Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!
This is 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. A new Battle gets posted on the 1st and 15th of each month and six days later, on the 7th and 21st, I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.
Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of DOG BITE High Gravity Lager (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!
[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Saturday, January 23, 2016

TOP 10 FAVORITE BEERS (Or, MY TOP 10 GOES "UP TO 11") - Part 2 Of 2

If you missed the humorous Part 1, click HERE

Raise your can of beer on high
And seal your fate forever
Our best years have passed us by
The golden age of leather

On Thursday the 21st, I went to Disneyland-For-Adults, also known as Virginia City, Nevada. (Well, it's the new Disneyland for me, even though the town was founded in the early 1860s and I've been going there since the early 1970s.) 

I bought a 'Bucket Of Blood' T-shirt... 

...I purchased a lovely Squeek Steele compact disc ('Old West Saloon Piano - Vol. 1') which includes the mystical Squeek Steele original 'Virginia City Waltz' which takes me back to a past life I lived in Virginia City when I was a recently freed Black slave Christian preacher... [Don't ask and I won't tell.]


...and I bought a (link-->) Name Train.  

I had a 601 I.P.A. (and another nearly beer-like beverage which shall not be mentioned). I got to pet 3 nice, old dogs and met a couple cool dudes in an underground saloon that takes cash only. No credit cards, no debit cards, no checks, and they won't serve you beer based on your good looks. I tried that. They said, "No."

All in all, it was a great day and I came home happy. I wasn't as happy as the little girl who was given an official NFL football by the Panthers' running back last weekend, but I was pretty happy. 


But at home I was greeted by 3 pieces of bad news. The test results were in: My sperm count is too low to ever make babies; my girlfriend is pregnant; and I may need hip replacement surgery. (One of those three things may be true, by the way.) 

Once upon a time, before old age set in, I was a beer-drinker and a hell-raiser. Today, I drink very little beer and raise no hell. Every dog has his day, and mine was 1982 and '83. I don't remember those days, but I'm told that I had a great time. (All I really remember is tripping and falling head-over-heels down some concrete steps in front of a bowling alley with a bottle of Coors in one hand and a glass of gin & tonic in the other. This gives you some idea of what a class act I've always been. But I still don't feel that I was fully responsible for that little incident. I mean, seriously! Allah's Unholy Trousers! Only an idiotic architect puts steps in front of a bowling alley, which everyone knows is really just a bar with balls!) 


There are some things I know a great deal about, and some I don't know nuttin' about. In that second category is The Kardashians. I keep seeing and hearing that name, but without TV service, all I think I know about them is that they're some slutty sisters, or something. They're basically Paris Hilton with more breasts. Is that right? Am I even in the ballpark?

One thing I do know about is beer. My lifelong quest to find the best beer is over and I'm here to report the results. My journey began at about age 14 and continued for the next 42 years, and I have finally settled on my Top Ten Favorite Beers.

True, my favorite beer style is probably India Pale Ale (IPA), but a person needs variety in his life, so my list includes at least one beer to fill every need. Sadly, a lot of really excellent beers that I enjoy a great deal were necessarily left off this list, but what can ya do? 'Hop Knot', 'Icky', 'DayTime Ale', 'Odell Red Ale', Track 7 'Anniversary Pilsner', to you and your brothers, I apologize. I used you but didn't include you.

I'm certainly no brewski neophyte, and I've tasted most of the most highly praised beers around. Everything from the legendary 'Pliny The Elder' and Stone's 'Ruination Ale' all the way down to Schaefer and Lucky Lager. My boys - beer-drinkers extraordinaire - will remember "The Schaefer Club" as well as the Lucky Lager bottle cap fun:

And if Lucky Lager was good enough for Jimi, it was good enough for me. ...That is until beer got really good and Lucky Lager wasn't good enough anymore. 

