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Sundry Drinking Items: Alpena, Michigan; Bar Fees; Can Shortage; Orange Wine

Random drinking items for your weekend recreational consumption

Photo by Nikola Jovanovic / Unsplash

My family cottage sits on Lake Huron, near Alpena, Michigan, where I make an annual pilgrimage to the Episcopalian Church that Albert Jay Nock attended while growing up in this northern outpost. It’s not a hard pilgrimage. It sits about 200 yards from my brother-in-law’s house, across the street from my favorite Alpena pub, where the proprietor does everything—from greetings to decorations—to make you feel like you’re in Britain, but not in a fake, gimmicky way .

I wonder how they’re dealing with the runaway inflation. I hope they’re more honest about it than other restaurants, who are apparently hiding their increasing costs by adding various fees. “Kitchen appreciation,” “noncash adjustment,” “fuel discharge,” “wellness.” I don’t object to profitability, but just hit me. Don’t hide it. I’m like that J.D. Salinger character from Nine Stories:

“I see you are looking at my feet," he said to her when car was in motion.
"I beg your pardon?" said the woman.
"I said I see you're looking at my feet".
"I beg your pardon. I happened to be looking at the floor," said the woman, and faced the doors of the car.
"If you want to look at my feet, say so," said the young man. "But don't be a God-damned sneak about it."

But if they want to be sneaks about it, they could try a “can surcharge.” The price of aluminum and a can shortage has pinched the industry, so customers who order beer that isn’t among your taps are buying a luxury these days and ought to pay for it.

Another option might be to find exotic products and then just gouge the crap out of the pretentious customers who always want something that, you know, sets them apart from the PBR folks. Maybe they could get an assortment of orange wines. I’ve never tried them, but I guess they’re trending:

To say that interest in the orange wine category has exploded over the last few years would be a complete understatement. But while its popularity in the U.S. may have begun as a growing trend among natural wine enthusiasts, its diverse flavors have been treasured around the world for ages.
To be clear, orange wine is not a wine made from oranges and it doesn’t always look orange. With a shade range as varied as its flavor profiles, these wines — created in the same skin- contact method as rosés — have roots in European styles and traditions. Most notably the country of Georgia, which is known as the birthplace of amber wines.

I never knew Georgia is known as the birthplace of amber wines. I guess I better stock up on them before Russia invades it.

I’ve been hearing highly reliable stories from a woman who worked with Ukrainian refugees over the past two months. I’d recount the atrocities here, but I try to keep this blog light. Suffice it to say, Putin and the Russian government/military are monstrous. I still stand by more original position: We shouldn’t have provoked Russia. Our provocation doesn’t justify the invasion, much less the barbarity of what the Russians are doing to break the Ukrainian people (e.g., mass executions of any males old enough to carry a gun), but Russia, though the most terrible monster, isn't the only monster in this story. Once again, millions of innocent people are suffering because of the actions of barbarous central governments.