18 August 2011

KOTBR #133 - You're Going to Hate This

KOTBR #133 found four Knights and four friends at Tavern on South. Tavern on South has been around awhile - in fact, we visited a few months back, wrote up a roundtable, and then never published it. Why? I guess we got busy.

When we sit around and drink, we start talking. Somehow we ended up talking about things we hate, and as a result, our goal this time around was to annoy each other, ourselves, and our readers. Perhaps that's taking the audience for granted, but I think you'll find something in here to entertain you anyway. If you're into this kind of thing.

And if you're not, then you probably wouldn't like it anyway.

A heretofore-unreleased passage from Chapter 1 of Stephanie Meyer’s bestseller, Twilight: New Moon. This passage was edited out before publication.

Dedicated to Ms. Kristin Baxter

Edward had drawn many careful lines for our drinking forays, with the intent being to keep me from straying into Bud Light territory. Though I respected the need for maintaining a safe distance between my palate and Bud Light, I tended to forget about trivial things like that when he was kissing me.

"Be good, please. Stay away from the swill," he breathed against my cheek. He pressed his lips gently to mine one more time and then pulled away, prying the bottle of fizzy yellow beer from my fingers as we sat at the upstairs bar at Tavern on South.

My pulse was thudding in my ears. I put one hand over my heart. It drummed hyperactively under my palm.

"Do you think I'll ever get better at this?" I wondered, mostly to myself. "That my heart might someday stop trying to force me into bad beer choices?"

"I really hope not," he said, a bit smug.

I rolled my eyes. "Let's see what they have on tap, alright?"

"Your wish, my command."

Edward shifted on his barstool while I beckoned the bartender to us so I could see the beer menu.

As I perched on the edge of my barstool next to Edward, he wrapped his arms around my shoulders and pulled me against him. It wasn't exactly as comfortable as a sofa cushion would be, what with his chest being hard and cold–and perfect–as an ice sculpture, but it was definitely preferable. He pulled his jacket off and draped it over my shoulders so I wouldn't freeze beside his body.

"You know, I've never had much patience with Pabst Blue Ribbon," he commented as the bartender placed the beer menu in front of us.

"What's wrong with PBR?" I asked, a little offended. PBR was one of my favorite beers. Until I'd met Edward, I'd sort of had a thing for PBR.

"Well, first of all, nobody would touch that beer with a ten foot pole until about 2000, when the hipsters all appropriated it–don't you think it makes them seem a little silly? And now, everyone wearing skinny jeans and sporting an ironic moustache is drinking it. That's not very brilliant. Big mistake. Could these people have made themselves look any more insipid?"

I sighed. "Do you want me to drink alone?"

"No, I'll mostly be watching you, anyway." His fingers traced patterns across the skin of my arm, raising goose bumps. "What would you like to drink?"

"A Duvel,” I said, looking up from the beer menu. “I like the name of that beer.”

"A Duvel it is. And I promise not to distract you while you drink." But I felt his lips on my hair, and it was very distracting.

The Duvel captured my interest, thanks in large part to Edward whispering the beer’s characteristics in my ear–the subtle dry apple and pear notes playing on my tongue, and Edward’s irresistible velvety voice making the room delightfully spin. And I did sigh, to his amusement, when I drained the last drop of Duvel from my glass.

I'd explain this but maybe it's better to just let it speak for itself.

A letter to my oldest on his 14th birthday..


Before you were around, I was a wrecking ball.

I spent my days hopping from store to store, thrifting my way to a wardrobe that was the envy of many. I spent my evenings hopping from bar to bar, drinking and bedding anything that came across my path. It was in one of these bars that I met your momma - a sloppy vixen who'd try anything (with bedroom skills to match). Jesus rest her soul.

It wasn't much more than 8 months after we'd met that you came along. Those first years were very hard on us - even though your grandma and granddad were helping with diapers, we couldn't do much shopping, and were reduced to drinking cheap beer. I could see the damage on your mother's face, and it wasn't long before she disappeared.

Your aunt always insisted that you were to blame - but I knew better. Your momma certainly drank because of you, but she was a good mom. I've always suspected that she left because the toll it took on my wardrobe. I was reduced to wearing t-shirts, non-selvedge denim, and Korean-made rubber-soled shoes. It was too much for her to take.