In my opinion, the Craft Beer thang has gotten out of control at this point, and the blokes who write brew reviews have gotten a bit ridiculous, too. You'll find many of them at the website Beer Advocate, and in 2011, I poked a little fun at them with my blog bit titled (link-->) I DON'T ALWAYS DRINK URINE, BUT WHEN I DO, I PREFER 'DOS EQUIS'

And believe it or not, little ol' me was once ripped off by some dudes at YouTube. I don't really mind that they stole my idea. I was flattered, actually. But they could have at least given me some public credit for inspiring them to post what they have at YouTube. Here's my original idea...

(link-->) Blind Beer Taste Tests (Or, Beer Battles: Who Hops To The Top?) 

...and here's the copy-cat version at Youtube...

(link-->) Brew Battles 

OK, so without further yakking, let's get to perhaps the single most important list ever compiled: My Top Ten Favorite Beers (Which Goes "Up To Eleven"). These are not in any particular order.

IPA  395
Mammoth Brewing Co.
Mammoth Lakes, California.
The label says: "Our ode to the Owens Valley and the Highway 395 corridor. IPA 395 is designed to taste and smell like an Eastern Sierra thunderstorm." It's brewed with locally grown sage and juniper berries.

This is a big, heavy beer in every way. It's 8% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 70 IBU (International Bitterness Units), and when I'm in the mood for it, I love it. But I'm only good for one or two at most of these beers. It's just "too much" for everyday drinking and beer sessions. It's kind of cool though that I can see Interstate 395 from the front door of my house, and I have sipped an IPA 395 while watching the traffic zoom North and South on that highway.

Big Sky Brewing Co.
Missoula, Montana
Back when my brother Nappy and I were conducting our Blind Beer Taste Tests, BIG SKY IPA won the entire the contest. It is a perfectly balanced (Hops to Malt) ale and may in fact be the perfect brew. Conduct your own Blind Beer Taste Tests and see if BIG SKY IPA doesn't kick booty. It's a champion!

BIG SKY IPA is horribly underrated by beer snobs (aka "website reviewers") because its hop bite is smoothed out by its malt profile, which is outstanding. 

You see, there's a certain kind of guy who calls himself a "Hophead". What that usually means is that he craves (or says he does) the hoppiest, most bitter beer he can find. Since there aren't any more sabre-toothed tigers to kill, wars are mostly fought by pushing buttons, and the social engineers have propagandized everyone into falsely believing that women are as tough or tougher than men, men have few ways of proving their "manhood" nowadays. So they have resorted to fighting with food and beer.

The man who will eat chili that's like fire and then stand there with tears pouring out of his inflamed eyes, all red-faced and panting, with smoke rising off his tongue and tell you how much he loves that chili and how "It just can't be hot enough for me!", he's the same sorta guy who will tell you a beer can't be hoppy enough for him. These self-proclaimed "Hopheads" won't be satisfied until they're chewing on a mouthful of raw hops. THAT would be the ultimate beer for them.

Frankly, I think they're all full of it. They're poseurs trying to find a way - ANY way - to prove their manhood in the matriarchy we've become.

For the man who is a "confident heterosexual" and doesn't feel any need to prove his machismo, there is BIG SKY IPA - a beautifully balanced brew with no pretensions. Possibly perfect.

Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Petaluma, California 
For several years, this was my all-time favorite beer. The story of how it came by that name is funny. I like people and companies that have a self-deprecating sense of humor. 

SUCKS, once seasonal and hard to find, is now readily available year 'round. That's because we loved it so much. I guess Lagunitas heard our voices crying in the wilderness and met our demands. 

This one almost glows an unearthly orange color, and at 63.21 IBU, this is about as hoppy as I like a beer to be. Granted, IPA 395 clocks in at 70 IBU, but it doesn't seem like it due to the addition of the sage and juniper berry flavors. There was a time when I seemed to like the "Hop Bombs", but I eventually grew tired of the sameness of them. SUCKS is more than bitter enough for me. A hop-forward, high-powered classic that, again, I can only drink one or two of in a session. 

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Chico, California
This was a "one-time only" seasonal brew in which Sierra Nevada (the company most responsible for the Craft Beer explosion in America today) teamed up with German brewer Brauhaus Riegele to create this malt-forward "festival lager". 

