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Archive for the ‘Brewer: Voodoo’ Category

Voodoo White Magick of the Sun

April 3rd, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | 17 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Voodoo, Country: America, Grade: B-/C+, Style: Belgian White

The Teetotaler’s Turn-On

I woke up with a pounding hangover and did the first thing I always did back then after a night of heavy drinking…I made sure I was still in possession of all my possessions.  Cell phone?  Check.  Keys?  Check.  Wallet?  Yep, that too, and inside I was still in ownership of my driver’s license, debit and credit cards, and oh look there’s a receipt for two slices of pizza purchased at 3:30 AM, don’t recall that and…a crumpled bar napkin.

“s.milligan@[blank]mail.com” sloppily scribbled on the napkin.  S. Milligan?  Did I know an S. Milligan?  Do I recall meeting one the previous night?  Nope.  So I’ll just throw the napkin away, right?  Not a chance.  For this was back in my first few months out of college when I was majorly hard up for some action.

I wasn’t born a natural when it came to women but I’ve always had a quick learning curve with anything and after four years of female study in college I was firing on all cylinders by second semester senior year, habitually in the zone, like MJ said, “When the rim looks like a big bucket.”  And I easily expected to make a seamless transition once I entered the real world of non-college girls.  Oh, I didn’t know how wrong I was.  My hubris has always bit me in the ass.  I was like an ace from the National League switching to A.L. batters and a DH and suddenly finding his ERA exploding.  In my case, finding my consecutive nights alone streak ballooning faster than any Baldwin brother.  “Real world” women didn’t put up with the simple seduction tactics of college buffoons.  Thus, I came to realize, I didn’t have any tactics aside from going round-for-round with pints of Long Island Ice Tea until I won the war of sexual attrition and a girl decided she had nothing better to do than go back to my Euclid Avenue apartment to “watch a movie” with me at 3 AM.*  Too bad women quit drinking LITs once they get their diplomas.

I was now about three months out of college with nary a success.  How had I met S.?  For the last three months when I was sober, or even semi-sober, none of my lines, my shtick, had been working.  And drunk?  Not a chance.  Nowadays, drunk or sober, it doesn’t really matter, I can just flip the autopilot switch and the ghost in my machine can make friends, meet women, you name it, and I don’t even have to really “be” there.  I’m frequently amazed to hear stories of how “on” I was on a night I mentally blacked-out.  It’s like hearing about another person you don’t even know.  You can literally admire yourself.  But back then, back in 2001, I could barely order a drink and find my way home when I was “Memento” shitfaced.

What if S. wasn’t even female?  Now that would be embarrassing.  The first person I pick up in my post-collegiate life is a man.  Some dude who said he could help me get Yankee tickets, or get me some freelance work, or a date with his hot sister.  I’d have to write an ambiguous e-mail to this mystery person.


No, the exclamation mark made it too “gay” and flamboyant if I was actually writing a man.


Good meeting you Friday night…”

God, let’s hope it was good meeting him or her.  What if I got the person’s e-mail address and then got in a blow-out fight with them  afterward?  Eh, they were probably as drunk as me.

“Good meeting you Friday night, you still interested in grabbing a drink this week?”

I was taking a gamble.  They wouldn’t probably recall whether or not they had truly expressed interest in grabbing a drink.



It was ambiguous, unisex, and if it was to a woman it was so damn aloof and blase she might even be impressed by my total lack of typical young twenties male over-exuberance toward the fairer sex.

Almost immediately I got an e-mail back.

“Great meeting you too, Aaron!  I was hoping you would write.  Yeah, let’s definitely grab a drink this week, you name the time and the place!


Recall, this was back in the dark ages of the internet.  Nowadays, I wake up all the time with names, numbers, and e-mail addresses from girls I met the previous night.  Some I recall meeting, some I don’t.  Doesn’t matter.  I just throw the info I have into Google or Facebook, Twitter or Myspace, official company websites, and now I pretty much know everything I need to know both internally and externally about a person before going on a date with them.  Countless times have I called off a date, or, rather, simply not contacted someone, because of something I discovered online.**  I gotta think it was a lot easier for fat, ugly, annoying women to get dates–first dates at least–back before the social networking revolution and Google image search function.  Sorry ladies.

But as I said, I was hard up back in August of 2001, and even if this girl was gross, I’d probably try to bust my slump.  If you’re batting oh for your last thirty-five, you don’t look down on a Texas Leaguer.

