Friday, October 30, 2009

Attention Hipsters: You are Doing It Wrong

So, you are a hipster. Good for you. You show your disdain for society by wearing your vans, your tight jeans, your white belt, your unkempt hair, and your general better than thou attitude.

Back when I lived in Alaska, every summer there would be a bunch of trust fund kids who would get off the airplane, with their huge backpacks, and start to trek across the state. They had their ideals, they thought they would save the world, hugging one tree at a time. They are anti-corporation, anti-government, anti-big business.

Modern hipsters are now known for their taste in beer. Specifically, hipsters drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. (Do a google search for hipster pbr and there are 585,000 results; including "Why do hipsters drink Pabst Blue Ribbon?")

Most of the time, it's said that hipsters drink PBR because "its ironic". Exactly how it's irony, I don't know. Perhaps they think they are sticking it to the man, and avoiding BudMillerCoors (which is a good practice). Sadly, drinking PBR doesn't help the little guy. PBR is made by the Pabst Brewing Company.

The Pabst Brewing Company started in 1844. PBC has won more than 120 medals at the Great American Beer Festival, twice they were selected as Large Brewery of the Year. That category again, Large Brewery of the Year.

How did Pabst get to be a large brewery? That's a long story... It's pretty much the story of four brewing companies.

Pabst

In 1848, they (then Best's brewery) only produced 300 barrels. By 1872, they were making 100,000 barrels. In 1889 the name was changed to Pabst Brewing Company. In 1946 Pabst bought the Hoffman Beverage Company in Newark. In 1948, Pabst bought the Los Angeles Brewing Company. By 1977, 18 million barrels were being sold a year.

Schlitz

Schlitz started in 1849 brewing 300 barrels. In 1867 they made 5,578 barrels. In 1879, 139,154 barrels. After the great Chicago fire n 1871, Schlitz supplied beer to Chicago with the tagline "The beer that made Milwaukee famous". In 1950 Schlitz sold 5 million barrels, in 1952, 6.35 million. In 1955, Schlitz and Anheuser-Busch were battling for the #1 spot. In 1963, Schlitz purchases Burgermeister Beer. In 1973 Schlitz hd 21.3 million barrels of sales. Things went downhill in 1967 with a different brewing process. In 1982, Schlitz was purchased by Stroh Brewing Co.

G. Heileman Brewing Co.

Gottleib Heileman started the City Brewery in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 1858. In 1902 City Golden Leaf Beer was relaunched as Heileman's Old Style Lager. From 1950 on Heileman's goes on a purchasing spree. 1959 Kingsbury, 1962 Fox Head, 1963 Independent Brewing, 1964 Duluth Brewing, 1964 Gluek Brewery, 1967 Weidemann Brewery, 1967 Oertel Brewing, 1969 Blatz, 1972 Associated Brewing (Schmidt), 1976 Grain Belt Brewery, 1976 Rainier Brewing, 1978 Falls City, 1979 Carling (Colt 45, Natty Bo).

In 1979, Heileman had 34 brands and 9 breweries; they were the 4th largest brewer in the country. In 1982 they bought Lone Star. In 1990 Heileman declared bankruptcy. They were sold to Hicks Muse Tate in 1993, and to Stroh in 1996.

Stroh Brewery Co.

Bernhard Stroh started the Lion's Head Brewery in Detroit. In the 1890's Stroh's uses fire-brewing technique, instead of steam to heat the kettles. In 1956, Stroh's sales were 2.7 million barrels. In 1964, purchases Goebel Brewing Company. In 1973 sold 4 million barrels. 1978, purchases Schaefer Brewing, sells 6.4 million barrels. 1982, buys Schlitz becomes third largest brewer. 1996, purchases Heileman for 290 million. 1999, acquired by Pabst Brewing Company.

So that's how Jacob Best's 18 barrel system in 1848 wound up owning most of the regional breweries in the United States.

What's Ironic about PBR is that the hipsters drink it. They may think they are sticking it to the man, by avoiding Budweiser, Miller, and Coors. But instead, they are purchasing a beer from a brewery that has gobbled up every possible little man in an effort to increase market share.

Were all of these acquisitions hostile takeovers? Probably not. I'm sure many of them were just regional brewers that got in over their head. They created a good product that the locals enjoyed, and then tried to expand. As these small breweries increased their size, they probably became incorporated, and were forced to attempt to expand even more. This probably led them to near financial ruin. During that time, the companies that still had money (Stroh's, Heileman, Schlitz, and Pabst) came in and bought up the brewery.