If you missed it, you missed out. It ain't comin' back. But, boy, was it great! Honestly, if this were brewed year 'round, it would quite possibly be my regular "go-to" beer. Damned delicious stuffs! 

Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Petaluma, California
Simply put, this is a heavy hitter and my all-time favorite Wheat ale. It's got a very distinctive taste and clocks in at 7.50% ABV. You don't want to drink too many. Well,... you WILL want to, but I don't recommend it.

Stone Brewing Co.
Escondido, California
I have never tasted a Stout that I liked. Man, if I want chocolate, coffee, and mud mixed, I'll mix my own, thank you very much! And the only Porters I like are all "SMOKED". I love "smoked" anything! Cheeses, peppers, ice cream - you name it. Even as I type these words, I have two different brands of liquid smoke in my refrigerator and I add them to much of what I eat.

As much as I dislike Stouts and Porters, that's how much I DO like Smoked Porters. And I think my favorite is probably by Stone, which is peculiar since I am not a fan of any other Stone beers. But they nailed it with their Smoked Porter. I just wish it was more readily available. The Epic Brewing Company in Salt Lake City also makes an excellent Smoked Porter. It's almost a tie, really. Maybe the slightest edge to Stone, but if I could get a bottle of Epic for a dollar less, that would probably be enough to sway me on that purchase.

Great Basin Brewing Co. 
Reno, Nevada
I often say, "I only like coffee-flavored coffee and beer-flavored beer." That's 100% true when it comes to coffee and about 97% true when it comes to beer. There are 3 beers that are exceptions, and Cerveza Chilebeso is a major exception. It's a jalapeno pepper-infused beer with almost no heat. I thought I might like it better with a bit more heat so I added some cayenne powder to it a couple times. What I found was that as the heat increases, the delicate but very pronounced jalapeno pepper flavor begins to fade.

Great Basin brewed this beer with very little heat and got it just right in the process. Unfortunately, CHILEBESO is only a Summer seasonal, but if it were available all year long, I would drink it all year long. Easily my favorite chile pepper flavored beer. In fact, I'm just going to go ahead and call it my favorite beer, period.

Odell Brewing Co.
Fort Collins, Colorado
My brother Nappy and I had our first Odell IPA at a bar called 'GRANNY'S CLOSET' in Flagstaff, Airheadzona. It was the first time we ever noticed that natural "citrus" flavor that somehow develops in some of the very best IPAs. And Nappy and I became instant fans of the Odell Brewing Company which, today, I still consider excellent and probably the best that Colorado has to offer.

I can say for Odell what I also say for the Deschutes Brewing Company: Everything they make, I like (except when it comes to beer styles I simply don't enjoy, such as Stouts, Porters, Belgian-like ales, etc.)

There are a lot of IPAs out there, but Odell is better than nearly all of them.

Pigeon Head Brewing Co.
Reno, Nevad
This is a very crisp, lighter bodied beer for swilling after the lawn has been cut or while playing a game of Wiffle Ball. 

Like I said, you need a beer for every occasion, and this is PERFECT for the dog days of Summer. For a lighter bodied beer, it has an exceptionally distinctive taste that I love. It's a classic beer type with a classic beer flavor profile. My favorite Pilsner without a doubt, created by a small, under-the-radar brewery.   

Deschutes Brewing Co.
Bend, Oregon
This is an exceptional "go-to" beer. It's a wonderfully balanced, great-tasting pale ale. Deliciously goes with whatever you're eating. And I have often said that THIS is the beer I would use if I were attempting to introduce a macro-beer drinker to craft beers. 'Mirror Pond' is really the perfect bridge between the macro and the micro. The Coors or Bud drinker will enjoy the body and depth of flavor without it being too much of a shock to his system.

If I were still drinking beer on a very regular basis -- and with Sierra Nevada's 'Oktoberfest 2015' gone forever now -- 'Mirror Pond Pale Ale' would protly be my normal "go-to" brew when Cerveza Chilebeso was out of season.

So sorry, 'Summer Shandy'. I really do love ya, but something had to make way for this beautiful Deschutes Pale Ale, and you, my friend, were the low beer on this totem pole.

