Tag Archives: Beer

Quadraphenia Redux

Qua-dra-phe-nia (kwa-dra-fee-nee-a) n. 1 A tour of four Levittville bars.

Of the many things and thoughts spoken of and spoken aloud, and sometimes accomplished, but rarely spoken of again and rarer even blogged about, Quadraphenia comes to mind.

As a celebration of Levittvilles finest historical pubs and current trendsetting drinking establishments, Quadraphenia was dreampt ought with the best intentions, as a melding of old and new to bridge the generational drinking gap.
Currently, Quadraphenia rests in the backwaters of the hooligan mind, to be thought of not and its memory dusted off if only for the purposes of this aspiring blog.

Quadraphenia began as any other night, with Pipe Adams growing anxious and commencing activities alone. Drinking. In his garage.

To Gore’s!
A short while thereafter Mr. Adams ventured to Gore’s Olde Tyme Irish Pub and an even shorter while thereafter was he joined by Marlo Leelan Brown and his comfort girl for the evening Loo-loo. A round of toasts and boasts preceded much anticipation, or rather chagrin, for the boy of the evening Brady Taylor Thomas had yet to arrive. The Hooligans amused themselves with the AIDS infected barkeep, who informed our patrons that all is on the up and up at Gores Old Tyme Irish Pub and that it is certainly not a place that where narcotics are brought or bought or even sold. She pointed out the many cameras that Gore’s principle shareholder, Donny, had placed around the place to ward off any evildoers, lest they be captured on celluloid and shown to the authorities. Not only is Gores a law-abiding establishment, she said, but it is also a pretty happening place. However, as luck would have it, the Hooligans had arrived on a bizarre “off-night” where only two regulars sat stinking drunk at the bar. The hooligans did not care. Brady arrived and they bemused themselves with a video poker machine before taking the cue and continuing on with Quadraphenia.

To Fife and Drum Ale House!
Arrgh matey! Arrgh! A true drinking experience in Levittville would not be complete without a trip to the Fife says I!
Oh what glorious times had the hooligans at the Fife and Drum Ale House that evening. Pipe and Marlo regaled Loo-loo and Brady with tales of days past spent at the ol’ Drum, playing hacketty sack and drinking Michelobs on the back veranda inhaling the sickly sweet fumes of the Chinese Food place’s dumpster. In remembrance, Marlo sniffed the air like a finely rolled Cuban cigar and Pipe quaffed down yet another pint. All was well at the ol’ Fife and Drum. It being near Christmas time, the oil paintings and art nouveau sketches which hang on the wall were covered in wrappings, so as to resemble presents. The giggling Brady, ever so mischievous, coyishly eyed one and peeled back the wrapper, in the process sending all the hooligans into laughing fits.
And that is how the hooligans left The Fife and Drum Ale House that wintry eve.
And that is how I’d like to remember it.

To Monsignor Beerys!
The hooligans drudged on in the cold lament and finally made it Mr. Beery’s funtime pub. Hark! Quadraphrenia was now halfway complete!
The hooligans continued to imbibe and this time it was on the most sumptuous brews in all of Levittville. You see friends, Mr. Beery’s funtime pub has the grandest selection of all, with beers on tap from the farthest reaches of the globe. Mr. Beery makes a habit of traveling-ling-ling to the farest, fairest, and fanciest ports of call throughout the world. From each strange new place he’ll select two of the finest casks of beer he can find. But only two because thats all he can carry. One on each shoulder mates! And as luck would have it Mr. Beery was due in at any moment! My eardrums still ring from the whistles and cheers from when Steven Q. Beery burst through that saloon door, his cheeks ruddy from the cold. Onto the bar he placed two weather worn casks. In a booming voice he announced the origin of these brews to be Siberian. Mr. Beery had just walked across the Bering Strait! “But you must rest Steven, you’re feet must be tired!” implored the crowd. With a booming laugh Steven replied that he was merely thirsty. And with that he picked up the cask and finished it all in one gulp. “To Steven Q. Beery” shouted the hooligans in unison, raising their glasses. They followed this up with some slam dancing and were off

To Parkside Pub sirs!
To bring closure to the eve, the hooligans toured the backstreets of Levittville, passing little Mikhail Srogatoy’s cottage with a wink and a nod, on their way to the Parkside pub. There the hooligans were met with a sumptuous holiday buffet. As usual, Pipe engorged himself on chicken parmigiana, buffalo chicken wings, fried calamari, buttered lobster rolls, stir-fried eggplant, grilled cheese and tomato muffins, cans of sardines, snail entrails, spotted dick, gorganzola stuffed avacadoes, peppermint poppers, penguin breasts, stuffed quail, fried soft-shell crab sandwiches, and shawshank redemption sandwiches. Brady had some bits and pieces here and there out of want of hunger while Marlo and Loo-loo turned their nose at the whole affair and a game of billiards was played and lost against a gas pumping Peruvian pool shark. Thoughts and conversations turned to reflection on the evening spent touring Levittvilles finest.

