Tuesday, October 2, 2007

MFWNTAK - Beer Snobs

One of the oldest and dearest friends of The Cameron Family sent me an email asking for a favor. Y'see, he's something of a beer connoisseur, who just so happens to live out of state. His request is tied directly to the press release that follows:

ALESMITH BARREL-AGED BEER RELEASES (2005 VINTAGES) AleSmith was one of the first to present barrel-aged beers, and the tradition continues with the release of three more vintages from 2005. Barrel-aged Old Numbskull 2005, Barrel-aged Wee Heavy 2005, and Barrel-aged Decadence 2005 will be made available on Friday, September 28th from the brewery only. Each bottle is numbered and marked as vintage barrel-aged. Because of the limited number of bottles, sales will be restricted to (2) two bottles each of the Old Numbskull and Wee Heavy, and (1) one bottle of the Decadence 2005. This Barrel-aged Decadence is the English-style Old Ale brewed for our Tenth Anniversary and has been previously released. However, a partial barrel was hiding and we now are pleased to say that we have 10 more cases of the Barrel-aged Decadence 2005. The bottle sale will begin at 3:00PM on Friday, September 28th at the rear of the brewery from the 9366 suite.

AleSmith is a small San Diego brewery located almost in the center of the city, shoehorned between dozens of wholesale furniture outlets and a sprawling military base.

My friend had made similar requests over the last few years, but I was shut out on previous attempts to procure these limited-edition suds. The lines form early and the product is often sold out within an hour.

Still, I remain indebted to my friend and his family for two reasons: (1) They'd bootlegged(!) a few cases of Fat Tire Beer across the border back when San Diego didn't sell it. (2) He and his wife got us one of the few wedding gifts that we've used with some degree of frequency.

So, after several (several) previous failures…this time, I wouldn't be denied.

I got down to the brewery just before 2:30 PM. The line snaked around the building and past a parking lot. By my guess, there were about 100 people already there – some with lawn chairs – but, there were free food and beer samples, which was all it took to keep me from turning around and going home.

Now, remember when you were in high school and all the "cool" kids were drinking, while the dorks were collecting baseball cards, playing Dungeons & Dragons and/or named Aaron Cameron? Well, the dorks have double-backed and now…they're the ones drinking.

Unshaven and unkempt white men were all around me, exchanging stories with the strangers next to them about their various beer conquests from around the country.

One guy had tried a beer that was brewed with Michigan Blue Spruce Evergreen needles. Another had "invented" (his words) a "Rosemary Belgium Ale" which, again…in his words…is "great, if you love rosemary". My favorite quote came from the guy right behind me, who was pooh-poohing commercial beer by telling me he can brew five gallons for $25 and it's better than anything I can buy in the stores.

Or, maybe it was 25 gallons for $5.

The point, beer snobs, is I don't care. You're not being clever when you type "beer" in quotes to qualify alcohol you don't approve of. And, you've all got to come up with a new word to replace "swill", which has been overused by you people to the point that it's lost all of its dismissive powers of derision.

Y'all can brew your own beer and I think it's just dandy that the unsanitary conditions of your junior brew kit can produce a stool sample you can actually consume. As for me, my local grocery store had Sam Adams for $10/case. I bought two, yesterday. There was no yeast residue, no pine needles, no rosemary and not a hint of righteous sanctimony.

But, hey, I'm glad your beer helps you feel better about yourselves.

So, anyways, after almost an hour and a half, I made it to the front of the line and bought two bottles magnums, each, of the Old Numbskull and Wee Heavy, along with one of the Decadence 2005. Total price: $100. For beer!

Now, I'm not expecting my friend to pay me back with the full retail price – after all, I never paid him for the Fat Tire. But, I hope I can pay him with some words of advice: get a new hobby.

Oh, and bring your wallet.


Tom said...

One of my favorite bars in Boston calls them "lawnmower beers." I've adopted this.

mike mejor said...

Most of the home-brewed beer i've had is pretty foul. Straight out of the bathtub i assume. Give me a six pack of Karl Strauss Amber Lager and sack of potato chips and some sports on TV.

When beer drinkers turn white collar and snobby, the terrorists have won.

Anonymous said...

I prefer Uncle Jemima's Mash Liquor..gets you f*&ed up quicker.

"what you swattin at?"

that mexican guy said...

A quesadilla maker?! Your honorary Mexican citizenship has just been revoked.

JPinAZ said...

I need a new hobby? I wasn't the one in line.

If you can find me Pizza Port or Dogfish Head for $10 a case, I'll gladly give up homebrewing. And I've upgraded to the senior brew kit, so there.

That Bootleg Guy said...

You _KNOW_ I agreed to this because the sale began right when the wife and the boy come home from preschool.

In a way, it was win-win for both of us.

Oh, and way to protect your anonymity.

Everyone...JPinAZ is the "friend" I was referring to throughout this post. Obviously, he wants you to know who he is.

And, his middle name is "MacDonald".

notjpandnotinaz said...

Eh, like I care if someone knows I'm a beer geek. (Not snob, I couldn't care less about the fact that Rolling Rock Light is your favorite beer.)

Actually, I care more about them knowing we're friends. I better change the name I use to make comments.