The Dog Ate My Post

img_0011I joke about being a slacker…err, make that: I “joke” about being a slacker…


Like all humor, even stupid jokes have to have an element of truth to them.  In this case, it ain’t an “element” so much as, well, the totality of the damned thing.

I thought I had a blog post scheduled for yesterday.  I mean, c’mon…I remember writing one, so what the hell happened to it?

No, really, what the hell happened to it?!

How do you lose a freaking electronic blog post?  That’s taking my slackerdom to All Star status…

Anyway, I promised to be regular on this blog again, so I have to get something up.


Ain’t nothin’ for it, I’ll have to post a random rant piece I have sitting in my Drafts section, one I tossed off just to kill some time while I was waiting for friends.

Crap, 2019 ain’t exactly starting off gangbusters, is it?  Anyway, here’s the rant:

Are you kidding me?

No, really — are freaking kidding me?!

Look, folks, we’ve talked before about my, err, penchant for taprooms and breweries.  We’ve also talked about my impatience and intolerance for shitty taprooms.  Crap, you spent a (bare) minimum of $300,000 to open a brewery — and very,  very likely a great deal more than that — so how the hell do you screw up the face of that business?!

C’mon…a bad taproom is the brewery-equivalent of McDonalds hanging a dead rat on their front door, for fuck’s sake…

So why — why?  Why?  WHY? — do so many places screw up even the most basic stuff?


Okay, so I’m a perfectionist.  Sue me.  Part of the price of living & working chest deep in the craft brewing world is the burden of expectations and standards.

Crap, I admit it, this rant is one of those half-drunk posts I’ve warned y’all about before.  I’m sitting in the taproom of a brewery, waiting for some friends, and…well…  My headache is steadily growing, my patience slowly shrinking, and my beer-nerd-gland slowly putting a gun to its head as the only escape.

Music was meant to be heard and enjoyed, it was not meant to drive straight through my skull, leaving a trail of burned and gutted brain cells in its wake.  I can kill my own brain cells quite well, thank you very much.

bb53af64-d9f4-44e0-9c23-89519108165fAnd the chairs…

Shit, breweries are my crack, it doesn’t take a hell of a lot to make me all warm and happy.  I’ve spent time drinking in places from Tijuana to Tallinn, and every place in between, so I’m not the most demanding guy in the world.  But, and this is — pun intended — a big but, my ass shouldn’t feel like the entire freaking cast and crew of Deliverance had their way with it after just fifteen minutes of sitting on these cheap, metal stools…

Now get off my lawn, I have beer to drink!

Don’t Drive Angry!

Okay, so vent-post time…

71B1A6B0-460F-48C7-9F03-659397E7EF33Wait! Don’t drive angry!

Err, that’s not quite it…

Don’t post angry!

That’s it, that’s the rule…but screw it, I’ll post however I want, thank you very much.

I’ve hinted before that I’m …err… “involved” in the craft-beer industry. “Involved” is glossing over quite a bit, but…well…let’s just say that I am an actual expert in taprooms and small batch breweries and leave it there.

Now, from time to time, I like to check out new breweries in my personal neck of the woods. I should probably add that where I live is often(ish) referred to as the “Napa Valley of beer”. Northern Colorado has a lot going for it in our hiking and camping and rafting and fishing, but it has even more in our local craft breweries. Places like Avery and O’Dells and Horse & Dragon and WeldWerks would be worth visiting even if we didn’t have the damned Rockies right outside the door…

Checking out new breweries is, for me, a whole lot like opening a book from an author I’ve never read: it’s all about potential and excitement. Unfortunately — again, like new authors — it can be pretty damned hard to live up to my (increasingly) high expectations. In the brewing world, it’s most often the beer that fails. It is just too easy to screw up beer, to be honest; off-flavors from poor recipes, or poor technique, or poor hygiene/sanitation… There is a lot that can go wrong in the brewing process, and most new breweries manage to find each and every one of those potential problems.

But that’s okay. That’s understandable, even.

It takes a while to transition from smaller batch brewing — especially from home brewing — to larger commercial systems. I can honestly forgive brewing problems if they are corrected by the time I make a second visit. What I can’t forgive, however, is stupidity. What I can’t forgive are poor taprooms. And what I can forgive even less than those two unforgivable sins is a poor customer experience.

Sadly, I hit the freaking trifecta today: bad beer at one place, a bad taproom at another, and a shitty customer experience at a third.

