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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Stan Hieronymus -

Alan, what would a contemplative amount be? Is the keg for Saturday only?

Alan -

That is a good question. For me, a desert island is just that...no water. So I think that keg has to be a reasonable supply of fluid. That being the case, you can determine your need for Sunday (or the day of your choice shall we say) contemplation.

Bostonbeerman (Jim Olson) -

Interesting question - tough to narrow it down to just three beers, but your parameters certainly help me focus in on what I would really need.

Bottomless keg - This is a no brainer for me. Rogue Shakespeare Stout is one of the most drinkable, yet complex beers I have ever tasted. I could drink this beer all day and all night.

Saturday Beer - I would have to go with Rodenbach Grand Cru. This beer is exceptionally thirst quenching and frighteningly drinkable. The slight sour tinge and fruity flavor would go well with the tropical atmosphere and the relatively low abv for such a sophisticated brew would not leave me incapacitated. The bottle looks like it should be cracked open for special occasions and what better way to celebrate the first day of the weekend after a long week working on the desert island - whatever it is I will be doing for work.

Sunday - I am not a religious man, but Westvleteren 12 is the perfect contemplative beer. Plus, Sunday is "the Lord's day." I will summarize with a quick beer haiku:

Westvleteren 12
Fine ale brewed by monks with love
The best in the world.

Bostonbeerman - http://bostonbeerman.com

Alan -

Interesting and certainly to each their own...but with you drinking Rogue stout all day I can tell who is going to be doing all the fishing and making the coconut pies! And I can only have those sour beers like Rodenbach and Cantillon if there are french fries around to sprinkle them on. I know this is heresy but, as I said, to each their own and your contexualizations are quite valid. If you were two island's over I would certainly pop over Wednesdays for a bit of that stout.

Stan Hieronymus -


I know I'll regreat asking another question, because we'll end up with another rule that restricts my choices.

So I won't mention proper glassware, but the mention of fries does cause me to ask about food. Desert island doesn't have to mean sand and a single tree (ala the cartoons). I think a Gilligan-type island might have trees and you could cultivate potatoes.

Certainly there is a fish option, but what about fruit? What about fries and flourless chocolate cake?


Alan -

I think you have to presume that the foods that are available are naturally there. So, unlike every dope that was ever on Survivor, I presume (as any Maritime Canadian would) that there are plenty of shellfish and seaweeds to eat. Fruit? I think you have to stake your ground as to where you are claiming your desert island to be. Are these the Falklands or Fiji? What fruit is there and when? How do you preserve it? And where do you get that chocolate? Once you have established where you are, your particular sort of bounty would be better defined.<p>All of which goes to how we might expect judging to occur. The more defined and refined your context and the association of the beer to that context the better.

Stan Hieronymus -

Haven't you already suspended reality with the bottomless keg?

And you want to begrudge me a source of chocolate ...

Alan -

That being said, ought there be a factual mulligan? I usually think that extra points should be available for straining the available rules and reality without breaking them.

gr -

The sticking point for me, Alan, is wanting a bottomless cask of Long Trail Ale AND a bottomless cask of Balvenie whisky. Can my wife come too? The dogs and cats? A subscription to the 'New Yorker'? I might not be ready for island life, although I loved Gilligan's island in my youth.

Alan -

There is nothing stopping your wife arriving via a cask of whisky that some unfortunate ship lost.

Alan -

Floating casks have played an important part in beer history and in the history of whisky, too.

gr -

...of course, a bottomless barrel of Southern Tier's Matt and Phin's Extraordinary Ale would go down well. Man, a cask of a favorite beverage, my wife and a deck of cards--I could live out my days like that.
I don't think I will be able to join this competition, I see too many variations outside the rules. I am not a rule-bound sort of guy.

Bostonbeerman (Jim Olson) -

You are more than welcome on Wednesday's and be sure to bring some of those fries...I will save them for Friday nights. However, do not come by on Sunday, I will not share my Westvleteren with anyone.

mallace -

<blockquote><i>Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink
Doesn't make such a nasty curse
When stranded on a desert isle with unending beers
And unending reems of doggerel verse.
It might be enough to forget that ships sink,
And be happy, here, for years.

But a shipwreck or two will rattle the nerves,
And what with the heat, I think I'd like a nice Pils
Like a Troegs or a Prima or even better, a Stoudt's
From the wheat-soda fountain with free refills.
It seems I'm marooned on an island that serves
Brew that will vanquish yellow beer doubts.

Now, Friday nights were made for liquid poetries
So once I've gotten myself settled in
Beneath the palms, at the end of the day,
I wouldn't consider it such a sin
To line up four 22s and show the trees
How to drown the world in Double Simcoe IPA.

