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Ten FIDY

November 4th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 5 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Oskar Blues, Country: America, Grade: A regular, Style: Stout

10.50% ABV canned

In the pivotal scene in David Sedaris’s brilliant “The Santaland Diaries,” the supercilious Sedaris is brought down to the level of the hoi polloi he so mocks when, in looking at a box of plastic eyeballs at a gift shop, he realizes what he thought would be a funny joke is something that every other idiot also apparently thinks would be a laugh riot. It finally dawns on him that he is not original, he is not unique, he is just like everyone else.

And so are you my dear readers, because everyone pretty much asks me the same questions, whether in comments, private e-mail, or in person. So I thought I’d make a…

VB FAQs:

How often do you drink per week?

Whatever you imagine, it’s far less than that. I mean, what you do imagine, yeah, I could easily handle drinking that much per week. In fact, sometimes I still do. But I drink a lot less than you think I do. Though still a lot more than most people would consider “reasonable.” Whatever the case, I won’t stop your from deifying me as a drinking legend.

Then are you an alcoholic?

God I hope not. Because that would ipso facto mean that I am also a coffeeholic, caffeineaholic, televisionaholic, cinemaholic, biblioholic, writingoholic, sexaholic, onanaholic, insultaholic, chickensaladsandwichaholic, WWWaholic, and sportsaholic because I like all those things at least as much as booze and engage in them just as frequently if not more often. Alcoholism is overrated any how.

Then surely your health is poor?!

Actually, I think I’m in the best health of my life right now. I weighed 175 pounds this morning (I’m 5′11″), I am lithe, my gut is fairly taut, I run 100 miles per month on average, and my energy is indomitable while my spirits are indefatigable and my resolve is unflappable. Everyone knows alcohol is good for you, keeping your blood thin and thus preventing heart attacks along with Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, and even the common cold amongst countless other things. In fact, my blood is so thin it flows through my body like an enfilade of liquid bullets.

I meant your mental health.

Oh. OK, you can debate that, and you may be right, but I think I’m pretty swell. And my arrogance, narcissism, and hubris means that I will always feel mentally stable and vigorous even if that is far from the truth. Ignorance can be bliss. Not always, but usually.

Would I like you if I actually met you?

Yeah, probably. I’m much nicer when I drink than when I’m sober. Plus I’m hilarious and quite dashing.

You make fun of people and places too much.

Thank you. There’s just so many eminently mockable cities, states, countries, and humans. It is truly a fine world we live.

OK, well surely your stories are made up????

Not in the least. Robert Evans famously said “There are three sides to every story. Yours, mine, and the truth.” Well my stories are 99% true from my often-intoxicated side of things. And the 1% would serve as merely slight changes in detail to preserve story flow, protect the innocent, and add some amusing bluster.

Then how do you get in such crazy predicaments?

I’ll handle the answer piecemeal. Firstly, I don’t believe that I really have that amazing of adventures. Certainly not every second of every day. Often times my life is quite boring. Aside from that, I live in Manhattan, maybe the most interesting place in the world. Every single day one is bombarded with the weird and the “out there” that if you can’t find yourself frequently in media fuckedupedness, then you just aren’t leaving your house enough. Also, of course, I drink. Drinking always leads to mischief. And I have no problem approaching and engaging strangers for my selfish gain. Finally, I have a Twainian, Hunter S. Thompsian, Tom Wolfeian eye for the bizarre and know when and where to pursue things in order to get stories. Stories which, most importantly, I am them able to compellingly tell.

LFAQs (Less Frequently Asked Questions):

I’m a guy that thinks you’re awesome. I’d like to have a drink with you sometime. Can I?

Maybe. Are you buying?

I’m a female that thinks you’re awesome. I’d like to have a drink with you sometime. Can I?

Maybe. Are you attractive? Oh…and are you buying?

