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Monthly Archives: February 2011

This post was really an inevitability, and so was the title, so I make no apologies about either. You’re not here to listen to that shit. You’re here for the same reason I am. And to that end, I present. Beer Blog: 2.0!

Rather than have a variety pack available, I’ve chosen three tall-boy cans. Tonight’s theme is “stronger than average beer”. Now, while there are some types of people that read that and immediately think either “sour-tasting shit” or  “X.Y% alc. by vol.” The people in the first category can fuck right off if they wish, and the second category would do me a great favour if we could agree on an actual number range. I’m not nearly so formal as to get hung up on regulations which online guides and brew-masters often languish over. I’ll just try any beer with an intriguing can.

First of three is Alexander Keith’s 2011 Limited Release Tartan Ale (6.1% alc./vol.)

What can I say? I'm a sucker for local talent.

Anyone even passingly familiar with Nova Scotia has heard or drank the generic beer that they pump out by the pool load. It’s frat beer. It’s not very interesting, and that’s why I was somewhat nervous as to the quality of AK’s new product. I wouldn’t have even picked it up were it not for the NSLC worker that happened by with the old standard “Can I help you find anything?” and in response to my non-committal just looking for something new she directed me to a display of all-to-familiar looking labels. I picked one up for shits and giggles, and also just to send her away without having to be rude. You know, the Maritime way.

This beer pours clear, and is very red in colour, and slightly dark. Were a person unable to smell, and never saw the can it came out of, they might mistake it for a fortified wine. I mention the smell because it’s a distinct one. Taste is kinda bitter but not very pronounced. What was pronounced was an odd taste of I want to say, oak? Either way it softened quite quickly into basically a red beer. The can claims that “with its warm amber hues and complex aromas, this Scottish style ale has a full bodied taste with a slightly smoky finish”, and it’s not nearly as full of shit as that sentence sounds. Overall this beer tastes just as I assumed all beer tasted when I was younger. Musty and boozy, but not very pleasant.

Fuller’s Extra Special Champion Ale by The Griffon Brewery, CHISWICK (5.9% alc./vol.)

The sheer Brittishness of that name caused my pinky fingers to experience erections for the duration of this beer.

Mostly a dark ale, this pub style beer sported more foamy head than a bad reference that I can’t even tackle right now. It reeks of hops, and tastes as bitter as divorce. Astoundingly, the aftertaste is even more bitter, in what I can only assume is some sort of cruel punishment for not continuing to pipe it into your facehole. Not a particularly easy to drink beer. But try it anyway, you’ll have fun thinking about the fact that not only do the British suffer with bad weather and stereotypes, but also actively choose beer that hates the drinker.

8.6’s Bavaria, Ironically a product of Lieshout, Holland (and also ironically 7.9%alc./vol.)

After a few of these fuckers, you'll look like the other cans pictured.

Here, we’ve got a clear looking blonde with a hint of gold colour. The sweet smell lures you into a false sense of security, because it seems to sharpen in taste as you go. The aftertaste is mild and bitter, but not unpleasant at all. What can I say beyond, “this beer is fucking delicious, and you are literally depriving yourself if you never consume it”? One more thing, which should really be obvious in hindsight, at 7.9%, it hits like a brass knuckle.

A fucking delicious brass knuckle.

That wraps up my second stint into critically thinking about beer. If you’d like to hear more from my offbeat pacing of brews, and can string sentences together better than my drunk self, feel free to write in a suggested theme of beers. Either way, I fucking love this job.

I’ve been awake for a while now, it’s about 21 hours if you’re keeping track, so I feel like I’m qualified to state how smart I am right now.  What this means in a practical sense is that as I experience a greater degree of sleep-deprivation, I gain genius insight at an alarming rate. Now, there’s a lot of math and biological theory that I could point to, but you can’t see my hands right now so that wouldn’t much matter. And that’s not even why I’m here.

I’m here to talk about podcasts. Now, I’m sure many of you are familiar with the idea, and will be rather bored with my perceived rehashing of the topic. That’s fine, I welcome you anyway, and here’s a picture of people that give nearly as many shits about your boredom as I do.

If you're looking for a joke here, you missed the fucking point.

In years gone by, before the internet could deliver porn to your eyeballs with just a few choice keystrokes, and even before popular TV programming loosed its executive bowels upon the collective consciousness of the continent, radio was the primary source of entertainment for those people that had finished churning their butter, or splitting their wood… Or whatever old people did when they weren’t as old as they are now.

