Thursday, May 10, 2018

Beer Pix - Pure Beck’sting Satisfaction


NOTE: This post is rated R for alcohol references, mild strong language, and an obscene gesture.

Introduction

As I’ve noted before, people seem to really love photos of beer. Once in a while I forget to turn Location Services off on my phone before Beck’sting, and Google Maps asks if I want to add my Beck’st to their giant consumer-facing photo library. As a result, this chance photo of one of my beers has been viewed almost ten thousand times to date, dwarfing the popularity of the blog posts I slave over:


What, what did you just ask? “What’s Beck’sting?” You mean you haven’t heard of Beck’sting? Well, click here for the full scoop. It’s a tiny bit like Frexting, except that men tastefully send photos of their beer instead of themselves. Not only has this global phenomenon totally outpaced Frexting, but if you google “is frexting still a thing?” you’ll find my groundbreaking Beck’sting post on the first page of results.

So, to slake my readers’ likely thirst for beer photos, I’ve decided to share some highlights from the hundreds of Beck’sts I’ve exchanged with three friends and one of my brothers over the years. I’ve grouped most of these thematically. Since a Beck’st isn’t just a photo, but a photo with a caption and/or commentary, I’ve included that too, and the initials of the Beck’ster. Where you see one letter only (e.g., “T—”) that’s generally somebody’s spouse.


Lakeside Beck’st

JL: I took this at a party last night. A colleague of W—’s just bought a house on Cayuga lake, turned 70 and had a kidney transplant, so it was party time!


DA: When you’re getting ready to party hard, it’s always good to start with a fresh kidney, especially when you’re super old! Really great photo ... makes me want to crack open an Anchor and then not jump into the lake!

Paying the rent

DA: “Paying the rent” while I blog at The Pub. Coaster notwithstanding, this is a Racer 5.


JL: That’s not a pub, that’s a library! Look at the green tint pull-chain lamp! Stop drinking in the library you degenerate!

Stemware

DA: Watching Paris-Roubaix at the chichi road bike shop. Don’t yet know what this beer is but it’s a Belgian style and very tasty...


DW: Nice looking beer...but, I have to say, I don’t like drinking beer in those glasses. Maybe it’s a Berkeley thing, because I noticed that’s what they served an IPA in at Fieldwork. Maybe that’s because I ordered from the wrong line though.

DA: Now, are you against all “stemware” or does it depend on the beer? The Chimay label shows a little picture specifying stemware for the beer. Seems kind of pretentious and wine-y (as in, what a wine person would do) but I’m fine with it. What I cannot abide are small glasses that hold half a beer. That drives me crazy.

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DW: This is a Snake River Pale Ale. We are in Dubois, WY. This little town is about 50mi east of the Tetons. I had one of these beers when I was here about 12 years ago and it was delicious...still is. You have to buy alcohol in this town at a drive-through window at the saloon. Press this little buzzer and the saloon gal will set you right. She is a gruff, tough, woman who somehow knew I’d been wearing Lycra earlier in the day … this showed in her attitude.


Cheers to you all - btw, my daughter bought me this pint glass. It says ‘Yellowstone’ on the other side. She understands what a proper beer glass is.

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DW: I had this at Pelican last week with some overpriced Fish & Chips. This is called the “Umbriaga Negra.” A Pacific Northwest version of the a Mexican dark lager, like Modelo or Dos Equis Dark. I was thrown by the name, Umbriaga, but checked in with T— and she told me it meant “drunk.” It was actually really good and the high ABV% and low IBU was a good combination for me. I asked the bartender if there was any stemware in the house for the Umbriaga and he looked at me, completely puzzled, then with scorn, and walked away. That’s him in the background looking into the ocean, searching for answers, doing some soul searching after I dropped the stemware question. He did not come back and ask if I’d like a refill; just kept looking at his watch and then at me.


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DA: Boulevard Tank 7 by Under the Sun Brewing in Boulder.


DA [later the same evening]: This is a Big Krane Kolsch. Fcuking off the chain! Good times, bitches!


DW: Finally...a decent picture of beers in a proper glass. I couldn’t even look at the other two wussy beers. Where are your lapdogs in the first pic?

Brotherly Beck’st

DA: This is a Mojo IPA from Boulder Brewing. Pretty yum! Note the reflection of my checkered napkin, and of course Evil Uncle B— in the background.


BA: Too bad your phone has such a tiny lens with such a small aperture, otherwise you’d be able to blur out the background a bit better!

DA: Actually, I was thinking the main flaw with this photo is that you’re so bald.

Deluxe/Getaway Beck’st

DA: Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA at a nice restaurant near Mendocino. Long weekend getaway, sans kids! Livin’ large!


Pliny the Elder

DW: This is a Barley Brown’s Pallet Jack IPA.


DW (continued): Damn good beer! There are only a few places in town that carry Barley Brown’s and it’s only on tap, kinda like Pliny the Elder. There is a big mystique about Pliny and people up here are very secretive about its whereabouts.

DA: I had Pliny the Elder a couple summers ago, at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa. We were meeting friends there, one of whom had formerly managed the Flamingo, or maybe just managed its restaurant, or maybe just its bar, or who knows, maybe he was just a bartender. (I hope I’m remembering this right and that he wasn’t just a bar patron.) The Flamingo didn’t have the Pliny on draft or anything; my pal had some of it up in his room at the hotel. That felt kind of creepy, going up to somebody’s room for a secret stash of beer, in a little cooler like a World Tour rider’s EPO or blood bags. Kind of felt a bit like scoring your black market beer on the mean streets. I suppose this should have added to the Pliny mystique, but the whole affair felt a bit squalid. Anyway, the Pliny tasted fine, but after all that build-up (believe me, the fact of my being real lucky to get this, and the size of my friend’s largesse, were well emphasized) it didn’t seem amazing or anything. Of course I would drink it again, but I’m not going to wax eloquent about its citrus or citra, or its hint of pine, its whiff of tobacco, or its meth-y malt. I wish beer descriptions weren’t going in the direction of wine descriptions but I guess that’s inevitable.