So, this beer that is loved by the counter-culture hipsters is made by a company that owns this:

Schaefer Brewing Company; G. Heileman Brewing Company; Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company; Lone Star Brewing Company; McSorley's Ale House; Narragansett Brewing Company; Pabst Brewing Company; Pearl Brewing Company; Piel Brothers; Primo Brewing and Maalting Company; Rainier Brewing Company; Southampton bottling, LLC; Specialty Brewing Company; St. Ides Brewing Company; and Stroh Brewery Company.

Instead of drinking an alternative beer; you are buying a mainstream, corporate, white collar, boardroom, hostile takeover and dismantle the little guy beverage.

How can you sleep at night?

V

Gettin Your Halloween Drink On in CU

Beer lists for the weekend of October 31.

7 Saints

Their current two rotating taps are:

Southern Tier Back Burner Barley Wine
Bells Rye Stout

That's right, Bells Rye Stout. When was the last time you had a Bells Rye Stout? When was the last time Bells MADE their Rye Stout? I had one last night, and it was AWESOME!

Radio Maria

The beer list as of 10/24, according to their website. It's probably not very accurate.

1. Ename Belgian Trippel $6
2. Brasserie Blanche de Bruxelles $5
3. Two Brothers Red Eye Coffee Porter $5
4. Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA $4
5. Three Floyd's Robert the Bruce $4
6. Moylan Moylander Imperial IPA $6
7. Founders Breakfast Stout $5
8. Victory Prima Pils $5
9. Two Brothers Moaten Flemish Red Ale $6
10.Eggenburg Samiclaus Helles $5
11.Pizza Port Hop 15 IPA $5.5
12.Green Flash Hop Head Red $5
13.Southern Tier Big Red $6
14.Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale $5
15.Allagash White $4
16.Guinness $4
17.Wychwood Hobgoblin $4
18.Southern Tier Hop*Sun $3.5
19.Old Bruin Brown $6.5
20.Lagunitas A Little Sumpin Extra $5
21.Big Sky Moose Drool $4
22.Capital Wild Rice $3
23.Arcadia Jaw Jacker $4
24.Dark Horse Perkulator Dopplebock $5.5
25.Coney Island Freaktoberfest $6.5
26.Kapuziner Weissbier $5
27.PBR $2.25

I will try to get it updated as soon as I can.

Friday Happy Hour from 4:30-5:30, beer special is $5 of Two Brothers Moaten.
Saturday is Halloween costume contest. Signup by 11:45, competition at midnight. $5 cover, it still is salsa night.
Sunday is NOT the B. United beer dinner, postponed due to World Series.

Blind Pig

Bells Amber Kalamazoo, Michigan, Amber Ale, 6% abv
Dark Horse Perkulator Marhsall,Michigan, Dopplebock, 7.5% abv
Arcadia ESB Battle Creek, Michigan, Extra Special Bitter, 5.5% abv
Original Sin Hard Cider New York, New York, Cider, 6% abv
Celis Grand Cru Webberville, Michigan, Belgian Strong Ale, 8% abv
Unibroue La Terrible Canada, Belgian Strong Ale, 10.5%
Eugene City 200 Meter Eugene, Oregon, India Pale Ale% abv
Rogue Hazelnut Brown Newport, Oregon, Brown Ale, 6.22% abv
Fullers London Pride England, Premium Bitter, 4.7% abv
Delirium Tremens Belgium, Belgian Strong Ale, 8.5% abv
Blue Moon Golden, Colorado, Belgian White, 5.4% abv
Victory Prima Pils Downington, Pennsylvania, Pilsener, 5.3% abv
Stella Artois Belgium, Pale Lager, 5.2% abv
Pabst Blue Ribbon San Antonio, Texas, Pale Lager, 5% abv
Celis Raspberry Webberville, Michigan, Fruit Beer, 3.9%
Breckenridge Lucky U Denver, Colorado, India Pale Ale, 6.2% abv
Three Floyds Robert The Bruce Munster, Indiana, Scottish Ale, 7.2%
Lagunitas IPA Petaluma, California, India Pale Ale, 5.7% abv
Duchesse De Bourgogne Belgium, Sour Ale, 6.2% abv
Tucher Helles Hefe Weizen Germany, German Hefeweizen, 5.3% abv
Lindemans Pomme Belgium, Lambic, 3.5% abv
Goose Island Matilda Chicago, IL, Belgian Strong Ale, 7% abv
Youngs Double Chocolate Stout England, Stout, 5.2%
Guinness Dublin, Ireland, Dry Stout, 4.1% abv

Saturday is $1 off all Pumpkin Beer.
Sunday is Trivia from 7-9. You can win $50 Blind Pig Gift Cards.

