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Congratulations to the Detroit Tigers. I’ve been a fan since before I could walk. Now, if they can just stay focused and put down the Cardinals (i.e., if we can just not replay 2006). * * * * * * * If you live near the North Coast, this is your lucky week: Cleveland Beer Week. Starts today. * * * * * * * It’s that time of year: Halloween. If you’re looking for some spooky beers, you might start with this list of good beers to drink while watching The Walking Dead. Dragons Milk, Session Black Lager, Hell or High Watermelon, Worldwide Stout, Labyrinth Black Ale. * * * * * * * The list got me thinking: “What should a guy drink while watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Or while reading LOTR? It’d have to be a medieval-type beer, presumably pretty dark and thick. That’s as far as my analysis got before I decided to Google the question. The first hit pretty much answered all my questions. If you’re into beer and Tolkien’s epic, it’s a must-read. Excerpt:

A few statistics: the words beer or ale comes up 40 times in LOTR, while wine is mentioned 25 times. If we look at the Silmarillion, wine is mentioned only twice, and beer never! Beer is related to the daily, material aspects of life, that is, it is drunk for pleasure or to quench your thirst; wine instead can have a more ritual connotation. In the Silmarillion all the references to daily, practical life (e.g. food) are missing, while in LOTR are present. More in detail, beer is always mentioned not metaphorically and with direct reference to its consumption: it is enjoyed by men and quite appreciated by hobbits, especially by Pippin and Sam. Concerning wine, the references are of more different kinds: it is mentioned sometimes figurately, and a few times as a ritual drink [The king now rose, and at once Éowyn came forward bearing wine. ‘Ferthu Théoden hál!’ she said. ‘Receive now this cup and drink in happy hour. Health be with thee at thy going and coming!’] but of course also as a normal, daily beverage (the hobbits themselves appreciate wine, Legolas prefers it to beer); wine drinking is slightly less frequently refenced than beerdrinking, but is prevailing in “high”, noble enviromemnts (Pippin is offered wine by Denethor, though later the hobbit complains the lacks of inns and beer in the streets of Minas Tirith). This contrast is explicit during the visit to the Prancing Pony in the return journey towards the Shire, when Barliman says that the King probably drinks wine from a golden cup, and Gandalf remarks that the King himself does appreciates beer, actually Barliman’s beer, because he is no other than Aragorn/Strider…

When I was a kid, I listened to this album at least 30 times: