Posts Tagged ‘beer’

On Friday evening, I became a proper soccer fan; I have the scarf to prove it – red with blue fringes and “Home of the Brave” in white. It’s actually scarf and a pro-America banner and a keepsake all in one, the giveaway for every fan at the World Cup qualifier between the U.S. and Jamaica at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.

I was there, my first real soccer experience. And it was fantastic, one of the most vibrant sporting events I’ve ever been to for work – I’m a sports reporter by trade – or recreation. That’s despite the fact there wasn’t much on the line; the U.S. already had clinched a trip to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.


Do you like stories about things? Do you like links? Do you like links to stories? Here you go.

* Elmore Leonard died this week and there were a lot of great tributes. Here’s Anthony Lane in the New Yorker. Leonard was also famous for his rules on writing. And speaking of those rules, The Onion with a great obit.

* I’ve been talking with my uncle Jerry about what I’ll yell on tee shots when I go to the Barclays on Sunday, so people can know it’s me. Has to be distinctive. So I was thinking, “HAY DAZE!” (Note: I’m not going to do this). Jason Sobel actually talked to the idiots who scream things like “mashed potatoes.”

* Stereotypes of pickup basketball players. This is awesome.

* As I noted on Twitter, only seven decades after John Gagliardi figured this out, some NFL teams have learned you can actually practice in a different way.

* Jason Quick, who covered the Blazers for years, gave a fascinating interview about his time with the team.

* Wright Thompson with an outstanding story on the incomparable Dan Gable. 

* Which beer brands lead to the most emergency room visits?

* The New York Times on Lorne Michaels, the god of SNL.

* TV purchased a Chromecast in order to be able to watch the Internet on his TV. The Wall Street Journal grades that and other similar devices.

* The weirdos at Vice made a short film about some weirdos who use child poop to make wine.

* The New York Times spreads the lore of South Carolina linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.

Welcome to this week’s hottest — coolest? — links.

* The most interesting piece of the week to me — and an important story — was Patrick Hruby’s piece in Sports on Earth about money and sports, specifically looking into stadiums (how they’re financed, PSL’s, etc.). But it touches on everything from rental car fees to the fact the NFL is “considered a nonprofit outfit. Just like the United Way.”

* If you stayed up until 1 on Wednesday/Thursday, you saw Dave Grohl playing drums with other former members of Nirvana while Sir Paul sang with the fellas. That was fun. The Washington Post had a nice feature on Grohl.

* Courtesy of, the worst job posting in history. If you’re in England and want to get into book publishing, here you go. Read the whole thing. But among the gems. “Any of the following will be grounds for immediate dismissal during the probationary period: coming in late or leaving early without prior permission; being unavailable at night or on the weekends; failing to meet any goals; giving unsolicited advice about how to run things; taking personal phone calls during work hours; gossiping; misusing company property, including surfing the Internet while at work; submission of poorly written materials; creating an atmosphere of complaint or argument; failing to respond to emails in a timely way; not showing an interest in other aspects of publishing beyond editorial; making repeated mistakes; violating company policies; DO NOT APPLY if you have a work history containing any of the above.”

* Kris Humphries nearly had a free throw blocked by a referee.

* Here, according to New York Magazine, are the 10 best SNL sketches of 2012.

* In what might be the worst story ever about newsroom cuts, the Kansas City Star allegedly told two employees to decide amongst themselves who would get the axe. Great googily moogily. Too rich for my blood.

* In good news/bad news news, there’s a chemical in beer that can help people fend off a nasty respiratory virus. It’s just that you’d need to hammer roughly 30 cans in order for it to take hold. In other words, this only applies to Andre the Giant … if he’s still alive.

* The podcast of the week belong to comedian Greg Fitzsimmons and his FitzDog Radio. As you might expect it’s, well, funny. But part of what makes it funny is that – surprise! – the unimposing Fitzsimmons reveals himself to be a fighter, amongst other things.

‘Merica is having a birthday this week (or so we hear). And to celebrate, TVFury is posting a podcast.

I mean, what’s more patriotic than four dudes sitting around talking about small business, the Ultranet and beer? That’s what went down recently at Fused Interactive, a web development company based in Brandon, S.D. Fused was founded by Brian Brua – who taught himself how to program during middle school on a borrowed laptop – and now puts out a weekly beer podcast as a way to drum up business and build a sense of team. (Full disclosure: TV did a guest spot last week.)

