The Darkest Side of Craft Beer Geekdom

 I really like the many faces of my craft beer dark side

I really like the many faces of my craft beer dark side

OK, there are a few of them.  Maybe not enough to keep Sybil occupied during a cross-continental flight  but there are more than I’d initially recognized in the 20 or so seconds it took me to formulate the basis for this rant earlier today.  For the purposes of this post, I’m going to ignore most of the obvious ones but I’ll list them here just for good measure (let me know which ones I forgot):

  • Enough excess calories to make Sanz-A-Belt slacks seem downright appealing, if not absolutely necessary

  • A financial drain that makes the Congressional debt ceiling debates hit a bit too close for comfort (even when wearing the Limited Edition Sunday Brunch Buffet Sanz-A-Belts)

  • Having to “fib” when answering that invasive question on patient forms regarding your weekly intake of alcoholic beverages – and grumbling under your breath about the need for a sub-section for “beverages consumed for research purposes” (because, you know, those would be exempt)

  • Having to come up with creative ways to convince your significant other that a visit to that bottle shop or craft beer bar in Hanalei is a natural part of any romantic Hawaiian getaway.  Who needs another rainbow or spectacular sunset anyway?  HINT: There are no plausible ways to explain a craft beer detour out there so once you try and fail, be prepared to shell out $400+ for a sunset catamaran cruise or dolphin encounter – just for suggesting it – so you might as well grab a Maui Big Swell IPA for your troubles.  And you thought Westy XII was an expensive brew

  • The whole Instagram thing.  Yes, I know that isn’t a sentence and it didn’t make any sense just like taking pictures of beer doesn’t make any sense.  Last time I checked, Ansel Adams and Richard Avedon didn’t prowl the aisles of BevMo for their subjects but that hasn’t stopped me from making a complete ass out of myself by setting up and taking “interesting” pictures of beer, knowing full well the mocking expressions my wife and children are giving me from the family room.  Meanwhile, I wear my Beertography competition award shirt proudly.  Like I said, dark side.

  • Homebrewing.  Need I say more? Probably, but I won’t.  Well, not now anyway.

So those are just some of the dark sides that I’m choosing to ignore here (see? I bet you didn’t even notice them and have no idea what I’m talking about).  The one I’m wrestling with now has elements of most of the above but is far more sinister (not quite Olestra side effect anal leakage sinister, but pervasive nonetheless) and goes something like this….

Its time for lunch but thanks to bullet point number 1 up there I’m on the zero calorie lunch plan so I decide to drive 8-9 minutes to one of my favorite bottle shops/liquor stores only intending to check out and maybe pick up a bottle of bourbon or American whiskey.  No intention of buying any craft beer and I even toyed with the concept of not even walking near the craft beer aisles.  As it is, there’s still most of a mixed case of great brews from State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD awaiting study next to the tasting room fridge so I really don’t need anything else.  Not yet.

Your run of the mill granola brew

Your run of the mill granola brew

Then it happened.  From about 20 feet away I cast a decidedly unengaged glance towards the end cap where they usually display new and interesting bombers.  Completely safe – after all I was also at a pretty extreme angle so it wasn’t as though I could get a good view of anything as that end cap faded from sight.  Then through some evil and mystical means far beyond my understanding I found myself standing right in front of those bombers while holding one in my hand.  The words “God Dammit!” formed reflexively under my breath and right then and then this post was born (sorry about that).

I had picked up Dogfish Head’s American Beauty.   The latest edition of their Music Series Ales.  I’ve had all of the previous installments and aside from Bitches’ Brew, their ode to Miles Davis, none were remarkable.  What annoyed and confounded me most about holding the American Beauty was the fact that I had little interest in its concept when I read about it several months ago and had no intentions of buying it, period.  I never liked the Greatful Dead or their 7 or 4 fingered lead guru (and for the record I don’t like their 90’s remake, Phish, either).  Not sure which is more frightening, a gaggle of pale, stick thin, cannibus mind-addled, 3:00 a.m. Taco Bell-craving Dead Heads, or a street full of even paler, Thriller wannabe, undead zombies shuffling towards an all-they-can-eat surgical waste buffet.  Never mind not knowing what’s worse, I’m not so sure there’s much of a difference.

