Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
A friend of mine had a St. Patrick's Day party. Like many parties this one had a massive amount of corned beef, cabbage, things colored green, Irish Cream, Irish Whiskey, Guinness and Murphy's. What I bet none of those parties had that this one did was... the AlcoHAWK Precision Breathalyzer.
Question: how many of you know what a .08 Blood Alcohol Content feels like? Point oh eight is the legal limit (in every State in the Union) that bits of alcohol can be floating around in your bloodstream before you get a DUI. But do you have any idea how much alcohol it takes for you to get .08? Do you know what .08 feels like?
Probably not. Virtually no one does. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration of Justice, and I worked as private investigator for several years. Until that party neither Fran nor I had any clue what it took for us to reach that not-so-magic number.
Here's another question: why aren't certain organizations doing more to EDUCATE people? Oh sure, they tell us not to drink and drive. They pass out gory pamphlets and wave endless statistics (which can and are manipulated mind you) in our face... but do you see any of those organizations standing on a street corner with Breathalyzers in hand actually showing the masses what .08 really means?
Being the "professional drinkers" that we are Fran and I "knew" we could put it away. I'm a big guy (265-ish) and my roots run back to Croatia and Russia. Fran is 100% German. A Boston bartender once told me that she'd never seen anyone drink as much Guinness (on repeated trips) as I could and still remain coherent. But thinking and knowing are two vastly different things... and cops don't much care either way.
- Guinness (11.2 ounces), drank in 12 minutes. Blew a .02.
- Tommyknocker Cocoa Porter (12 ounces), finished off in 15 minutes. During this time we all began to eat dinner. I gobbled down two large servings of corned beef, salad, and cabbage wraps filled with meat and other goodies. I blew .016. It went down. Being an experienced drinker I "knew" the second I started eating I would start sobering up. At least that's what I always thought. Turned out to be true.
- Bristol IPA (a full pint at 6.5% ABV), downed in 11 minutes. Ironically, I blew a .011. Down again... after an IPA. Serious drinking time had begun.
- Sam Adams Black Lager (12 ounces), swigged in 20 minutes. I blew .02. Going back up.
- New Belgium Tripple (12 ounces at a hefty 7.8% ABV. ) I gulped this down and blew .038.
- Sam Adams White Ale (12 ounces). This time I didn't wait the required 20 minutes after finishing (which I swigged in 19 minutes). I blew .068.
There were 12 other people at the party and we all ate dinner at the same time. During the drinking session I never broke the "legal limit." Only one other guy didn't go over, but he had fewer beers then I did, weighed far less, and left early. Now, if I had been drinking hard alcohol like many others were, I probably would have topped out inside 2 or 3 drinks (I rarely drink hard alcohol). But some folks were near the limit with one (two ounce hard alcohol) drink, and a few were over after their second (two ounce hard alcohol) drink. One of the guys in attendance had 3 pints of locally brewed beer (same ones I had in a few occasions) during those 3 hours. On his last test he topped out at an unbelievable .11 (might actually have been a tad higher). Read that again... there are no zeros in there, so he was waaaaay over the limit with just three beers (and a meal).
Bottom line: every single person walking the planet metabolizes alcohol uniquely and has a totally different tolerance level. What .08 means to one person, who can be completely smashed out of their mind, won't be the same for another person who may be perfectly OK. Alcohol metabolizes differently based on what appears to a be a slew of random genetic factors, including (but not as significant as you might think) a person's weight. The guy who blew .11 with 3 pints of beer was considerably heavier then Fran, who had 5 hard alcohol drinks (2 two ouncers and 3 three ouncers of her infamous "Long Islands"which are long on alcohol) and also blew .11.
So what are your thoughts? Have you ever tested yourself to see what your tolerance level is? Do you know how much alcohol it takes for you to get DUI'ed? I want to know!
I'm buying a Breathalyzer for our Professional Drinker's group to take with us to our social gatherings, the myriad of beerfests we attend, and out to our favorite drinking establishments. I'll keep you updated on our findings.