Of course when she left I pulled myself together - a trip to San Francisco's to visit the city's many craftspeople set me on the right course. It was there that I purchased your bespoke Rawlings baseball glove - the one we put in a glass case when we found out about your allergy to certain soils. It's a beautiful piece that I know you'll always have to remember me by.

Recently I was invited out to join my old friends the KOTBR. You might remember them from when you were a baby - they were the people that cared for you while I spent those months in the city by the bay.

When they initially called, I was hesitant: I'd need to know a few things first. What was the dress code? Would anyone be taking flash photography? I'd also have to know what was on tap before I'd commit. They assured me that the place we'd be visiting, Tavern on South, would meet my standards.

There are certain things one might notice when walking into Tavern on South - finer furnishings, historic photos, and ten or so taps with quite a bit of variety. Despite my colleagues' lack of hand-stitched clothing, I was able to focus. Tavern on South has a nice variety amongst its taps - local choices from mavens such Sun King, newer options from the likes of Flat12, and region but yet local choices like those from New Albanian. All options worth review from a critic like myself, surely.

But it was a tap from Duvel that caught my attention.

Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat is a brewery with a long history. Founded in 1871, the brewery is run by the third generation of the Moortgat brewing family. Unfortunately I was unable to secure a loan from your grandparents to visit the family, so you'll understand if this is where my knowledge on their history ends. I couldn't be bothered to read the rest of the wikipedia entry, but I do know that Duvel is sometimes the Dutch word for Devil.

There are certainly some flavors here I cannot place, but they are subtle and frankly nothing here excites me whatsoever. On the other hand, I feel classy, polished and fresh when I drink the beer. Something about it pairing with the clothing I wear must certainly give off a very relaxed yet refined vibe to those around me.

For the longest time I thought that it was taste that was most important in beer. Frankly, taste is the most important skill you could ever develop. But in some cases, you've got to learn to turn flaws into feathers.

Is Duvel the best beer ever? No, surely I know of a brewer or two who makes smaller batches, with more exclusivity and attention than that of a brewery that's been around for over 100 years. Breweries are strange in that way - the longer they exist, the more likely it is that they've moved away from handcrafted work.

But Duvel emanates class - from the bottle, to the mouthfeel. Even if the beer is no longer made by a single man using just one bucket, legacy brands like these have a reputation that cannot be matched by modern methods. Certainly they deserve our respect.

I'm torn between knowing that there are newer, better, bigger beers, and the fact that this beer has a legacy - and it looks good in your hand.

Lammie, you're probably wondering where the lesson is in this letter.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that sometimes you've got to take the good with the bad. Or that you can't always judge a book by its cover. But what I really want you to know is that you're not the reason I drink anymore.



HBG5 featuring the Black Eyed Parrots

We’d like to note that the ticket prices have been raised from $30 per person to $1930. If you purchased a ticket before the change, let us know because you owe us $1900. Why? Because we have a surprise. A very expensive surprise.

The music lineup for our fifth anniversary is a closely guarded secret. Why? Because we never had a live music at our anniversary party. Our cheap asses have opted for iPod shuffles and Pandora stations. But we think you will freak-out when you hear that we have landed a new music supergroup. At HBG5, the Black Eyed Parrots will make their debut appearance.

The Black Eyed Parrots will be America’s newest favoritest hip hoppiest tropical country group. The band will feature will.i.am, apl.de.ap, Taboo, Fergie (formerly the collective known as the Black Eyed Peas) and Jimmy Buffett.

They will be playing songs from their upcoming album The F.I.N. Songs like “Boom Boom Pow Goes the Volcano”, “Come Humpsday”, “Where is the Cheeseburger in Paradise?”, and “Come Monday, We’ll Get It Started.”

Part of the deal, though, is that we are required to feature Land Shark Lager at HBG5. We don’t want to screw up a great night of music with crappy music. So we will empty all the Land Shark bottles and fill them with Duvel instead. That way, when they are playing “I Got a Filling Station Holdup”, you can hoist your bottles with pride, knowing that you are drinking golden beer filled with the crisp, clean flavors of citrus fruit and banana.

No, you are not Havana daydreamin’, you will have the time of your life.

Dirty bit.

Jim: 3.9 Mugs | Mike: 3.66 Mugs | Jason: 4.0 Mugs | Gina: 4.2 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.94 Mugs

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