The Brewery (Piglet)

Schlafly Pumpkin Maplewood, Missouri, Spice Ale, 8% abv
Veltins Pilsener Germany, Classic German Pilsener, 4.8% abv
Arcadia Roggen Berry Battle Creek, Michigan, Fruit Beer% abv
Port Brewing Wipeout IPA San Marcos, California, India Pale Ale, 7% abv
New Holland Dragon’s Milk Holland, Michigan, English Strong Ale, 9% abv
Three Floyds Robert The Bruce Munster, Indiana, Scottish Ale, 7.2% abv
Heileman's Old Style Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pale Lager, 5% abv
Great Divide Hades Denver, Colorado, Belgian Ale, 7.3% abv
K├Ânig Ludwig Weiss Germany, German Hefeweizen, 5.5% abv
Guinness Ireland, Dry Stout, 4.1% abv

Crane Alley

Victory Prima Pils 5.4%
Three Floyds Robert The Bruce 7.0%
Arcadia Nut Brown Ale 5.6%
Great Divide Hades 7.3%
Great Divide St Bridgets Porter 5.9%
Van Diest Fruli Strawberry 4.0%
Founders Breakfast Stout 8.3%
Hoegaarden Belgian Wit 5.4%
Guinness 4.2%
Three Floyds Alpha King Pale Ale 6.0%
St Bernardus Abt 12 Quadruple 10.0%
Bells Amber Ale 5.8%
Pabst Blue Ribbon 4.7%
Harviestoun Old Engine Oil 6.0%
Two Brothers Heavy Handed Ipa 5.6%
Dogfish Head 90 Min Ipa 9.0%

Coming Soon

Schneider Weiss 5.4%
Piraat 10.5%
Erdinger Octoberfest Weizen
Gulden Draak 10.5%
Founders Harvest Ale 6.5%
Veltins Pilsener 4.9%
Lindemans Pomme 4.0%


Pretty much every bar in town will have people in costumes this weekend. That includes Hooters, who has Sam Adams Winter on tap.

Cowboy Monkey

(nothing too special on the beer menu)

Friday, DJ Kosmo (free) 10 p.m.
Saturday Dubstep Halloween ($5) 10 p.m. Costumes encouraged.

Highdive

Friday, Mason Jennings
Saturday, Brat Pack, (doors 8:30 show 9:30/12)
Sunday, The Big Beat

Canopy Club

Saturday, Canopy Halloween Bash with Cornmeal, the Bridge, and Zmick.
Sunday, The Disco Biscuits
Nov 9, Ace Frehley ($20 in advance) show at 7 p.m.


V

*edit: updated Radio Maria information*
*edit: added Canopy Club, Highdive, and Cowboy Monkey*

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beer Review, Shiner Cheer

It's been a while since I've had a beer at the house; so I figured I'll have one tonight before Beer Class.

I picked out a Shiner Cheer. I got this on Tuesday night when Smart@ss and I went to tucks on a beer run. I'm not normally a fan of Shiner's (Spoetzl Brewery) usual offerings (the bock for example) but their holiday cheer beer pleasantly surprised me last year.

It pours a pecan color from the bottle. That's good, because it's made with pecans. It has a decent head, that's got some yellow in it. The label is somewhat disappointing, as it says "Ale brewed with peaches and pecans and with natural flavor and caramel color", so the deep woody color doesn't come from the malt but it faked.

The nose is definitely peachy. There's some other sugary sweetness to it, but it's peach. It's slightly effervescent (bubbly) and a bit thin (thinner than milk, thicker than water). It doesn't leave much on the front of the palate, but does linger a bit in the back.

It tastes, of peaches. There is some malt and sweet after you get over the initial bombardment of peaches. There's practically no hops bitterness whatsoever. It may have some tartness from the peaches, but there's no bitter. Any that might be present seems to be more of a nutty bitter than a hoppy bitter.

Apparently, this is a dunkelweizen. It's a Bavarian-style dark wheat. That's good I guess, since beer class tonight is whet beers. I don't get any soft of dunkelweizen out of this.