Until then... Zivjeli!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Sad times in Michigan. Thomas Martin owns the 11 Jude's Barbershops in the Grand Rapids area. The Michigan attorney general's office, with apparently nothing better to do since ya know Michigan's economy is doing so well (not) and the crime in Detroit is at an all time low (not), decided that while Martin can offer a shave and a haircut at two bits (joke), he can no longer give out free beer. He needs a liquor licence to do do that. Cuz, ya know, Michigan needs all the revenue they can squeeze out of the common taxpayer. Martin has been doing this "old-fashioned complimentary service" for his customers for years. So much for tradition.
Russian River Brewing Company is in the midst of expanding their brewing operation to a second location in Santa Rosa. Well, it's almost complete. Starting on April 21 they plan on brewing their first batch! WOOOHOOO!!! If you haven't had any of Vinnie and Natalie's beer... do whatever it takes to get hold of some! Speaking of... their next round of barrel-aged beers are bottled and will be released in a month or so. Sadly, due to state legislation (there's those pesky outdated laws again) they can't direct-ship any of it out of state. Fortunately (for me), Fran's folks live only a few miles away, and we actually plan on being there around the end of April (for Fran's B-day). We're gonna make time to stop in and have a beer or four.
And lastly a Zane Lamprey/Three Sheets update. A few days ago I babbled on about the greatness of the man and that Season 3 of the best show on TV was about to fire up (April 10). Well, here's a bit more info on where Zane will be getting drunk at in the trifecta-cular Season 3: Chile, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Barcelona (Spain), Porto (Portugal), Hong Kong (China), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Argentina, Gibraltar, Bangkok (Thailand), Cognac (France), Moscow (Russia), Copenhagen (Denmark), Scotland, and Las Vegas.
Keep your web browser locked and loaded to this website for a lot more Three Sheets shenanigans. Aside from working on a virtual shrine to the Great Zane and his lil monkey Pleepleus, I'm also putting together a new sidebar feature that will give a smattering of info about each new weekly episode. And maybe, just maybe... a few more very cool surprises. Moooooahahaha!
By the way...
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Brewery: Boulder Beer Company
Web Site: http://www.boulderbeer.com/
Description: April 7th - 25 cent glass of beer with purchase of an entrée! All Day Long - 11am to close
Brewery: Bristol Brewing Company
City: Colorado Springs
Web Site: http://www.bristolbrewing.com/
Description: Bristol Brewing will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition on Saturday, April 5th, with its annual release of the Edge City Pilsner, complimentary snacks, a period costume contest and 33 cent Edge City Pilsners from 4pm to 6pm.
Brewery: Ska, Carvers, Steamworks, Durango Brewing
Web Site: http://www.skabrewing.com/
Description: The Durango Bootlegger's Society (Carvers, Ska, Steamworks, Durango)will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the legalization of beer in America with the release of our 6th annual "Spring Tonic Elixer", a collectively brewed barrel-aged lager based on a "medicinal" prohibition-era recipe. Carver’s will be transformed into a speakeasy complete with Women’s Temperance activists protesting out front. Local historian, author, and Fort Lewis College Professor, Duane Smith, will entertain the crowd with colorful anecdotes of the area’s brewing history before tapping the cask and kicking off the event. There will be live music as well as a screening of "American Brew." The proceeds will go to the historic Animas City Museum.
Brewery: Odell Brewing Co.
City: Fort Collins
Web Site: odellbrewing.com Description: Tapping new ales-Market pale ale and cask condition 5 barrel pale ale with apollo hops
Web Site: http://www.trinidadbrewingcompany.com/
Description: We will be releasing two (2) of our Colorado whiskey barrel aged beers!
My buddy Shawn (the Beer Philosopher) is reporting that one of my new favorite mid-west Breweries (Schlafly) is also having a celebration, The Repeal of Prohibition, on Saturday, April 12. Check out their site for all the details. Sure would love to be there, but St. Louis is a lil bit of a trip from ole Colorado Springs. Plus, Fran is taking me somewhere for my b-day. Where? No clue, it's a surprise. But I bet it'll be super fun!
