Month: September 2011



I collected a lot of beer cans in my youth and I’ve drank a lot of different beers as an adult, but I ain’t never heard of no National Beer. Anybody else ever hear of it?

A convenience store client of mine, incidentally, was able to order Cass River Blonde Ale from his distributor. My case arrived yesterday, and I quaffed while composing this post. My liver is quaking. The Beer Advocate gives it a B+, which is also what it gives Oberon. So I’m guessing B+ is a very good score and not, in today’s world of grade inflation, merely average or slightly above average.

If you scroll down a ways, you’ll see lots of reviewers gave Cass River “A” and “A-” grades.

Alright, a friend bought me one of those fancy beer samplers. I’ve never heard of any of the beers. Can anyone tell me anything about these New Holland Brewing Company beers?

Ichabod Pumpkin Ale (I’m looking forward to trying my first pumpkin beer). Beer Advocate: B-.
Sundog Amber Ale. Beer Advocate: B.
Full Circle Kolsch-style Beer. Beer Advocate: B.
Mad Hatter India Pale Ale. Beer Advocate: B+.
The Poet Oatmeal Stout. Beer Advocate: B+.

I’m pretty stoked about my sudden beer wealth. The Poet’s label is, I’m guessing, modeled on Edgar Allen Poe’s Raven. I might have to drink that one first, especially given its Beer Advocate score . . . and the possibility that it’s laced with opium (you know, in honor of Poe).

Read the rest


Gilbert Arrived

The new issue of Gilbert Magazine arrived a few days ago (for those unaware, I used to edit that esteemed rag). Dale Ahlquist has a splendid travel piece about this recent trip to England. He spent time in a monastery with Dom Phillip Jeb, who is the grandson of Hilaire Belloc; visited biographer Ian Ker in “the marvelously intact medieval village of Burford, about twenty miles north of Oxford”; and visited the tomb of Aldous Huxley, who (I never realized) died the same day as C.S. Lewis and John F. Kennedy (11/22/1963).

If you don’t subscribe to the magazine, you ought to seriously consider. I don’t claim it’s the best magazine in the world or anything, but it’s probably the most unique.

Drinking Corner

From Fr. Schall’s column in GM: “On the Safest Way to Drink”:

[Chesterton] notes that [the word ‘alcohol’] is from the Arabic. ‘It is interesting to realize that our general word for the essence of wine and beer and such things comes from a people which has made particular war upon them.’

No one at a tavern really asks for a drink of ‘alcohol.’ ‘It is quite a mistake to suppose that when a man desires an alcoholic drink, he necessarily desires alcohol.’

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The Humor Escapes Me

You know who I can’t stand? Stephen Colbert. I’ve actually grown to like Jon Stewart a little, but Colbert? I can’t stomach him (yeah, yeah: I know he’s Catholic–that just makes it worse). His entire schtick strikes me as the effort of a smarmy teenager who thinks he’s too clever for words, the kind who snickers behind the adults’ collective back because, at age 16, he has everything figured out and they’re stupid. On top of that, Colbert is relentlessly leftist in his smarmy attacks.

But a friend tells me I have Colbert wrong. He says it’s all an act. I’m not sure why the “act” has a leftist slant, and I know Colbert uses real news reports as the backdrop for his scenes. I’m not sure where the commentary ends and where the acting begins, but my friend is a smart guy and I respect his opinion.

He also sent along this link to a WaPo article about Colbert. It paints Colbert in a more sympathetic light, but I still don’t “get” his humor. If anyone can shed some light, that’d be great.

Drinking Corner

Okay, I may have found a new favorite beer writer. This guy slams Budweiser, and he does it better than I ever have: “It tasted . . . like a wet piece of the cardboard that comes in new dress shirts – and that’s not an original observation. I first read it on the website of the world’s foremost beer critic, Britain’s Michael Jackson. He had almost nothing positive to say about Bud. I don’t either.”

But he doesn’t stop at its taste. He … Read the rest

From an E-Newsletter

“Yum! Brands and other companies who own fast-food restaurants are heavily lobbying the administration to allow their franchisees to take food stamps instead of cash,” writes a reader looking at the issue from a different angle.

