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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Paul of Kingston -

A warm up. Required gathering of a few close friends for a quick one before you parachute into the brutality of the "official" office Christmas gathering.

Next week the newest generation of drinkers will no doubt re-invent caps and funnelators.

The Beer Nut -

It's a real northern latitudes thing, isn't it? We Northern Irish do it routinely (except me -- I usually skip the going out bit), and I was very surprised to find -- 80 miles down the road in the Republic -- it's not the done thing. The Norwegians are big into it as well, and the Scots also have a soft spot for a carry-out in my experience.

Alan -

Maybe that is it. I had a call from a pal on Baffin Island one Friday evening years ago to tell me, as he primed, that it was -65 outside. I said it was -55 where we were in the Upper Ottawa Valley where we, too, primed.

Ian in Cowtown -

We called it "warming up" in university 15 years ago and it was precisely like Alan's description.

I don't think its a northern latitudes thing. I think it has to do with the high tax on booze in Canada (and Norway as well) and the economically-challenged reality of the student.

When I was in Ontario, bars couldn't (legally) offer happy hour pricing, so beer would be about $5 a pint at best. If you wanted to get a good buzz and enjoy the evening without cutting into next month's rent, warming up was the only way to go.

Nice to see the tradition still lives...

Alan -

Just to be clear, I also did it in Poland in 1991 when a bottle of good vodka cost me about $2.75 Canadian. We have to remember what we call "kitchen parties" in the Maritimes are just good clean fun.

Dave (Pennsylvania) -

I'm pretty sure it's not just a Canadian/Norwegian thing (I guess we could through the Isles in there, too). Oh, back in the late 90's early '00s, while attending college here in the States, we had our share of pre-gaming experiences. I'm pretty sure the nail was hit on the head with the "not cutting into next month's rent" comment.

A penny saved is one more penny toward a case of Yuengling, or something like that.

The Beer Nut -

High tax on alcohol, indeed alcohol as a no-no generally, is a northern latitudes thing. It's part of our rejection of the continental European approach to drink as a healthy part of life, to be enjoyed frequently in moderation. Nuts to that and get me six Special Brew and a shoulder of vodka.

JJ Bagley -

This sounds to me like forethought. As long as no one is driving your saving money and actually talking to friends not just yelling at them inside some loud club.

Ben (The Tiger) -

Your description of Haligonian social rituals sounds almost exactly like my law school year.

So things haven't changed much.

The Beerbuddha -

Binge drinking? Hell, I always thought I was being thrifty and social taking part in the "pre-game" ritual.

Knut Albert -

Yes, this sound familiar. As a matter of fact we often spent the whole evening drinking at someone's house, not having the funds to go to pubs or discos afterwards. Norway is more prosperous now than we were in the seventies and eighties, but the taxes and general price levels tend to produce just the sort of behaviour described. But it is also a stimulus for large scale smuggling (sometimes with methanol mixed in) and home destilling, and this black market is widely accepted, especially in the rural areas.