Multiple Beer-sonality

Or as one might say “An Ale of 2 Seasons”.

I usually don’t venture to the Giant unless it is to explore the expanded beer section. And what a variety I had to choose from the other night.

The weather is getting colder which is an opportunity to put aside the light and refreshing taste of the summer ales and embrace beer’s dark and heavier side. So my taste buds were automatically drawn to the holiday porters. A choice had to be made between a holiday Dominion Porter and Michelob’s Winter Bourbon Cask Ale. Well since I no longer have any loyalty to Dominion it was an easy choice (more on that later).

Ahh… but as I walked back up the aisle, there was that last remnant of summer calling my name. Kona Brewing Company’s Longboard Lager. So I grabbed a 6 pack and pondered the dichotomy of the situation.

And you know what? It works! At the end of the day and during a dinner the lighter lager refreshes. And for an evening of relaxation the darker cask ale provides a satisfying respite. If this keeps up, I’ll have to find some other summer/winter mixes to enjoy. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

First memories of witnessing history

My children witnessed history this week.   My 4 year old son has been proudly wearing his “Little Democrat. Big Obama Fan” shirt for the past 2 weeks anyway but he didn’t really comprehend what it meant (other than he got to stay up late to watch speeches).

We woke the kids up early on Tuesday and stood in line at 6 AM to go vote.  As much as we asked them to be quiet they felt the need to every now and then say “Go Obama” (our districtic is most definitely liberal so everyone fortunately laughed).  We then woke up the next morning after I told them that Obama won and watched his speech as a family on YouTube.

I thought back to the first election that I remember.  1976 and Jimmy Carter.  I remember being in my parents bedroom and talking about the election though I don’t remember what was said.  Quite frankly until this election and thinking about what my kids would remember I hadn’t even thought about it.

So, 20 or 30 years from now when their kids are recognizing their first presidential election what will they say?  Will they remember the energy and passion, the tears of joy in everyone’s eyes, the feeling of hope and will they remember what is yet to come (which we can really only guess)?  And what will they tell their kids about that time?

Political feelings aside, this has been a momentous week.  How will we remember it and how will our kids remember it.   I pray they have fond memories and feel hopeful.

Hey John McCain, mudslinging won’t work

I love Google Trends… and John McCain’s staff better check it out.

5 of the top 20 hot searches on Google right now are about the Keating-5/savings-and-loan scandal which John McCain was connected with a long time ago.  Not a single search about this terrorist guy that Obama was linked to.

Disclaimer.  I won’t say who I’m voting for and can neither validate or confirmate the accuracy of such mudlinging or what any given candidate did or did not do.  All I’m saying is people are researching one over the other.  Draw your own conclusions.

Fall is in the air….

And that can only mean one thing. Octoberfest!

After a long grueling day at work yesterday, I sped home took the dog for a good walk in the drizzling rain as a Nor’easter blows into Virginia. Wet leaves, chill in the air and it all added up to the first beer that caught my eye when I had to run to the grocery store for some last minute dinner supplies.

I figured, “I’ve held on to the light effervesence of the summer brews for a while. So long light, citrus. C-ya next year o’ delightful opacity of the unfiltered wheat. Bring on the full flavor and belly satisfaction of Octoberfest!”

So to celebrate my first official Octberfest brew of the season, I salute my Northern Virginia neighbor – Old Dominion Octoberfest. Bring it on boys. Football season and beer time. Always a surefire crowd pleaser.

Now, my wife reports that Wegman’s has a whole aisle of Octoberfest brews…. sounds like this project needs more research.

My hopes for Bud Ale fade

I hate to admit it… I’ve been looking forward to trying this new Budweiser American Ale. I’ve been thinking, “Wow, here’s a major brewer that’s finally listening to their customers and are saying we can deliver more than just a full and lite version of my swill. Maybe they’ll impress me.”

My delirium about expectations of a major brewer faded last night. I attended the National’s baseball game and Miller Lite was sponsoring a “1/2 way to St. Patty’s Day” promo complete with Irish dancers, bag-pipe playing firemen and green Nat’s hats with a Miller Lite logo on it. As I sat in the stands during the 3rd inning feeling a bit parched, the Beer Man came through. I thought “what they heck let’s get in the spirit and try a Miller Lite” (yes, my wife and kids did look at me like I had suddenly developed leprosy).

WHAT WAS I THINKING???? Ohhhh I felt suckered all right. But then I remembered, that this is the kind of marketing schtick that major beer brands go through. Create a bit of hope, pull you in and sell you some sort of beer flavored water.

Which brings me back to Budweiser American Ale….. Are you guys for real with a flavorful beer that adds to the experience? Or are you resorting to the same thing in a different package (with a higher price point) with the hopes of digging deeper into my pocket.

We’ll see.

Government IS on the side of the people

I had the pleasure of visiting my local Social Security Administration office today.  I walked in, looked at the packed waiting room, took a number and braced myself for a long wait.

Don’t kid yourself.  I knew this was coming.  Had planned for it and brought some work.  And let me tell you, despite the scoffs, huffs, puffs, a couple of crying kids, lack of wifi and security guard telling people to not use their cell phones…. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!!!  You’re shocked?   Did you read the part about lack of wifi and no cell phones?

Just over an hour of no internet, email, cell phone, or disruptions.  I was reading background for work, worked on a presentation, and in general did some deep thinking time.

Oh, and when I got in to see the government bureaucrat that everyone rails against on TV – let me tell you …. she smiled, laughed, was pleasant and helpful.  I was out of there in under 10 minutes with exactly what I needed.

I wish all my experiences turned out this well.