I once spent an entire afternoon hanging out with Boba Fett. He showed me around Slave I, taught me how to use a jetpack, and even let me tag along when he met some of his scummy friends for a drink. It was pretty much the best Saturday of my life.
Actually, that’s a lie. I didn’t get to do any of that shit. I was just trying to impress you.
But, what I did get to do this Saturday afternoon was spend some time with a six-pack of Black Jack Porter from the Left Hand Brewing Company. C’mon, let me apologize for telling tall tales by describing this beer to you! Seriously, check out my brew review! I promise it’ll be a halfway decent read!
When I drink beer, I get sleepy.
After a pouring a few bottles of liquid-carbs into my tum-tum, I usually want to take a nap. At this point, the uproarious laughter and rock’n’roll shenanigans of a beer-drankin’ session take a backseat to my undying desire to hit the hay. I’m not complaining – this fatigue is a fair tradeoff for the great flavors and false sense of confidence that can only be delivered via brew. But if I’m being honest, I think I’d much prefer to drink beers that don’t make me want to sleep.
But as along as the brews don’t kill me, I’m goin’ to keep drinkin’ `em.
This philosophy has gotten me through years of dilettante beer reviewing. However, tonight’s beverage seems to be taunting me, offering me a potable challenge to the death. If I hadn’t spent years aspiring to the greatness of the roguish figures of my favorite comics and movies, I might just shirk away. But my moral compass is the byproduct of pop culture refuse and hyper-caffeination, so it’s time to Han Solo this Greedo-drank.
Tonight, I’m sipping on Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout
Having never traveled there myself, my knowledge of Mexico consists primarily of piecemeal anecdotal references. In my mind, the streets of Mexico City will forever be lined with folks headbangin’ away to Live Shit: Binge & Purge. As far as I know, these same Mexicans are so blessed as to taste the wonders of El Pelon every time they eat. And, of course, the nation’s favorite athlete is La Flama Blanca.
As far as I can tell, Mexico is a beautiful country.
However, I’d be a liar to suggest that I’ve ever thought of Mexican beer with anything more than a fleeting interest. Sure, Corona might be a good choice for barbeques and picnics and other days spent in the sun, but its light body leaves serious beer-drinkers desiring more. Similarly, I like the Dos Equis Guy‘s style, but that doesn’t mean that I want to drink his beer.
In an effort to perfect the image of Mexico in my mind’s eye, I’m dedicated to finding an exported beer that meets my (admittedly elevated) standards. As such, tonite I’m sipping on a product of CucapÃ¡, a genuine Mexican micro-brewery.
The south-of-the-border concoction at hand: La Migra Imperial Stout!
Welcome to Friday.
After the shitstorm that is the workweek, there’re plenty of ways to unwind. If your favorite sports team is in town, you could head to the game and cheer on the athletes. After all, sports heroes love their fans! Or, if sports aren’t your thing, you could go to the theater so as to bask in the relaxation of a concert. And if worst comes to worst, you could do your chores and then waste time with your friends.
But when it comes to end of the week refreshment, there’s really only one perfect accompaniment. Whether you’re playing video games or shredding on an eight-string, there’s a surefire way to make your experience more enjoyable. This means of party-amplification is, of course, sippin’ on a fine-ass brew.
This Friday sees me sampling Bannatyne’s Scotch 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.
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.
There’s an argument to be made that individuals shouldn’t try to improve themselves through any means other than those that’ve been pre-approved In this mindset, personal evolution is certainly acceptable, but circumventing the system is not. You want to push yourself to the very edge of your potential? Sure! Go for it! Make the most of your experience on Spaceship Earth! Just make sure to never, ever, consider redefining the limits that’ve been ascribed to you.
After all, if you stumble across a way to improve yourself that others aren’t hip to, well, that wouldn’t be fair. Right? In fact, some might even call that cheating.
But others…well, we call it innovative.
Think of the bad motherfuckers that Earth would’ve never seen do awesome shit if they’d felt compelled to play by the rules. Robert Rodriguez wouldn’t have decided for himself that an action movie could be made for less than $10,000. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa wouldn’t’ve found the right supplements to give baseball fans the 1998 home run race. And perhaps Bruce Banner wouldn’t’ve ‘t acknowledged what’d happen to him after jumping into the path of a gamma bomb.
Sometimes being good just isn’t enough, even if you’re a director or a baseball player or a scientist. The bottom line is that if you can figure out a way to exponentially increase your talents, whether they’re limited or formidable, you’d be a fucking fool not to. Take whatever it is your good at, and rock it as hard as you can.
This is the very idea behind Dark Intrigue.
As we finish another orbit around the sun, it’s natural to peek over our shoulders and assess the voyage thus far. What’ve we done that we’re proud of? What improvements do we need to make? How closely do our realities resemble our dreams?
All questions worth asking, no doubt.
But if you’re daring, and I mean truly willing to look down the barrel of embarrassment, you’ll take this end-of-the-year opportunity to ask some better questions. Y’know, inquiries into love and hate and sex and death and everything else that makes life both horrifying and beautiful. Ask yourself just one of these types of questions, answer it honestly, and then revel in the ensuing revelations.
So what’s my question? Well, here it is: When did I fall in love with beer?
When I first started drinking, my libations of choice pretty much included anything other than beer. Hard liquor. Zima. Complicated cocktails. All of `em went down the hatch, tasted great, and made me feel good. But for some reason, I just couldn’t understand the appeal of beer. I’d drink it if it were around (show me a picky college student and I’ll show you a coddled miscreant), but it was never my go-to. I was a fool.
But I wouldn’t be foolish forever.
Ahoy!`Tis Saturday nite and as such the drinks are freely flowin’ at the Mos Eisley Cantina. Figrin D’an is tearing shit up with his Modal Nodes, inspiring muthafuckahs to hit the dance floor and gyrate their gential-areas together. Backdoor deals are being made so that terrorist-farmhands can blow up expensive government buildings. And droids still aren’t being served.
If Omega-Level were a patron of the Mos Eisley Cantina, it’d be a smooth-talkin’ Corellian whose language of choice is credits.
But since we have the benefit of residing on the lovely blue planet known as Earth, there’s no chance of snagging space-brews from Wuher. Instead, I must head to the liquor-merchant and choose a potable on my own. Without an interstellar racist to guide me, I’m liable to choose all sorts of kooky concoctions.
As such, tonight I’m drinking Innis & Gunn Rum Cask.
Living in the Boston area, I know what a she-bitch Winter can be. Sure, she shows up to the party with brisk breezes and picturesque snow-dustings. But before you even have a chance to buy a new ice scraper, the frozen hoe is dropping blizzards on your ass and stampin’ all over your Raynaud’s-addled digits.
Remember, Winter is not your friend. She’s not even your friend’s friend. All she wants is to see you suffer the ice-prickled sting of seasonal blue balls.
Fortunately, there are ways of curbing the blow delivered by the Time of the Taiga. Take hockey, for instance. This sport is not unlike an astrophysicist who was raised ferally by a pack of abusive lycanthropes, succeeding in spite of a terrible formative environment.
Is hockey the only worthwhile wintertime activity? Hell no. There’s also beer drinkin’.
The folks at Vermont’s Magic Hat Brewing Company understand the protective qualities of intoxicating libations. How do I of know this? Well, I’ve sipped on Howl.