I’m admittedly a mediocre-in-attractiveness women. But, here’s what I’m thinking. What if I were to set up a $50 tab at the bar of your choice. You would tell me when you would arrive at the bar to start drinking from the tab and then two hours later I would appear for our date. Would that cut it?

Better make it a $100 tab and three hours.

Hi, my name is Arthur P. Schulmeyer, esq., the general counsel for the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Your repeated incidents of slander and libel toward our fine products will no longer be tolerated. In fact, our quality control department is 87.2% sure that our Sunset Wheat decidedly DID NOT poison you. We are opting to sue. How may we locate you in order to serve you?

Contact my lawyer Oscar Z. Acosta. My dream is for you guys to take me all the way to the Supreme Court. Leinenkugel v. The VBer. It would be a landmark case. Does a man have the inalienable right to rip on beer that tastes like bottled public swimming pool water? I suspect Ruth Ginsberg would be the only dissenting vote toward me.

IFAQs (InFrequently Asked Questions):

Our school/city/town/public park/prison would like to honor your legacy by commissioning a statue of you. Will you please come sit for the sculpture?

Absolutely. It would be the 2nd greatest honor of my life.

I work for the [Blank] Brewery. Where can I send you some promotional beers to sample?

E-mail me at theviceblog [at] gmail.com and I’ll give you the info.

Do you promise not to eviscerate our beers?

Nope. But I’ve always wanted to be a shameless shill, so there’s a good chance I will heap effusive praise on your gratis products.

I own a bar. You’re so awesome that we want to let you drink at our establishment for free in order to garner free pub in return. You know, quid pro quo. Do you accept our offer?

Firstly, I don’t believe a New York City bar owner actually knows Latin and could correctly use it in a sentence. However, If your bar is in Manhattan from Canal to, let’s say, 59th street, possibly as high as 80th on the UWS, then yes, I accept your offer. Anywhere else and I’d rather sit on 7th Avenue and share a bottle of fortified wine with a transient.

I’m a transient. Will you share a bottle of fortified wine with me? You have to buy since all I have on my person are some out-of-circulation subway tokens and a video ipod I stole from a passed-out Columbia student.

Sure. It would be an honor. What’s your poison?

You never answered my question!

Then ask it again in the comments.

And what did you think of Ten FIDY?

I was stoked to finally find a can of the only Oskar Blues beer I’ve yet to have. Without question the darkest black stout I’ve ever seen. Poured like some Kikkoman’s. Very hoppy for a stout. Almost smells like an IPA/stout hybrid. Weird. Taste is a smooth one of malts and creamy chocolate. The ever faint hints of roasted barley and oats. I cannot believe how high the ABV is. This one is tasty, son! So smooth and balanced in every way. I loved it.

Now, I can only wish Oskar Blues had more stuff for me to try!

NAQ (Never Asked Question):

What side effects may I incur with my switch to the NuvaRing?

Device-related adverse events (foreign body sensation, coital problem, or expulsion) were the most frequently reported adverse events also including but not limited to: vaginitis (14.1%), headache (9.8%), upper respiratory tract infection (8.0%), leukorrhea (5.8%), sinusitis (5.7%), nausea (5.2%), and weight gain (4.9%). In addition blood clots and spotting have been found to occasionally occur, while male partners have reported being sick of the ring getting stuck on their wang during the ol’ in-out like some batting donut. Real horror show.

A

Gordon

October 16th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 10 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Oskar Blues, Country: America, Grade: B plus, Style: IPA

8.7% from a canned four-pack

In the past I’ve discussed mingling with transvestites, proudly jogging shirtless through Chelsea, and my unabashed love of fruit beers, but this may be my “gayest” post ever. Fans that love me for my machismo please avert your eyes and surf to another site before I tell you my darkest secret, a secret that will leave many of you cold and stupefied…

Are you ready?

Here it is:

I love “Gossip Girl.”