When I had this last year, it didn't seem very remarkable at the beginning of the season. The last time I had it was in March or April, and it had mellowed out very nicely. If you pick up a six pack of this, go ahead and have a couple now, but put one or two away to see how you like it later. I liked it more after it had some months on it, but that's just me. Some people think aging beers goes against what the brewer was trying to do. I say, it's your mouth, put in it what you want to put in it. If you like something a little bit different than what was intended, do what makes you happiest. (That's why there's salt/pepper/ketchup/mustard on tables at restaurants; so you can eat things the way you want to eat them). Once you buy it, it's your beer, if you like it better with a couple months on it, more power to you.

Diatribe over...

As the beer warms, there's some more flavors that pop out. It's starting to get a cherry note to it. Also, the pecan is becoming more noticeable. It's still not showing itself to be a dunkelweizen. It seems like almost any beer style could serve as the base for this. Well, not just ANY, a wheat, strong, stout, plain old "ale" or "lager" would hold up fine. The peaches flavor would hold up to any "basic" beer and turn it into something special.

I'd recommend drinking this beer at a temp slightly warmer than your fridge. Chill it, then give it at least 20 minutes before drinking. It's good cold, but as is the case with most good beers, it's better warm. Here's a tip from me to you... if you don't like the beer that you are drinking when it's warm, then it's probably not a good beer.

I like this beer. I will like it more in a couple of months.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What I've Been Up To

So, on Facebook yesterday, I ran into a friend. How I got there was interesting, kind of... to me...

So, my old boss started following the Defense Information School (DINFOS) and so I started looking through their posts, and I thought, I wonder if anyone I went to school with is listed as a friend. So I looked and I didn't recognize any of the names. Then one name popped into my head, so I searched for him, and there was a picture of a guy playing bass, and I remembered that he played bass, so I sent him a message asking if it was him, he responded that it was. He wondered what I've been up to since, May 12, 1992. The day I turned 21, and left Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.

So Scott, from my 21st birthday here's a general recap of what I've been up to...

After finishing the Basic Journalism Course, I was assigned to Fort Richardson, Alaska. While in Alaska, I got to do some really cool things. (Being a journalist did have it's advantages) I got to go walk on glaciers, I got to climb the rocky cliffs that were cut out by those glaciers. I once flew to Mount McKinley with the Ambassador to the United States from India, as he was going to talk to a multi-national climbing expedition up the mountain. I got to go to airborne school (I'm a 5 jump chump). I was a writer, photographer, and eventually the editor for the army in Alaska newspaper (then the Arctic Star). I was on deployments to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas; Fort Lewis, Washington; Guam; Thailand. While in Alaska, I met a girl and got married. I bought my first car, a 94 Chevy Cavalier. On consecutive days, playing flag football, I broke my right thumb (Bennett's Fracture) and then broke my left middle finger. Through dubious circumstances I became the Fort Richardson Soldier of the Month at one point. After getting my first 2 tattoos on consecutive days (May 1, 1992 and May 2, 1992) with you there; I got 6 more. The third came when I was on leave before getting to Alaska. I haven't gotten any since I left Alaska in '95. With my two broken hands, the wife and I drove from Alaska down to Illinois. We made the 4000 mile trip in 3.5 days (actually 4 days, but we only stopped 3 nights).

My next (and last) duty station was Fort Meade, Maryland. There, I made a lot of good friends. I didn't do near as much there as I did in Alaska, or so it seemed. I took up golf. I went from publishing a weekly paper to doing a monthly newsletter, that gave me a lot of free time, so I started learning more about computers. I had a boss who was nice enough to let me go to classes and get certified on Microsoft products, even though I was a journalist. At Meade, it seems like I didn't do very much; but when I left my boss had a bagillion jobs to put on my award recommendation, to which it was kicked back as they didn't think that I really did all those/had those titles. They included: NBC NCO; Brigade Print Officer; Brigade Historian; Squad Leader; Platoon Sgt; Urinalysis Observer (yeah, I was the guy who had to watch people pee into a cup); I know there was more, but I can't remember them. At Meade, I got promoted to sergeant. I was the company soldier and NCO of the month/quarter on numerous occasions. I was the brigade soldier/NCO of the quarter/month at least once.

At the end of '98 the army decided I should go to Korea for a year. I was in my re-enlistment window, so I had the choice to go to Korea and re-enlist, or sign a declination of continued service statement and get out. I was still married, and thought that the one year separation has hurt stronger marriages than what I had, so I got out.