The hooligans made their exit at the appropriate moment and took a long slow cold walk towards home, home being Gores for one last round. And as they made their way through the falling snow flakes and through Levittvilles frost dappled night, the memory of Quadraphenia was filed away forever.

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Regentrification of Hooligan Brethren and Sistren or Review of Three Philosophers by Three Philosophers

Oh! Hooligan brethren and sistren! How you have been missed!
The Pilgrims of Pleiades have completed their most recent star cycle and returned to the land of nod in order provide your author with friendly companionship and you, the reader, with most excellent beer reviews!

Sitting down to a delicious afternoon meal of ham hocks, sweet potatoes, and goat cheese ensalada, a bottle of Ommegang’s Three Philospohers Ale was offered up as a sacrifice to compliment the sumptuous buffet, company, and tales of adventure provided by the pilgrims.

Arriving to us in a corked bottle, Three Philosophers bares a clean white label which can make it easily mistakable for a wine or, owing to its maple complexion, whiskey bottle.

Decanting this brew into appropriate goblets, the three philosophers discussed the merits and demerits of Three Philosophers against a conversational backdrop consisting of tales of woe and plenty, warnings against the recreational chemical known as methylenedioxypyrovalerone, and a viewing of Insane Clown Posse’s most recent joint and cultural touchstone: Miracles.

excerpt from Pipe Adams’ beer journal…

Ommegang Three Philosophers Ale: 9.8% alcohol content. Syrupy, says Marlo of 3 Philosophers, and not so much in a good way. Lu.Lu. likes it and notes its creamy headedness with a noticeable alcoholic bite that is cleansing, almost. She philosophizes that it pairs well with hearty food. A winter beer to be sure, and to be had with close friends, owing to its bite no doubt! Fuzzy and fizzy and while the label states that it is brewed with cherries or something, they can be tasted not! Marlo queefs that this brew sits and lingers atop the palette like a 400 pound juggalette.

Mother’s Milk

Note: While it may appear that this website is descending into a hodgepodge of beer and/or bicycle related news bits, please note that the original intent and mission remains true. As the countdown to zero hour approaches, it is hoped that such articles will be of some interest to the like-minded reader/adventurer in the meantime, at any rate.

Now, I know what you all are thinking.

Know that I know about all those thoughts rattling around in your skull like so many dum-dum bullets.

“I wish there was a website that spoke to me directly as a person and not as a dollar sign.”

“Why isn’t anyone talking and/or writing about the things that I care about?”

“Why can’t I find a website loosely devoted to beer reviews, that otherwise doesn’t appear to make any sense?”

“Why can’t I find a website that caters to my perspective/dynamic, the Manboy perspective/dynamic?”

The answer to all of your questions and concerns lies within these pages, so, do not fear!

On the docket for today we have several beer reviews. Pipe Adams has been a busy boy as of late, drinking his fill of delicious tipples and chronicling his thoughts in his diary. The beer store near his house offers a wide variety of all sorts of intoxicating brews from around the globe. A staggering array really, enough to keep any manchild busy.

A constant attractant for the author is anything that comes from Quebec, an exotic Northeast hinterland that enraptures the lonely traveller with adventure served up on an icy platter at all times. Hazy memories of drunken times in Montreal are rekindled when a bottle of Unibroue’s Trois Pistoles is spied, plucked from the shelf, and spirited home. As noted in my previous installment, Unibroue’s attention to packaging is wholly apparent, as Trois Pistoles’ vehicle of choice is a beautiful corked bottle with an image of a winged horse flying majestically over a church through ruddy skies.
Fair enough.

excerpt from Pipe Adam’s beer journal:
Trois Pistoles: 9% alcohol. Delicious. A quality brew worthy of all hooligans. Grapey, winey taste. As noted on the label, “…a remarkably mellow dark ale. To compliment its aroma of ripe fruit, it has a pleasant aftertaste that lingers on like old port wine.” An apt description if there ever was! A beer that should be drunk in a cabin in the woods in the dead of night! In the dead of winter!

