Saturday, December 26, 2009

“Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.”

Well hopefully everyone had a merry holiday season so far. I know I did. It all started with the cask of Terrapin "The Dark Side" at The Fred on Tuesday. Good quantity and quality of attendees as usual. I meant to include a photo from the event, but all of my pictures turned out like crap. Sorry, I tried. We had a virgin cask-tapper that did an outstanding job, as well as having a pretty sweet 'stache. Nice work all around.

On Wednesday I received something unexpected and exciting from my employer: airfare to England. I am going with some beer writers, retailers and Terrapin people in February. We have a jam-packed week of brewery tours (Samuel Smith's, Fuller's, and some little ones), a cask beer fest, and lots of pub activity. I assume there will be a historical marker or two along the way as well, but I dig history quite a bit, so I look for ward to that. It may not be the most beautiful weather in February, but the places we are getting access to are worth a little chill and drizzle. Plus, if there are two thing I hate when I travel, one is being hot, and two is other tourists. You can have peak season and all of the crowds and long lines and screaming children. No thank you. So my southern California beer trip is getting postponed until March. I am very much looking forward to 2010 already, as you can imagine.

But it certainly has been a relaxing weekend so far. I now know why so many people have been talking about this HBO show "Eastbound And Down". I watched the first 6 episodes on DVD over the last few days. Absolutely hilarious. Now listen, before I hear from any angry readers, I want to warn you that unless you like foul language (a lot), and also enjoy jokes about sex, drugs, retarded people, and rednecks, you will not like this show. If it were a movie, it would be rated R. It contains more F words than many people would deem appropriate. But if Kenny Powers is not one of the funniest characters on TV in the last 10 years, I don't know who is. The show stars Randy McBride (who plays Red in Pineapple Express, another classic comedy), and is produced by Will Farrell. You may have heard of him. He also appears in some of the episodes.

Now you may be saying to yourself, "Duh, everybody watches that show." Well, I don't have HBO. Comcast is the biggest bunch of greedy bloodsuckers on the planet, and I already give them $120 a month for digital cable and internet. I refuse to give them any more of my money, and if I could dump them for satellite TV I would in a heartbeat. This company has a monopoly on cable TV service in this area, and they have the inflated prices and terrible service to prove it. Oh, and Comcast just bought NBC? That's right. Hey, if your regional cable company--not even a nation-wide corporation--has enough money to buy one of the three biggest networks in the country, chances are that they are ripping people off pretty badly. I mean, if their profits are such that purchasing NBC is remotely possible, do you think they are taking advantage of the fact that other than satellite, which is not available to everyone, they have no competition? Yeah, I think so. It is so unfair that the government has to be complicit on some level. There are strict anti-trust laws in this country, but for some reason cable TV is immune to them. I mean, I guess you do have a choice. You can take it, or you can leave it. Eventually you will get sick of watching the four channels that you'll get through your antenna and pay them their money. They know that, and they are laughing all the way to the bank. Evil crooks committing crime in broad daylight, with absolutely no shame or morals.

OK, deep breath.....need to let go of the anger....the bad cable people will rot in hell.....horrible pain.....endless torture.....ahhh, that's better.

OK, put Jan. 13th and 19th on your calendars. You should already have the 19th down for a special Bell's event at Metropolis. We will have a cask of Cherry Stout, Hop Slam on draft, and many other great Bell's beers on hand. In fact, (new development!) there is a beer that Bell's made in Belgium in collaboration with De Proef. We will have a keg of that, too. Very rare. The 13th we will tapping a firkin of Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA at our Crabapple store. This beer is great any way you can get it, but the hops really shine when it is served from a cask. If you have never had it this way before, you really need to ASAP. If you have had it this way, then you probably won't miss this opportunity, and are writing it down right now.

That's all for now. Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend. I am leaving Tuesday to visit family in the DC area, so I will see you in the new year. Bye.