Tag: Drinking Matters

Backward Shi*t*s

Omar and the (Not So) Sacred Vine

Stories like this one are even more alarming when you remember that Iran was pretty westernized in the 1970s.

Iranian judicial authorities have demanded the execution of a 73-year-old retired pilot who was arrested for consuming alcohol.

The state-run Asr-e Iran website reported on February 21 that the representative of the prosecutor’s office in the 9th branch of Tehra’s criminal court, requested the death sentence for a 73-year-old man for “drinking alcohol”.

The man, who is said to have a military doctorate and is a retired pilot, has been arrested in northern Tehran on charges of drunk driving.

The representative of the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office, has claimed that he had been arrested three times before for drinking alcohol and that he had been punished.

Based on the Islamic Penal Code a defendant can face the death penalty after being arrested and punished three times for alcohol consumption. The initial punishment for drinking is usually flogging.… Read the rest

Killing Trappist Beer

The Trappist brewers are getting old

This is one of the saddest drinking stories of the past few months: Trappist beers are declining due to a lack of new vocations.

The Trappists don’t screw around: The Authentic Trappist Product label is only given to beers that are

  • made in the immediate surroundings of an abbey,
  • produced under the supervision of monks and
  • sold to fund the monastery and for charitable works.

If you lack one of those things, like a brewer monk, you don’t get the label.

Monastic vocations have fallen off a cliff, especially in Belgium, the “spiritual home of Trappist beers.” There are still five or six Trappist breweries and 100 brewer monks in Belgium, but most of them are older (this article says at least one is in his early 30s). I gotta believe they’re going to start dropping like flies around the corn-mash vat.

We need an updated Seven Storey Mountain in Flemish. Merton published his autobiography in 1949. By 1950, monastic vocations were surging. From Wikipedia:

“The book has served as a powerful recruitment tool for the priestly life in general, and for the monastic orders in particular. In the 1950s, Gethsemani Abbey and the other Trappist monasteries experienced a surge in young men presenting themselves for the cenobitic life. It is a well-known bit of Catholic lore that, after the book’s publication, many priests entered monasteries or seminaries with a copy in their suitcase.”

From Belgianhappiness.com:

10 Trappist breweries worldwide

“Worldwide there are only 10 Trappist abbeys where Trappist beer is brewed. Six of them are Belgian Trappist breweries: AchelChimay, OrvalRochefortWestmalle and Westvleteren.

“In The Netherlands there are two Trappist breweries: La Trappe and Zundert. In Austria there is the Engelszell … Read the rest

Where to Put Your Money in This Wild Market?

Is whiskey the answer? Well, yes, whiskey is always the answer, but now it’s not just medicinally

So I bought the cryptocurrency Dogecoin on December 15th. As of last night, the investment was up 150%.

If it keeps up that pace throughout 2021, I’ll have millions of dollars.

Yeah, of course: it’s due for a huge correction, I’ll probably be fortunate to break even by the end of 2021, but I’m still glad that I placed the bet (made the investment).

I think it’s my first “alternative” investment ever. Now I’m weighing others, especially this one: liquor collecting.

I figure, if the investment doesn’t pan out, I’ll have some cool stuff to drink.

The problem is, the investment option seems almost reserved to whiskey, which I don’t drink. (I need to develop a taste for it, but as of this writing, I find the brown highly disagreeable.) A Google search “investing in liquor bottles” brings up ten results on the first page: all of them whiskey (with a heavy slant to Japanese whiskeys for some reason).


It’s a crucial question. If gin and vodka aren’t collected because they simply haven’t caught on for that purpose, now might a great time to buy some collectible bottles. But if they aren’t collected because they don’t “keep” as well as whiskey or the taste simply doesn’t vary that much among brands, that’s an entirely different matter.

At this point, I’m inclined to set aside a few good craft gin bottles and see what happens.… Read the rest