Again, I can’t quite say enough about Unibroue’s wonderful and thoughtful approach to quality. They even make up a little story about each of their beers. Please follow this link to learn the legend of Trois Pistoles and become enraptured in ecstasy. Wunderbar!

On a separate note, whilst searching for decadent and quality beers it came to my rapt attention that many, many beers of high quality are brewed by monks. Now, why would monks, a pious lot not necessarily associated with alcohol consumption, feel it necessary to produce excellent beers? An internet query yielded the answer. Apparently, in days long ago it was not always safe to drink water. Beer provided a safe alternative to merely drinking water because, although unknown at the time, the alcohol contained within destroyed harmful bacteria and parasites that made drinking water so dangerous. Of course, this doesn’t really make sense because alcohol dehydrates you. But, we’re talking about the Dark Ages here, so whatever. In addition, the carefully made brews produced by the monastery yielded a relatively nutritious and caloric intake during times of fast. As such, many of these quality brews can be sipped and/or supped as a meal replacement. Travel Tip: You will likely get pretty drunk if you do this.

Next up on the docket is Anchor Steam Brewing Company’s 2009 Christmas Ale. Like Unibroue’s beers, Anchor Steam’s Christmas Ale suffers not the detriment of age and its constitution will, in fact, improve over the years.

2009 Christmas Ale: 5.5% alcohol. Also good. Delicious even. Tastes similar to a Manhattan Special soda in beer form. Name does not disappoint and all the joys of Christmas are imparted unto drinker. Special. Hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

In addition to the aforementioned alcoholic tipples, our author was lucky enough to meet up with old time crony and enigma unto himself, DJ Jared as a trip to the Peekskill Brewery was in the works! Our dynamite and dynamic duo was able to thoroughly sample both food and fare. A sampler round of eight beers was ordered as the hooligans saddled up to the bar to munch on sandwiches and artisanal meats.

The Peekskill Brewery is a carefully thought out establishment with an air towards quality. Our chums were immediately delighted with the bar seating arrangement, for at each of the corners of the wooden bar a half circle is built into it; which, if you and your buddy sit on either side, functions like a bartop/table hybrid. The best of both worlds!
This establishment is similar in appearance and style to most other brewpubs in that the interior is softly lit and contains lots of wood, which provides for the appropriate atmosphere. The staff is friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable about their products.

Now, although I truly wanted to love this place with all my heart, I found the beer to be lacking…something. I could not quite put my finger on it. Now, it is quite possible that our old friend from Unibroue hath visited this site as an impish saboteur, but this is only theory.

Peekskill Brewery journal excerpt…

Keegan Ales‘ Mother’s Milk: An average brew at best. Nothing remarkable. Only 3.2% alcohol. A tasty stout no doubt but nothing more. Imagined this would be creamier, owing to its name.
Peekskill Brewing Hop Common: Hoppy. Pilsnerish. Nice bubbly bite to it.
Peekskill Brewing Ry Guy’s Rye: Strong alcohol taste that does not quite jive. Not great but not terrible. Fresh.
Peekskill Brewing Cha Cha Chai: Gimmicky. Literally tastes like Chai tea. Halloweenish pumpkiny brew. Another stupid name.
Old Wagon-Ale: Tasty, high alcohol content brew at 8.2%. Nothing special.
Captain Lawrence Double IPA: eh!
Pussy Sweat Pale Ale: Salty and sweet, a true beer lover’s treat!
Lagunitas Brown Shugga: eh. Another stupid name.
Dogfish Head Chicory Stout: a little watery. DJ Jared did not like it. enough said.

And there you have it. I was not impressed, really. Just wasn’t feeling it that day.

We often speak of quality here at the promised land, but one must never confuse quality for the act of trying too hard. I hope you catch my drift. Emoticon: wink!

It is a very hard thing to produce something that is wonderful. You can never really blame someone for trying…can you?

CB500T Metal-bit Reconnaissance Mission Vol. 2

As noted in my previous post, if the CB500T is EVER to be considered as a viable candidate for pre and/or post apocalyptic transport, its original design flaws must be fixed and its appetite for self-destruction quashed!
As such, as any responsible hooligan manboy hybrid would do, I am taking the steps to rectify the aforementioned maladies; and restore the CB to its former glory!

