Monday, April 25, 2011

Innis & Gunn Rum Cask

ABV: 7.4    MSRP:$9.95
Innis & Gunn’s Rum Cask pours with a beautifully thick head and a dark red hue reminiscent of birch beer. It has a strong malty nose, sweet with fruit and slightly citrus. The initial taste is very spicy, but the high point of this beer is the sweet finish imbued by the rum cask conditioning. Get this limited release while it lasts.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vieux Nice.

I have been short on time lately and have seriously neglected updating the blog. I'm mostly busy with retrofitting a popcorn machine to roast coffee and trying to fit in MTB rides before work. Also, I would like to note that the lack of original photography on this site is due to the fact that I do not own a point and shoot camera. Hopefully this will change soon and I promise there will be many quality posts to come. 

Any photograph posted on this site is my own, Linked photographs are credited to the owners of the link

In the mean time, I would like to share a segment of an essay I wrote titled Impressions of the French Riviera. I haven't been able to do much traveling lately and it is nice to revisit this piece as a form of escapism. The full article can be viewed here. Enjoy.

     When the sun sets on old Nice and the store fronts close a new dynamic emerges. The same quaint streets you walked by day are now lined with restaurants and night clubs. Glasses clink and wine is swilled over light Italian fare and southern specialties. Soupe de la mer, salade nicoise or linguine with an array of sauces are common main dishes. After dinner you may skip the national drink de Kir (Créme de cassis et un peu Chablis) for a mix of white rum et le jus de lime, imagining a time when Hemmingway staggered along these alleys. Tonight, the romance is lost. Between your spilled beer and your new friends vomit, the broken glass, and screaming nymphs; Vieux Nice looses its European charm after dark. The battered cobbles soaked in alcohol glisten under the orange glow of streetlights. Loud and uptight Americans sing songs in English, coked-out Russians buy shots of liquor and scheme on their next move, British girls with bad attitudes and worse teeth look for fights while transient backpackers and citizens of the world search for what will happen next. A recent graduate crowd armed with liberal arts degrees and money to burn seek out generic pleasures to remind them of frat row; A collegiate holiday abroad with a goal of adding notches to bedposts and stories to the repertoire. This is a tourist town.
     Before sunrise a lonely man in yellow boots cleans the streets. His day begins as the last night owls limp back to their residences. He solely paces the avenues with a fire hose, diligently cleaning up last night’s mess of people’s sick, excrement, and discarded garments. By the time he is finished all the evidence of the previous night's debauches will be destroyed. He is thorough and takes pride in his job. Shame and regret are rinsed down the gutter and out into the ever-rejuvenating sea. By the time the sun rises and the city of Nice wakes, there will be nothing to distract from the delightful smell of fresh croissants and that Mediterranean breeze.

Cheers up.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fuck off...Yes, Really.

This past weekend I visited New York City’s Brass Monkey to get some tasting material for my first real post. Unfortunately (or heroically depending on your stance) the night started with an impromptu streetstyle sampling of Liquor Outlet’s second edition Eagle Rare 10 year Single Barrel Bourbon. While I do prefer my whiskey served as a double on the rocks, luke warm in a used plastic bottle on the PATH train is also quite nice. Needless to say, my judgment and memory were already beginning to falter as we approached the bar and once inside I drank a number of forgettable beers including Palm; a subtle Belgian style ale that did nothing more than get me hyped for the more distinct flavors of a Belgian Blonde, more specifically Ramstein’s Double Platinum Blonde. I think a trip is definitely in order.

Speaking of Blondes, I would like to take this opportunity to discredit my blog and myself by regretfully admitting that I did partake in a Redheaded Slut toast on Saturday. In my defense, I find it extremely rude to turn down a drink if some one enthusiastically invites you to join them in a toast, and in my slightly inebriated mental state I was actually interested in trying it.  It was as gross a drink as you could imagine it to be. In terms of quality drinking the weekend was uneventful and at times deplorable. In the future I will try and refrain from posting about getting drunk and taking training wheel shots.

On a more serious note, a good friend of mine was visiting the Starbucks in Bedminster when a disgruntled employee, unprovoked, verbally accosted her after she ordered the wrong drink size. After apologizing for her mistake my friend proceeded to the condiment stand where the employee continued to berate her from across the café; citing a rule that states 'customers shall not pour liquid into the garbage can'. This "partner" was clearly interested in sending a message:

While the behavior of this irate employee is unusual for Starbucks, what struck me most about this story is that it is a complete reversal of how the customer/server dynamic typically plays out, since the worker is usually on the receiving end.

Working in counter service for many years I have had sufficient time to ponder the customer/server relationship and I believe that there are two myths strong in the mind of every asshole customer:

1. The customer is always right.

2. If you have money you have a right to whatever that money can buy.

Both of those statements are far from true and in reality they would probably read something like:

1. The worker is always right.

People do not generally work for fun. Most people are forced to work a third of their day and I believe that if someone spends 40 hours a week toiling away while interred in an establishment they should have more authority than a customer who voluntarily chooses to enter said establishment for an insignificant amount of time.

Businesses do want the customers to spend their money and service providers will tolerate a large amount of idiocy and even ingratiate themselves to the customer in order to make them feel special. A customer who enters an establishment believing that they are in a position of power is sorely misled by marketing campaigns aimed at coddling their egos and making them feel important.  While the customer is paramount at the promotional level, at the point of sale the customer is always an asshole.

2. If you have money you have the right to whatever the worker will allow you to buy.

To use a simple example, if I work at a coffee shop and I am selling a latte for three dollars and you come into the store with three dollars and a bad attitude I could either sell you that latte or refuse to sell you that latte. Essentially, you are at the mercy of the worker.

Either way you look at it, there are standards of human decency that should be observed regardless of a person's employment status. Just something to think about next time you get exceptionally bad service.

 Cheers up.