Friday, March 15, 2019

Even More Beer Pix - Beck’st-O-Rama!

NOTE: This post is rated R for alcohol references.


Okay, my last blog post was pretty hifalutin, with all that Latin and the obscure references to Sir Thomas Wyatt’s illicit affair with Anne Boleyn. So, I think it’s time for a fluff piece. And, after the warm critical reception to my H.B. Albert Memorial Beck’sts post, and the runaway box office success of the Beck’sting post before it, I’ve decided that this cheap-reboot endless-sequel thing is really the way to go!

Now, if you’re feeling all left out because you’ve never heard of Beck’sting (and really, what rock have you been hiding under?) click here for my original Beck’sting post, which will tell you all you need to know about this global phenomenon.

As before, I’ve grouped these Beck’sts thematically. Since a Beck’st isn’t just a photo, but a photo with a caption or other gloss, I’ve included that too, and the initials of the Beck’ster. Where you see one letter only (e.g., “T—”) that’s somebody’s spouse, kid, or another friend.

Photobomb Beck’st

DA: Best. Photo. Bomb. Ever. This is a Bear Bottle IPA, or maybe a Bare Bottle, maybe even a Rebuttal. It’s really loud in here. I asked the barmaid twice to repeat the name but just couldn’t make out what she said. Whatever it is, it’s completely and totally off the chain. I love the hazy IPAs.

[Postscript: Having done some research, I found this beer was actually from Barebottle Brew Co. in San Francisco, and was probably their Colonel Kush Hazy IPA.]

Perfunctory Beck’st

DW: I had this DB Fresh Squeeze at the local pub while watching the Sounders/Timbers game on Sunday night. I was pretty knackered from a 91 mile ride in the smoky heat ​that day and dragged myself out to watch the game. I actually didn’t even feel like having a beer (no man should utter those words), but pub, game, you know, seemed like the thing to do. I also had many glasses of ice water in those slightly blue tinted plastic cups that make water taste so good. The IPA was “just fine” like the Pliny. It was no Barley Brown’s.

Cheap and free Beck’sts

PCS: Boys! A friend of mine had this IPA at a party last week. $4.99 for a six pack! Pretty tasty!

DW: $4.99 for a IPA six pack! Unheard of. I’m surprised it didn’t come in those white, generic cans and just said “IPA” on them. Like the old “BEER” ones did. This is an oatmeal stout that my friend, the Angry German, made. My daughter and his daughter did the graphics. I don’t know if they sampled it or not, I didn’t ask.

DW (continued): It was his first go around of brewing and he did a nice job. I decided to have a beer during the week because all of our relatives and old friends’ houses burned down in Ventura today. Including our old house that we used to live in (not the one on the beach, D—, where we had a gun pulled on us, but the one up in the hills that I don’t think you ever saw). Everyone is evacuated and sorting through it all. What a year of extreme weather! I promise to have a more positive bext tomorrow night.

Amazing Tales Beck’st

DA: Ask me about this water bottle.

JL: I’d like to know about the water bottle.

DA: As I wrote in a blog post awhile back: look at the bright orange water bottle in the background there. It’s an important part of the bike. It has a story: I had it on my bike when I lived in San Luis Obispo, and a local racer actually asked me to stop using it. He was very proud of being Dutch, and told me that an orange water bottle was kind of his trademark in the peloton. I thought his request was absurd and reeked of narcissism. I was working at a bike shop at the time, and happened to learn that Specialized was blowing out those orange bottles for thirty cents apiece wholesale. I ordered like two dozen of them and gave them out to all my friends. At the next race, they were all over the place. If anything, the orange bottle had become the trademark of the Cuesta Community College cycling team, not the Dutch Douchebag.

JL: This is a good story and I’m sorry I missed it on your blog but am happy to have it excerpted here! The Dutch can be so touchy!

DA: About that water bottle and my blog excerpt ... I only pasted that from my blog because it would have taken about half an hour to type all that with my thumbs. I wasn’t trying to insinuate that anybody should have seen that blog post. I take it as an article of faith that most of my blog posts go unread, which is oddly pleasing to me ... it makes my blog seem really elite, like it’s too logorrheic for just anyone. But just in case you want to see the post from whence that tidbit sprang: here!