A ladyfriend of mine was curious about the phenomenon and quite frankly I wondered what all the fuss was about too, thus we decided to catch up on “Gossip Girl.” And, courtesy of Netflix and iTunes we tore through the entire series up to the present in just a couple of weeks, culminating with the three most recent episodes last night. A triumph I celebrated with some Oskar Blues’s Gordon, but more on that in a sec. (If you just read the Vice Blog for the beer reviews and tales of wine and roses, feel free to hit the page down button five consecutive times.)

Suffice to say, I quickly fell in love with “Gossip Girl” and though you may think that I like it purely as a “guilty pleasure”–akin to liking a bad reality show, anything on MTV, or Sparks malt liquor–I don’t. I legitimately enjoy this show. It’s an inconsequential program that knows it’s inconsequential and revels in that fact.

There are four kinds of shows. Important shows that don’t act like they’re important, that don’t preach messages to you, that simple let you decide what they mean (”The Wire,” “Mad Men”). There are “important” shows that are smug, self-satisfied, self-righteous, sanctimonious, pedantic, and let you know in every scene that they are (in bright lights) *IMPORTANT* (Sorkin’s “West Wing.”) Then, there are unimportant shows that think they are important. These may be the worst offenders. “Sex in the City” fits the latter bill and though it deals with the same topics as “Gossip Girl”–fashion, upper class NYC living, promiscuous sex, recreational drug and alcohol use, and “the pretty people”*–the second’s always-playful treatment of those topics makes the show vastly superior. “Sex and the City” acted like it was unlocking the secret to human existence every week. “Gossip Girl” is just trying to entertain the hell out of you.

Now, while I enjoy the show, I do have some gripes. It’s almost silly to complain about an intentionally over-the-top show where teens live more decadently than Jay Gatsby, but whatever.

Here then are ten nitpicks I have with “Gossip Girl”:

1. Myspace–The characters on “GG” don’t surf the internet much, but a few times I’ve caught them checking out a person’s profile on Myspace. Seriously?! There is not a chance in the world that Manhattan’s well-heeled teenage elite would use Myspace. Nowadays that site is for amateur porn stars, professional pedophiles, and people that like their computer to shut down every time they visit a website. The show’s characters would obviously be Facebook users. And it’s quite possible that they wouldn’t even use Facebook but rather some social networking site that is so trendy and new that I have yet to even hear of it.

2. The Humphreys’ “Poorness”–It seems like in every single episode of season one, every single person–including the Humphreys themselves–must discuss how goddamn poor the family is. First of all, father Rufus was a moderately successful nineties musician judging by the magazine covers and gold and platinum records hanging on his wall. So unless the record company screwed him–feasible–there’s no way he wouldn’t have some loot. But aside from that, the Humphreys live in, and I believe own, a fucking enormous, and badasssssssss, townhouse in Williamsburg. A place that would surely cost a few million. So while the Humphreys are nowhere close to as rich as the Basses or Waldorfs, neither are they the Ingalls.

3. Travel–The Humphreys live in Brooklyn, all the other characters and their high schools are on the Upper East Side. Yet characters travel between these two places like it’s nothing. Fuck, in one episode, Nate was back and forth between Brooklyn and the UES like 5 times in one afternoon. Not only impossible, but ridiculous. We New Yorkers are like pre-Genghis Khan Mongolians, very clan-like, refusing to ever leave our neighborhoods. I have friends that live just across town from me–under two miles in distance–but I see them only a few times a month cause I hate crossing Park Avenue. Friends in Queens that I see only a few times a year. And friends and relatives in Brooklyn that I’ve never even visited. And that’s the typical behavior of a New Yorker. So even assuming that the teens on “GG” are using their chauffeured cars, they still wouldn’t be going to Brooklyn as often as they do and in such quick fashion.

4. Schooling–Has there EVER been a scene on the show inside a classroom? Likewise, in a late-season one episode they just throw it out there that Vanessa is home-schooled. I think the writers were like, “Shit, we’ve forgot to ever have Vanessa in a school scene. Whatever, just say she’s homeschooled.” Not that we’ve ever seen any one teaching her. She’s too busy running art gallery cafes, videotaping things, setting up blackmails, and traveling to the UES.

