I've never been to Europe but I'm starting to think that it might be my kind of continent, what with all the bicycles and breweries and funny talk. Amsterdam in particular has been recommended by several friends, but I'd never seriously considered it because the recommenders invariably mention various tawdry charms that happen not to appeal to my pronounced but discerning skuzzy side.
'bottom shelf beer' on Serious Eats
If you're reading this at three o'clock Friday morning, you're nuts and I'm on a bus. I hope one of us is drinking a paper-bagged 40 of Budweiser, and I further hope it's the one of us who is you. If you're reading about Beer 30 Light in the middle of the night, you need a beer.
Bottom Shelf research director Emily grew up along the Boston Marathon route, which means she's one of those odd people who think it's fun to watch tens of thousands of strangers jog until their nipples bleed. I certainly respect the dedication and athleticism of anyone who can run 26.2 miles in the same calendar month let alone one hot morning, but just because a thing is impressive does not mean the thing is entertaining. I don't want to watch people marathon any more than I want to watch people perform surgery or conduct themselves with dignity and restraint around Swedish meatballs.
Given my affinity for holidays that downplay god and family in favor of beer and whiskey, you might think that I go all out for St. Patrick's Day. And for a few years in my late teens and early 20s I did try to get into the full swing of things with lavish celebrations featuring pots of gold and religious intolerance and green puke, but these days St. Paddy's doesn't even crack my top 10 list of favorite holidays.
I don't like to brag here, but I need you to know that last Thursday I pulled off the underprecedented quadfecta of working a full six hours, breaking a recreational sweat, making a precisely gravied shepherd's pie, and going to see live music. I'm usually more of a two-task-max kind of guy.
Somewhere on this site I've told the story of how I courageously saved a full-grown television from certain destruction after its previous owners had abandoned it on the sidewalk. It wasn't tied to a lamppost, so it was free to run away, but it instinctively knew to just wait patiently until the right savior happened by.
As great as this gig is, I tend not to write about the good stuff, and my liquor storage space is limited by Bottom Shelf research coordinator Emily's need to own many boots and my need to own many mustards. After a year on the cheap beer and booze beat, my fridge and liquor cabinet are overflowing with a few too many bottles of Depressed Donkey Malt Liquor and Creep With a Van Bubblegum Rum.
Very few convenience stores in Massachusetts are licensed to sell alcohol, but the 7-Eleven in Harvard Square sells the cheapest cold beer in town. (Trader Joe's has less expensive brew, but it's warm; furthermore, they don't sell heat-lamped sausage biscuits for a dollar.) If you live in a more reasonable precinct of the lower 48, you might not call $9 a bargain for a dozen cans of store-label beer, but in Cambridge, where nobody works yet everybody's rich, Game Day Ice Ale is a potential steal.