Friday, March 21, 2008
No, not because it's my birthday (which it really is)... but because 75 years ago this April 7, the Volstead Act was modified by the then newly-elected President, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Wanting to fulfill his campaign promise of ending Prohibition he got Congress to change the Volstead Act so that 3.2% beer could be sold prior to the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment. While the repeal of Prohibition didn't occur until December 5th of that year, April 7 marks the date when beer was the only legal libation in the whole of the United States.
On that glorious day - a day that will surely live in immortality - Roosevelt toasted the beginning of the end of Prohibition... with a beer at the White House. Really. During the 24 hours following the legalization of 3.2 beer more than 1.5 million gallons of it poured out across the American landscape. (* All this fantastic historical information was obtained from Beertown.org).
According to the folks at 75 Years of Beer, this April your local brewery will be holding special celebrations, offering special release beers, and basically partying like it's 1933 to honor this magnificent milestone. So join your local beer geeks and raise a toast to the 75th anniversary of legal beer!
And let's not forget the near magical irony of how my own birthday just happens to fall on the exact same day. Irony? Happenstance? Or some "higher calling"? Whatever the case... you know I'll be drinking a few on April 7.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
This might not be a big deal to folks in other parts of the country, but since 1933 (the year Prohibition ended) folks living in Colorado have not been able to buy "devil water" in any form on a Sunday. You can't buy a friggin' car on Sunday's here either.
Thankfully, one more outdated, ill-conceived, moronic law from a bygone era (Prohibition did not work, it only made things worse) goes the way of the dodo bird.
Ironically, the measure was debated on the House floor on Monday - St. Patrick's Day. It's headed to Governor Bill Ritter's desk where it's expected to be signed post haste. That irony was not lost on House leadership as they joked about the timing of the debate.
The measure was initially supposed to go into effect on November 1, but legislature decided to bump it up to July 1 in order to capitalize on the 4th of July holiday. Again, common sense. However one person - Rep. Douglas Bruce, R-Colorado Springs - doesn't seem to possess this particular mental faculty. I'm not being mean. This isn't the first time this local-yocal has opened mouth and inserted foot (when he's not kicking someone with it). Thankfully, the House quickly rejected his proposal and told him to go back and sit in the corner.
So enjoy moving - in part anyway - into the 21st century Colorado!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I literally jumped outta my beer pajamas (yes, I really do have beer PJs)! Who doesn't like a little recognition or some free publicity!?
So on March 12 their beer issue hit newsstands in South Florida, and the web version of the write up (Web Tech) hit their website.
Along with my blog the article profiles Lucy Saunder's wonderful BeerCook site and Captain Hops Beer Haiku Daily. Give the article a read when you can!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
According to an AP report, lawmakers in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington now want to give it a whirl for alcohol. Last week they approved a one-year pilot program that will allow beer and wine tasting in a mere 30 grocery stores statewide.
Now, Washington covers 71,303 square miles (making it the 18th largest state) and as of 2006 had an estimated population of 6,395,798 people.
This measure, which is strongly supported by the state's microbrewery and wine industries, lets shoppers sample as much as 4 ounces of beer or wine. That's more then some beer fests give out! Supporters of the measure say that you can't buy this kind of publicity for the small guys with no marketing budget. It's a win-win for everyone! Or so you would think...
As with every single thing throughout the history of man- there are going to be people:
- with nothing better to do
- who are only happy when they're bitching about something
- that strap their Birkenstocks on too tight
- that don't get enough protein in their vegan diet
- who don't get it
- who think alcohol is devil water
- who are all of the above
Excuse me for one moment while I vomit.
OK, I'm back. Can you believe this? They must be the very same people who whole heartedly believe exposure to video games will turn a child into a violent, psychopathic criminal.
A little suds sipping or vino chugging in a grocery store is going to expose children to alcohol consumption, huh? Hmm... I'm pretty damn sure the 5,987,211 beer commercials shown on television have that covered. If not, then the zillion billboards littered across the land, or the 47 bajillion liquor stores (where parents take their kids while buying alcohol), or the quadrillion sports bars (where parents take their kids to watch the Big Game and drink alcohol) long ago exposed them to - drinking alcohol. Do these bastich "opponents" not think that parents drink at home in front of their children (thus slowly turning them into devil water drinkin' miscreants)?
