2 Beer Guys Blog

Welcome to the 2 Beer Guys Blog! Here, you will be able to read our stories and adventures as we travel through the world of craft beer.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tasty racks of Ribs at the Rib'N Brews Festival


Welcome to Lowell, the home of the UMASS Lowell Riverhawks, my alma mater, the land of the free, the birthplace of the Lowell Rib'n Brews Festival.

The City of Lowell along with the New England Barbecue Society sponsored a two day Kansas City-style barbecue competition at the Tsongas Arena Grounds on Saturday, September 9th, 12:00pm -12:00am and on Sunday, September 10th, 12:00pm – 6:00pm. This two-day event also includes a microbrew challenge, food for sampling and sale, and live entertainment from some of Boston’s top bands.

Patrons can watch the barbecue competition unfold as chefs baste, season and grill their way to the State title on every type of barbecue equipment imaginable including huge trailer-mounted barbecue pits, kettle grills and water smokers. The winners of the contest will receive a proclamation from the Massachusetts Governor as the State’s Best Barbecue Cooker as well as invitations to two national competitions.

New England Microbrew Championship

In addition to the barbecue competition, the Rib’N Brews Festival will feature the New England Microbrew Championship. More than fifteen microbreweries will participate including, Red Hook, Smuttynose, Shipyard Ale, Concord Brewery, Wachusett, Harpoon, Magic Hat Brewery, Smithwicks Ale, Ipswich Brewery, The Tap Brewery and more. The cost for sampling beers in the Microbrew Challenge is $20.00. Participants will receive a complimentary glass, twelve 4oz. samplers and a ballot sheet to vote for their favorite beer/brewery.

(Others: Sierra Nevada, Long Trail, Buzzard Bay Brewing)

I attended this event with Lisa, Amber, and Ignace. We arrived at the festival at 12:30 and learned that the Microbrew Challenge didn't start until 1:30. I was perplexed. I had to leave at 2:30 for a hockey game and I wanted to check out the event, see which beers would be offered, and do a little networking.

After asking the event staff, they allowed me into the tent to speak with the breweries while they were setting up their booth. I started by getting my bearings... Berkshire, Concord Brewery, and Wachusett were in my direct line of sight. I made a b-line for Berkshire (who appeared to be all setup) and started a discussion.

Being my first time at an event like this, I wasn't too sure what I was going to say, but I knew that I wanted to put the 2beerguy.com name out there...explain who we are, share our love for beer, and to promote our website.

I continued on discussions with Niles from Harpoon, Jeremy from Magic Hat, Wayne from Wachusett, Raz & Dave from Concord Brewery, and Eric & Company from Anheuser - Busch (representing Redhook, Widmer Brothers, and their other microbrew offerings) .

As always, Niles was a wealth of knowledge and always likes to discuss beer. His enthusiasm for beer and microbrews does not go unnoticed with this beer guy.
I discussed the 2Beerguys with Wayne (Tours Master at Wachusett - if you are in Westminster, go visit), Raz & Dave from Concord Brewery, and Steve from Magic Hat. I hope that they check out the website and let give us some feedback.

While discussing with the Anheuser - Busch guys, I was introduced to Eric Hanson, the President & CEO of D.J Reardon Company, Exclusive Anheuser - Busch Wholesaler. I had a very interesting discussion with Eric about the website and our goals. He asked questions about our goals and the market that we were in. I explained that it was our mission to help educate friends and family about the amazing microbrews at our disposal.

I was rather disappointed in the other breweries for not having a presence at this event, maybe next year. The microbrew market is only growing. With more of our friends taking the step, the future is bright.

During this event, Amber, Lisa, and Ignace had an amazing time. Ignace mentioned multiple times that this was one of the best days ever. I have to agree. Good beer, Friends, being out doors, and Microbrews. For those who missed this event, hopefully you can wait until next year. I know that I can't.

Subject: Beer or, beer may be hazardous substance for men!

Subject: Beer (found in hartfelt.net)

Police warn all single men, party-goers and unsuspecting pub regulars to be alert and stay cautious when offered a drink from any woman. A new date rape drug on the market called "beer" is used by many females to target unsuspecting men.

The drug is generally found in liquid form and is now available anywhere. "Beer" is used by female sexual predators at parties and bars to persuade their male victims to go home and have sex with them.

Typically, a woman needs only to persuade a guy to consume a few units of "beer" and then simply ask him home for no-strings-attached sex. Men are rendered helpless against this approach. After several "beers" men will often succumb to desires to perform sexual acts on horrific looking women to whom they would never normally be attracted.

After drinking "beer" men often awaken with only hazy memories of exactly what happened to them the night before, often with just a vague feeling that something bad occurred. At other times these unfortunate men are swindled out of their life's savings in a familiar scam known as "a relationship."

Apparently, men are much more susceptible to this scam after "beer" is administered and sex is offered by the predatory female.

Please! Share this warning with every male you know. However, if you fall victim to this insidious "beer" and the predatory women administering it, there are male support groups with venues in every town where you can discuss the details of your shocking encounter in an open and frank manner with similarly affected, like minded guys.

For the support group nearest you, just look up "Golf Courses" in the Yellow pages.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Epiphany in the shower


You must have heard the old adage that you travel to learn. In my case, that of the eternal student, that is most certainly true. And today I traveled and almost as if to order I had an Epiphany. You see, my idea of achieving Tao in the bath is to pour the bath and drop Waddle into it (Waddle is my bathtub duck – it’s yellow and it has a metal ring through its head for easy manipulation). After that, when the Lavender scent of the priceless oils that I use to cleanse my body has permeated my very being and my mind floats up and looks down upon my soaking self, I think I’m doing pretty good for a small-town boy. (you thought this was going to be about beer, right?)

Until today that is. Today the universe took a left turn and showed me a different way to look at the world. I had a shower to wash off the air miles. You don’t appreciate a shower until you step off the jetway and you feel like wax paper that’s been rolled through gravel. After that, you feel like a shower should be a basic human right for everybody (does anyone want to run for office on that platform?).

But the shower bit is only half of it. What you do in the shower is to be grateful for the ledge, for on that ledge you put a beer. Beer in the shower, if it sounds like the last guilty pleasure before the Rapture that’s because it probably will be. So I had myself a beer, more specifically the Sunday River Lager by the StoneCoast Brewery. Now, you have to be fair: beer in the shower, masked by the scent of orange [for technical purposes] and hair mousse is not doing the beer a big favor.

But you had to have been there (and if you are 5 feet 6 or thereabouts and have a full set of chromosomes, you would have been welcome to). The atmosphere, the rushing water, the absolute delight of sipping from a bottle of StoneCoast’s baby, few things are more wholesome and healing for the soul, and now I can actually vouch for that.

Drinking the Sunday River from the bottle deprived me of the ability to tell you anything about the color and texture. It tastes mildly bitter when it enters the mouth, followed by a dainty fruitiness which briefly walks onto the stage, takes a bow and walks back off. The beer doesn’t have many ambitions, it merely wants you to be its friend until you reach the bottom of the bottle. It proved to be a great companion when I mused about life, the universe and just about everything (Thank you, D.N.A.,(the writer, not the acid)).

Score yourself a beer, find yourself a shower, lock out the rest of the universe and indulge. You absolutely want to.