Archive for the ‘beer’ Category

A tonic for the troops.

Monday, October 12th, 2009

An interesting picture arrived tonight in my inbox. It’s CPT Daniel Reid of the U.S. Army, standing near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, sporting a couple of clothing items with local interest.

FTH goes worldwide


I’m sure most of you will recognize the Bama cap, but maybe not the t-shirt. It says “Free The Hops | Alabamians For Specialty Beer”. This makes this pic a little bit of ‘Ham, as Free The Hops was formed here in the Birmingham metro, by my friend Danner Kline. He’s also the guy behind another Birmingham-based blog, Beerlicious. (The name comes from a word Danner uttered during an interview on The Daily Show.

BTW, we did get high gravity beer here in Alabama earlier this year- but FTH still has work to do. Next up: getting rid of Alabama’s ban on beer in bottles larger than 16 ounces. Alabama is the only state in the nation that doesn’t allow pint-plus beer bottles.



In any other bar, it would have been disturbing…

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

I went down to J. Clyde tonight to have dinner, hang out with some friends, and have a bit more of one of the beers featured at Oktoberfest. (The Big O from Pennichuck, for the record) When I ordered my dinner, the bartender asked if I wanted a cupcake. That’s not something a bartender frequently asks. One of the cooks came out with a tray of them, and I selected a chocolate one with a cherry on top. After my dinner (the kitchen staff was kind enough to substitute some Spaetzle leftover form Oktoberfest for the fries), I launched into the cupcake. I must say, it’s one of the best I’ve ever had. It was cream filled, with a crunchy wafer-ish bit at the bottom. On the way out, I commented to the cook that it was one of the best cupcakes I’ve had in a long time. She shot back that I’d just made her day.

Yet another thing I like about my little corner of Birmingham. Anywhere else, I might not have trusted a bar cupcake. But J. Clyde is sort of like my ‘Cheers’- and I’m pretty happy about that.



Oktoberfest returns to the Tragic City!

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

It’s been a few years since Birmingham had a good Oktoberfest. I remember fondly the events hosted by the FDSK, which focused quite a bit on German music and food. (They were also rife with very nice old German ladies trying to get me to join the FDSK.) This time around, beer took the front seat. You’d expect no less from a festival sponsored by Free The Hops. Rain was a bit of a downer in the first session (this fest was structured like a brew fest, in two sessions), but it was still great fun.

Jon tends to Joseph's shoe needs.


I got my first amusement before the fest even opened. I was met by my friend Joseph, who showed up in rented lederhosen one size too small. He couldn’t bend over to tie his shoes, so our friend Jon had to help him out.

Good People!  YUM!


My neighbourhood brewery was, of course, there with some new brews. This cask was one of the highlights of the day for me. (Good People brewery has the best tap handles anywhere!)

Die Mitternaechters


It had been some years since I’d seen Die Mitternaechters. They’d played the Weindorf at Tuscaloosa’s CityFest long ago, and allowed me the great plasure of seeing the mayor and the governor do the chicken dance together. This time around, they couldn’t take the stage early in the day because of the wet conditions- so they played unamplified on the street instead. I really liked hearing them this way.

The view from 21st Street


An overhead view of the fest, taken from the 21st Street overpass. The crowd is still a bit thin. Morris Avenue was a nice spot for the fest- not as big and sprawling as Sloss Furnaces, where we hold Magic City Brewfest.

The pretzel fairy...


it wouldn’t be an Oktoberfest without women selling pretzels! She’s made quite a bit of headway there, it looks like.

The sexiest dirndl in town...


And finally….she may not have had the most authentic dirndl at the fest, but it was the sexiest. Too bad you can’t see the white stockings, which would get any hetero male’s heart pumping. Heck, her getup was sexier than my kilt. :) As I drove home, I saw her walking down a city street, looking very far away from her car or her apartment. I wanted to pull over and offer her a ride, but that would have been really creepy- considering we’d just met an hour before, in the line for the porta-johns. But it was that kind of day; people made friends easily, and total strangers came up and danced with me. I hope next year’s fest is just as much fun.