Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Anatomy of a Beer Snob

I wasn't born this way. In fact because I had better things to do growing up than getting drunk, I didn't taste my first beer until I was 18 years-old in Maryland. And that was the legal drinking age. I think it was a yummy Schlitz beer in a can at the quad at the University of Maryland.

But by the time I was a senior, I had left behind the big breweries of the United States. I had gone foreign. Heineken, Molson Ale and Carlsberg Elephant were my choices. I can recall the rush on the local liquor store. There were fellows pulling out cases of Elephant for $9.99. And that was an excellent brew with plenty of alcohol.

By the mid 80s, I was brewing my own beer in my apartment house in Georgetown. It was a mix and it wasn't bad. A few bottles would blow up in the closet but so what. I now talk about my last two bad beers. It was the summer of 1992 and I drank two Coors beers in Nebraska. They quenched my thirst but that was the end of that. I was all microbrews all the time.

On the honeymoon, Eileen and I went from great beer place to another collecting glasses. But that meant we had to drink the beers and I grow weary from all that drinking. We do have the glasses as souvenirs in hand even today.

HMan set me up for a beer tasting on the last DC visit. I did quite well, thank you. But there are some problems with being a total beer snob. You can't drink on a moment's notice. So you have to be prepared to say no if the selection isn't up to standards.

The good news is I don't have to drink. In the good old days, I was a three beer man. And then a two-beer man. Now, I'm a one-beer man. And it better be a good one.

My friends Dan and Dave and I go looking for these wonderful establishments that sell fantastic ales. We have some great adventures in the great world of American craft breweries.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Land of Waterparks

Third time the charm? The first visit to Wisconsin Dells with the family was lowlighted by a ride on the Ducks. A big vessel took us over land and water and then in the middle of the woods, the young driver stopped this vehicle and made a speech about how he needed cash for his college education. It was an old fashioned hold-up. He passed hit hat around for tips. No, I didn't spit into it.

On the second visit with the family, I broke down and bought myself a fancy camera. No, I didn't know how to use it properly. I took some photos and then left the camera somewhere. I called weekly but either one of patrons or employees now is the proud owner of my camera.

So was I looking forward to the Cougars baseball trip to the Dells? Well, maybe not. That town gives me the willies as maybe it was just built up in the middle of nowhere. It has a little Atlantic City to it with the fudge shops and souvenir stands.

The resort (Chula Vista) was very nice. It was clean and the room was plenty big enough for Brady and me.

The Cougars parents are nice bunch.

It's still interesting the dynamic of a 14-year-old baseball team. All the parents are rooting for their team, but in a year or so, those kids will be competing against each other for spots on the high school team. And maybe things will be different.