Category Archives: Humor

A Boston Take on the Harlem Shake

I hate the goddamn Harlem Shake. I don’t even really know what it is, and I can’t bring myself to research the subject to find out. But it’s everywhere right now. And I fucking hate it. This video is my personal, Boston-beer-nerd take on the Harlem Shake.

UBN

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Cheap Beer = Revolution

Queen Victoria with Pliny the Elder IPA

“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them” – Queen Alexandrina Victoria

Yeah. Says the overfed, Alfred-Hitchcock-looking former queen of the United Kingdom, who just happens to have a frosty, fresh bottle of Pliny in front of her. You keep the cheap beer, Vicky, give us lowly folk the good beer, and we’ll try to avoid revolt. Deal? (I’m not making any promises though.)

UBN

Image (sans Pliny bottle) via kingsacademy.com

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My Beer Glass Runneth Over

Overflowing Beer Glass

I’m so thankful it is Friday night and I can put an abnormally-shitty workweek behind me. I’m thankful tomorrow is Saturday and I have nothing to do but watch Red Sox spring-training baseball. I’m thankful I don’t have to travel anywhere in the coming weeks, and I’m thankful my marvelous girlfriend is sitting next to me, writing her own shit as I write this. And I’m thankful for craft beer and the people who make it.

You won’t find too many overtly positive posts on this blog; I’m not a positive person, in general. But sometimes you have to be thankful for the little things. My beer glass truly runneth over. Literally.

UBN

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KegWorks.com Wastes Countless Man-Hours Sticking 60K Bottle Caps to a Wall

KegWorks.com, an online purveyor of “home and professional draft beer equipment, bartending tools, premium cocktail ingredients and novelty items, as well as high quality commercial restaurant and bar supplies and equipment,” recently built a big-ass wall of bottle caps in its New York office.

It took the company just under two months. Forty-three staffers—who apparently had nothing better to do—helped position the caps. The wall takes up roughly 459 square feet of space. KegWorks used about 60,000 bottles caps, most of which were sent in from customers and brewers. (The first cap stuck was from Dogfish Head and the last was from Harpoon.) Magnetic sheeting was applied to the wall before the bottle caps, and the magnets hold the caps in place.

I admit, the wall looks pretty cool. But the beer-snob in me sees lots of caps from shitty beers like Labatt Blue Light and Molson Canadian. That would piss me off every time I walked by. I guess the company is getting some publicity out of the wall—it made a fancy YouTube video, after all.

I can’t help but wonder just how many man-hours were wasted over two months sticking fucking bottle caps to a wall. And what happens if you accidently bump into the wall and shift a bunch of the caps? Spend another day repositioning them? Ah, time well spent.

UBN

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Payday and Beer

Rudyard Kipling in a Pliny the Elder hat

“Payday came and with it beer.” – Rudyard Kipling

I always drink good beer. But on payday, and the few days after it, I drink really good beer, because I usually make the trip to the expensive beer store shortly after I get paid. As the week rolls on and I get further away from the last payday and closer to the next, I tend to drink less expensive beer or (GASP) no beer at all.  So this quote is spot on, at least from my perspective. (You go, Rudyard.)

UBN

Image (sans Pliny hat) via FamousAuthors.org

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When Life Gives You Blizzards, Drink Imperial Stout

Fifty Fifty Brewing Eclipse Elijah Craig Imperial Stout in the snow

As you may know, the northeastern United States are currently getting slammed by a “potentially historic winter storm,” a.k.a., a blizzard, nor’ easter or big ol’, fuckin’-cold mess. I’m looking out my apartment window as I write this post, and it’s really coming down.

Public transportation in the city of Boston is shut down indefinitely. You can’t park on many city streets, which is a huge pain in the ass, because the city does not tell you were you can park, only where you can’t. And worst of all, Beer Advocate had to cancel its Night of the Barrel beer fest tonight and both Extreme Beer Fest sessions tomorrow, one of which I have tickets for. Bah.

But you know that old saying, when life gives you lemons, etc., etc? Well, the Urban Beer Nerd has a saying of his own: When life gives you blizzards, drink a high-end imperial stout. With gusto. It’s almost quittin’ time, and I’m about to do just that. I’m going with a Fifty-Fifty Brewing Co. Eclipse stout aged in Elijah Craig 12-year barrels that I’ve had in my “cellar”—a cabinet built into a wall of my apartment—for a while.

And I’m willing to bet I’ll have much more positive outlook on the prospect of shoveling my shitty car out of as much as three feet of snow in the coming 24 hours after I’ve imbibed this pitch-black, barrel-aged beverage.

If you’re in a location affected by Nemo—the storm, not the animated fishy—I hope you stay safe, warm and full of stout. Cheers, ya hears?

UBN

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Jilted Journo Brews ‘Unemployed Reporter Porter’

Unemployed Reporter Porter bottle label

I’ve worked in the Wonderful World o’ Journalism for nearly a decade. To say these are dark days for print journalism is a gross understatement.

