Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Those Hazy, Lazy, Crazy Days Of....Spring?

There is an old song that goes, "It's 98 degrees in the shade", oh wait, scratch that song, cause there ain't enough leaves on the trees to make that valuable commodity yet. Spring in the lovely Delaware Valley as we all know is a lost cause. We do manage a few nice days here and there, but mostly we jump right into AC weather by May, which in turns follows a cold snap around Mothers Day or worse yet, Memorial Day. Hell, if you can't complain about the weather, what else are you going to complain about?

Well, no bitching here about this weekends fine event at the old Sly Fox. It's goat race time on Sunday and I thought I would tell you all about it. 367 goats, 11,243 people, 1900 port-a-pottas, 2 metric tons of German style food and last but not least, 1.6 million gallons of beer. Oh and don't forget the DUI checkpoint if you try and walk into the pizza place next door to the Fox. This year for the first time ever, three magical things will happen. Number one is all goats will be tested for performance enhancing drugs. Number two is the winning goat as always, will have this year's bock named after it. But, it will also be milked and have a goat cheese name after it too. Last is one that is sure to stir up some controversy, as the goat that ends up in last place will be slaughtered and eaten later that night. The hide however will be sown back together and used as a firkin for next years race. Now that sounds like some fun! I wondered how they will get the beer out? The possibilities are endless.

If that doesn't sound like a winning Sunday afternoon than I don't know what is. Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 13, 2009

He Had High Hopes

"That ball is outta here, a two run home run for Matt Stairs to give the Phillies the lead". Those were the last words I heard from Harry Kalas early Sunday night while eating Easter dinner. Today at the Washington Nationals ballpark, he passed away. The baseball world will be a worse place because of it.

Flash back now to late October and the fightin's were closing in on a World Series and I was busy fighting something else. That was the only thing during that week to at least bring a small smile to my face. Fast forward to late winter-early spring and the countless replays being shown on TV of the championship run would bring tears to my eyes because it reminded me of what I was going through at the time, and just how happy I was that it was almost over.

Today I am reminded of not only that fact again, but of Harry Kalas's crazy song he would sing in the clubhouse after their victory. Not a lot of people get to do what they love and then go out on top when they pass away. He indeed had high hopes and lived to see them through. We all should be so lucky.

Monday, April 6, 2009

April Showers Bring May Goat Races

Rain, rain go away, I can't swim the breaststroke another day. Or any other stroke for that matter. Friday brought some biblical style rain down in my travels and by the time the Incubus crowd was a gathering that night at the Fox, I was still at home getting dried out. But then the rain took a break and instead of the Fox, we drove over the rising river and into the woods to Tom's place for a bite to eat and a couple of brews. It was a Blue Point Brewery promo with a cask of Hoptical Illusion. I am not a huge fun of any of their beers per say, but I always like their stuff when it is cask condition. So I wasn't disappointed with this. The Illusion is a beer I could drink several of on a handpump, and a couple out of a firkin. On tap, nada, zilch. Seems a lot of other people feel the same way. It wasn't much longer before the royal couple of Douglasville stopped in for their nightly drinking binge. After some very important shooting of the shit, which included the happy couple saying they probably wouldn't show up on Saturday afternoon at TJ's, we went our merry ways.

Saturday afternoon brought Mr. Steve and myself to the main line empire of TJ's. The bar area was surprising quiet for 3:30, except for Jack Curtin's bff, Woody Chandler. What can one say about the man who eventually sat at the bar and signed all the Ale Street News copies on his by-line. I think I just said it all. We started off with the Bear Republic Racer 5 on the Handpump which was quite nice. We weren't even half done when guess who shows up? Those crazy kids from Douglasville. You just can't keep us suburban hicks down for long. That led us to our next choice, an Allagash Interlude. Can we just come out and say it now? Allagash is one of the top ten breweries in the USA. Nuff said. By now the bar area was starting to fill up with some mighty fine folks, like West Chester's very own, the Hollands. We then enjoyed a small snack and I had a Hoppin Frog Mean Manalishi, which was actually pretty mean. It tasted like it had around 12% instead of the 8% it had.

So, Mr. Steve and I paid our bill and said our goodbyes and jumped into the Rubeomobile and headed back to the cozy confines of suburbia to get ready for our Portland/Seattle planning meeting. Another fine day in the books if I have to say so myself.

Friday, April 3, 2009

It's Bad You Know

With the foolishness's of April 1st behind us, let us now turn our attention to another more pressing matter, Belgium Comes To Cooperstown. Or the real buzz, no VIP tickets for most of the locals. When 170 tickets are gone in less than three minutes, you know it is one hot commodity. These little babies are so coveted, that even the brewers are limited to ONE per brewery. Last year the locals could have rented a bus for the exclusive dinner, this year it's starting to look more like one car will do. So I think the biggest question in a lot of peoples mind is, can we still go up on Friday night and take part in all the parties on the campground? Inquiring minds want to know.

Thursday night at the Craft Ale House turned into a tasting party as some fine folks shared some of their new found goodies with us, such as New Glarus Raspberry Tart, Surly Furious (in a 16oz can!) and one more that is right on the tip of my tongue but not my keypad. I think I joined the 100 eaten pirogi club as I just can't get enough of these fresh made things. I also got to try the Local 2, which is more or less a dark version of Local 1. Or maybe not. I also tried some Weed and some Leafer, so I guess it was a pretty good night. But when you hang out with some of the crazy folks that I do well,It's bad you know.