To do this, the first step that one must do is remove the left-side crankcase cover. This will reveal the alternator rotor. It is big and round and magnetic and looks you in the eye. You will need to remove this to get to the starter clutch. To remove the alternator rotor you must first loosen and remove it’s bolt, which holds it fast to the crankshaft. Note that this is a normally threaded bolt and follows the age old paradigm of righty tighty lefty loosey. We must apply counterclockwise pressure here, mind you. To get this bolt out you must either put the bike in gear and stand on the brake so that the engine does not turn…or if this doesn’t work, as it did not for me, apply the two penny trick! Of course, this is a pain in the ass and requires the removal of the right side crankcase cover but thoughtful hooligans truly don’t mind because this entails the double benefit of exposing the oil screen which you may now clean.

Fair enough. Get that right side crankcase cover off and place two stacked pennies between the crank pinion and clutch hub gears to arrest the engine.

The rotor bolt will now be able to loosen without the engine turning.

There is one more step now to remove the rotor.
The alternator rotor must be popped off of the crankshaft. You will either need a special “tool” for this step or a 16mm x 1.5 pitch bolt. Of course, this bolt is unobtanium at most any hardware store on earth.
Fortunately, for owners of 1975 Honda CB200T’s, the CB200T axle will fit into that rotor perfectly.
But, not the CB500T’s axle. It is too big.
Sochiro Honda is an asshole at times, but, we forgive him for making otherwise beautiful and reliable motorbikes.

Now, screw the CB200T axle/special tool into the alternator rotor and turn, clockwise. Keep turning, add some pressure, and the rotor will pop off.
Heed this warning: Go slow.

CB200T axle mmmm

If you are elderly or infirm and desire to keep your electric starter mechanism, you must be careful when removing the alternator rotor, for behind it is the starter clutch with all its various bits and pieces. These will fall and scatter and bounce all over your garage floor should you not take care.

Note: Hooligans and boy adventurers care not for electric started mechanisms and prefer to kick start all machines. As such, the electric starter clutch of the CB500T will be relegated to the dustbin of history.

sheared bolts, ovaled holes: no better than scrap!

As it now stands anyway, it is worth less than scrap.

An Exercise in Taste

Short of doing pushups with your tongue, Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde represents the latest, greatest exercise that one can do with their taste buds.

La Fin du Monde is a beautiful beer in a beautiful bottle that looks great on a shelf next to other beers, or even beets as beers is sometimes misspelled. La Fin du Monde looks better than beets. This is why I picked it out of a sea of different craft and imported beers lining the shelves at my local beer distributor. It’s stopped with a cork and bears a stylish rendering of Quebec and all of its icy northlands. The bottle and name of this beer, translated as The End of the World, draw on powerful images of quality and excite the subconscious. Carefully chosen, no doubt,  by Unibroue’s creepy Bruce McCullochy propagandist to snare the curious drinker (please, please see video here).

Excerpt from Pipe Adam’s beer journal:

Very strong. 9% alcohol. Truly the champagne of beers! (this is because it tastes like champagne) The quality is unmistakable. It tastes like hefeweizen with champagne in it, but in a good way. The high alcohol content is no detriment, and adds to the taste. This beer tastes better when swished about in the mouth, drinking slowly. As recommended on the bottle, a snifter would be most beneficial in enjoying the complex subtleties of La Fin du Monde.

Almost like a meal, hours later I am still sipping and full.

Fear of a Magic Hat

After being poisoned by Butternuts awful brews I took a hiatus from drinking for some time. Truly I I felt poisoned and still now my stomach and guts are not the same. I can’t drink or look at awful beer, either. It will be some time before I raise a Bud Light to my lips because it’s the only thing available. I would rather just not drink.

Does this signal a change in conciousness for me?

We are nearing 2012 of course and there is some debate as to whether the end date will be a spiritual revolution/consciousness shift or a physical earth shaking end of times scenario.

Whatever. The holidays are here and the time to drink to tolerate family is being ushered in.

I chose to bust my recently developed beer cherry with two 6 packs of Magic Hat.

Prior to the Butternuts meltdown I was dancing with Magic Hat’s Odd Notion series in the pale moonlight and doing the jitterbug. I was enamored with the whole package. What attracted me to this beer was its box art; an adorable skeleton with an oversized skull and green spirals.

Perfect.

And, being that this was around Halloween time, I knew that it must be fresh.

And it was.

How thoughtful, I thought. I struck up the local beerkeeper with a conversation regarding the brand and he launched into a monolgue regarding Magic Hat’s center of operations in the hinterlands of Vermont. The beerkeeper stated that should one venture there, that they would be greeted by two things: the unmistakeable scent of weed and a sign proclaiming Magic Hat’s hatred of former American president Geoge W. Bush.

