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Drink The Good Stuff

April 7, 2017

Sigh. I don’t know what to say. Last night the United States apparently launched over 50 Tomahawk missiles at a military base in Syria. I’m no ballistics expert, but that feels like overkill.

Doing a quick internet search, the value of each missile is somewhere between $750k and $1.5m. I think you get a discount when you buy them in bulk. So let’s be conservative and say that show of force cost the American taxpayer $37.5m in ammunition alone.

On the flip side, let’s look at a high estimate for resettling refugees in the United States. The highest one I found, which comes from Breitbart, puts the five year number per person at $64,370.

That means, at the very least, we could have saved 11 people from the horrors of this war for the price of one missile. But the executive branch has decided we aren’t going to accept any refugees from this country, even though Syrian babies have been dying horrible deaths long before 72 more people died from the chemical agent released on Tuesday.

Maybe this will end well. Maybe it won’t. But mostly, I’m just scratching my head, dumbstruck in disbelief. What I know for sure, is that it’s time to drink the good stuff.

Sometimes, the good stuff is saved for celebrations and momentous occasions. This is not one of those. We also break out better beverages when we stop to realize that life is short, and many times beyond our control. Who knows if we’ll be here tomorrow. My hope is that we can make it until at least April 22.

Here’s where I pivot to the food blog half of the post.

Yes, April 22 as Earth Day. But this year, the date also marks the apex of Albany Craft Beer Week. And that is going to be celebrated with a beer festival the likes of which I have never seen.

For the sake of full disclosure, Yelp is a promotional partner with this event, and is currently giving away a pair of free tickets to the festival (click the link and scroll to the bottom for all the details of how to enter). Also, I haven’t actually seen all that many beer festivals. I’ve only rediscovered beer in the past couple of years.

That said, you should check out the beer list here. It’s nuts.

There may be a lot of unfamiliar names on that list, especially for those who don’t follow the craft beer scene. So let me help give you a bit of context.

This past weekend, people lined up on Saturday morning at beer stores all around the country to pick up a four-pack of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, to drop over $20 on a four pack of 12-ounce bottles. It’s an oatmeal stout with coffee (the breakfast part) that is then aged in whiskey barrels (the Kentucky part). It’s called KBS for short. The brewery makes it just once a year, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. But collectors also age it, and I’m told it gets better with time.

At the ACBW Festival, you can taste both the 2017 and the 2016, so you can see how it ages.

Beer drinkers queue up for all kinds of things like this these days. The Bourbon County Brand Stout is another example. I’ve never had one of these, but it has never been for lack of desire. Mostly, it’s been a matter of timing, and a willingness to shell out the money for an age-worthy beer that I would unlikely age.

The festival will be serving both the 2014 and the 2015 releases.

Craft brewers like Grimm Ales also inspire crazy devotion from its fans, which often involve standing in lines to buy just one can of the stuff. When Westmere Beverage announces they have a beer on tap from Equilibrium, it’s often drained by the time I get on my shoes, hop in the car, and drive over.

Then there are beers from amazing breweries that may have less cachet but are quite excellent and not seen a lot around these parts. Places like Threes, Other Half, and Night Shift. And let’s not forget the small, awesome regional places that often get overlooked like Common Roots, Peekskill, Rushing Duck, and Sloop.

All of these will be at the event.

I haven’t even mentioned the whales. This festival includes beers so rare and so limited they will only be poured in 1.5 oz increments. But even getting to taste these near impossible to find brews will be a treat. Those are things like Cantillon Fou’ Foune, Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze, and Jester King Fen Tao.

Of course there are some bigger breweries involved too, but even the big boys are represented with beers off the beaten path. Samuel Adams will have its Kosmic Mother Funk, Shmaltz is bringing the deeply aged Jewbelation 13, and Lagunitas is pouring Waldo’s Special paired with vaporized hops. Whoa.

Naturally, we have to all live to make it until April 22 to enjoy any of this. The festival is only three hours, from 1-4pm, and I have no idea how I’m going to try even half of the things I want to taste. The ticket price isn’t cheap, but the beers are amazing. And now just doesn’t feel like the time for saving for the future.

Which means I’m drinking the good stuff at home too. At least until some kind of diplomacy hits, and I start to feel more confident that we’re not all headed over the falls in a barrel. Or, maybe it will just be the good stuff from here on out.

On that cheery note, have a great weekend. I hope to see you back here on Monday.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. EPT permalink
    April 7, 2017 10:33 am

    I don’t think we need to preface the enjoyment of craft beers with what’s going on in Syria. ACBW has nothing to do with the political outcomes this event may bring. You want a food blog, keep it to food unless you have a advanced degree in political science that I missed.

    • April 7, 2017 11:25 am

      Of course we don’t. I’m in complete agreement with you up until your conclusion.

      Here’s the deal. I was going to preface whatever I chose to write about today with our nation’s unilateral military response. Today’s post just happened to be about ACBW.

      Ultimately, I contend that regardless of the theme of one’s blog, it’s perfectly reasonable to acknowledge major current events. And I do not believe one must hold an advanced degree in political science to do so.

  2. EPT permalink
    April 7, 2017 11:36 am

    My conclusion may have been unkind and for that I apologize. It’s your blog, so criticism isn’t called for if I choose to read it. A little cranky since the dog got up at 4 AM today, not an a legitimate excuse but life happens.

    • April 7, 2017 11:46 am

      It’s the Internet. If I can’t deal with cranky and unkind, THEN I have no business being here. No apology required. Catch you at the beer fest?

  3. Mike permalink
    April 7, 2017 12:30 pm

    Beating back evil is good, and the good fight evil. The morally confused (the Left) fight those who fight evil.

    • April 9, 2017 3:13 am

      This reminds me of an old rabbinic teaching. It goes something like this:

      A group of children who went to a sage because they were upset by the darkness of our world. The darkness of cruelty, the darkness of war and hunger and loneliness. They asked the sage: “What can we do to bring light where there is such darkness?”

      He said: “Go down to the dark cellar with brooms and try to sweep the darkness away.” But it didn’t work. “Go down to the cellar and shout as loud as you can, and shout the darkness away.” Again it didn’t work. “Go down to the dark cellar with sticks and try to beat the darkness away.” But again to no avail.

      Finally the sage said: “Let each of you go down to the dark cellar and light a candle.” And so they did that, and sure enough, the darkness was replaced by light. So, at the darkest time of the year, let each of us be a light of goodness, kindness and love. Our “light” can surely make a difference in a world that knows too much darkness.

      Excepted from

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