The smart money's on sock hops and implied lesbianism. Maybe I'm biased.

Now, when most of us picture radio broadcasts, we think about all-too excited morning disk-jockey that punches up his zingers with sound effects that appeal to single digit IQs. (Or hell, double-digit IQs while I’m on an offending people kick.) But ages ago, it all looked like this.

"...And what's the deal with those crazy Bolshevics?"

While I possess the pale complexion and cartoonish over-bite necessary to enjoy talking into thin air, I like to think that the modern day podcast has radio beat for several reasons.

First and foremost, it’s the aspect of control that colours recent entertainment. Once a person or group decides to host a podcast, they upload it as a regular mp3, perhaps with an RSS feed to keep you posted of the most recent show. Everyone knows that, but here’s the most important part. Out of the podcasts available nowadays, you not only choose when to listen to the hosted files, and in what device, but you can pick from damn near any topic.

I’m talking about current news from worldwide sources, philosophy, food+drink, politics, technology, comedy… I guess sports as well, if you’re into that sort of thing, and wandered in here by mashing keys with your fists. I don’t know, maybe.

Not pictured: subtle humour.

But enough about people I don’t like, you’re still here because you want to know what I do like. Lately, I’ve been checking out a few podcasts myself. Here’s my top 3 current. I will say this first up, they almost always fall under an explicit language tag, so you may want to bring the headphones out for these…

1. Kingdom of Loathing – Now, this is two podcasts if you want to get technical. Mondays is 120 minutes of Jick & Skully. Wherein the primary co-creators of the game shoot the shit, and occasionally get to the questions that their fan-base sends in, while Thursday’s Jick Show is more technical based, and only diverges to shooting the shit most of the time. Either way, these guys have been podcasting since 2004. If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that this puts them before podcasting was even a thing. Long story short; huge archive, broad topic range, very personable guys. You may not vibe with it if you’ve not played the game.

2. Apropos of Nothing – If you can’t gleam this from the name (then you’re on the wrong blog), this duo doesn’t like to nail down an overarching topic for there show. That’s not really a problem, because the wit and insight that Matt and Salsa bring to each of their admittedly short archive of shows so far is truly impressive. Very funny, very smart, very worth your time to check out.

3. The Nerdist – Interestingly, I heard about this from Matt of the AoN podcast when he visited Skully on a Jickless show a while back. That’s what people do in the podcasting sphere do, they link it all together. And while most would assume that with a name like this, they’ve gotta be big into tech and gadgets, it’s not that obvious. This is a full-time comedy analysis show. Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray, and Matt Mira have had dozens of performers on to discuss how they approach being funny. And here’s the best part about that. It’s neither dry nor clinical. It’s casual, it’s irreverent, and it’s also surprisingly uplifting. Worth anyone’s time!

I’ve also heard from numerous sources online that I should also be listening to the Adam Corolla podcast, and also check out the Idle Thumbs podcast (no longer running). I must admit that I haven’t checked out either at the time of putting this article up. So, I guess that means we both have homework now.

**Cue outro music**

This is not a blog about anything in particular, just whatever catches our fancy is good enough. After all is said and done, I believe that the quality of the writing should always trump the event in question when you’re talking about informal articles. And to that spirit, I present to you:

BEEEEEEEEEER BLOOOOOOOOG #1

I can only hope this will be the first of many.

This weekend, I picked up a trio of beers, thanks to the most considerate manufacturers at Molson Coors (By the way, there’s no fucking lite beer to be reviewed here, so don’t be repelled by the name Coors.) who ship their best 12 pack  as three sets of 4. To aid in my choice, it was a bargain-priced $20.81 (about $2-3 less than most 12 packs available at time of purchase), working out to a hair under $1.69 apiece. To aid in my review, I will be be using Final Fantasy 1 characters.

Because I am such a fucking nerd.

Dark Brew. You can really taste the nether-realm.

First up on the agenda is Rickard’s Dark version. This porter style beer is crafted with a maple syrup in the mix. Could there be a more Canadian drink? Well, if you like a strong beer… maybe. At 4.8%, it comes in as the least alcoholic of the trio, but doesn’t suffer in the taste department. Some drinkers may be turned off by the idea of maple, but it’s only a mild aromatic change and taste. And like the Black Mage, it’s low hitpoint count means it goes down easy. I would love to see someone create boozy maple syrup though!

White Brew. You can really taste the rejuvenation.

