Everywhere, man. Specifically my couch and Annapolis for a wedding. The couch is comfortable; Annapolis is weird; weddings are fun. Now that we're all caught up, let's dive into the review of Indio Mexican Lager, Heineken's newest import into select American markets.
'cheap beer' on Serious Eats
I've been to Canada a couple of times and I really like it. In fact, I was considering Toronto for our honeymoon, but I couldn't convince Bottom Shelf research director Emily that certain neighborhoods on the south side are essentially almost pretty much tropical, if you think about it, really, and you wear a sweater. I might have had better luck talking her into Vancouver, because she has a friend out that way, but since the decommissioning of the space shuttle and the Marsening of that other thing, there's simply no efficient way for a New Englander to get there.
Next Tuesday is my birthday, and for the first time in several decades I care slightly more about the occasion than the rest of you do. It's entirely possible that I wrote a big "Hey, it's my birthday!" post last year, but if so I assure you I was faking it, because last year my birthday was a Sunday. No one needs an excuse to drink outside on a summer Sunday afternoon, and a dozen sunshine beers is plenty parade enough for any well-adjusted partially grown man.
Bottom Shelf research director Emily and I mailed out wedding invitations well over 15 minutes ago and many of you ingrates have yet to R, which has her convinced that none of you are coming. This would SVP me just fine, because as much as I enjoy your company, if you don't show, hey, more bride and meatballs for me.
On Sunday afternoon as we were walking through the sun on our way to the day's third brunch, Bottom Shelf research director Emily wrecked everything by asking a short series of horrible questions.
My friends Tim and Katey got engaged last week and hey, good for them. I spent several seconds being legitimately and selflessly pleased for them, but when I finally got around to making the whole thing about me, I got pissed all over again at some of the reactions to my own recent engagement to Bottom Shelf research director Emily. Why do so many engagement well-wishers feel compelled to takes sides regarding who got lucky?
Remember a month or so ago when every Serious Eats employee got a promotion except for me? Now Kenji's called some grand, Oprahesque thing, the maniacal Jones woman is newly empowered to yell at me, and even Hambone got kicked up to Senior Office Dog. As happy as I was for my friends—which was barely happy at all, because what do I care about their good fortune if it doesn't put any extra mustard in my fridge?—I was still a bit disappointed to have been passed over. What's the harm in letting me call myself the Executive Director of Cheap Booze and Long Wind, say?
Last Thursday I turned Meredith the pizza lady's birthday into an excuse to drink too much in the afternoon, because I'm the sort of thoughtful and generous friend who will buy you a belated birthday lunch anyplace your heart desires as long as your heart desires pizza and beer at an old-man bar. Meredith doesn't drink much beer and she eats pizza for a living, but she's sweet as a peach and pretended to be excited to have her afternoon highjacked in pursuit of my vices.
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.
I recently came to the sad but important conclusion that I will never open a bar, because I wouldn't be able to come up with a satisfactory name. After years of business planning with the working name The (Noun) and (Noun), I briefly toyed with the idea of dropping the parentheses and making it official, but thank gosh I realized that was stupid and just scrapped the endeavor altogether. This is a shame, because I have tons of other ideas for successful bar stewardship.
I've been in my 30s for so long that I can't really remember my 20s, but to the extent that I recall anything about that decade, it's that I spent most of it getting in my own way (and everyone else's way) because I hadn't yet figured out what I was good at. And worse than that, I wasn't even consciously trying to identify my strengths. I don't remember my full thought process, but I assume I just declared myself good at everything and then set about to do only the things that I enjoyed the most.
Two of the other least disappointing things in my life are beer and Trader Joe's. I wish I didn't like TJ's so much, because I'd rather be the sort of guy who mocks people for having favorite grocery stores, but facts is facts.
I've long maintained that if you think you like Corona with lime, you're in luck, because what you really like is simple cheap lager and lime. A few years ago Anheuser-Busch decided the same, which is why the biggest challenger to Corona's "-and lime" market dominance is now Bud Light Lime.
I was quite excited when I heard that the Pabst Brewing Company was fixing to replace the stuff I'd been drinking with a re-creation of the original Schlitz formula. I grabbed the new-old Schlitz and also a few other beers of its kind, so as to conduct the blind tasting that would finally prove that my preference wasn't based on packaging, euphony, or false nostalgia.