"Mirror Pond Pale Ale plays well with others."


For Christmas, my friend FAE (you know her!) gave me the book 'The Best Beer In The World' by Mark Dredge, and I've skimmed around in it. A fun, entertaining book. And one passage in particular made me reconsider how I ought to end this Top Ten Favorite Beers list. I realized that my list really needed to go "up to eleven" and conclude with something unlikely but warranted. 

On pages 219 and 220, Mark Dredge writes: "The mood of the place and the beer are inseparable from the moment you're in. ... You cannot replicate any place or flavor by sitting on the sofa and cracking open a few bottles. ... Some beers just stick in the memory so clearly because they tasted so good. These beers are often those unforgettable one-off experiences that will likely never be repeated."

Indeed! I'm still crazy after all these beers. But after all these years and all these A-list Craft beers, you want to know which one was my all-time favorite in the way that Mark Dredge described it above?

It was either 1981 or '82 and my friend Dean and I went to Catalina Island to camp out for about 3 days and nights. Dean wasn't old enough to legally drink yet, but I was, and I bought us a six-pack of what was then considered top of the line macro-brew (meaning cheaply made and nationally distributed for America's uninformed, unenlightened taste buds).

Dean and I set up our campsite in Isthmus Cove, then I buried that six-pack in ice in our ice chest, and we went on a strenuous, mostly uphill hike. It was blazing hot and we were tired and sweaty when we got back to camp about three hours later and opened that ice chest.

Both of us sucked down three ice-cold beers each in about 8 minutes total time. To this day, no beer ever went down faster or better. My all-time "best beer moment" belongs to...

[Copyrighted image borrowed from Tavern Trove, with gratitude, apologies, love, hugs & beer suds!]

Yes, HENRY WEINHARD'S 'PRIVATE RESERVE'. Sorry, beer snobs, but it's a historical fact and I can't change it. When you're dying for an ice cold beer, it almost doesn't matter what it is - micro or macro, Big Sky IPA or Henry Weinhard's - when any beer will do, any beer will do. 

I love the Craft Brewing experience in the U.S. today, but I won't pretend that there's no place in my world for Mickey's Big Mouth. Those, baby, are my roots! I won't deny where I came from.

Wow! All of this beer yak has made me thirsty. 
...I need a cold Mojito!

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


  1. Al Bondigas here. There were only three beers Pooh wouldn't drink. Do you remember them?

      Ha! That's another blast from the past. If memory serves me, I believe the answer is:

      Root Beer, Near Beer, and No Beer.

      How'd I do?

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

    2. 100%

      You bastard are finally giving me some credit!


    3. You got it!! Remember he used to say it about every other week? Man, that dude could really milk em, eh?

    4. Someday, GENERAL POOHREGARD, we will stumble upon the original source that you ripped off for that line.

      Sometimes it takes decades, but the Pooh is always exposed sooner or later.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    5. Stephen and Judge Al,

      "he used to say it about every other week." WELL EXCUUUUUUUSE ME, you see, unlike some people I know, I just don't have the patience to wait 7 years before using a joke again. Life is too short and sometimes, someone new heard the joke and seemed to like it.
      JW, regardless,

    6. HA!-HA! GOL! (Guffaw-Out-Loud!)
      Touché, GENERAL POOHREGARD, touché. You got me that time, right thru my three-sizes-too-small heart.

      Eddie, don't tell me you lost your sense of humor already!

      And after I spent so much time searching for your telephone number so I could text you, too?

      I didn't know your text number. So I asked the newsboy. He didn't know. So I asked the fireman, the green grocerer, the butcher, the baker, they didn't know! But the liquor store guy... he knew.

      Great comment, Pooh. Hang around here long enough and you'll get to know all my blog buddies from all over the world. You'll love 'em, 'cause ain't none o' dem heard yer old jokes before.


      [*NO! My friend is NOT "re-tah-ded"! And learn to speak good English, you London-born schmuck!* ...Oh, wait, they weren't from London, were they? 100 points if you can remember their group name without looking it up. ...I knowz it, but I bet you don't. I'll give you a good clue: PFF.]