I’d have to pick a dark bar and get their way early, couldn’t chance entering the place with Stacy already there, coming face to face with her, and then not recognizing her.  I’d have to be drunk too in case she was heinous.  Naw, check that, I’d have to be sober and sharp and on my game in case I had lied to her on the night we met.  I don’t believe in lying to women in the least nowadays, but back when I was 22 I was shameless.  Never flat out lies, but straight up embellishments, braggadocio, bravado, and foolish boasts.  Not an attractive quality and since it didn’t help me ever succeed, only a dope wouldn’t have ditched the lame tactics.  Blatant honesty is both disarming and sexy.

I got to Bar Eight early, a place so motherfucking dark it was like a haunted house.  I sat at the bar and started drinking vodka Red Bulls, my secret drink at the time as the caffeine would keep me sharp while the potent vodka made me uninhibited.  I always felt like Alex DeLarge when I swilled it.

Stacy arrived.  Stacy found me in the packed dark bar somehow.  Stacy was cute.  Stacy didn’t drink.

Let me repeat that:  Stacy didn’t drink.

Are you fucking kidding me?

How had blackout me, childish, dopey, idiotic, drunken young me picked up such an attractive teetotaler?  I had to have been slurring, had to have been slobbering, had to have been acting moronic.  I was scared to ask for that night’s highlights.  So I didn’t.

I just started drinking hard, because I felt like I was on a date with an alien.  It was nerve-wracking.  I didn’t know any one my age who didn’t get loaded back then.  Was she religious, allergic to alcohol, I didn’t know.  Again, I didn’t ask.

But she liked me, she really liked me.  I hadn’t lied and told her I was famous, rich, important–I was un(der)employed at the time even and I had honestly told her that–but she thought I was hilarious, awesome.  Sometimes, you just thank your good fortune and don’t ask questions.  When you’re young you do at least.  When you get older you realize there’s no such thing as a free lunch and there’s no such thing as a teetotaling, attractive girl that could like a insane, immature alcoholic and still be normal.

That first date we had a decent enough time and I again got blackout drunk and woke up the next morning in Stacy’s bed.  I was batting 2-for-2 in remembering how my nights were ending with Stacy but it didn’t really matter because I was hitting it out of the park each time.

Later, I would come to realize, to learn, that of course Stacy wasn’t normal.  She didn’t drink because she had been drinking since she was 14 or something and she couldn’t control herself on the sauce.  One drink led to a zillion which lead to her dancing on bars and filling her belly-button with cheap liquor to be slurped out by gross men and to one night stands and to getting her stomach pumped.  Frequently.  Stacy was indeed crazy.

So she had quit drinking totally, but she still loved the craziness surrounding the lifestyle.  She was drinking vicariously through me.  She goaded me to get drunk, drunker, drunkest.  Bought me my drinks even, got mad if I wasn’t drinking them fast enough.  “Back, when I was drinking, I’d be three vodkas up on you right now!” she’d taunt me.  Stacy actually only liked me when I was drunk.  That’s fine, I used to only like me when I was drunk too.

I was drunk a lot back then.

Our “relationship” lasted a few months.

The Road to the Final Four

Quick, boastful recap on last week’s basketball predictions.  You should have followed the Vice Blogger, yes you should have.  Make that your mantra in all areas of life.  For you’d be a rich man as I got every single Sweet Sixteen pick right, and only missed one game all weekend (Michigan St. over Louisville.)

Let’s discuss Tom Izzo, who now has a strong claim to being the best coach working today.  5 Final Fours in 10 years (with a bonus Elite Eight during that time) all with relatively sub-par talent.  Incredibly.  I mean, has he had as many future NBA players under his helm in the last decade as say Roy boy has had this year alone?!  And what about Roy Williams, now in his 7th career Final Four.  A terrible in-game tactician, no question, but how can you deny his greatness if he gets a 2nd title?  Or what if that scumbag Calhoun wins his 3rd?  Makes me sick to my stomach to think of it but you would have to then rate him as, at worst, the 5th best coach in college basketball history (and I’m even including old fucks like Henry Iba and Branch McCracken in the debate)**.  Finally, Jay Wright, destined to be the best coach in the game sooner rather than later.  A title at such an early age would put him on a legendary path.