The wife and I moved back to Illinois in '99. We initially moved in with my dad. I got a contract job working in Champaign at Carle Clinic doing computer server administration, and helping with a migration from Novell to Microsoft. The wife got a job at a bank. After a couple of months, I took on a new contract at Growmark in Bloomington. We moved into a crappy apartment. I hated this job. Well, the job was ok, I just couldn't stand the environment. It was too quiet, everyone whispered. So I begged my pimp to get me back to Carle, thankfully, one of the guys left, so there was an opening. So I went back to Carle.

The wife then got accepted at the University of Illinois, which is in Champaign, and I worked in Champaign, and we lived in Pontiac, which is 70 miles away, so we moved to an apartment in Champaign. We lived there for about a year, and she was offered a full-time (AGR) job in Peoria in the National Guard, which was a pretty good deal. Peoria is 100 miles from Champaign. So we started to look for a house. It seemed as though it was time to settle down. Ideally we would have found a place right in the middle, so we both had 50 mile commutes. Instead we found a place that was 30 or so from Peoria and 70 from my work (71.8 to be exact).

This place was awesome, I loved it; for some reason she wasn't that happy there, which I still don't understand. The house itself wasn't exactly perfect, but given enough time, we could have really made it great. It was 2800 square feet. It used to be the clubhouse for the subdivision. It had 3.5 acres on a lake; with a 50x20 in-ground swimming pool. Because it was the clubhouse, it had 4 downstairs bathrooms (a boys changing room/girls changing room/ boys bathroom/girls bathroom). It had a huge brick fireplace in both the up and downstairs. The lake was stocked with fish. We had family coming up from Georgia at least 3 times a year. My sister from Chicago area came down several times. It was a great place for the family to come. The wife's mother even came once, from Maine.

While living there, I spent a lot of time alone. (We had 2 dogs, Peggy and King). The wife went to 2 different MOS producing schools (I think). One was helicopter mechanic school. This was like four months or longer. Also, her unit got deployed to Iraq. While she was gone, I kind of developed some OCD germ-aphobia. Before her mid-tour leave, I went about 3 months without touching anyone. This was in 2004. I haven't touched a bathroom door handle since then, except once; at which point I just sort of stared at my hand in amazement. When she finally got back from Iraq, she was different. The mid-tour wife was great, the end-of-tour one was way different. She thought I had changed, I knew she had. We didn't really work well together. I kind of figured she just needed a changed of scenery, since she didn't like the house (which still baffles me), so we put the house up for sale. One day after going back after seeing a movie, she said to me "when we sell the house, I'm not moving with you". I wasn't surprised. I had expected something like that for a while. So, we sold the house, she moved to Decatur, Illinois, and I moved to Urbana (where I worked). We saw each other a couple of times, but it was weird.

We got divorced at some point. I think it was Jan of 2006. She took the dogs. Since then she's gotten remarried, and had a kid. That's the end of her in my story.

One New Years Day (2005, I think) I had to help my brother get one of his cars from the Quad Cities. I drove him up, and he drove his vehicle back. On the drive back I started to get some ideas of art projects I'd like to do. I was never too artsy before, but I thought I'd like to do some things. So I set about doing some stuff. It started with wanting to make some plaster masks. So I made masks out of all sorts of material. I did a few other things, that culminated with my life-sized cross.

One day, I was at Billy Barooz (a bar in town) and was showing some of the things I made to one of the bartendresses, and she said that for being artsy, I drink crappy beer (I pretty much only drank Miller Lite back then). So she gave me a Bells Amber to try. I liked it, and that became my beer of choice.

Well, Bells Amber was replaced in the spring by Bells Oberon, I didn't (and don't) like Oberon, so I tried all the beers they had. Then I started trying lots more beers. Most of you who read this, know that I'm on Landover Baptist Forums, where I lead the Bible in a Year. One of my friends there said that he saw a 365 beer challenge website. The goal was to drink 365 different beers in a year. At the time, I wondered if I could do it. So I applied myself. I started that around Jan 7, 2007. I reached the 365 marker of unique beers on April 1. I finished the year at 1200 beers.

Based on my experiences with drinking, I applied for the Wynkoop Brewery Beer Drinker of the Year competition. Well, I didn't win. But they did select me as the first ever Rookie of the Year. So I've got some shirts that say "Beer Drinker of the Year; Rookie of the Year" (2007) So, that's my beer claim to fame; at least for now.

In 2008, my spreadsheet says I had 731 different beers (unique, ones that weren't in 2007). So for those two years, I have 1930 different beers. I stopped keeping a list on March 31 of this year, at beer 92. Which puts my three year list at 2022.