      ~ D-FensDogG

    7. Well Sh#t in me donut if it wasn't the Pimlico Freedom Fighters. And I didn't need the clue.

    8. Got it first try!
      And, FYI, it's OK to type "shit" on my blog. I do it all the time. In fact, everything I type here is shit.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  2. Al Bondigas here. Wasn't Red Chair a major contender? Big Sky is definitely a beer for any occasion. I think the beer I enjoyed the most might be O'dell IPA. Not makin any rulin's here, but, just sayin'. I'm sure the 'Main Ingredient' has a lot of new quaff goin right now. Just sayin' agin.

    1. JUDGE AL ~
      Yes, sir, just like everything else DESCHUTES brews, their 'RED CHAIR NWPA' was flippin' outstanding. I hadn't had one in so long that I didn't really think about it when I put this list together.

      Well, let's face it, a list like this will never really be fully complete because there's always going to be a new kid on the block who makes a lotta noise.

      We never did put 'RED CHAIR NWPA' in a Blind Beer Taste Test. Nor the Deschutes 'INVERSION IPA' for that matter, and it too was damned good. (As I recall though, I slightly preferred the 'Red Chair' Pale Ale to the 'Inversion' India Pale Ale. Both top-notch though.)

      For the longest, longest time I had Deschutes 'MIRROR POND' Pale Ale on my Top 10 list. But one day a few months back I sipped 'Mirror Pond' back-to-back with that Sierra Nevada 'OKTOBERFEST 2015', and something had to give. 'Oktoberfest' blew 'Mirror Pond' away. But I'd still say 'Mirror Pond' is probably the ultimate transition beer to use introducing a macro beer-drinker to micro Craft brews.

      If not 'Mirror Pond', then perhaps Sierra Nevada's 'SUMMERFEST'. It's sort of in the middle between macro and micro, just as 'Mirror Pond' is.

      You can't really beat BIG SKY and ODELL when it comes to their IPAs. If you want a slightly more hop-forward IPA you choose Odell, and if you're in the mood for a slightly more malt-forward IPA you go with Big Sky. A beer for every mood.

      I miss The Main Ingredient. Great beers there, and great food, too.

      Here in Reno there are a number of equivalent places to The Main Ingredient. Places I have gone in for the beer and returned for the food.

      Although I don't like Reno, I gotta admit it takes a backseat to no one in the Craft Beer market. Lots of little breweries around here and places with plenty o' beer on tap for filling growlers. Beer's big here.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      'Loyal American Underground'

      These days I'm mostly drinking SNAP*E*TOM, sometimes with liquid cayenne or smoked Tabasco Chipotle and/or Habanero pepper sauce added and fresh crushed black pepper on top.

      I call it "Craft" of "Micro" Tomato Juice. Gonna start my own bar with this stuffs.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    3. Listen closely. Can you hear it? I believe it's The Main Ingredient calling you. FRANKLIN, FRANKLIN!!

  3. Stephen,

    Oddly, the forgetfullness forward with notes of hummingbirds wings, and cow piss, Mickey's Big Mouth is missing from your list.

    Nice post, and if I hadn't quit nearly 30 years ago, I would be 11 beers into Sunday.


    1. Well, POOH, Mickey's did get a mention at the end... which is protly more than it deserves but... too much pee under the bridge to forget about it altogether.

      What is being called beer today, you wouldn't even recognize it as such. I can only imagine what your first reaction would be to a sip of something really hoppy like Lagunitas 'Hop Stoopid', or any other number of other IPAs and DIPAs.

      It would be an acquired taste, I'm sure, because your first thought would likely be: Unbelievable! It seems I DON'T like beer!

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. I still got time for come-back drinker of the year, don't i? Protly not a good idea at my age. We'll you know I wasn't much of a connesewer. IN FACT!, there were only three beers I didn't like, that was Near Beeer, Root Beer, and NO Beer! Badumpbump!

    3. Yeah, I wouldn't recommend you going for 'Comeback Drinker Of The Year'. You could protly win the award, but these beers today are also WAAAAY STRONGER than what we were drinking back in da day.