The mentality in this country about sex, drugs and alcohol is asinine on a level that is incomprehensible. The staid, ultra-conservatives who constantly rail about how bad bad bad these things are have only made it worse. God gave everyone common sense... how about people start using it? What these morons have done is turned these "taboo" topics into things that we overindulge in because they've been "forbidden" for so long. Look how well Prohibition and the War on Drugs turned out.
So a bit of advice for those bastich "opponents" against this benign measure: Go have a beer or two. It'll help relax the sphincter constriction dysfunction you suffer from.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
So if your snobbish sensibilities have already caused you to turn your nose up at it (and me)... go away. Why are you reading my blog?
Three Sheets is hosted by a fellow who in my estimation has the single greatest job in the history of mankind. Yes, you read that right... the greatest job ever in the history of men having jobs. Why? The incomparably funny Zane Lamprey gets paid to travel around the globe (the above picture was taken in my ancestral home of Croatia) and drink in bars. He also gets paid to travel around the globe and eat in exotic locales (via his show on the Food Network, Have Fork Will Travel). His job is better than yours. It's better than mine. It's better than being the Pope, the President or the guy who gets to shoot all the pictures for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues.
Yes. I have a man-crush on Zane Lamprey. It's totally platonic mind you as my lederhosen don't swing that way. But the man is my frickin' hero. If you've never seen the show... now's your time to hope aboard the Zane Train. The Mojo Network (where this glorious should-be award-wining show airs) is having a St. Patty's Day Marathon. Because really... every one's three sheets (and Irish) on St. Patty's Day!
PS. The new season of Three Sheets starts on April 10 (three days after my birthday)! WOOOHOOO!!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Ripped (literally) straight from the Wynkoop press release:
Matt Venzke of Yorktown, Virginia Wins 2008
Beerdrinker of the Year Contest
Virginia man wins Wynkoop Brewing Company’s 12th annual search for America’s ultimate beer fiend
(Denver, Colorado) – Matt Venzke, an avid beer lover from Yorktown, Virginia, has been crowned the winner of Wynkoop Brewing Company’s 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year contest.
Venzke, an aircraft maintenance manager, won the title in the hotly
contested National Finals on Saturday, February 23, at Wynkoop Brewing Company. This was his fourth time at entering the contest, he was a semifinalist last year.
“For four years,” Venzke said, “it’s been a dream of mine to win the Beerdrinker of the Year title. It’s great to now be recognized by the judges and previous winners. I’m proud to be among this very select group of beer lovers.”
“I feel like I’ve been given a flag to carry,” Venzke adds, “for all of the great things beer has to offer.”
Venzke’s home beer bar is The Taphouse on Queensway in Hampton, Virginia. He is the second straight Virginia resident to win the competition. (Diane Catanzaro of Norfolk, Virginia was the 2007 Beerdrinker of the Year.)
Venzke beat out finalists J Mark Angelus (of Nehalem, Oregon) and Richard Pedretti-Allen (McKinney, Texas). He landed the title with a combination of impressive beer drinking experiences, humor and beer ambassadorship.
Venzke’s resume boasted of many beer drinking experiences. Venzke has visited 454 breweries in 16 nations and 39 states. Over the past five years, he has recorded tasting notes on over 3200 different beers in 69 different styles.
He logged 3,000 miles in 2007 while traveling to breweries across North America. While stationed in alcohol-free Kuwait on a military deployment a few years ago, Venzke conducted a tasting of 17 non-alcohol beers.
Questions from the Finals judges elicited some revealing info from Venzke. When asked what he’s doing to get around the current ban on carry-on beer for US air travelers, Venzke winkingly cited an upcoming effort to petition US brewers to start packaging beer in 3-ounce portions.
His will, Venzke said, includes instructions for him to be cremated and his ashes used in a beer brewed for his wake. (“I’ve instructed my wife,” Venzke stated, “to tell people at the ceremony, ‘Matt is more a part of you than you think.’”)