Goddammit, all I wanted was some time and space — and a couple of beers — to sit and write for a few hours! Instead, all I got was disappointment…and anger. Two of these three problems happened at places that should know better, at places that have been in business for years. That they are still suffering these business/craft-brew sins drives me absolutely insane.

Err, kinda like writing, actually…

Certain sins and faults can be forgiven in someone’s early works…but those problems better damned well be fixed by the next story. On the other hand, those same faults from writers who should know better really ARE unforgivable…and they damned well should result in failure.

Just like a brewery with a bad taproom, just like a brewery that cannot give a good customer experience, a writer that cannot manage to handle the depth of character and plot needed to write a truly compelling story is going to run out of grace and success pretty stinking quickly.

Just like I can forgive tastes of corn and butterscotch from a new brewer — as long as (s)he doesn’t repeat them — I can forgive shallowness and corner-cutting from a new writer…

But, if that brewer has been around for a few years…

But, if that writer has been around for a few stories…

Yeah, you better have your shit together, ‘cause all that tolerance and forgiveness goes away pretty damned fast.

(By the way, if you ever want a list of breweries to avoid, I’m your guy!)

Too Damn Hot!

Well, since I repeated an event this past weekend, I figured I would go full Lazy-Mode and re-use the post I wrote about it as well:

Yeehaw…it’s “Hot Burrito Challenge” day at the brewery.

I like hot food. I really do. BUT! Why the hell would you want to try to power down a ghost-chile-burrito – and a pint of chile-beer that is, if anything, even hotter – for fun?

Just how is puking everything back up five minutes later FUN?

Fine, call me a wuss. Call me weak. Call me whatever you want; I’m still gonna sit over here in my little corner and drink my…well, at the moment it’s a Vienna lager. I might switch to the Irish dry stout next, but that’s as “extreme” as I plan to get today.

I am also not going to be physically damaged and miserable for the next 36 hours…

Hangovers I can handle – shit, I’ve had some doozies in my time – but physical damage because you ate stupid shit? No thank you.

Why am I writing about this? Because I got kicked out of my regular seat at the bar!


I am very much a creature of habit. Err, a creature of kinda scary, borderline OCD, habits actually. When I want to work – shit, when I need to work – I hate like hell to have anything screwed up.

But here I sit, pushed off to the side in another room because…well…if I stayed in my “usual” seat I’d be stuck eating one of the damned death-tubes these lunatics are calling “burritos”.


And, yes, I am currently channeling my inner bitter-old man…now get off my lawn!

IMG_0043Oh, for the love of Christ and all that’s holy!

I gave in to the pressure. I had a chip – one single goddamned CHIP – with a few drops of the ghost-pepper hot sauce on it. I’m crying like a 4-year-old who lost his teddy bear, my nose is running like I started doing entire freaking shots of cottonwood
“fluff”, and I’m not sure I’m ever going to taste again…

I’m fairly certain THIS is why Anakin Skywalker turned into Darth Vader! It had nothing to do with being a neurotic, co-dependent, needy piece of shit – he just did a “Hot Burrito Challenge” at the wrong time. I’m ready to turn to the darskide as well…

Now, of course, the writer in me has to wonder: just how the hell do I turn this into a scene in the next story?

Sorry about that, Connor. It really is gonna suck for you…

Speaking of Fun With Beer…

Okay, okay…it will surprise exactly zero people to know I’m sitting in the taproom as I write this.  But I do have an excuse, this time.

It’s Beer Madness time…

Yes, you heard that right: Beer Madness.  Just like March Madness, but…well…a hell of a lot more fun.  We don’t sit and watch a bunch of players run up and down the court.

No, sir…that would remind us just how little we are able to run up and down the court.  Nope, instead, we do it right, we stick with what we are good at: beer.  Everyone chooses a beer to enter into the contest, then we have head-to-head battles until one champion reigns supreme.

You’d think this was my metier…you’d think I could dominate at this kind of thing.

You’d think, but you’d be wrong — I’ve never made it out of the first damned round.


This year, though…

This year will be different.

This year my Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Double Apricot Blonde will get me at least ONE win.  There is NO “next year,”not this time.  My beer & I are all in.  It’s full-Miracle, or nothing — hell, I can hear Herb Brooks in my mind right freaking now!

UPDATE:  Ahem.  I lost.  Again.