5. Obscure references–Likewise, despite the fact that these characters are never in school and, aside from Dan, seem to have no real interest in learning, they are some of the most educated characters in TV history, throwing out obtuse references left and right. Really, Chuck Bass knows who Bertie Wooster is? And Serena has heard of Robert Mapplethorpe? And I still struggle to believe that Blair knows so much about 1940s through 60s cinema such as “Charade” and “Roman Holiday.” Most of my intelligent and well-educated friends don’t understand those references, hard to buy that seventeen-year-old profligates would.

6. Teen drinking–I have a decade of prolific drinking under my belt and I couldn’t handle the imbibing “GG”’s characters do. Chuck Bass throws back Scotch like it’s bottled water yet remains unflappable. Serena can drink Belvedere martinis left and right and stays indefatigable. Have you ever seen a real-life teen try to drink straight liquor? They can’t handle a sip of it. And after a glass they are passed out and vomiting uncontrollably on their parents’ basement sofa. Shit, I got thirty-year-old friends that wince at just the sight of straight booze. Yet, these “GG” characters are better drinkers than Bukowski. Riiiiiight. I see why parents are outraged by this show.

7. Sexy underwear–I’m 29 so I’ve dealt with my fair share of scantily clad women, of all ages. And very few times have I found anything interesting about their underclothes. But the girls on “GG” wear some of the most violently sexy undergarments I’ve ever seen. Every single time a character has to strip down, wouldn’t you know it but they are wearing some absolutely insane burlesque house, satin, ornately ruffled panties. Doesn’t any one in “Gossip Girl” land ever just pull on a pair of Hanes Her Way cotton underwear for the day? But hey, I’m not complaining.

8. Dan’s vests–Of all the absurd fashion on the show–Chuck’s ludicrous suits and bow-ties which I actually kinda like, Blair’s “Alice in Wonderland”-like frocks, Serena’s 1920s one-piece swimsuits which I think are meant to hide her inexplicably giant ass–it’s Dan’s vests that drive me most insane. I just have a visceral hatred toward them. He looks like a goddamn organ grinder.

9. Jenny’s Weight Loss–I swear to god, between seasons one and two, Jenny Humphrey lost at least forty pounds. She went from a cute well-formed girl (I say this completely asexually, Chris Hansen) to a scrawny little stick figure. At first I thought the part had been recast with a new actress, like when they switched Aunt Viv on “The Fresh Prince.” But, nope, it’s still Taylor Momsen. What I don’t understand is why no character mentions anything about it. “Hey, Jenny, you’ve lost a little weight over the summer, everything alright?” Maybe an episode about how she’s on crystal meth. Or contracted AIDS. We could at least get an anorexia scare episode with some Karen Carpenter playing in the background. I’m starting to think that Jenny’s weight will fluctuate more from season to season than Meadow Soprano’s did.

10. No one ever refutes the posts on Gossip Girl–This drives me nuts. How come ever single teen on the show accepts the Gossip Girl’s posts as 100% dogma the second they are put online? These characters are masters of lying–or, at least lie a lot–yet no one ever calls bullshit on a Gossip Girl post. Why is that? All of them are based on a rumor that usually only one person has proof of. Wouldn’t be too hard to get away with denying allegations. It’s what I’d do.

But despite these nitpicks, I still love the show. In fact, the nitpicks make the show even more enjoyable.

Also enjoyable was the Oskar Blue’s Gordon I had while catching up on the series. My first two beers from Oskar Blues, especially the Dale’s Pale Ale, were such successes that I knew I had to try the IPA, possibly my favorite style of beer. I expected a potential masterpiece so I did something I almost never do–I bought more than a single. Oskar Blues beers come in canned four-packs and with Gordon weighing in at 8.7% that would be more than enough to make me forget that I’m twofold the age of some “GG” characters. My belief in the product was rewarded when the dumb Whole Foods register girl rung the four-pack up at $3.99. No clue what she was thinking, that’s nowhere close to a correct price.