A couple years back, my buddy Pat wanted to start a band with him playing drums, our buddy Thad playing guitar, another friend on keyboards, and Pat's wife on bass. I was over at the house one day, and she wasn't there, so they had me go down and pluck an A. I was hooked, and started playing bass. I'm not that great, but I think I'm ok.

In 2007 I started dating a girl named Kristy (who I refer to as Kridz). No matter how much anyone asks, I don't plan on getting married. I like to say "My girlfriend drives me to drink; thankfully she drives me home after".

I'm sort of a busy guy. My fall schedule was this.

Sunday: go to Hooters to watch football.
Monday: softball
Tuesday: softball (mostly every other week)
Wednesday: Pool league
Thursday: 9:30-midnight or so, Beer Class
Friday: nothing, although that nothing winds up being something half the time
Saturday: nothing, that also becomes something.

Softball just ended, so I'm getting two nights back a week now.

Both Kridz and I have our own houses, so that's kind of inconvenient. We spend half the nights at my place, and half at hers.

I'm kind of a collector (goes back to the OCD). I'm got collections of yo-yo's; beer; music; magic books; I once had a collection of disposable wipes; I've got pretty much all the mail that's been delivered to my house; I've got every unique bottle that I drank at my house; I used to have all the empty mountain dew boxes; I've got all my bottle caps; I think that's about all.

Well, I think that pretty much covers what I've been up to since the day I turned 21.

Questions?

V

Friday, October 23, 2009

CU Beer Weekend of Oct 23

Lets see how much useful beer information, I can put together for your drinking needs for this coming week.

Radio Maria:

Friday, free appetizers from 4:30 to 5:30. Saturday, Salsa night at 10. Sunday, $1 PBR.
As of 10/20 their draft beer list was:

1. Ename Belgian Trippel $6
2. Brasserie Blanche de Bruxelles $5
3. Two Brothers Red Eye Coffee Porter $5.5
4. Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA $4
5. Sinebrychoff Porter $6
6. Moylan Moylander Imperial IPA $6
7. Founders Breakfast Stout $5
8. Victory Prima Pils $5
9. Two Brothers Moaten Flemish Red Ale $6
10.Eggenburg Samiclaus Helles $5
11.Pizza Port Hop 15 IPA $5.5
12.Green Flash Hop Head Red $5
13.Southern Tier Big Red $6
14.Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale $5
15.Allagash White $4
16.Guinness 250 $5
17.Wychwood Hobgoblin $4
18.Southern Tier Hop*Sun $3.5
19.Old Bruin Brown $6
20.Lagunitas A Little Sumpin Extra $5
21.Big Sky Moose Drool $4
22.Two Brothers Ebel's Weisse $5
23.Arcadia Jaw Jacker $4
24.Dark Horse Perkulator Dopplebock $5.5
25.Coney Island Freaktoberfest $6.5
26.Kapuziner Weissbier $5
27.PBR $2.25

According to their website, they have Bells Hopslam in bottles.

Blind Pig:

Sunday, Trivia from 7-9. $3 Guinness draught.

Tap List (as of Wed):
Sand Creek Cranberry
Dark Horse Perkulator
Arcadia ESB
Original Sin Hard Cider
Chimay White
Unibroue Chambly Noire
Ballast Point Sculpin
Rogue Juniper Pale
Fullers London Pride
Delerium Tremens
Blue Moon
Left Hand Polestar Pilsner
Stella Artois
PBR
Celis Raspberry
Breckenridge Lucky U
Three Floyds Pride & Joy
Lagunitas IPA
Duchesse De Bourgogne
Tucher Helles Hefe Weizen
Lindemans Pomme
Goose Island Matilda
Youngs Double Chocolate Stout
Guinness

The Brewery (Piglet) has
Schlafly Pumpkin
Bitburder Premium Pils
Arcadia Roggen Berry
Arcadia Hop Rocket
Left Hand Milk Stout
Three Floyds Robert the Bruce
Old Style
North Coast Le Merle
Konig Ludwig Weiss
Guinness

Seven Saints:

Was there last night, on tap was:

Southern Tier Oat
Southern Tier Unearthly IPA (I believe)
Southern Tier Pumpking

Crane Alley:

Website lists:

Victory Prima Pils
Arcadia Nut Brown
Rogue Cap'n Sig's India Red Ale
Great Divide Hades
Great Divide St. Bridgets Porter
Three Floyds Drunk Monk Hefe Weizen
Founders Breakfast Stout
Hoegaarden Belgian Wit
Guinness
Three Floyds Alpha King Pale Ale
Chimay Cinq Cents Trappist Tripel
Bells Amber
PBR
Harviestoun Old Engine Oil
Three Floyds Broo Doo Harvest Ale
Dogfish Head 90 Min IPA

I think that's about it for the places that I know of that have changing beer lists. Mike n Molly's doesn't have a site, neither does Bentley's. If anyone wants to know their lists, let me know and I'll try to get them for future reference.