I’m rooting for no one, but I’ll predict UConn over Mich St., UNC over Nova in a game the Wildcats will really want vengeance for due to the 2005 screw-job (but unfortunately won’t get), and UNC over UConn.  I don’t think even Roy can fuck up here.

My wishful thinking prediction includes Jim Calhoun crying, tearing apart the press conference room, and retiring before UConn goes on probation.

Voodoo White Magick of the Sun

6% ABV from a bomber

Yet another Voodoo sent in trade from Sickpuppy at Should I Drink That?, I was grateful to acquire it, but sad to admit I didn’t really love it.  Whites just aren’t my style.  They’re always too weak for me, and such is the case here.  Now, I don’t mean “weak” it terms of ABV–6% is certainly respectable enough, especially for a witbier–but I mean more in terms of bite, complexity, and boozy flavor.  The hops don’t really come through here nor does the spiced coriander, bitter orange peel, and juniper which is supposedly in this one.  Voodoo also claims this brew possesses “Jeremy’s favorite [mystery] spice,” again, something I didn’t really taste.  Not that I’d know what to be looking for!  The fruit doesn’t really come out, I hate to say it.  I suppose this could make for a decent summer beer on a hot day.  And, as Voodoo claims:  “Blows away carbonated water!!!!!”  Fair enough.


*Oh college girls, how many times they actually came back to my room drunk at 3 AM and literally and quizzically said, “We aren’t really going to watch a movie right?”

**And I assume the same has happened in return to me.  Hello ladies!

***Current list:

1.  John Wooden (despite UCLA’s easy west coast regional route to championship games and blatant Sam Gilbert cheating)
2.  Adolph Rupp
3.  Coach K
4.  Bobby Knight

Voodoo Wynona’s Big Brown Ale

April 2nd, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | 2 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Voodoo, Country: America, Grade: B regular, Style: Brown Ale

I write from what is surely the loudest Starbucks in the world.  The life of a writer can be solitary, boring, us existing for most of the day only in our minds, on our paper, the computer screen, perhaps our only words spoken aloud for eight straight hours being, “Large coffee, black.”*  That is why so many of us go to coffee shops, simply to be around other humans.  We don’t want to talk to them–each other–or even mingle with them, we simply want to be near other living breathing folks to let us know we are not alone, perhaps to have a fleeting exchange of half grins, head nods every so often.

Now, I kinda detest Starbucks coffee–too charred and unflavorful–but I can’t deny that they provide a splendid atmosphere for getting work done in public.  Usually.

Not so though at the ‘bucks closet to my house.  Yeah, the interior is just like any other:  a near-romantic level of dimness perfect for my sensitive squint eyes and oft-hungover brain, nice comfortable wooden chairs and tables, a clean interior, smooth jazz on the overhead Muzak system, and an abundance of space.  But the pleasantries stop right there.

[Mind you, this Starbucks is in what Forbes magazine rates as one of the top 100 richest zip codes in America.**]

Firstly, this particular Starbucks is overflowing with UWS housewives–the real Real Housewives of New York City except these bitches are legitimately rich–wheeling around SUV-sized Bugaboo and Stokke strollers that are triple the cost of the computer I currently write on, yenta-ing it up with their friends as they swig frothy caloric coffees and allow their asses to exponentially expand (sure hope they didn’t get roped into a prenuptial).   Or, these same housewives’ Jamaican nannies, everyt’ing irie-ing it with fellow babysitters, neither of these parties paying attention to the warbling children sleeping in the luxury beds on wheels, to the crying toddler who just pissed his expensive “organic” diaper connected to their wrist via leash.

There’s the little school girls that don’t seem to ever go to school, Double-Dutching it up loudly in front of this Starbucks’s countless windows, you can’t help but pay attention to them, constantly in your eyeline.  They occasionally even entering the coffeeshop to play Hop Scotch–I shit you not–as their faux-gangster boyfriends make clumsy passes at them.  Why are just Bat Mitzahed girls in an adult coffee shop?!  I didn’t become addicted to the substance til my early twenties.  Oh, that’s right, because no one drinks coffee any more, hell, barely serves it even; everyone now drinks what is essentially a milkshake acting under the guise of a coffee drink.  That’s why everyone’s so fat.  And, I’m the weird one that always gets a look when I only want a large coffee black.