But with Sunday at hand, the contemplative castaway reaches
For something a bit more esoteric
Than Corona Light, in a cozie, with lime.
But nor do I want something brewed by a cleric;
So I laugh snidely at tourists oiled up on fake beaches
And freely prounounce "Drie Fonteinen" and "Schaarsbeekse" all wrong, all the time.

Some civilized folk find my drink preferences rude,
But in that desert solitude,
I can admire my beers, flavor, color and foam,
And never once worry about wanting to swim home.</i></blockquote>

By the way..already have the book...If your good graces should smile on my humble entry, pass it on to someone else.

Alan -

A poetic beneficence from mallace.

Jonathan -

keg of boddington's
fridays full of lion stout
trappist sundays rage

There's your dad-gum haiku. It really restricted my syllabalic expression, but I think my artistic ability shines through nonetheless. I also have access to a copy of said paperback, so, though my haiku may be the best, please pass the award on to a lesser participant.

andrew -

Something that will keep
when the Island is too hot
Alpha King will do!

Mike Winslow -

Check out my Blog: http://wortblog.blogspot.com/

Dr. Wort's Buzz-erk Beer Blog

Alan -

Welcome Mike! Glad to have you along!

beerinator -

Everyone with a tongue will agree with me that the bottomless keg of dreams is Bell's Two Hearted Ale.

Everyone who has had a 9 to 5 job busting up coconuts will agree with me that Friday nights are made for a beer with the strength and heft of Southampton's Baltic Porter.

Everyone also should know that it would be best to spend our desert island Sundays lounging in the shade of our palm frond encrusted hut contemplating the flavors found in New Belgium's La Folie.

Everyone of us would probably be dead within a week or so. So, I think we should go out enjoying ourselves drinking the fine Two Hearted Ale rather than worrying about silly dehydration or food. When the searchers find our half finished "SOS" written on the beach with rusty Southampton bottle caps, they will have the satisfaction of knowing that we enjoyed ourselves on our beery paradise and we were lucky enough to have consumed some fantastic beers!

Alan -

Hey! Where is this "go out" going to? Is there a coconut milk stand down the beach? I am liking this idea but need to know more about leisure system economics of the desert isle.

beerinator -

Going out. As in: Going out to sleep with the fishes. :)

Alan -

Yumpin' Jimminy! I thought you mant getting out of there. No, I can't be living on Death Island with you, then. Growing up near the sea I am convinced I could live quite nicely on whatever the shoreline provides. But your <strike>Desert</strike> Death Island choices are in the hat.

Andrew -

Bottomless keg - Guinness, you can't go wrong

Saturday - La Chouffe, it would always be good to hang out with the gnome after a long afternoon of mowing the sand.

Sunday - Hercule, lots of flavors going on, always interesting

gr -

Never ending Bud,
Friday Miller Lite on tap,
Sunday Coors, oh crap!

sorry, I only know what I definately DON'T want

Dave S -

Session Beer
Drink it up
Hit the head

Dave S -

re: contest
Non sequitur
beery pseudo haiku

Stan Hieronymus -

The beer I'd drink most - and it wouldn't be every day as a replacement for water (and on my island there will be potable water) - would be Saison Dupont. I just wouldn't treat it like a session beer. But if you put a gun to my glass and told me I couldn't drink the water and beer was a replacement then it would be Dupont Biolegere, which is 3.5% - sort of Saison Dupont Jr.

Certainly there are other great session beers out there. Crouch Vale Amarillo was a close second to Biolegere. But Saison Dupont would go with the game I'd trap and the fish I'd catch. When I added a little extra of the peppers I'd grow to a dish then it would cut through the heat.

Friday night beer: To IPA or to Double IPA? That is the question. I'm picking Russian River Blind Pig. Go to the source in Santa Rosa, have Blind Pig and Pliney the Elder (the original Double/Imperial IPA) side-by-side. Do you want hop flavor or do you want extra bitterness? I favor hop flavor.

Sunday contemplation beer: Chama River Old Ale (I guess you'd say vintage 2006 - the bottles that were in the New Mexico State Fair last August, but with some age on them) brewed a few miles from my house. I have great affection for Thomas Hardy’s when it was brewed in Dorset (right now I'm favoring the 1989 vintage), I love the new Angel's Share from Lost Abbey, and tasting Bell's Third Coast Old Ale for the first time was one of those, "Dang, Americans can do this" moments. But the Chama River beer will be well suited to go with the blue cheese I'm planning to make in the caves where I cellar beer. And it's a taste of home.

Alan -

Coconut milk blue cheese! Brilliant!!!