Sunday, December 09, 2007

10 Unexpected Uses for Beer

This entry is blatantly plagiarized from here.

There are many useful uses for beer besides drinking it and having fun. Most of us just enjoy drinking beer, but the truth is, it can be used in a variety of different ways. Especially when you don't want to throw away any extra beer you have. Here are just 10 examples of what you can do with them.

  1. Marinate meat in it - Use beer instead of wine to marinate your meat. Not only does it taste better, but it also makes the meat softer and more tender.
  2. Help grass grow easier - pour beer on those irritating brown spots on your lawns to help your grass grow. The grass absorbs the nutrients, sugar and energy it needs to be able to grow.
  3. Kill slugs & snails - Fill containers or wide-mouthed bottles or something of the sort with beer about a quarter to half way up. Then bury these in your garden. The slugs or snails will be attracted to them and drown.
  4. Kill mice - This may sound a little far-fetched but fill a bucket or pail up about a third of the way with cheap beer with a board or something leading to the rim at the top. The mice, smelling this, will jump in, and not be able to climb out.
  5. Calm a stomach-ache - Just sit down and drink a beer. This carbonated drink will settle your stomach right down. The alcohol helps reduce the pain as well. Don't use if you have an ulcer or gastritis.
  6. Polish gold - Wet a piece of cloth with some beer and start rubbing your gold (no stones) to get the shine back. Use a second cloth to dry it.
  7. Bathe in it - Add a few cans of beer into your bath. Believe it or not, it will do you good. The yeasts are good for softening and soothing the skin.
  8. Polish wood furniture - Let some beer sit until it goes flat, then, dampen a washcloth with it, and rub your wooden furniture. This will polish it, and give it a more shiny and healthy look.
  9. Cook with it - When boiling shrimp, try using beer for the cooking liquid. Season as you wish, but don't overcook.
  10. Drink it!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Holiday Ale Festival 2007

I'm more than a bit flummoxed about how to react to this years HAF. Naturally the beers them selves were, for the most part, wonderful and since that is why I was there nothing else should matter right? Well, there is also the experience of just being at an event like this; the crowds, sights, sounds and smells all play into how enjoyable the experience is, and that's were I was disappointed. Like I said the beer was great, but I have a few things I would like to get off my chest before we get to them.

I was very annoyed to find out that the OLCC managed to bar anyone under 21 from entering the event this year. This bothered me for several reasons:

1) It implies that the servers can't be trusted not to serve beer to my friends 18 month old daughter in a frog costume despite the fact that she wouldn't have a wrist strap proving that she was under 21 after being carded at the door OR it implies that parents can't be trusted to decide if this is the kind of environment that their children should be exposed to.

2) When I asked what the reason for the age restriction was I was told that it was because alcohol was being served. By that logic restaurants that serve booze should ban children. They were serving pepperoni pizza in the tent too, so I can only assume that people with a lactose intolerance, vegetarians, vegans and anyone suffering from Celiac Disease were turned away.

3) What about the poor root beer vendor? In downtown Portland with the Max, busses and taxis that can get you just about anywhere, what's the point in a designated driver? And if you don't like beer, and since this is no longer a family friendly function, what's the point in showing up?

4) Finally, this can only be the first step in doing away with the free entry to the Festival. If everyone there is going to be sampling the beer then there is no reason not to charge people just to show up.

I was also very disappointed to see that they went to a ticket or "script" system rather than a cash bar. When the crowds started poring in Friday afternoon, I was ready to go. However, I ended up line hopping just so I could finish off my last couple tickets. And speaking of bad ways to taste beer...I could barely get a real sense of what the beers smelled or tasted like because the smell of Natural Gas seemed to permeate every corner of the tent.

Anyway, enough crotchety old man back-in-my-day-things-were-better moaning. I should at least mention my favorite beers before wrapping up. For me, and for most people from what I could tell, 'Jim II' from Portland's own Hair of the Dog Brewing was the crown jewel of the festival. This was a blend of Fred from the Wood, Adam, Doggie Claws, a German Pilsner and a Belgian Triple. As you might imagine, virtually every flavor and aroma you can think of could be found in this beer. My other favorites were 'St. Nick's Sock Knocker' from Karlsson Brewing, Kringle Krack' out of Calapooia Brewing and 'North' a Red Wheat Wine from Fort George Brewery if only because it was so very complex.

If you want to know more about these, or almost any, of the HAF beers check out this guy's blog.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Douchebag Of The Year nominee

I know there are still a few weeks left, but I'm ready to declare Olester Duncan my pick for "Douchebag Of The Year". Here is the original story of why I think he deserves this prestigious honor.

But here is my version: Olester (or as I like to call him "The O-ster") was innocently shopping at an Albertson's in Florida when he reached for a four-pack of Schlitz and was savagely beaten on the skull by one of the cans. Having absolutely no concept of the basic rules governing the universe, he had no way of knowing that a can of liquid, not properly supported, would fall to the earth (BTW this is what we call "Gravity" just incase anyone else vying for D.O.T.Y. is reading this).

Any other man may have just gone on with their (what I'm sure is a very rich and full) life. But Olester bravely enlisted the help of attorney Dennis L. Finch and is trying to sue seven different entities. That's right, he's not limiting himself to Albertson's or even the people that make Schlitz (Stroh Brewery took over Schlitz brewing Co. in '82, but Pabst Brewing actually produces the Malt Liquor), he's taking on fat cats like Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The fact that Lakefront was in no way connected to the incident isn't going to stop The O-ster from seeking justice.