The finalists weathered two hours of difficult questions from the judge panel, which included five previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners, Oregon beer writer Lisa Morrison, Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) beer columnist Jay Dedrick, and Wynkoop head brewer Thomas Larsen.
As the 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year, Venzke wins free beer for life at Wynkoop Brewing Company, a $250 beer tab at the Taphouse on Queensway, and the opportunity to brew a special beer with Larsen for next year’s Beerdrinker of the Year event.
He also won clothing proclaiming him the 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year, a place on Wynkoop’s Beerdrinker of the Year trophy, and the glory that comes with the lofty title of Beerdrinker of the Year.
The resume review panel for the 2008 Beerdrinker of the Year search was comprised of the nation’s top beer writers and beer experts, and previous Beerdrinker of the Year winners.
Wynkoop Brewing Company was founded in 1988 by current Denver mayor John Hickenlooper. One of America’s first and most revered brewpubs, Wynkoop was a major catalyst in the revitalization of the previously neglected Lower Downtown section of Denver.
For interviews with Venzke and more information on Beerdrinker of the Year, contact Marty Jones at 303-860-7448 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Or you can join us at the Aleuminati and ask him any question directly.)
For more details on the Beerdrinker of the Year search and Wynkoop Brewing Company, visit www.wynkoop.com.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Who: W Hotels guests, locals and fans of Sam Adams
What: A Sam Adams beer tasting (A Sam Adams expert will be on hand)
Where: Audrey at W New York – The Tuscany
130 East 39th Street, Between Park and Lexington
When: Thursday, March 13th, 2008 from 7PM to 9PM
RSVP (for the public): NYCHAPPENINGSRSVP@WHOTELS.COM
NOTE: This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is required.
If you got... let me know! Take pics, drink beer and make sure ya wear some green!
You should be seeing the Sam Adams Longshot packages in your local liquor stores. I grabbed one this weekend (along with a hoary host of other new beers) and gave 'em both a try. Note: there should have been three beers - because there was three winners, but due to the hop shortage the third - a mucho hoppy beer - was not included this year.
In the pack is Rodney Kibzey's Weizenbock and Lili Hess' Grape Pale Ale. Now, I like Weizens and I like fruit beers, and maybe it's because I am still a bit sick... but I wasn't head over heels for either one. Don't get me wrong - they're good. They're just not great. No offense. But hey, who the hell am I? I grunt when I judge a beer. Thus, I give major props to them for not only being able to brew their own (which I cannot do), but for winning such a prestigious competition!
Rodney describes his traditional Bavarian brew (7.2% ABV) as "deep amber in color with a full creamy body and a dark fruit and clove aroma." Ya, I can agree with that. This was the better of the two, and something I'd drink again.
Lili describes here light-bodied brew (5.35% ABV) as such: "It's like you are drinking a pale ale after biting into a fresh green seedless grape!" Hmmm... don't know about you but I don't normally eat grapes when I'm drinking beer. I'm just not feeling it.
As much as I love Sam Adams, this is the third "thing" that's been somewhat of a disappointment to me. Last year they held the Beer Lover's Choice contest where, somehow, the Irish Red won over the Dunkelweizen. I went to two beerfests where SA had their voting booth, and both times the overwhelming choice was the Dunkelweizen. I do not like Reds. Period.
Oh well... plenty of other beers out there. Some good, some not so good. Some horrific. Tune in next time when I'll talk about one of those horrific beers. Until then... zivjeli!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Now they've come up with the whole Proposition 3-17 campaign. Never heard of it? Well, shame - or in this case, shamrock - on you! Prop 3-17 is their attempt to make St. Patty's Day an official holiday. Like Thanksgiving. If you haven't signed the petition yet, clickey click on over to the site and do like I did. See, proof positive...
It's your civic duty as a better beer drinking citizen of the global Beer World! Go! NOW! If Hallmark can make a holiday to sell their damn cards, then Guinness can make a holiday to sell their damn beer! RIGHT?!