      And if you could get ALLlllllll fudged up on yesterday's beers, I hate to even imagine what you'd get on today's beers.

      Ya know, I don't care what Nappy sez... that joke NEVER gets old!

      ~ D-FensDogG

  4. I really know nothing about beer. When it's "iced cold", I enjoy it... that's my story.

    Now, for your choice of music, I have something to say. 'Beerrun' is always funny to me, and I find myself laughing out loud to the lyrics. 'Old Virginia Waltz' is almost melancholy... a nice background tune though. ZZ Top reminds me of a few jamming times... but I wasn't doing them with beer in hand.

    You've put in a bunch of work here, in this post. I'm glad there are those who will appreciate this more than I do. I'm still the margarita girl... but only in winter.

    See you later!

      Thanks for coming by, reading, listening, and commenting.

      I tried to include enough stuffs that even some non-beer enthusiasts might find the blog bit worthwhile (e.g., that little girl Panthers fan, the fire in the casino story, the music, and so on...)

      If you like Margaritas in the Wintertime, that's good enough for me. Who needs beer?

      I agree that there's a melancholia to the melody of 'VIRGINIA CITY WALTZ'. Years ago, I thought about composing lyrics for it, and almost spontaneously some really good lyrics just materialized in my mind. Those words played into that melancholy undertone of the melody, too. I neglected to write 'em down and now can't remember what they were.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  5. >>>I was greeted by 3 pieces of bad news. The test results were in: My sperm count is too low to ever make babies; my girlfriend is pregnant; and I may need hip replacement surgery. (One of those three things may be true, by the way.)<<<

    Well, you are not foolin' anyone. We know it ain't that your girlfriend is pregnant: you don't HAVE a girlfriend! And you are too spry to need hip replacement. Therefore it MUST be that your sperm count is low!

    Fortunately, I don't think you were planning on starting a family. And its a scientific fact that a man's sperm count is always lower after his football team loses. Given the way Carson Palmer played, I'm convinced that he HAS NO sperm count. Dude's a lady dressed like a man. No MAN would be involved in SEVEN turnovers in a game that big. No offense to the ladies intended, of course.

    I always really enjoy reading your beer musings even though I don't drink beer and have never even tried it. Total teetotaler. These blog bits expose me to information I'd not get anywhere else. They expand my reservoir of info.

    FYI: I may miss voting on the next BOTB. I'm not sure, but I may not have decent internet for most of the week. I'll try.


      I may not have a girlfriend, but I have lots of great girl friends! There's Nitro Wilbury Babskiddo, Doc Cherdo, Gem Julie, Girl Wonder, Dixie Polka, Oh Donna, Becky-O!, and just too many to mention. I'm a very popular fella with my lady friends.

      I have no way of knowing and no reason for caring what my sperm count is. But I'm not at all surprised to learn that a bad NFL loss will lower a man's sperm count. That seems perfectly logical to me.

      And as for Carson Palmer (or "Cough-Up Palmer" as I'm now referring to him), it's quite possible the dude's a lady! I know one thing, he's a really shitty quarterback.

      How shitty is he?

      So shitty that in the last regular season game against your Seahawks, I was SERIOUSLY considering that he might have been deliberately throwing the game.

      But then he was so shitty against the Packers and then so shitty against the Panthers that I came to realize he's just shitty. Plus, you can look at his eyes and see he's not even smart enough to figure out HOW to throw a game if he wanted to.

      It's time for Cough-Up Palmer to try Security Guarding and time for me to try Quarterbacking. (I would probably be just as bad as Palmer, but I'd only charge half of what he did for the same service.)

      I'm afraid the REAL answer might be "hip replacement". (Which still wouldn't prevent me from playing as good as Cough-Up for half the dough!)

      I think I injured myself a few days after Christmas when I slipped on my icy front porch. A couple days later (to quote poor Emma Watson) "I had a pain". About a week later, I DID THE SAME DAMNED THING! Slipped on my icy front porch again. (Gotta love this Reno living!)

      Nearly a month has passed now and still "I have a pain". I used to heal, I think, faster'n average, so it concerns me that I'm still not recovered.