“That should ensure we have a never-ending supply of obese diabetics with heart disease to bankrupt our health ‘care’ system. Those ‘poor folks’ eat better than many hardworking citizens who pay taxes. Just watch them at the supermarket checkout counters.”

Read the rest


I’m Walk(er)ing to New Orleans

The Walker Percy Center’s Inaugural Conference is October 14-16. It’s kind of late notice, but I’d really like to go. Unfortunately, it’s in New Orleans, and I fear Marie won’t let me slip away without a fight.

I once wrote a fair amount about Percy. I was working on a chapter for a book project (the same book that produced the Russell Kirk article for Touchstone that I’ve linked to a dozen times and the Orestes Brownson blurbs that I’ve been sprinkling here over the past few months). I’ll have to see if I can find any of those Percy drafts and post them.

Jay Tolson’s Percy bio, incidentally, is highly recommended.


The dollar is cheapening, but single women are getting cheaper: “Women are jumping into the sack faster and with fewer expectations about long-term commitments than ever, effectively discounting the ‘price’ of sex to a record low, according to social psychologists.” [The story is at the New York Post, but I’m not going to provide the link, since the site prompted a “malware/virus” warning on my computer.] * * * * * * * I’ll have to start flying Southwest: “A lesbian actress who starred in ‘The L-Word’ says she was escorted off of a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing her girlfriend.” Link. * * * * * * * There definitely seems to be a “race to the rhetorical bottom” among the panic crowd. The guy in this video, which was broadcast at the BBC, might take the cake. “This economic crisis is like a cancer, if you just wait and wait hoping it … Read the rest


The mighty Lions! They’re 3-0. I didn’t think they looked good yesterday, so I’m not as excited about them now as I was 48 hours ago. But seven straight regular season wins, a come-from-behind win (against the Vikings), a blow-out win (against the Chiefs), and a tight win on the road against a playoff contender (the Buccaneers). I’m pretty stoked.

But that helmet parody from a few years ago still cracks me up.

Today, just a few passages from my weekend reading:

Lonely is the Night

I didn’t know this: Black women don’t marry much, especially educated ones: “Seven out of ten black women are unmarried, and college-educated black women are twice as likely as their white female peers not to be married by their thirties. That is, they’re no more likely to marry or stay married—black divorce rates are also twice as high as white—than white women with only a high school diploma. The picture is little better for black men, fewer than half of whom are husbands. (Affluent black men, in fact, become less likely to marry the more money they earn—the reverse of the trend for white men.) Moreover, neither Africa nor slavery is the culprit here: as late as the 1950s, nine in ten black women married.Link.

Evaluating Gold

Is gold over-priced? It’s hard to say, but if you’re only looking at its run-up over the past ten years, you’re not looking at the iceberg that’s under the water.

Dylan Grice of SocGen recently constructed a chart which shows official US gold reserves as a percentage of the US monetary base over the last 50 years. This

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Blatz plays a key role at the end of The Adventures of Beer Man, so when I saw this poster, I decided to post it.

New Beer Writer

I ran across an unfamiliar beer writer this week, E.D. Kain. Earlier this week, he wrote a decent post about beer’s decline across America, but pointing out that craft beer sales continue to climb. Link. At the beginning of the post, he linked to some of his previous beer articles, which look pretty good.

I was especially intrigued by the “Human Economy” beer post, but overall, it was disappointing. I was expecting some drunken Wilhelm Roepke insight, but no. He doesn’t even seem to be aware of Roepke, though the piece had some decent passages, like this:

When we talk about regulation, I think it’s important to dissect the nature of the regulation itself. A regulation that simply requires beer to adhere to specific quality standards is pretty benign. Regulations that grant monopoly distribution rights, prohibit grocery stores from selling alcohol, and make it impossible for new entrants to make and/or sell their beer are harmful and stupid.

Drunken Sport

Idea: Leave work early and start drinking heavily. Go outside and look for a piece of the falling satellite. The piece could be moving as fast as 240 mph. Try to get under the piece, jumping out of the way at the last second. Repeat.

Note: Be sure to get it on video, then send me the YouTube link for posting here.

More on the satellite debris here. … Read the rest