Other upcoming events are:
November 1, Radio Maria Beer Dinner with B. United
November 3, CU Beer Club Happy Hour, at Mike and Molly's at 6 p.m.

Have a good weekend.

V

Heaven Can't Be All That Great; Hell Can't Be All That Bad

First, a preface...

I'm an atheist, I don't believe there's a god. I don't believe that there's an invisible entity that controls our daily lives. I don't believe there is a devil, I don't believe there are demons, or angels. I believe that man can be evil. I am afraid of people who think that the only reason they don't do bad things is because they are afraid of punishment from an omnipotent being, instead of they don't do bad things because it's the wrong thing to do. I don't put my faith into evolution, or creation. I don't really care where we came from. I don't need science to disprove religion. I know that religion is wrong, I don't need the right answer to know that another answer is wrong.

Last night, Kridz and I went to see Paranormal Activity. This movie scared the bejesus out of (or was it into) me. It kind of reminded me of a movie I saw as a child on TJ and the ANT. Where a kid gets possed by a demon that he saw in a tree as his family was moving into a new house (can't seem to figure out what movie that was).

Possession stories have always scared me. It's due to the fundamental (more mental than fun) baptist upbringing. As a kid, I didn't believe in vampires, frankenstein, wolfmen... but demon possession, that's totally believable (it goes with God worship; the anti-god).

But when you start to analyze demon possession, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and it actually destroys the credibility of all aspects of religion.

Ok, so what does this have to do with the title? Heaven can't be all that great; hell can't be all that bad. That's something I've thought for a long time. If you believe in heaven and hell, you probably believe it's something like this:

Heaven is awesome. Everyone is happy. There is no strife. Everyone gets along. God walks around and answers your questions about stuff. You get to see all your family members. It lasts forever.

Hell is horrible. You are tortured by demons for all eternity. There is no escape. You may see your relatives, but they are there being tortured with you. It lasts forever.

Here's the problem. If you believe in heaven and hell, then you probably believe in the god of the bible. That's the guy who made the earth 6000 years ago. He did it all in 6 days, then his all powerfulness took a day off to rest. Why does an all powerful god need to rest?

So, you probably believe in that god. Perfect, all knowing, can see the future, lives outside of time, resides in heaven, is personally involved in the day to day activities of the world.

Additionally, you probably believe in the devil. Almost as powerful as god, lives outside of time, resides in hell, is personally involved in the day to day activities of the world, except he's out to get you.

If you believe in these 2 beings, and worship one and fear the other, then you haven't read your bible *tsk tsk*.

According to Revelation 20:2, Jesus locked the Devil into the bottomless pit. So either the devil is in the bottomless pit (hell) or he's out running around free. Which is it? If he's not in the pit, then your god has released the devil to go torment humanity... does your God deserve worship for that? The other way the devil is out, would mean that he has escaped the pit... does your God deserve worship for that?

Where did the devil come from?

Most people believe that the devil used to be an angel and he rebelled with about 1/3 of the angels; because he wanted more power or something. Angels were created by god to do one thing, PRAISE GOD. They sat around in heaven and praised god. They did god's bidding, they did god's work. This wasn't good enough for them. They wanted more. God couldn't make angels right.

Where did people come from?

God made people to tend his garden. He made them to praise him. Shortly after god made Adam and Eve, they ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. God then punished them... even though THEY HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. He didn't just punish them, he punished everyone from that point on... which would be everyone... ever! God put them into a perfect place, Eden. They wanted more. God couldn't make people right.

(Remember, this god is a creature who knows everything that's going to happen, and yet, for some reason, he put things into place that would cause people to rebel and cause angels to rebel.)

So far, we've seen that god made angels, and he messed that up; he's made people, and he messed that up. What else has he made?

Heaven: well, that wasn't good enough for the angels, so how great can it be? Well, when we get to heaven, we'll all be perfect beings, who love one another. We'll all get along, there will be no more strife; everything will be perfect.