      Glad you didn't feel that reading the beer stuffs was a total waste of time. I try to throw in enough stuffs so that even if the subject is not of interest, there's a few moments that inspire a smile, a chuckle, or a "WTH?!"

      I'm so weird that it's pretty easy. I just go into my "Stream O' Consciousness" mode and let the mental projectile vomiting land where it will.

      It'll be great if you can make the next BOTB vote, but if not, please don't sweat one drop over it! You've been a great friend and a 100% loyal BOTB supporter. If circumstances cause you to miss a vote occasionally, I wouldn't even dream of being upset or hurt. I know you'll make it if you can, and if you can't, I'll give you TWO VOTES in the following BOTB contest.

      Great comment, 6-Shooter!

      ~ D-FensDogG

      Have I mentioned to you that F-FFF is once again open for bidnizz? No. I know I haven't... until just now.

    2. Well, this is no good! I am not happy (probably less not happy than you are) that you've been injured! "You shouldn't have gone to the airport!" (100 points if you can identify that without looking it up.) The "airport" being Reno.

      I don't know where you shoulda gone, but Reno weren't it.

      And you DO have lots of girl friends, and could easily acquire a "girlfriend" I am sure. But you insist on living the life of a monk, closeted away, celibate and sober... a standing reproach to the sinners infesting "The Biggest Little City."

      I had no idea you had kick-started the old blog again. GOOD! I'll go check it out. Later. I fly tomorrow.

    3. HA!-HA! It's 4:59 AM as I type these words and I'm having coffee and trying to make the brain start up before I have to drive to work 30 minutes from now.

      Thanks for the (literal) LOL, Sixgunboy! You're right, I "shouldn't have gone to the airport". It took me all of 2.5 seconds to "get it". Under normal circumstances (like, NOT 4:59 AM), it would have taken me "zero seconds" to "get it" (or, "immediately!")

      You would fit right in with Nappy and I - dropping obscure references into everyday dialogue.

      Have a safe flight, Winnebagoboy. I'll be waiting here for you when you return.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  6. Never drank any of these let alone heard of most of them. I'm not much of a consistent drinker. When I do go on a night of "serious" drinking I'm reminded why I usually don't drink much.

    This post hearkened back to some of your fun pieces. Not to say your recent stuffs haven't been fun, but this seemed lighter.

    And not like a light beer.

    Arlee Bird
    Wrote By Rote

    1. I appreciate that, LEE. Because I DESPISE Light (or, Lite) Beer! Even back in "the day" when my Bay Street buddies were drinking millions of gallons of Coors Lite, I refused!

      My philosophy was: If you're going to drink a beer, drink a beer.

      Of course, I had no way of knowing back then that I wasn't drinking real beer either, but AT LEAST it wasn't "Lite" beer, whatever it was.

      To this day I can't stand any "Light", "Lite", or "Sugar-Free" stuffs. Really just don't like the taste of 'em.

      The only exception being Eggnog. For some reason, I've always thought Light Eggnog is almost as good as the regular version, and at much less fat and calorie content, why not go that route?

      But everything else "light", "lite", and "sugar-free" can just take a hike. And not a "short" hike, either.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. I also avoid the lite stuff. I drink diet soda but that's to avoid all the sugar because of diabetes. If I'm visiting my sisters and they offer me a beer then it's probably going to be lite, but that's not what I'd buy if I'm buying beer which is not often.


  7. This blog bit reminded me of a few things.

    1) You made me remember how sad I am that Oktoberfest ain't ever coming back.
    2) I need to drink another Odell's, possibly cycle it into a blind beer taste test.
    3) You aren't the only one who's still crazy after all these beers.

    However, I must respectfully disagree with you in regards to Big Sky. While it has a pleasantly amber colored body and a delicate, almost ethereal aroma, the mouthfeel leaves a lot to be desired. I taste a kiss of lemon and orange peel, perhaps even a bit of roasted caramel and vanilla, but the bitterness only lingers on the back of the tongue briefly. A true IPA must embolden the mouth and overwhelm with hops.