Gordon has a very dark pour for an IPA. A lot foamier than expected too, though maybe the cans were simply mishandled. A nice, floral smell but surprisingly not that potent or interesting. Incredibly dry taste. No sweetness whatsoever. Very hoppy and sour. However, it is indeed very drinkable for such a high-ABV beer. Especially compared to, say, a similar 9% Dogfish Head Ninety Minute, which I consider the DIPA par excellence. Wow could these sneak up on you. As some reviewer said on Beer Advocate, I could drink a “dangerous” amount of these. So could I.

Ultimately, I liked Gordon but never fully loved it. Making it surely the first time ever that I have enjoyed a brewery’s pale ale more than their IPA. Weird.

B+

*I know what you’re saying: “SJP, Cattrall, Nixon…SaTC was about pretty people?!” Yeah, I never got that either.

Dale’s Pale Ale

October 15th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Oskar Blues, Country: America, Grade: A-/B+, Style: Pale Ale

6.5% ABV canned

On Friends With Anti-Game and the Myth of “Cockblocking” or Maybe Just a Spurned Man’s Bitter Missive

Tim Wakefield winds up and throws but his pitch doesn’t knuckle, instead fluttering to the plate at a mere 58 MPH, fodder for a big leaguer. But rather than crushing it out of the park, your teammate brutally swings and misses, embarrassingly striking out. Even worse, his strike out immediately causes you and your other teammates to whiff too. Besides being the complete antithesis of what the Rays did to the Sox last night, this serves as a metaphor for what it’s like to try and hit on girls with a friend that has anti-game.

The above scenario typically isn’t a problem for me. All my friends are cool, funny, witty, handsome, debonair…OK, well at least they know how to talk to drunken women without causing them to reach for their pepper spray key ring. Likewise, living in New York evolutionarily forces a man to hone his inveigling prowess. This isn’t fucking Tulsa or Little Rock, this is the majors, son, survival of the fitness, and if you don’t quickly develop some competent skills of seduction you will be self-sentenced to a lifetime of celibacy.

Being that I moved to the greatest city in the world, a rarity amongst the populous where I grew up, whenever any sort of former acquaintance, of even the sometimes most minor sort, comes to town on business or vacation, I am searched out. And in this era of Facebook and MySpace that ain’t too difficult to accomplish. Thus, a few times a month and countless times a year, being that I’m always up for an adventure, especially if that involves drinking, I will agree to go out with what is essentially a stranger. A person I often haven’t seen or even spoken to since I graduated high school in 1997, if not earlier than that.

Several weeks ago, I was bombarded with three faces from the past over a string of five separate nights. The first two old chums were an absolute joy to hang out with and we drank and got into trouble until the sun came up. The third…well…

The night started out fine enough. We casually drank at Stout, a could-be-so-much-better beer and skank megaporium* near Penn Station. My New York friend and I quickly became kinda bored and for entertainment purposes decided to get the out-of-towner’s easily provoked goat by continually telling him–only half-jokingly-in-delivery-but-really-not-jokingly-at-all-in-our-heads–how much hotter the women are in Manhattan than in his barely top 50 in population metro area.

We’d notice the typical fat friend and…

“You see her? Cankles over there? That’s a SEVEN in your burg.”

We’d noticed a mediocre, early-thirties, twenty-pounds-overweight barfly and…

“You see her? She’d be a NINE in your city.”

The out-of-towner was apoplectic, hemming and hawing and “You have no idea what you’re talking about, Aaron, you just don’t know the right places to go in my town. The women there are soooooooo much prettier than in New York.”

And then we saw a classic butterfaced skank with a legit bod and not much else going on and…

“You see her? In your city…?”