This wheat ale claims to be crafted with orange peel and coriander. The result is a decidedly sweet smelling beer with a surprisingly crisp taste for a blend using fruit. I enjoyed this beer a lot, and it definitely had more complexity than most blonds that get passed around at a pub, or so I heard. This is the highest booze percent of the group at 5.4%, so it’s reasonably brewed, but not quite up the level of a strong beer. Like the White Mage, however, it’s not just the physical strength that counts for character.

Red Brew. You can really taste the strained metaphor.

5.2% alc. by vol.  puts this beer firmly in the middle of the two other blends by Rickard’s, and of most beers in general. I’ll be completely honest here. The label claims “This remarkably drinkable beer is crafted to deliver a distinctive full flavour”, and while I can give them points for not backing down on the proper Canadian spelling… I’m not so sure what they meant by distinctive. I found this beer to be a much more “generic beer”  than the other two in the power trio. Don’t get me wrong; it’s tasty… But it feels like an odd man out in a group of primarily gimmick-sounding beer.

So, these are all worthwhile beer in my book as an experience. Dark was rich and bold, White was sweet and pleasant, But the Red was probably the most common beer. Y’know the kind. The “I’m going to drink a bathtub of this stuff” beer. Either way you pour it, Enjoy!

(Dedicated to my closest insane person, Helepolis.)

OH…
I am the very model of a uncouth jackfuck lunatic.
I’ve studied arguments and so my style is quite pedantic.
I know the ilk of sharpened blades, and with my hoard I am fickle.
I could seperate, by rote, each of your atria from ventricle.

I’m very well acquainted, too, with misdirection and of shtick
And while I’m fairy beefy, I am anything but generic.
I’m very skilled in mining, and at skinning I am well prepared…
YES!
I know myriads of reasons why I’m still quite visually impaired.

He knows myriads of reasons why he’s still quite visually impaired.
He knows myriads of reasons why he’s still quite visually impaired.
He knows myriads of reasons why he’s still quite visually impaired.

Although I rarely can find time to plunge into this sarcastic well,
I’m quite adept at hardcore runs; Helepolis in K O L.
Good luck in following my great meandering linguistic string.
With Ebony and Ivory, I am the true Stoner Pimp King.
Good luck in following his great meandering linguistic string.
With Ebony and Ivory, he is the true Stoner Pimpin’ Pimpin’ King.

I’m unitimidated to play Pokemon with much chutzpah
Then assemble half a dozen that are twice as strong as Rayquaza
If you claim there is no such thing, I’ll hasten to your words impugn,
Go fuck your single-typing rules, I will be Badass-Flying soon.
I’ve read a vast compendium of RTS and RPG,
My reading rate is more than great, and you’ve no hope of catching me.
Then I’ll define a book of myths, you’re going to see I am the king…
AHA!
I’ll teach you scores of Manticores, ‘cuz I know damn near everything.

He’ll teach you scores of Manticores, ‘cuz he knows damn near everything.
He’ll teach you scores of Manticores, ‘cuz he knows damn near everything.
He’ll teach you scores of Manticores, ‘cuz he knows damn near every-every-thing.

Then I can rhyme off lyrics like a veritable database,
Beam them straight into your skull like a satellite from outer-space.
In short, your boasts and counterpoints are nothing more than babbling,
With Ebony and Ivory, I am the true Stoner Pimp King.
In short, your boasts and counterpoints are nothing more than babbling,
With Ebony and Ivory, he is the true Stoner Pimpin’ Pimpin’ King.

In fact, when I know what is meant “insular” and “bellicose”
When I can tell at sight a pompous dickhead being quite verbose.
When such affairs as bloggings and speed runs aren’t such non-sense,
And when I know precisely what is meant by “full-time attendance”
When I possess the patience to deal with people who’re fucking nuts
And disregard retweeting about the multitude of the Caf-sluts.
In short when I have referenced the work Transmetropolitan…
Ah, I’ve got it!
I hate this goddamn city and I couldn’t stand to leave a-gain.

He hates this goddamn city and he couldn’t stand to leave again.
He hates this goddamn city and he couldn’t stand to leave again.
He hates this goddamn city and he couldn’t stand to leave again.

For my article-type writing, though I’m wordy and also boundless,
Hasn’t yet seen the quantity I want, but I digress.
I’ll sing this song until the time that I become more baffling.
With Ebony and Ivory, I am the true Stoner Pimp King.
He’ll sing this song until the time that he becomes more baffling.
With Ebony and Ivory, he is the true Stoner Pimpin’ Pimpin’ King.

And know that I’ve introduced myself, I’d like to have some idea of what’s going on…