Fair enough, and I will venture there in due course. However, moving on to today’s selections, we have: Howl and Encore.

Excerpt from beer diary:

Encore. 6% alcohol. Slightly syrupy in a good way. The kind of syrupy that makes your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth ever so slightly and your lips just stick together a little bit. Malty smell. Fresh. Excellent. Slightly sweet, grainy taste. Perfect. It helps if you press the bottle to your forehead before you drink and say a thoughtful prayer.

Howl. Winter seaonal 4.6% alcohol. Exactly as described by the label, a powerful brew in terms of taste. Black as night, a true winter brew! Dark. I would not mix with other brews, or whiskeys. The antithesis of Encore. Smoky as fuck! Meant to be enjoyed alone on a bearskin rug.

www.magichat.net

Profound Disappointment in Microbrew

Stupid Cans

Stupid Cans

The beer I’m drinking right now is black. It’s so dark it’s fucking beautiful. It looks like a painting. I poured it in a mug, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see it because it comes in a can. It’s from some brewery in upstate New York called Butternuts. The black beer is called “Moo Thunder” and has a picture of a cartoon cow on it. I hate this. The name and the picture make me want to hate this beer.

Moo Thunder is good. It tastes like Guiness. It comes in a 12 pack with 4 other types of beer from the same brewery. Three beers of each style. All of them come in cans with either weird bright colors, goofy names, and/or stupid pictures on them. There is Moo Thunder, Porkslap Pale Ale (orange can with a picture of two cartoon pigs jumping and high-fiving eith other), Snapperhead IPA (yellow can with picture of a green fish wearing a Walkman listening to music), and Heinnieweisse Weissbeir (bright green can).

Microbrews taste weird coming out of a can.

However, you must know that there’s no actual differnce between canned beers and  bottled beers.

There is no difference.

Do a blind taste test and you will find no difference. Do it. Or trust me.

However, if you are not blind, you will always know that your beer came out of a can even if you pour it in a mug. And even through you know that there is no differnce between canned and bottled beer in terms of taste, you trick yourself mentally into believing that the bottled beer tastes better. Although, this is not always the case; as it wouldn’t feel right, to me at least,  drinking PBR out of a bottle and Bud always tastes better to me in a can.

Cans and bottles both have their pros and cons and both can be smashed in different and satisfying ways.

Whatever, I drank all of the beers and I would up getting sick. It’s not Butternuts’ fault that I got sick. I went out and got hammered on a plethora of differnt beers at different bars. Somewhere along the line I drank some bad tap beer and woke up the next morning wanting to die more than usual. My brain was on fire and my mouth felt like a dry toilet.

I started and ended the night drinking the Butternuts sampler, therefore this beer will always be associatied to me with one of the worst hangovers I have ever had. Keep that in mind when reading my review of these beers. And while I had sampled each of the beers a few days before, know that this review has been influenced by the fact that I got violently ill after drinking these beers, although I didn’t really like them that much at that time either. I will try not to let my hangover consciously affect my review.

1. Moo Thunder: The best beer of the lot. This one tastes like Guiness. There is not much of a differnce between the two. It tatsted fresh and I would recommend it for a larf as a Guiness alternative. As mentioned previously, it looks beautiful when you pour it into a mug. It’s totally black. I stared at it in the mug for a while. Nothing special.

2. Porkslap: This beer is terrible and was the worst one of the sampler. It doesn’t taste like a pale ale and can be equated to a Killians. It was gross and I hated it. It had this reddish orangey color and a pukey taste. I can tell what Butternuts was going for in this one and that kind of beer is hard to pull off. Beers like this are made to be sipped for their taste and not slammed for their alcohol. However, I didn’t want to sip this beer because it wasn’t good so I had to slam it to get my monies worth. Plus, I hate the stupid fucking picture of two pigs slapping hands on the can.

3. Snapperhead. I would say this beer was OK. It tasted like an IPA should. It had its own kind of unique taste to it, as many microbrews do, so at the moment I can’t think of anything to compare it to. I wasn’t bowed over by it but would drink it again if it came in its own pack and someone else bought it for me. I think the fact that it was lumped together with all these other beers did it a bit of an injustice.

4. Heinnieweisse: Stupid fucking name. I hate when people try to be cute. As far as Henneweisse’s go, this beer was OK. This was like a Paulaner but heavier. It wasn’t bad. It had that sort of fresh, microbrew taste. I didn’t love it, but I really didn’t like it either. It was a little too flavorful, which sounds like it should be a good thing but at times is not.