So, we had a bar full of people having a good time, and in walks a new Captain Buzzkill. Not what I normally see, this is the new kind that once she opens her mouth, I can read her entire life’s story. It’s Single Mom. And Single Mom hasn’t been out among adults since the New Year, and proceeds to dominate every conversation around her kid and her problems as if nobody else in the whole damn bar matters. Really? ! Just because you haven’t been in public for ten weeks, how does it become all about you? And none of us can take on another topic, even so much as shoot a game of darts, or dice, without you chiming in? Did you not notice that people left the damn bar because they’d rather go home than listen to you whine? My god, if your life is that bad, no wonder your man left you. And with that, gimme another damn beer! !!
Author Archives: Lab Rat
Soon-to-be drunken rambling
I haven’t been on this page in a bit. For really no other reason that I haven’t had much to say. Plenty to drink, though. I think the problem lately is I got bored. For a while, it was the same old bars & the same old beer. And that sucks. I miss going to check out new places & trying new beer. And a good road trip. Man, I wish it was summer…
But the flavors are starting to change. Weather still blows, but some of the spring beers are coming out, and I can change things up a bit. Capital Brewing came out with Maibock, which I consider to be the first sign of spring. We’re now hitting the time when the barleywines & Russian stouts are arriving with their 10%+ goodness. It’s great for drinking, but shitty trying to get home on the snowy roads.
Been doing the Untappd thing. It’s basically Foursquare for beer. But I notice it’s usually just the same three friends that do anything on there, and they live too far to drive out to have a beer with. Speaking of which, on to the next beer. Lakefront’s Mardi Gras. It’s their Maibock. Not a bad beer, and higher ABV at 7.9%. Got a variety pack here at home, and I intend on using my snow day to try all of them.
Drunken Ramble Part 1
Currently drinking a Wisconsin Brewing Amber Lager. It’s pretty decent. But that’s not important right now…
Also at the moment, I’m trying to get rid of all these useless apps on my phone. Why the fuck do they fill my phone with this shit? All it does is sap my battery, clutter my phone with shit I’ll never use. What the fuck?
Meanwhile, Shrek is trying to pull up an on-demand programme. Took like 15 minutes to access. Now I’m out of beer. What the fuck?
Scratching the surface
It’s been a boring day, no work, so I was looking for something to occupy my websurfing. What better topic than beer? That, combined with my morning job search, led to a posting on Craigslist for a “Beer Guru.” I love beer, but I’m partial to what I like – and don’t have the time & money that I’d love to put to use drinking (learning) more about it. But if I could parlay what I know into a job; well, fuck it, why not?
Turns out the job is up in Green Bay, and they mention a couple of certification programs as a plus for getting this job. Specifically, Cicerone and BJCP. For shits & giggles, I searched out to see what the fuck they were talking about. Turns out:
THEY HAVE “BEER COLLEGE”!
Those two websites are certification programs to becoming a beer judge, taking beer snobdom to a whole new level. There are actual courses, a syllabus, and levels of certification which will get you probably one of the most cool fucking jobs out there. Another less expensive, less intense option I found that may be an option in the future is Craftbeeru.com.
Wish I knew this stuff 10 years ago. All that time I wasted in my current job, when I could be drinking for a living. Son of a bitch!
The bar scene
Have a beer. I don’t care which one. I guess that’s the easy part.
Where should I drink said beer? Ok, everyone’s got their favorite. Maybe it’s a dive bar. Maybe it’s a place right around the corner. Maybe even a beer-snob bar. Or perhaps it’s the dreaded sports bar. Jon Taffer of Bar Rescue states, “People who have no idea how to run a bar open sports bars.” And for the most part, it’s true. Clueless owners, shitty service, bar managers who become attention whores by using a microphone, sirens, bells, yeah, you get the picture. That’s why sports bars fail more often than any other type of bar. They go out to attract one type of crowd, fail at keeping them, then go after another. Usually what they end up with are frat-boys and similar douchebags. The regulars that supported them stop going.
Notice I didn’t mention the “club.” Clubs are the lowest of the low. Sometimes a bar starts out as a club, some just end up that way. While I am not a fan of hip-hop, I understand why these places have to exist. If they didn’t, these people would make their way into other bars. It’s kind of like knocking down a building infested with roaches – all they do is scatter. Sports bars in their dying days usually become clubs. They’re easy to spot; if you see a DJ more than one night a week, if you see mostly mixed drinks in the hands of the patrons, if the prices spike because they need to hire security… yeah, it’s time to find a new place to hang out.