Histrionic pause.

“…she’d probably be like a FIFTEEN.”

“OUT OF TEN?!?!?!? You guys are caaaaaaaa-razy!”

But we weren’t. From firsthand experience we knew those also, also-rans in New York would be the belle of the smoky tavern in his town. Yes, we were being a bit cruel, but we mainly did it to entertain ourselves, to wink-wink, smirk-smirk at our friend’s indignatious outrage.

Our former friend was a nice guy no question, perhaps a “nice” guy at worst. Oh, there’s a big difference believe me. One of those fellows that plastered-on smiles and talks to everybody, flirting at any life form with a pussy in the same asexual way your grandpa goofs around with women four times less his age. The kind of guy that reads a waitress’s nametag and condescendingly calls her by her name before she’s even introduced herself.

“Hi Wendy, I’ll have the chicken fingers and a Guinness and when you have a chance could you be a doll and put the Cardinals game on…(looks around and finally points) that screen?”

Later, after a few drinks, my New York friend and I, still both stone-cold sober, and the out-of-towner, now buzzed in that goofy begins-to-act-giggly-like-a-girl way, decided to head to some new haunts.

Tonight’s your night, out-of-towner, so where do you want to go we asked?

“Where ever I can get laid,” he said, emphasis on the last word and without an ounce of bad-80s-movie irony.

Well OK. My eyes rolled so much in my head that I think I saw behind me. I couldn’t possibly imagine a scenario in my mind where the out-of-towner could land a lady. That is, unless she was absolutely wasted. Thus, I somewhat selfishly suggested my hood, land of the alcoholic, easily wheedled floozy.

We bounced from place to place in Hell’s Kitchen, the out-of-towner never satisfied with the scene. The scenes were solid in your author’s humble opinion and I fucking hate barhopping. I was getting bored and when I get bored I always steer my party to a place where I can play “Big Buck Hunter.” And thus I did.

En route, we saw a quite attractive young girl returning from happy hour and trying to unlock the front door to her apartment building.  One thing led to another and soon we were talking to her and eventually I had convinced her to join us at the bar.

Before I go on, a disclaimer. Even sober I am cocky and arrogant, but with a few drinks in me my confidence and self-assuredness reaches Caesarean, Odyssean, GeorgeClooneyan levels of hubris. So when I say I think our picked-up girl wanted me, take that for what it’s worth.

The out-of-towner didn’t take it for much, as people with anti-game have some of the worst interpersonal read-and-recognition skills this side of an Asperberger’s sufferer.  Instead of relaxing and just sitting back, a group of four people drinking and conversing, he decided to immediately try and steal the show.  He locked arms with the girl and marched her to the bar, gallingly ordering him and her pints (the wretched Steeeeeeeeella!) while ignoring me and my pal.

From there, the out-of-towner led her to a crammed corner seat where he proceeded to angle her in a way that blocked her from any sort of conversation with us, using his arms braced against the exposed brick wall as a gate locking her in like a roller coaster contraption.  Over his 5′7″ shoulders I could see her often make eyes with me, but I knew it was over.  Predictably, the out-of-towner dominated the conversation, doing the opposite of regaling her with boring anecdotes about the life of a middle manager on the road.  You can’t defeat anti-game like that.  You simply have to ignore it, know your chances have been foiled, and get on with your life.

Thus, my friend and I went to the corner to get drunker and play “Buck Hunter.”  I had my first ever Dale’s Pale Ale and was floored.  I typically don’t like pales, thinking they are boring and unadventurous but had heard good things about this one and goddamn was it good.  An almost IPA level of hops, solid malts, a great little sweetness and citrusness, and extraordinarily drinkable.  Maybe the best pale ale I’ve ever had and I could see myself downing these all night long.

From afar I noticed the out-of-towner making ways with the girl.  Her body language seemed to indicate that she was into him and indeed she was no longer glancing my way.  Good for him.  Perhaps I had been wrong in my assessment of her vis-a-vis me.  It’s certainly happened in the past.