I’ve seen countless friends and even loved ones those their journalism jobs during the past years, as publishing companies dropped employees like amateur drunks drop pint glasses in the wee hours of the night. I’ve watched incredibly talented writers and reporters leave the industry after decades of hard work because they couldn’t make the transition to online or because they could no longer pay their bills with reduced salaries. And to be honest, the situation is not all that much better for Web journalists.

Journalism is a largely thankless craft these days, and it can require a lot of levity to keep on clacking those keys. There’s a lot of self-deprecating, gallows humor in today’s editorial offices, at least in my experience. So I got a real kick out of Jon Campbell’s homebrewed Unemployed Reporter Porter.

Campbell, a reporter a with sense of humor and an apparent chip on his shoulder, reportedly brewed the beer along with San-Diego-Based North Park Beer Co. and crafted a rather amusing label for his Unemployed Reporter Porter.

From the Unemployed Reporter Porter label:

“Porter style beers were first popularized in the nineteenth century by merchant sailors and manual dock laborers. Unemployed Reporter is crafted in the same tradition, honoring a profession likewise doomed to decline and irrelevance….[W]e’ve included chocolate and roasted barley malts that are as dark and bitter as the future of American journalism, and a high alcohol content designed to numb the pain of a slow, inexorable march toward obsolescence. While Unemployed Reporter is especially delicious as a breakfast beer, it’s still smooth enough to be enjoyed all day, every day. And let’s be honest: what else do you have going on?”

Campbell even tweaked the government warning that appears on beer bottles in the United States:

“(1) The Surgeon General says women shouldn’t drink alcohol during pregnancy, but between Gawker and the Huffington Post, hasn’t the act of procreation itself become a moral liability? (2) Drinking alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car, but it’s not like you have to wake up and drive to work tomorrow so fuck it.”

It’s unclear if Campbell or North Park will ever sell this beer or not—or if this whole thing is just a joke—but if they do, and I can find it,  I’ll certainly buy a few bottles.

UBN

Via CT.com

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Will Work for Cantillon

image

Seriously. What’s a blogger gotta do for a regular supply of Cantillon lambic?

UBN

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So You Want to Be a Beer Nerd?

Charles Bukowski drinking beer

if Craft Beer doesn’t go rushing into you
in spite of everything,
don’t drink it.
unless Craft Beer flows unasked into your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t drink Craft Beer.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your refrigerator
or hunched over a
bartop
deciding if you’re going to have a Craft Beer,
don’t drink it.
if you’re drinking Craft Beer for money or
fame,
don’t drink it.
if you’re drinking Craft Beer because you want
women in your bed,
don’t drink it.
if you do not have to sit there and
drink Craft Beer again and again,
don’t drink it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about drinking Craft Beer,
don’t drink it.
if you’re trying to drink it like somebody
else,
forget about Craft Beer.

if you have to wait for Craft Beer to roar into
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar into you,
drink something else.

if you first have to drink Craft Beer with your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many Craft Beer drinkers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves Craft Beer drinkers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the Beer bars of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t drink Craft Beer.
unless Craft Beer flows into
your soul like a rocket,
unless not drinking Craft Beer would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t drink it.
unless the need inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t drink Craft Beer.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
Craft Beer will do it by
itself and Craft Beer will keep on doing it
until you die or Craft Beer dies in you.

there is no other way to be a true Beer Nerd.

and there never was.

UBN

(If you enjoyed this poem at all you should really check out Charles Bukowski’s version. Even if you hated this post, check out Hank’s poem.)

Image via mbwctop.blogspot.com

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How to Keep Beer Cold in Hotel Rooms without Refrigerators

Hotel Room Sink Filled with Beer and Ice

I travel frequently, and so, I lay my head in quite a few hotel rooms. Many of those rooms have mini refrigerators. Some even have full-size refrigerators. But lots of the rooms don’t have any refrigerators, only small buckets and ice-making machines in the hallways.

Refrigerator-less hotel rooms can be an issue for beer nerds who need to keep brew cold. But thankfully it’s an issue that is easily resolved.

First, call the hotel’s guest-services line and ask them if they have mini refrigerators that they can send to guests’ rooms. If so, ask if they charge for use of the machines. Some hotels will send up refrigerators for free, but others—I’m looking at you MGM Grand in Vegas, you cheap fuckers—charge fees.

Getting a refrigerator sent up to your room is obviously the best way to keep beer cold. But if you’re like me and don’t want to pay $20 a day for a shitty refrigerator, you can make one out of your bathroom sink or your bathtub if you’re throwing a hotel-room party and need to cool a bunch of beer. (You can also tell the hotel that you need a refrigerator for medical reasons—you have diabetes, and you need to keep insulin cold—and they should wave the charge, but that’s kind of a scummy thing to do.)

Just fill up the sink or tub with ice and then pack it with as much beer as you can.  Of course, if your sink is full of beer you won’t be able to use it to wash your hands after you take a piss. But that’s a minor price to pay for frosty brew—and you can always wash your hands in the bathtub or shower.

UBN

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