All of this typing has made me thirsty. I need a beer.
Beer is good – and stuff.
Grab a beer; I just did.
So, where should I begin? Since I’m going to post about beer, and hopefully better beer, I may as well do some research. I began with the “Top 250 beers in the world” from Beer Advocate, as well as the 50 best from RateBeer. Turns out, they agree on most of their choices. Still, many of these beer either require a trip to Europe or to other parts of the country. Great idea for a bucket list, but not in my state of finances. Besides, 74 of them are IPA’s – fuck that shit. So I’ll keep the list in mind, but there’s so much more to explore.
I’ve got quite a collection of local stuff that I enjoy. I like to keep my business local whenever possible anyway. That said, I’m out to explore, and there’s a lot of things to try right in my own backyard. A simple check on a craft beer website shows over 40 places within a comfortable drive of home. I will share things from time to time on places around here that are worth a visit. Inevitably, I’ll come across one that is absolutely terrible as well. I think either way you should know this shit. Saves a bunch of time, money, and hassle. Bartenders, too, good or bad. I may need a designated driver for this part. Yeah, ok, let’s try someone who can drive with a little less buzz than mine. Any takers?
On to the next beer. Just opened one off the list; Southern Tier Choklat. It only comes in bomber bottles and runs $7.49 at Woodman’s. It’s also 10% alcohol, so it shouldn’t take long to get a buzz. So far it’s pretty damn tasty. Speaking of which, I will mention my best & worst so far.
Best: Brew Dog’s Tactical Nuclear Penguin. An 11 on my scale. Yes, mine goes to 11. It’s also 32% alcohol, and it’ll fuck you up quick.
Worst: I said I hate IPA’s. But I was given a beer a couple weeks ago because this clueless bartender (yeah, it was a sports bar – go figure) said, “Hey, you like exotic beer, try this.” In his mind, anything beyond the realm of Bud, Miller, and Coors was exotic. I was kind of surprised that he knew the word exotic. Anyway, it was Black Top from New Glarus. The best way I can describe it is take a Budweiser, pour it into a really dirty ashtray, let it sit overnight, then drink it. Yeah, I just gagged a bit thinking about it.
All for now. Next time, fun with alcohol and explosives.
Ah, fuck it.
Ok, so I had a post I was going to put in here. I wrote it last night, but I’ll wait on that shit.
I was supposed to be working tonight. Hey, beer exploration isn’t cheap. But the idiots at United Airlines forgot to put the package on the plane, so I drove 105 miles for nothing. Almost nothing. I did manage to stop at the grocery store for beer.
At the moment, I’ve got a bomber-sized bottle of New Glarus’ Wisconsin Belgian Red that I’m working on. Fucking delicious. After that, I got some barleywine that I never tried before. It checks in at 12% AbV, so that will keep me going for a while.
I’m going to post links to stuff on here when I figure out how to do that. And maybe some music, too. Just finished playing some punk rock on Spotify. For now, my beer’s empty. Gotta fix that.
I like beer. Oh, who the hell am I kidding. I FUCKING LOVE beer!!! So why not share the experience of beer with the world. That’s what this whole page is for, and sometimes drinking in general. I’m not going to judge people for their beer choices – hey, I’m known to drink some cheap stuff on occasion also. That’s my story, and while I can go off on a rant or two, I’m sticking to it.
I was introduced to the craft beer world a few years ago by a couple friends of mine. I had drank a few before then, but it was a haphazard mix of stuff that ranged from simply foreign beers to some of the local breweries’ efforts. A lot of IPA’s were drank in those pre-enlightened days, trying to choke them down with little success. Needless to say, I now friggin’ hate IPA’s.
As I got into this whole craft beer thing, I began educating myself as to what I actually liked. It takes a bit of trial and error. Errors can be expensive, so I began keeping a personal rating system so that I had something to refer to when I’d go to the beer store. This became a database which now includes over 400 beers. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface, and I’ll only get better in time. Through this forum, I’m hoping to get more ideas and explore more beer.
I’m no paid beer taster (although I’d LOVE to be that guy!). There are several people who use this page, and not even our tastes are alike. That’s why I welcome feedback. And another beer. Speaking of which, I see mine is empty. Time to fix that.