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DA: Here it is, gents! Pliny the Elder IPA! Like you said, Dan … rare, seasonal, kind of a big deal around here too. It tasted, well, pretty good.


PCS: Why are you flipping us off?

DA: That’s not me flipping you off. That’s my “friend.” Our food had just arrived with the drinks, and as you can see, my pal only got a salad. I asked him, “Did you order a tampon with that?” Perhaps that’s why he saw fit to desecrate my photo in that fashion.

DW: Thanks for rubbing the Pliny in my face, Dana. You know that is highly coveted in these Pacific NW parts. A guy at Crow’s Feet Commons pulled me aside last week and quietly told me that they might be getting a keg at the end of the month—”after the tourists go home,” he said. I forwarded your Becks’t to another friend who is also on the lookout for this mystery beer. I wonder if it is really that good.

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DW: I heard about this secret wine store that had some Pliny the Elder in the back. I had to go there and try this mysterious beer. T— would not go with me, she was just fine reading by the fire on a rainy afternoon (man, I was ripped off in this marriage: she does not like coffee or beer and is not really fond of hanging out in breweries, unless we are playing a card game that requires way too much thinking for me! On the other hand, ha ha, she loves to watch cycling). So, here it is, my first Pliny!


Dana, I have to agree. It was just “fine.” It was really smooth and tasted good, but not nearly as good as some of the other IPAs I’ve had, like the Mosaic, or anything from Boneyard or Barley Brown’s. I wanted it to blow me away. I went in with a super open mind, cleared my pallet, gave it a good wiff and huh, just fine. I must lean a little to the Pacific Northwest flavors. I don’t think I will need another Pliny. So...

... because I’m a hypocrite and don’t really understand my wife after 30 years, we stopped in at Pelican after a nice walk on the beach and I had a most excellent 20 ounces of Mosaic and put it on a pedestal; like all beers from Cascadia (Dana, is this the proper use of a semicolon?).

JL: I nominate this Becks’t for the Best Becks’t of October Award, the coveted BBOA!

Branded pint glass

DA: Double IPA. Most beers at this Jack Russell brewery are $5 or $6, or for $9 you can get one in a commemorative pint glass you get to keep. This beer is like 8% and $8 ... or $9 with the pint glass. SCORE! Awesome—a proper (stemless) pint glass for a buck! E— hassled me about bringing more junk into our home but I can’t be stopped. Not this time, anyway.


DA (continued): The only problem is this warning sticker on the bottom of the glass:


DA (continued): Dr. S—, do I need to be worried about this? Or does it help that I have already been born?

PCS: You'll most surely have a 2-headed child after using this glass!

DW: Do you have any plans to be born again?

Mystery Beck’st

[I cannot recall who sent this ... I think it was PCS. The photo metadata was lost at some point. Maybe I’ll do some more forensics next time I’m bored. Oh, wait, I never have the luxury of boredom anymore. Sigh…]


Selfie Beck’st

DA: I almost wasn’t going to send another boring photo of the same Lagunitas IPA on the same round blue table against the same brick wall with the same framed photo at the same coffee shop. But then it occurred to me that my laptop has a built-in selfie camera (the one on my phone being broken). I hunted around and found an app, pre-installed on my laptop, that actually makes use of this camera. It is a crappy camera indeed, but I have a hunch that this will give my photo a grainy, gritty, handheld cinéma verité look that will make you admire me a whole lot. I hope I’m right.


DA (continued): The young buck at the next table is singing along with Coldplay. Ah, millennials. I just read some article that they’re going to be the brokest adults in ages. Oh well. At least they’ve got their freedom, unlike corporate wage slaves like me, nursing at the blue-chip teat liking a suckling pig (as the millennials would surely think of it).

JL: “Corporate wage slave”? That photo of you looks positively blue collar, man! Angry, tired and just wanting a goddamned beer! And I hear you.

Autofill Beck’st

DA: South Beach, you’ve met your match! This beer obviously isn’t some amazing discovery, but I do like it contains all your belongings and it was hella good to me and my liver via the app and the girls are going to backfill for the next few days so I can drive to the airport and then we can go from there to the full pint. Most of the preceding sentence was brought to you by Android Autofill word suggestions. I hope you enjoyed it.


JL: Go home Android Autofill — you’re drunk!

“Something missing” Beck’st

DA: I totally meant to have a beer tonight, just for the empty calories [to try to regain weight after losing too much on the South Beach diet], but I plumb forgot! And after eating so much that the skin of my belly is stretched tight as a drum, well ... what’s the point?


JL: This is by far the craziest Beck’st to ever done been beck’sted. I cannot conceive of forgetting to have a beer. That just doesn’t happen in my house. I’m not sure which one of us has the problem…

DA: I agree with you. (Above response generated by the Google via its A.I.-driven one-touch reply suggestions.)

JL: Man, you should let the Google answer all of your emails! Though I would soon miss the trademarked Dana Acerbicity[TM]. Acerbic-ness? Ornerarity? There’s a word. Here’s an example of a beer that I did not forget to drink (I rode for 80 minutes on the trainer — I earned this!):


DA: As much as I like “acerbicity” and would like “acerbitiousness” even more, I guess the real word is acerbity. I wonder if Google’s machine learning will start to offer up more acerbic responses to the e-mails I receive? The Google has a long way to go before it’s passing the Turing test.

Gratuitous eye-candy Beck’st

DA: Fieldwork wheat Saison … brilliant!


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