    Nah, I'm just messing with you. I can't believe beer snobs actually talk like that. They do know this isn't wine, right? And when it comes to things like "mouthfeel", it's pretty black and white? Good beer makes my mouth feel great, piss beer makes my mouth feel bad...


    1. 6-B ~
      Yeah, they write about beer as if they're Frasier and Niles at their Wine Club, analyzing a 1929 Franswah Jejune de Bleushyt recently acquired at auction for a mere $466.

      Two words the Beer Snob Hopheads love to use which particularly crack me up are "bready" and "biscuity". As my Ma would have told 'em: "Get out of here, you biscuit-eatin' dumb-faced bum!"

      What I should do is start a new blog titled 'BLUE-COLLAR BREW REVIEWS FOR REAL MEN'. Except, of course, within two years someone would rip me off over at YouTube.

      ~ D-FensDogG

    2. What you should do is beat them to the punch and start the YouTube series. I'd watch that.

      What cracks me up is always the inclusion of fruits and herbs.

      "I taste a hint of grapefruit and even some pine."
      "There's a touch of lemon with a solid essence of orange peel."
      "Other fruity flavors of a tropical fruit nature (tangerine, mango, pineapple) are present from the start."

      Those are actual excerpts from Big Sky reviews on BA, mind you. Who knew that Big Sky was the fruit punch of beers? Drink a beer, and you just never know what fruit flavors you're going to find! It's different for everyone! I just had one and I taste blood orange! Or maybe that's just blood...


    3. 6-B ~
      Ha! I know. It's hysterically funny... or maybe just hysterical.

      Nappy's mention of Deschutes RED CHAIR NWPA made me crave one. Hadn't had it in ages but I remembered it as being really outstanding.

      So, I just went and got one, popped it open and poured it into my official Tervis Tumbler beer cup. It's just like I remembered it! This one could very well have made my Top Ten list.

      So then I went to BA to see what grades it had. Very high, as it should be. But below are excerpts from what the Brothers who started the BA website had to say about it:

      SMELL: Orange zest, faint aspirin, floral hop oil, mildly peppery, passion fruit, shortbread

      TASTE: Orangey, smooth, creamy medium body, tobacco, pine resin, hemp seeds, spicy, warming alcohol, clean esters, tropical fruit, hop bitterness, faint caramel, grassy grain, toasted bread, dry finish

      Pshaw! "Faint Aspirin"??!! Great! Now you can enjoy your beer while simultaneously beating that hangover to the punch.

      And of course we get "shortbread" and "toasted bread" because this beer is so good it's also dinner, dessert, and a nice smoke afterwards.

      When tobacco's just not enough, add some hemp seeds! (WTF?!)

      The only thing that could have improved this beer is if the brewer had included the kitchen sink in its flavor profile.

      Yes. I'm going with just, simply "hysterical".

      Years ago, when I wrote my bogus beer review, I really opened up the floodgates and let that stuffs flow. I think I was in pretty good form and came up with a lot of wild stuffs - crazy stuffs like a mouth-feel of dehydrated talcum powder, and the scent of fear with undertones of arsenic and old flesh. Crazy crap like that.

      But these reviewers have gotten so hysterical that even my satire didn't seem far enough "out there" to be entirely effective. These legitimate reviewers have gone so far that it's hard to really create parodies of them.

      You know, tonight's a TRT date if you're up for it. I was thinking about AITF tonight, but all this beer yak and the mention of Frasier and Niles' Wine Club, I'm thinking maybe we need to see a couple of those. They're really A-list. And maybe some AITF tomorrow? What say you?

      ~ D-FensDogG

    4. I'd be concerned that if my beer started tasting like aspirin, tobacco, ester, and hemp, that I was possibly having a stroke.

      I'll be there. You bring the floral pine oil seed compound, I'll bring the rehydrated leather rind.


    5. Hopefully Nappy will bring the powdered eye of newt and the crushed, smoked wing of bat; and FAE will bring the kitchen sink.

      Me... I think I'll just bring some Mickey's Big Mouths and get quietly drunk.

      ~ D-FensDogG


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