Wait a second; what people is this? We can't get along on earth for the 70+ years that we live on it, how the hell are we going to make it an eternity without killing one another? If we all get mansions up there, someone is going to be jealous that his mansion is smaller than the next guys. Heaven can't be great, because it's going to be filled with the same people who live here on earth. Unless all the petty grievances that we have as humans, somehow get taken away, there is no way that heaven can be... well, heaven. It will be just as crappy as here. If, somehow, all our petty grievances get taken away, well, then me and you just aren't the same things, so what's the joy of getting to heaven, if I'm not the same as what I was before?

Hell: Everyone thinks of hell as a place where bad people (and we "god haters") will spend eternity getting anally raped by demons. Who are these demons? Most people think they are led by the devil (the guy who was kicked out of heaven). Why would the devil torture people? That would be doing god's work (of torturing those not in heaven). The devil already decided he wasn't going to do god's work, which got him kicked out in the first place; so now he's decided that he's going to pick on men for all eternity... that makes absolutely no sense. Supposedly the demons are the angels that went with him; so they are torturing people for the rest of time... again, doing god's work. This still makes no sense.

The other option, is that the demons in hell are creatures specifically made by god to punish people. So, god made people who rebelled, angels who rebelled, and possibly demons... how come these haven't rebelled? Are the demons in hell the only thing god made that was perfect?

This is the same god we are talking about. There's no way that hell can be as bad as it's made out to be. Why, because HE made it.

So, when you put everything together, you see heaven can't be great; and hell can't be that bad.

It'd be nice if heaven was great; but it just can't be; why? Because people will be there.

So, back to the movie...

It made me jump; it brought back all my possession fears from being a kid; it was ok; it's total bullshit.

V

Bars in CU with NFL Sunday Ticket

There seem to be a lot of searches that wind up here for Bars in Champaign (Urbana) with NFL Sunday ticket.

So, to provide the service... here's some that I know of (along with their pros and cons).

Hooters.

I go to Hooters on Sunday for football. Hooters (and bud) have a promotion now, that if you show up on days that there is pro or college football on, you will get a punch in a card. The 5th punch winds up getting you stuff. The fifth punch is a bud coozie; 10th is 10 wings; 15 is $10 gift card. It goes up to 35 (I believe, don't have mine on me) and then you get a wing parts (something like 100 wings). It's a good value.

Additionally, since I held a fantasy football draft there, I got a coupon pack, that each week has different coupons. Last week was 50 free wings, this week is 20% off food and merchandise. Hooters also has wi-fi, so you can bring in your laptop and watch your fantasy football team lose.

The drawback to Hooters is... there are only 5 directv receivers, so that means only 5 games on. That doesn't make a difference for the afternoon games, but it can limit the noon games. The beer selection isn't that great, but they do have a couple good beers, including freshly tapped Sam Adams winter. The scenery at Hooters isn't bad either.

Billy Barooz.

If we weren't going to Hooters, I'd be going to Billy Barooz. It's on the southwest side of town, in the crossing area. I'm not sure the number of tv's and receivers, but there are several. If you sit at the bar, you can probably talk the bartender into putting your favorite team on. Additionally, in the Sunday morning News Gazette, in the sports section, they are putting coupons in.

Barooz has a better beer selection, and has some of the best nachos that I've ever had. You can order it at the start of the first game, and still take some home at the end of the late game. I believe that BB has wi-fi.

The drawback to BB is lack of tv's. And if you are gonna compare the scenery, Megan beats Aaron.

Buffalo Wild Wings.

BW has NFL sunday ticket. BW has good wings. BW doesn't have great beer. BW has huge tvs and lots of receivers. BW probably has the biggest crowd. I'm unsure of BW's wi-fi.

Others

I believe Tumble Inn has it, but I'm not exactly sure.

According to Abelink Fat City has it.

I don't know about any on campus that have it... but then, I don't go to campus.

Another possibility is Old Chicago. They have a lot of beer, but not a lot of great beer. I guess the pizza is good too. *edit*

Old Chicago

Old Chicago has NFL Sunday Ticket. According to their front door, they also have wi-fi. They also have the best beer selection of any bar in town (110 beers according to the sign over the door) that has the package. They probably have more tv's too.

Bars that DEFINITELY don't have it.

Radio Maria, no tvs.

Blind Pig, no tvs.

7 Saints, has cable.

Crane Alley, has cable.

Blind Pig Brewery, no tvs.

I don't think either of the Jupiters has it, nor High Dive, Cowboy Monkey, or Guidos (I could be wrong about Guidos).

Well, I hope you find a place that has it. If you know of any others, let me know, and I can add to the list.

V