A Good Beer Blog


Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.

Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."

Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."


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Travis -

They have had the ban on smoking in New York for a while now. My cousin owns a "club" and has said that it effected the number of people he had coming there until he opened his "smoking deck" that is covered and a good place for smokers. Now he says that it makes the whole scene there a lot better because people are not packed in all the time.

I am tworn on the issue. I hate that the government is telling us what we can and cannot do, but I like going to the bar and not dealing with smoke, butts or burns. Policy wise it's crap, in practice though it seems to be good.

Thats jsut my take.

tedo -

I agree with cnybrew, that policy wise its crap, but the experience down here in Texas has shown it hasn't affected business. In the cities that have banned smoking, they have actually seen an INCREASE in sales, not a decrease. People that smoke are not going to stop going out and having a drink even if it means stepping outside to grab a cig. But as a nonsmoker I will not go into a bar or pub if its too smokey. Just my two cents.

Bostonbeerman (Jim Olson) -

I just don't see how this is crap policy, it is great policy. I don't see it as an infringement on smoker rights, but as a declaration of the rights of non-smokers. Smokers are generally the minority and the dangers of second hand smoke are pretty much proven. This is a public health issue and a quality of life issue. If they want that cig so bad, go stand out side.

I like to taste and dare I say smell my beer and a veil of smoke and stench of nicotine generally do not enhance my experience.

Todd R. -

I'll second the "it's not crap" policy. New York tried to ban smoking a few times, and each time failed, until they presented it as a workplace safety issue. Why should restaurant and bar staff be exposed to toxic air, when someone working in an office has protection from second hand smoke? It's a legitimate concern, and it stuck.

I for one have been very happy that I can stop in a local pub for a pint on the way home from work and not walk out smelling like a cigerette factory.


Travis -

Bostonbeerman and Todd R.-

I cannot speak for the policy in other states, but in NY it is a crap policy and here is the reason:

The policy was founded on the work place safety logic which makes all the sense in the world. The problem is the "smoking ban waivers" that the state gave now has the right to issue. In NYS if a bar, pub or club shows a measurable financial loss due to the smoking ban, they can apply for a waiver. The waiver has a significant cost associated with it and assuming the establishment shows the proper rate of loss, suddenly it's okay to endanger the lives of your workers.

That's why this is crap policy more than anything. I often complain about the infringement of freedoms and what not, but I wear a seat belt and I am happy other drivers are required to as well because the last thing I would want is some one's death on my mind. The smoking ban is similar in that it is an infringement on the smokers rights (to a point) and that bothers me a little, but what bothers me more is the NYS and the waivers. They say "Don't smoke because you are killing your workers, unless it's costing you money, then you can kill your workers, just pay up"

That's how they do it here in NY, I don't know about other states.

Travis -

One more quick note while I am complaining about NYS:

The state put the burden of enforcement on the couties with no additional funding. It was the old Albany "Unfunded mandate" which showed a real lack of seriousness from the legislature to produce meaningful policy.

Alan -

That is deinitely different from up here. 100% ban with no exceptions. No porch smoking either.

Stonch -

I can't wait for the smoking ban to be implemented in England, and almost everyone I know (including smokers, interestingly) agree.

Bostonbeerman (Jim Olson) -

Interesting. I would be pissed if there were exceptions in Mass. I don't know of any. I love the fact that they put the burden on the counties. That way Bloomberg, et al look like they are doing something about smoking and protecting workers and customers, yet they are willing to let it slide for a couple of bucks. What a crock of horse puckey.

fstar -

pittsburgh is on their way towards a smoking ban as well