DA (continued): Here’s another story from that night, for no particular reason. After Fieldwork, C— and I headed over to The Pub. We went to this back patio where this really scary looking guy engaged me in discourse. (I have a long history of attracting crazy people.) He looked like one of these Star Wars villains, Darth Maul or whatever—very thin, kind of ashen and ghastly, almost sepulchral in this hooded sweatshirt with the hood up creating a shadow over his face. His opening salvo was, “I know you—you slept with Cheryl and I can prove it because I watched it on the Internet!” It seemed that to deny this would be so predictable, and frankly so boring, that I decided to take a page out of the improv playbook: they always say “yes, and...” instead of “no.” I replied, “I did sleep with Cheryl, many times, though I wasn’t aware she filmed it.” This kicked off quite a dialogue, which included how I ended up getting with Cheryl (I found her in bed with my wife and thought it only fair to be allowed in), and how my ongoing fling with Cheryl damaged Darth’s relationship with her, and so forth. Then the discussion rambled around a bit until Darth looked at C— and said, “You’re his wingman, huh.” C—, perhaps also following the improv rule, said something like, “Yes, and I’m glad you noticed.” At this point I found I could no longer follow the improv rule, and said to C—, “Wait a second, I’m your wingman! I’m not the kind of guy who gets a wingman! I’m not ready!” Etc. Anyway, it was at least a 15-minute conversation and when we got up to leave, Darth suddenly turned on me, yelling, “There isn’t a damn thing you’ve said tonight that’s true! You’re nothing but a damn liar!” Uh, good point ... but why did he wait until the end to notice, or say so? I’m glad, though ... I don’t want him coming after me because of something I supposedly did with Cheryl. Anyway, there’s probably a lot more I meant to tell you, but it’s not coming to mind. Thank you for tuning in to this edition of “Behind The Beck’sts,” brought to you by Silver Moon Brewing, est. 2003.

Mall date Beck’st

PCS: S— and I had a date whilst the kiddos were at “Star Wars” [Episode 8]. Our date was at a place in a mall which was somewhat repulsive though it had a couple things going for it....1) it had over 100 beers on tap and 2) it was showing biathlon racing [skiing & shooting] on the TVs. I generally hate watching TV in a bar/restaurant though I’ll take biathlon. I had a Rogue beer (some nondescript IPA) and a Delirium Tremens. I’ve attached a photo of the Delirium Tremens ... damn it was delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever had it and I was duly impressed. Please don’t take offense to the stemware.

DW: So glad you had the gumption to pull off a mall date. Your inner strength is an inspiration. Did you choose to not see “Star Wars”? Or did your kids ask you not to come? I went a few weeks ago and was duly disappointed. That beer looks great. No offense taken, but noted. Sometimes we have to make a sacrifice for something good.

DA: Stemware notwithstanding, that’s a pretty good-sized “pour” of Delirium Tremens, P—. I’d say that’s a good place. Some places around here would serve it in a thimble. A— wants me to take her to “Star Wars.” I’m not sure I have it in me. I’m just so tired of these retreads. Last night E— and I saw “Lady Bird” in the theater. It was very refreshing and original. And yes, since you’re wondering, I am trying to show off by acting far too highbrow for silly sci-fi movies.

Macro Beck’st

JL: Look, it’s a Beck’st!

BA: Haha, someone’s got a new macro lens!

JL: Yes, new lens. It was “refurbished”, so quite a good deal — less than $200. It allows me to take photos of things that are less than an inch from the lens. Usually that’s an insect, but this time it’s a Sierra Nevada.

Compulsory Beck’st

DA: E— is so irked at how skinny I have gotten, she went out and bought two six-packs of beer that she has ordered me to drink, purely for the weight gain. (My foray with the South Beach Diet was all too successful.) So here I am drinking at home alone, violating my own policy! Well, I have the cat for company, but she is an asocial predatory beast with little use for me ... kind of like my daughters, come to think of it. This Ballast Point Sculpin IPA is brilliant. I recommend you buy this when you find it available. It is great all by itself, or paired with a tabby cat.

BA: You’ve got a pretty tough life there, D—. Not only did E— tell you get fat, and made you drink beers, but she even bought you the beers! Next she’ll be bringing home the Zach’s pizza and Mac and Cheese and standing over you while you scarf it down.

DW: I am with E— on this one. Nobody your age should be getting a PR in body fat index. Eat, man, eat! Don’t make me come down there and have a pizza eating contest with you again!

BA: D—, he may be scrawny and weak, but one thing I would not do is engage him in an eating fight. Over the decades I’ve seen him eat, and when he gets on a roll, there’s no stopping him. Speed, volume, duration, spag, pizza, Thanksgiving, he can do it all. I’m sure you’ve seen it. He shows no sign of decline, either. It’s astounding. I don’t know what’s wrong with his body, but he can just eat and eat and eat, whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and he never gets fat. If he does lay off the American diet for a few weeks, he gets into this situation where his wife has to buy him beer.

Speaking of pizza

DA: E— is out tonight and I got Zach’s pizza with the kids. And you can’t have ‘za without beer, can you?