Here’s the link. Cheers.


The Birdcage on a hot, humid night.

Took my oldest daughter to a minor league baseball game last night. At least, I think that’s the sport they were playing – we didn’t pay much attention. That is, we stared at the field and were vaguely aware that things were happening, but it was by no means our primary concern.

No, we were more into the food and the beverages (a Summer Shandy has never tasted so good), the bouncy bird adjacent to left field (think bouncy house in the shape of a pheasant), basic conversation and  sending text messages. Frankly, we spent more time comparing sweat puddles than studying the two teams.

On a related note, the crowd was … underwhelming at best. It’s safe to assume that the heat – temps were in the upper 90s near game time – kept some fans from coming out to the park. And how weak is that? Aside from infants and the elderly, Upper Midwesterners should embrace every moment of warmth considering how many below-zero days we survive. (more…)

Craft beer backfire

Posted: February 8, 2012 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I learned a hard lesson this week, kids. Turns out that better isn’t always, well, better.

Let me explain.

This seems to be the golden age of craft brewing. Best I can figure, it’s an extension of the self-publishing era ushered in by the advent of the InterTubes. (Or does Drew Carey deserve some credit for that whole Buzz Beer thing?) In fact, there are so many varieties that I find myself drinking more beer. To be fair, my definition of “more beer” means one and sometimes two per sitting with maybe two sittings per month – usually when I travel. Sampling local brews has become an extension of my eating habits while on the road. Trying stuff I can’t get anywhere else is like an adventure within an adventure … or a non-adventure within a non-adventure, considering that I’m an utter square. And, to be clear, I’m hardly an expert, can’t really decipher between malt and hops. To me, it’s excellent, good or bad. (more…)

Every college kid – OK, a vast majority of them – loves beer, right?

Well, South Dakota State students Luke Rensick and Tom Strubel have taken their love of brew to another level, founding a craft brand called Heist Brewing. They got off the ground thanks in part to some student competitions and are now one of just three breweries in the Rushmore State with availability in Brookings and Sioux Falls.

Rensick is the guest on this week’s podcast, talking about the ups and downs of chasing a dream and having a never-ending supply of taste testers. (I hopped on board – get it? – this week, as the pale ale is now available in Sioux Falls. It’s legit.)

Here’s the link.


I’ve drank (drunk? drinkeded?) from the Holy Grail. And it was good.

OK, maybe that’s a tad overdramatic in the way that the “snakebite” celebration used by the Arizona Diamondbacks was a tad annoying. But I really did sample Yuengling beer in Pittsburgh over the weekend and it proved as solid as promised by several friends.

Smooth. That’s the best way to describe it given my simple palate. In fact, it went down so easy that I was confused – is this a quality craft beer or cheap, watered-down keg brew? Of course, I also thought it was Asian upon hearing the name, so …

And like every cult favorite, there’s a cool back story – parts of which may or may not be true. The Wikipedia entry is pretty lengthy and indeed confirms hat Yuengling is the oldest brewery in America. Nice.

What’s less clear is why the brand hasn’t gone national. It has breweries in Pennsylvania and Florida and is available in a limited number of states. Neighboring Ohio was just brought into the fray last week. The Wiki entry references union and financial issues and local lore – at least, according to the one Pennsylvanian I know – is that the company has never had enough money to go big time.

So maybe Yuengling just didn’t want to grow. Or maybe it couldn’t grow (although that seems unlikely since the POTUS has given it his unofficial endorsement).

This is part of what makes the food and beverage industry so fascinating. Some go big and others stay (relatively) small, some by force and others by choice. It’s not always (and maybe hardly ever) about quality. And I’m pretty OK with that.

Take Spotted Cow, for example, another local beer. You can’t get it outside of Wisconsin, where it’s made. On one hand, that’s frustrating. But it also adds a layer of romance. I savor the flavor (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it) whenever it hits my lips and once brought back a six pack for future consumption. (And, for the record, I’m a one-beer guy. Seriously. Total lightweight.) Being able to have it all the time might ruin the experience.

I won’t forget you, Yuengling, my new friend. One day, we’ll meet again.