A half hour later, the out-of-towner came over to inform me and our friend that he was going back to the girl’s apartment to fuck her.  I was a bit surprised, but New York women are certainly not known for being coy.  And then…nothing happened.  The girl refused to leave with him.  She finally came over to us.  “You guys should come back too.”  Her eyes bolding, italicizing, and underlining the TOO.

Really?

I didn’t believe her nor did my friend.  We’ve seen this behavior before.  Girls too embarrassed to leave for a one-night stand so they act like everyone’s invited back and then when everyone correctly plays their part by turning the offer down she can simply say, “Well, I invited them.  Guess it’s just me and you, huh?”

But she wasn’t playing any games.  And eventually the out-of-towner came up to us playing “Buck Hunter” and embarrassingly explained, “Look guys, you really have to come back TOO.”

He explained she had a roof and we could drink her beer and her hot roommates would be there too.  Alas, we turned him down.  He was going to have to accomplish this mission on his own.

He left and five minutes later he returned.  Seems he got to roof and unceremoniously went in for a kiss and she even-less-ceremoniously pushed him away.  She wasn’t “feeling it.”  She then immediately went to her bedroom, leaving the out-of-towner alone on the roof, forced to find his own way downstairs and back to the bar.

The girl may or may not have liked me but anyone with even a modicum of game could have quite easily picked her up.  She was drunk, willing, bored, and had already predetermined the outcome to her night once she had entered the bar with three strangers–she was sleeping with (at least) one of them.  The only thing that could torpedo the chances of group success was a person with anti-game.  And that’s what happened.  If he had simply sat there quietly he would have had a better chance with –probably ultimately succeeded with her!– than he did in trying to impress and “be himself.”  Oh well.

The last indignity of the night came when I went to the bathroom and the out-of-towner pulled my friend aside to utter the final salvo of the loser: “cockblocker.”  Indeed he was calling me a cockblocker due to his own personal failures.  Remember, children, people with anti-game can’t look within themselves, can’t conceive, can’t accept that something they do or did could be the reason why they didn’t succeed with a woman.  And thus they have no recourse but to cavalierly call someone around them a cockblocker.  But the fact of the matter is that cockblocking simply doesn’t exist among adults.  If a woman wants to fuck you she will, and there ain’t nothing another man can do to stop it.

A-/B+

*Arguably the greatest single drinking “space” in Manhattan, the place has a respectable enough beer menu but they haven’t updated it once in the half-decade the place has been open. They have tons of terrific TVs but they always have them showing something like minor league cricket or the Greg Schiano Show. Tons of attractive woman go for happy hour but Stout blasts completely inappropriate techno music so loud that one can barely speak or certainly build rapport. Not that the bartenders are ever near your premises to get an order what with the fact that the place has a bar longer than a bowling lane but at best two drink slingers working at even bustling times. The food is pretty good but comes out slowly and cooled to a sog. And buybacks? You got to be kidding me. Go to the nearby Ginger Man+ instead. Everything Stout wishes it could be if its management wasn’t so obviously lazy and resting on its laurels in operating something I statistically know to be a major cash cow.

+Then again, Ginger Man has some issues nowadays too.

Old Chub Scottish Style Ale

August 19th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 2 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Oskar Blues, Country: America, Grade: B plus, Style: Scottish Ale

8% ABV from a can

“Are you gonna blog about this?”

Mid-gulp I turned around. She was much better looking than I would have guessed regarding the unusual circumstances.  Thus, she had to be crazy.

Last week a random girl A___ had sent me an e-mail telling me how much she liked an entry I had written about a certain beer she liked.  She also noted how much she liked the bar where I mentioned getting the beer. I told her I likewise liked that bar. She thought we should like it together. I quickly agreed to meet her for a drink.

“You’re not even gonna ask me what I look like?”