take all the rotting kidneys you want but eat all you take

take all the rotting kidneys you want but eat all you take

The bottom line is that I had no intentions of buying any beer, period, let alone a beer that I had no interest in ever buying.  Yet there I was, seemingly compelled by unseen forces contemplating the purchase of American Beauty.  The darkest side of craft beer geekdom was perched on my right shoulder demanding that I buy a beer I didn’t want and didn’t need.  That sounds better than admitting that I suffer some form of OCCBAD (Obsessive Compulsive Craft Beer Acquisition Disorder).  Somehow I mustered the strength (a.k.a. common sense) to face down that demon and put down the Greatful Brew…..after I saw the Stone Suede collaboration.  All bets were off at that point.  The battle was lost.  Fortunately I’m a gracious loser (and I had a few new craft beers in the cart that I didn’t need with which to toast the victor – my dark side).

Cheers!

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15 thoughts on “The Darkest Side of Craft Beer Geekdom

    • You’re not alone. They’re pluses in mine too (well, all except for the low fashion Sanz-A-Belts). Then again, sweatpants perform admirably in their stead and have that athletic angle going for them….

      I never did say that the dark side(s) was/were bad. I just acknowledged that they’re there. Company is company is all forms, right?

      Thanks for checking it out & Cheers!

  1. I also suffer from OCCBAD. Congrats on resisting American Beauty. I’ll be interested to see how you like the Stone-Bluejacket collab. Bluejacket has been “almost open” for like a year now. They need to get their ass in gear soon enough for me to instruct the Haybag to take me there for my birthday, dammit.

    • “instruct the Haybag….” Classic. Perhaps the chaps of Bluejacket will use Suede and their association with Stone as catalyst to open the doors. I have to say that I didn’t give that purchase much thought – kind of a reflexive buy but no surprise. If Pet Rocks were marketed these days by Stone as Pet Stones I’d have a veritable zen garden of the things.

      I also picked up a 6 of DC Brau The Corruption. What’s your take on that one?

      Cheers!

      • Ahh. That’s right. You asked me that on twitter. Sorry. Dammit I suck. I like it. I think it’s only Columbus hops, which I am a big fan of. It’s dankity dank dank and reminiscent of the “medicinal” stank of a Grateful Dead concert.

  2. I just spent the last two hours planning my attack strategy for this Saturday’s beer festival. Thank you for defining, in such a timely manner, the disorder that caused me to do that.

  3. Couple things…

    #1: Fashionable Sans-A-Belt Pants! As more people embrace the goodness that is Craft Beer and as more and more waistlines expand due to all the “research”, there’s a niche for this. And if a Jew and a Sicilian (our cultures are entrenched in the world of Sartorial Splendor!) can’t make this happen, then there’s really no hope for us!

    #2: We are both a couple of serious Craft Beer enablers! While you definitely got me started down the “Craft Beer” research path (think there’s any FDA or NIH money available to fund our efforts???), I probably had a small hand in your Twitter and Beertography exploits. And here’s the kicker: I think the more we get those disgusted “Why the hell did I marry this guy??” looks from the wives, the more ridiculous our Beertography exploits become. Give me a couple more months and you too will be keeping a set of Christmas lights on hand for a bit of beautiful bokeh.

    I’ll say it again: welcome back to the blogosphere! I hope these posts become a regular occurrence.

    Cheers!

  4. Pingback: Beer Review – Brew Dog 5 A.M. Saint | It's just the booze dancing...

    • I’ve long suspected that a craft beer (or two…) can reveal a hidden alternate/multiple personality. I like to think the ones they bring out in me are purely good-natured and social.

      Thanks for taking the time to read the post. If you peek at a few more I wouldn’t be surprised if the psychologist in you finds a potential DSM diagnosis or two.

      Cheers!

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