Wednesday, March 2, 2011

MAXED OUT: This is not another bitch-fest... I swear it

Well hello again, my lovers of life, yeast, and hops, how the hell are ya? I’d like to start off by stating, once again, that this IS NOT A BITCH-FEST. So bear with me. Today our discussion will of course focus on beer but will also include film, television, literature, fashion, etc. etc. And yes, we will be bashing both of the Plinys once again (kinda sorta).

So this past Monday I was enjoying a few Duets (a deliciously well balanced IPA from Alpine Brewery) at Toronado with a few of my friends when we began discussing my blog from a few weeks back. You know the one where I took out my pent up anger on the Pliny family. But the discussion evolved into a website called where people write reviews on any and every beer out there. Pliny the Elder, that son of a b, has an A+ average with nearly 2,000 reviews. Pliny the Younger has an A+ average with just over 500 reviews (as it has very limited distribution). Holy gua-ca-mole! And just to give it one more average so you don’t think this is a BITCH-FEST, Stone IPA received a solid A rating with 2,272 reviews. Wow. Let me get to the point: My good friend Matt Steele made the observation that, while I may not like either of the Plinys, nor Stone IPA really, they are/were once considered to be the best of their kind. Stone IPA brought that hoppy in-your-face approach to West Coast IPAs, while Pliny the Elder is considered the first Double IPA by many and the Younger, one of the best Double/Triple IPAs on the market. So, whether or not I LOOOOOVE the beers, they serve a purpose in the beer community, or have at one point.

We then brought the conversation to the Academy Awards, Hollywood’s circle-jerk of epic proportions. The King’s Speech won for best picture this past Sunday in case you’ve been living in a cave and while I liked the movie a lot, I thought that The Social Network was one of the best movies of the past few years. I am not, nor have I ever been a member of the Academy of Arts & Sciences and therefore have no vote. I love movies. I love beer. But the power of suggestion is mightier than the sword. Who knows? You might have tried an Oro de Calabaza before I sang its praises and found it terrible. Maybe you tried it after I told you of its unearthly deliciousness and found it to be the best thing that’s ever entered your mouth (that’s right, I said it.) The power of suggestion is a mighty, mighty tool used on all of us, all the time.

Why do we like that Television show? Was The Sopranos really an amazing television show or is it just that everyone told us that it’s “Must See TV”? Is Steinbeck really an amazing author, or is it just that we were forced to read The Grapes of Wrath in high school and were told that it is one of the best books of all time? In the 70’s, was it really that Bell-Bottoms were that “groovy” or was it that everyone was high as a freakin’ kite? Whether I like these beers or not, these movies, books, TV shows and “clothing styles” are/were part of our culture. And I am a part of the beer culture, so whether I like it or not I will ATTEMPT to STFU and accept that, for better or worse, they are here to stay.

Post Script: The Plinys still suck, The Sopranos is one of the best television shows ever, The Social Network was the best movie of the year (The Graduate is the best movie ever), Bell-Bottoms are AWESOME, and The Grapes of Wrath is, in fact, fantastic.

Thanks for tuning in, you crazy kids. PLEASE leave a comment in the comment section below, on Facebook, or at my email at

Until next time, have a beer for me.

(editors note: We find it difficult to commit to appointment viewing but we're rather fond of the telly's Mad Men and as for movies, the film adaptation of Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff fills the bill. We'll also take Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing for our phantasmagoric whirl through the border south-west for 500. But best beer...? Maybe we need to do a top 10 list of our own.)

1 comment:

mike atkinson said...

Um, I was there. Bell bottoms WERE awesome, regardless of anyone's chemical level...