A Podcast & A Beer – Close to Death

Close to Death the podcast has a really good base idea to it that is sometimes executed really well plus the name is a play on words because it is about death and people who work in jobs adjacent to death.

One episode is about an obituary journalist, another is a medium who can speak to the dead or a taxidermist in another.

Each episode has a different co-host which is where the trouble lies. I much prefer the intro / outro host who has a much better voice and seems less trying to be funny and just is.

To pair with it, I would look for something marked as organic. Or something from a local farm. Anything that brings you closer to the earth.

In the Tap Lines for January 2022

header_attractionsWelcome to 2022!  I have a feeling that it will be a better year than the two previous.  Maybe that is optimism or just that I keep seeing new beers pop up and it makes me hopeful.  Have a blessed new year!

~ e-visits to (3) breweries that I would like to visit in 2022
~ special featured reviews of beer brewed in LA
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Close to Death
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

The Firkin for December 2021

It is easy to proclaim at the end of each year that the last twelve months were a crazy rollercoaster. But I think we need to look at this in three year increments instead of one year.

2020 had a different trajectory than 2021 and 2022 will (hopefully) be the last part of the trilogy of the Covid years.

I said hopefully because it may look a little bleak at the moment with Omicron and the January surge that will follow the holiday. But breweries hung in there and new ones opened. Both may have been by a hair but it did.

I think that beer life will improve this year, maybe by June we won’t be looking over our shoulders. It may not be enough for some breweries but I think it might allow for some positive churn.

But whatever happens, it will be crazy.

A Book & A Beer – Foundation by Isaac Asimov

I have not read a lot of old school Sci-Fi. A bit of Heinlein, Dick and Asimov. But I was so taken by the visuals and dual (if not more) story arcs in the TV show version of Foundation that came out this year, that when I saw a pair of used Foundation books, I snapped them up.

First, I had to wrap my head around the amount of changes from page to streaming screen. Once, that was done, I needed to try to figure out why the additions and alterations were made. In that, I was less successful.

The book (one of a trilogy that spawned sequels then prequels) is very spare. Even Asimov admits that there is a lack of action. The fact that these stories were individual first then collected together shows a bit. There does seem to be a lack of spine down the center.

And yet, the world building is enchanting and the people sure but flawed since they are part of a multi-generational plan that you start to root for them and hope that they are indeed following Seldon’s plan.

To drink, I would suggest, since, we cannot drink beers from other planets that you instead lay in a supply of different beers from Ecliptic Brewing from Portland. Perhaps Starburst IPA or Orange Giant Barleywine. Suitably space themed for your own journey to Terminus.

A Podcast & A Beer – My Dad Wrote a Porno Christmas

One of my all time favorite podcasts is back with their now annual Christmas episodes. If you are not versed in the erotic stylings of Rocky Flinstone, well, there are many past seasons for you to listen to. Be warned, My Dad Wrote a Porno is pretty hardcore in the sex and the humor. Add in the seasonal trappings of Christmas and things get out of hand with hilarious results.

I actually don’t suggest drinking a beer with this podcast. Way too many spit takes will happen. But when you are done listening, find a nice bubbly pilsner to continue the effervescent fun.

Or find a pomegranate beer.

A Podcast & A Beer – Jacked Ramsays

Time to dig into early season NBA basketball and my favorite team, the Portland Trailblazers. What better way to dissect each game and player? Jacked Ramsays.

For those who have yet to join the Blazer Bandwagon, Jack Ramsay was the coach when Portland won its only NBA championship in 1977.

Host Danny Marang talks all things Blazers from recaps of games to interviews with players. Hopefully, this season won’t be as up and down as the past few but then again, a podcast about a team that never loses would get old, right?

For the beer to pair with it, you could choose one associated with new coach Chauncey Billups or a Philly special since Portland is a rumored destination for disgruntled 76er defensive star, Ben Simmons.

But let’s throwback like the City Edition jersey and scream Rip City with a Riip Beer Co. beer from Huntington Beach. Order up a Krimson Killa Red Ale as Logo Lillard hits another deep three to down the Lakers.

A Book & A Beer – Normal People by Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney has gotten a lot of press for her books but it took me awhile to hear about her, and so instead of picking up her latest book ” Beautiful World, Where Are You?”, I chose an earlier one, Normal People.

It follows Marianne and Connell two high schoolers about to leave County Sligo for college in Dublin and how they weave in and out of each other’s lives as the years pass.

Normally, I am not fond of the will they – won’t they being stretched past all reasonable bounds. If you can’t write past meet cute then I lose interest. But the two leas characters in this book are moving, both through life and emotionally and by making them three-dimensional, what could be contrived re-meetings are more akin to two people orbiting each other. I thought the book ended well and would be up to have Rooney re-visit these characters when she and they are older.

Because this book moves through the lives of it protagonists, a flight of beers from your cellar might be in order. Maybe a flight of Anchor Christmas or the Anniversary beers from Firestone Walker.

Needed or Not? – Fried Ice Cream beer

Now, on the subject of needed or not, it primarily revolves around beer gear and paraphernalia but this time out is a beer itself…

…State Fair as beer? There are beers done as gimmicks. Your pickle beer and back in the day hot chilli beers. But this is taking pastry stout to an outer edge and only really helping out the makers of industrial sized vats of lactose. So, the verdict is Not.

In the Tap Lines for November 2021

header_attractionsThe penultimate month of the year. We will start the month with some Central Coast beverage coverage. And as we slowly dig out and start to holiday like it is 2019 again, let’s ramp up the festive beer coverage to close out the month.

~ e-visits to (3) breweries that won in the fresh hop competitionat GABF
~ special featured reviews of beers from the Central Coast of California
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Normal People by Sally Rooney
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Jacked Ramsays
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

The Firkin for October 2021

My wife rolled her eyes a bit when she saw the above post, and I get it, most Facebook aphorisms are corny in the light of day but in terms of looking at beer, the above can be helpful.

I think it is healthy to balance the trio of the past, the now and the future. Drift to far into the now and you are doomed to repeat mistakes, living in the future deprives you of the present. You get it.

Here are three ways to keep that teeter totter even:

At your next beer get-together, talk about your favorite brewery that you have visited.

Instead of chasing after those low quantity, highly posted about beers, instead, reach for that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a Fat Tire or a Duvel.

When you plan your next big beer trip, add in the places that you know will be solid.

Simple stuff, that, but it will help keep you on track.