The place is also overrun with bums.  No, they don’t hang in the Starbucks or even panhandle inside, but they visit the public bathroom like it’s a goddamn peep show and they hold more quarters than a dormitory laundry machine.  I swear, these motherfuckers either masturbate more than can even be imagined or they have the bladders of a college sorority girl that just played five straight games of beer pong using Natty Light.  They stink to high holy hell as well, a single file line of them currently snaking through the floor area, culminating inches from my table.  A man only wearing what appears to be a burlap sack looking over my shoulder trying to read my screen as I write this fucking word.

Behind me is a door, the “employee’s only” entrance to the back–no clue what goes on in “the back”–that slams with the force of a bank vault every single time an employees goes in there.  Which is literally every two minutes or so.  They must surely be doing some back room coke.  The door is in desperate need of an air break.

The lone male barista just returned from his smoke break with a Subway $5 footlong which he is now inhaling, in my sight and every other customer’s sight, right behind the counter, next to the lemonade machine, the overflowing bed of discolored lettuce cascading out from the poorly sliced Italian loaf and onto the floor.

But that’s OK, because the other male employee is on nonstop mop duty.  After much observation I think I’ve figured out his scam.  Him casually and slowly mopping all day so that he may never be assigned more taxing work.  Admittedly, the floor is always clean enough to eat off of–I haven’t, don’t worry–only problem is this guy is always in the way, especially with his nappy mop head which he has no compunction in tossing its wet, sudsy tendrils right under the table I sit at, dowsing my Nikes in the process.  I’ll remember next time to wear my boots that could use a good polishing.

The three other baristas are these fat fucking bitches.  They gab non-stop and laugh so much you would think Chris Rock was a co-worker.  Not quite.  Nothing funny is happening, or being said by them, believe me.  I now understand why painfully unfunny Tyler Perry movies are packed to the gills with guffawing crowds and have made him a $100millionaire.***

My head is about to fucking explode.  I can’t take it any more.  I’ve gotten no work done for at least an hour.  I am fuming.

But where else can I write?  The McDonald’s next door?  I actually like their coffee, but the interior is just so goddamn bright.  The overhead fluorescents could grow hydroponic marijuana and the place wreaks of ketchup.  Dunkin Donuts?  Again, superior coffee to Starbucks but too many Munchkin-poppin’ fatsos hogging the booths.  Public library?  Ick, don’t get me started.  Bums, mega-nerds, old folks, and cheapskates, the dirty stench of decades old paper and people that chronically shit in their pants.  Plus, they close at like 4.  And I certainly can’t write at home.  Too many things to do that are far more interesting than writing:  television and Netflix to watch, video games to play, beers to drink, music to dance to, and a dick to jerk off.

The final straw has just occurred, the entire crew now loudly singing along and dancing no less (!) to the song that has just come on the Muzak.  Oh, and it ain’t fucking “Build Me Up Buttercup” either.  Unbelievable.

Look, if I wanted to try and write while fat, uncoordinated, and ugly employees danced to music, I’d be currently sitting in a booth at motherfucking Johnny Rockets.

That’s it, after I hit “publish,” I’m slamming my laptop shut and heading out for good.  I’m gonna go write at a bar down the street.  Can’t be more annoying than this.

Wynona’s Big Brown Ale

7.3% ABV from a bomber

My new buddy from the best beer podcast (”brewcast” ahem) around, Should I Drink That?, hooked me up with this beer in a recent trade.  I had been reading a lot about the Voodoo Brewery from out of Meadville, PA and was curious to try some of their stuff, none of which makes it to the Tristate area.  Here’s their version of a brown ale, a style I generally enjoy but am never that blown away with as it’s usually executed in a most basic way (save DFH Palo Santo Marron of course!)  And, indeed, this is a solid, well made brown that I enjoyed drinking quite a bit.  Mildly hoppy, a shit load of smooth brown malt with the feintest hints of chocolate.  Well crafted, I’d certainly drink it again, but it’s not a beer I’d bend any one’s ear in talking about.  Nevertheless, I very much look forward to trying further Voodoo brews, specifically their award-winning stouts.


*I don’t say “venti.”

**For the record, I live in the just two-blocks-away yet different zip.  It’s not in the top 100.  And I’m certainly not rich.

***Lest you think that was a racist joke, the employees I refer to are a veritable Rainbow Coalition of colors.  In fact, most of these loathsome employees are white.  Sure, “urban” white, whatever that means, but still “Caucasian” is what these people most definitely check on their law school applications (har har).****

****OK, that was “classist.”*****

*****But funny.