DA: J—, remember you invoked this rule at Zach’s the night before the Death Ride? And P—, remember we did that epic ride and then ate too much Zach’s and got all bloated and you hated me? And D—, remember I talked endlessly about how great Zach’s is, and took you and T— there and you both hated it because you don’t like tomatoes? Anyway, this Fat Tire is a bit flat because it’s so old. I bought it for the big bike team party in October and we forgot to put it out (along with the rest of the beer, duh!). Oh well.

JL: Indeed that is a rule—one I learned from my father in fact. Pizza goes with beer. What else goes with beer? Well, nearly everything, but certainly waiting for take-out food is one. Which is what I’m doing. So there’s this:

This supposedly a “imperial India pale lager”, whatever that is. But it’s definitely not pale, and doesn’t taste like any lager I’ve ever had, though it’s not unlike some stouts. It doesn’t hurt that it’s 8.5%! Oh, and it’s local, though you wouldn’t know that from the name. It’s made in Azambuja, a place name that I assure I did not just make up.

Post-op Beck’st

Home from helping my mom post-surgery. She is doing great, which is a relief, because last time I helped out post-op, the patient frickin DIED. Mom sent me home with some of the goodies you see here (other than the bread, which is local). I call this the “Finer things” Beck’st.” Good times!

BA: Meanwhile, back at Mom’s house, I’ve taken over for D— who tagged me in a week ago. D— must have really lazed out here because Mom’s got me working like a slave. I guess she actually worked D— pretty hard, too, but yeah, it’s like she’s punishing me for all the chores I didn’t do as a child. Maybe it just feels like that... On the brighter side, D— left me some beers in the fridge, which was downright good of him, and they’ve been a real life saver, let me tell you. I haven’t enjoyed a beer quite so much in a long time, I guess I feel like I’ve earned it. Unfortunately, they’ve run out, I’ve drunk them all up. I may have to replenish for the weekend. This photo shows what I’ve been enjoying, very much, in fact, a high octane Imperial IPA.

DA: Wow, nice! Too bad you’ve run out of beers. After my long commute today I settled down in the backyard with this bad boy. You can tell I was fried by how poor a photo it is, with the background in focus and the beer blurry. Then I ate food that was too hot and fried all the skin on the roof of my mouth. I’m not bitter, though!

Then E— asked me to open a bottle of Chianti. Why? Because people love the word “Chianti.” So I couldn’t get past the protective layer of foil over the top. Well, I eventually did. It was damn hard because I was so fried from my two-hour drive. I practically couldn’t function and I almost gave up. I told E— of the trouble I was having and she said, kindly, “Well, you’re not Italian.” I said, “Damn straight. My ancestors didn’t drink wine. They drank mead. And when they weren’t drinking that, they were drinking frickin’ blood, from the bodies of their enemies. They’d cut their heads off and drink blood right out of their neck stumps!” Finally I went at the foil with a big knife and it’s a miracle I didn’t stab myself. On purpose. Well so then I went in there with a corkscrew and the cork broke in half. Somehow, switching to a more nimble corkscrew, I managed to remove the bottom half of the cork instead of plunging it into the wine. But you know what? I may as well have, because the wine wasn’t any good anyway. Wine never is.

BA (one day later): D—, the beer you left for me ran out so I had to head to the store. I figured as long as I was going to be drinking beers, I ought to get some exercise, so I grabbed a backpack and walked there. I felt a little like a hobo heading back to camp with my backpack full of clinking bottles, but hey, a man’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. So in the photo you see our dinner, with a kind Total Domination IPA, which I enjoyed, served in, well, a glass of some sort. I’m getting the sense here that that’s not the right vessel. As you know, Mom doesn’t have a proper beer glass, so, sue me. You’ll notice the sandwich, I blame you for breaking my South Beach diet with that bread. Mom says you made her buy it, so she made me eat it. Anyway, chewing all those carbs gave me a mighty thirst, so I had two of those Total Dominations. Pretty swell.

Conspicuous Connoisseurship

DW: This is a Sun River Brewing Australian Lager at Brother John’s Public House.

I wanted to try something different. When it first arrived, I took a long whiff. Not because I think that makes any difference, but because if people see me do that, they’ll think I am some beer expert who knows the etiquette. I don’t know the etiquette of beer tasting or anything else. This beer had an unusual taste. Imagine pulling out the insole of an old shoe, soaking it into a large glass of water in the sun for a few days, pulling it out, and drinking the remains. That’s what this beer tasted like...but it was not too bad. It was, you know, acquired. Like kimchi.

DA: You crack my shít up! I think to look like a proper beer snob you need to thoughtfully stroke your goatee while wearing the intelligent and thoughtful expression of a true intellectual like John Paul Sartre or Jonathan Vaughters.

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