptive to new ideas. To the notion that the terrain explored by pioneers and voyagers may be worth investigating. There is an acknowledgment that all is not known and an exhilaration in trying to unearth what this may be.

In an ideal world, the Titans would help usher in the Olympians.

This dream is realized with Infinium. And that is why it is damn near perfect.

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Monday Morning Commute: Raps, Bats, and Brews

Hello there, my name is Rendar Frankenstein and I am a real science fictional being. Living in the year 2010, I am endowed with a number of futuristic powers, including instantaneous global communication, access to digital television, and the ability to ward off disease with a pill. I have a portable computer and after I consume enough caffeine it extracts stories from me.

I feel sorry for the chronically nostalgic.

Monday Morning Commute.   With the workweek rearing its ugly head, we all need movies, books, music, comics and other distractions to stay strong. On Mondays I’m going to tell you about the various ways I’ll be spending my time in the upcoming week. Give my list a glance, then tell me what you’re using to curb the 9-5 blues.

–-

Listening / My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I have had a real up-and-down relationship with Kanye West. On the one hand, his first three efforts (The College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation) are three of my all-time favorite albums. But 2008′s 808s and Heartbreak was a truly depressing collection, as it not only demonstrated the fickle nature of inspiration but the public’s mindset of putting the cart before the horse. Then, of course, there is the fact that Mr. West has serious mental problems and is an arrogant bastard.

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Friday Brew Review – Stony Brook Red

Sam Stony Brook

I’m back to drinking beer. And it is fucking glorious. For weeks I was plagued by a mysterious illness that forced me into spitting out beer and drinking whack substitutions. It was one of the toughest times of I’ve ever faced, as I was essentially forfeiting one of my favorite life-activities so that I wouldn’t die.

Worth the sacrifice? Yes. Am I glad it’s over? Double fuck-yes.

So this is the Friday Brew Review, once again at maximum operation status and ready to party. For this return to form, I threw out my usual self-imposed rules and regulations and instead decided to purchase whatever beer seemed most genuinely appealing. As I walked into the liquor store, I made no consideration about the brewery, style, brand, price or volume. The bottom line, the only important question I asked myself was, “Which damn brew most deserves a spot in Studio Apartment Krueger-Gut?”

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Wednesday Brew Review – Black Lager

Black Lager

Welcome to a special mid-week edition of the Friday Brew Review! As a high school teacher, my life seems to include a number of regularly-scheduled compromises — meager wages, hours spent on projects for students who couldn’t care less, the frustration of not being allowed to swear for eight hours a day, etc. But every now and then, an occupational perk seems to hop out of the shadows and give me a hug.

Today’s embrace comes in the form of a snow day.

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Friday Brew Review – Sam Adams Imperial Stout

Imperial Stout

Friday — this, of course, means time to drink beer.

Unfortunately, for the past two days I have felt terrible. I don’t usually get sick, so when I do I like to think that the ship has finally hit the gigantic fuckin’ iceberg. Maybe I’ve got Swine Flu. Or polio. Or something.

Probably not though. What I should do is relax, go to bed early and get ready to feel better in the morning. But, it’s Friday and that means I have to fulfill a promise I made to you to consume alcohol and report on it.

Regardless of what alcoholics tell you, drinking when you’re sick will not make you feel better. You may smile a bit a more, but after passing out you will wake up feeling worse than drunk and sick — this is synergy in action. So it was with some trepidation that I approached the taking of my weekly drink.

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