True, perhaps I had been too overzealous.  Damn. But I didn’t care if she was 70 years old and ugly as Joy Behar, I had done something remarkable in only four easy steps:

1. Drink a beer.

2. Write an article about said beer.

3. Woman reads said article about said beer.

4. Now said woman wants to sleep with said me.

I wish life were always so simple. However, now A___ refused to tell me or show me what she looked like pre-date. She claimed it didn’t matter, that I shouldn’t be concerned, because there was no doubt I would “love her.” I told her what George Bernard Shaw said:

“Love is a gross exagageration of the difference between one person and everybody else.”

So, yeah, I didn’t know what she was gonna look like and now I was a tad nervous. What kind of woman could read my vulgar missives and think me a good catch? Think they absolutely had to meet me?!  Actually, I imagine most, I am indeed pretty awesome and my writings don’t even tell half the story.

Nevertheless, I got to the bar early to make sure my beer goggles were securely in place before A___ arrived. It didn’t matter though, she was surprisingly stunning. And she quickly wanted to buckle down and get some beer-drinking done. But first…

“Are you gonna blog about this?”

People always ask me that question nowadays when we’re in the midst of something. Some activity.  Having some shits and giggles.  And there’s no good answer.

I typically reply, “Well, yes, if something interesting happens.”

That’s not a great answer, though it is true. Paradoxically, the people I’m with both want to and don’t want to be blogged about.

They want to because it’s validation. It’s validation that they were a part of a good, memorable time; validation that they are a good, memorable person. At least that’s what they think, though it’s not exactly how I feel.  Many of the best times of my life are simply not interesting enough to an outside reader to necessitate writing about.

However, these same people don’t want to be blogged about because…well, I’m not actually sure why. Do they think that simply being a part of my blog will sully their sterling reputations? That it would be an event they will never be able to recover from? Like appearing in a “Girls Gone Wild” video or something? I’m still unclear about the line of thought. Especially considering me (and portly Kansans) are pretty much the only people I mock, defame, and libel in my writings.

I explained this all to her and she immediately took it as a challenge. She had to make the evening interesting enough to get written up. Cool with me.  Little did she know, though, that no matter how mundane the occasion, I was 100% going to write about my first date with a Vice Blog reader.  If we had an fun, interesting time, well all the better.

A___ was from near Boulder, Colorado originally and she seemed to know her beer. She recommended Old Chub from the Oskar Blues Brewery. I had never tried it before but I had certainly heard quite a bit about Oskar Blues. Mainly because they’re the only craft brewery in America that cans their beers.

Yes. They can their beers. A highly regarded beer from a can?! My interest was aroused but I was also quite leery.

I shouldn’t have been.

Old Chub has a thick smell, kinda like soy sauce though not unpleasant. Tastes of caramel, chocolate, and pronounced smoked malt. Very nice flavor and not what I expected. Kinda tastes like a dopplebock actually. It also went down a lot smoother than I thought nor was it as filling as I figured it would be.

However, it is perhaps a little boring. I would have it again though and am intrigued to try more Oskar Blues brews.

As we tippled our Old Chubs, A___ wouldn’t stop talking about…well, me. Specifically my writing. No matter how I tried to steer the conversation–toward the Olympics, toward other beers on the menu, toward last week’s awesome “Mad Men” episode, even toward the humor in watching the fat gal at the end of the bar eating an entire platter of nachos grande by herself–she kept coming back to me and my writing.  Discussing her favorite posts and mentioning many of her favorite lines and views espoused by your humble author.

Did this get annoying after a while?

Fu-uck no. I loved it.  I mean, I am a deep-seated narcissist.  Incurvatus in se ipsum.

So no A___, you didn’t do anything quite interesting enough to make me want to write about it, but you did make me realize who the perfect kinda girl is for me:

A member of my own fan club.

B+

[To join the fan club please write me at theviceblog [at] gmail.com!!!!]