Hops and Change

What a gorgeous late summer day.  You have to be an insensitive lout not to notice the change in  season — the sky, the sun, the color of the vegetation, the breeze — on display here in South Florida since Labor Day weekend.  But of course, you need to have done something radical, like fucking open your windows and/or taken a walk.  Very un-Floridian, I know.

So forget that.  Let’s talk about BEER!  No, first, let’s listen to Yogi Reyes:

“The triple has become a big part of my game,” said Reyes, who now has 110 career triples. “It does a lot of things. If you triple with less than two outs, it puts a man at third with less than two outs.”  — Miami Hurled

Yes, Jose, that’s what a triple does alright.  It puts a runner on third.  Triple– three bases.  Third.  At over 100 Million bucks for 5 years, you seem to have grasped the concept.   We’re SO impressed.

And people are surprised that the Marlins will end up the season in last place.

But let’s get back to beer.  Long story short: when our friend Tom turned 50, Guido told him we would take him out for dinner or she would cook him whatever he wanted.  (Guido’s cooking is better than anything you can find anywhere, especially in Florida.   Sorry.  It just is.)  Tom is a hunter/angler/boater and he brought home some lobsters for Guido to curry Jamaica style.  No problem!  Guido gets to work and I head out for the beer.  Jamaican beer.  Red Stripe.  Right?

Wrong.  And here’s what I learn.

The bottle says, “Jamaica Style Lager”  That tells me immediately it’s not really Jamaican.  Also:

The bottle is 11.2 ounces, not 12.   Fuck you.  Fuck a buncha baby fucking bottles.

Reading the label, I learn the beer available here is not made in Jamaica any more.  It’s brewed in Latrobe, PA, where Rolling Rock was made for 75 years until Anheuser Bitch shut it down, moved it to Newark Fucking NJ and eventually to St Louis  where they ruined it entirely.  Now Latrobe brews execrable Iron City sludge.

zOMG.  I fucking hate this world.

OK — while the beer isn’t wretchedly bad, it sure isn’t the Red  Stripe I remember.  And although Latrobe’s Rolling Rock was my absolute #1 favorite Go-To beer for the first 35+ years of my beer-drinking pleasure, this Red Stripe isn’t even close to my memory of what emerged from that Latrobe brewery’s best efforts.  I only wish.

The only time I drink Rock any more is in Key West, when I’m standing at the splintered old wooden bar at the Bull Tavern, and the hideous tattooed dyke bartender  pours me a not cold enough draft in a plastic cup which I’ll either finish or take for a walk up Duval Street.  (The beer, not the tattoeed dyke.)  It’s a whole thing I do which only makes sense in the real world context it happens.

Rolling Rock needs to return to Latrobe, and Red Stripe needs to go back to Jamaica.  Iron City, currently brewed in Latrobe, needs to disappear.  It gives swill a bad name.  Me, I need to return to Key West and fucking stay there.

Guido’s Jamaica-style curried lobster was fabulous.  Nobody complained about the beer.  All this is afterthought.  It’s my bloggy and I’ll whine if I want to.  Happy birthday, Tom.

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13 Responses to Hops and Change

  1. ya' gotta' guessit says:

    MotherFUCKERS!!
    Not only did Anheuser RUIN my favorite summertime beer by killing it dead, dead, dead, but they then zombie-fied the brand, so I have to see it in bars, looking all green & refreshing with its “33” label and all.
    But it’s not the same. Not. The. Fucking. Same.
    Like “Pet Sematary” not the same.

    And now, this.
    How in the hell did A-B find out that I liked Red Stripe? How?!?

  2. Elemenno P says:

    Aren’t you the one who likes to sneer at foodies?

    • Squathole says:

      Yeah, that’s me. I hate foodies. I even hate Drinkies. I just like beer. And I’m a compulsive label-reader. That’s how I found out drinking beer may impair my ability to operate a motorized pregancy or something.

  3. Hose B says:

    Rolling Stripe. Red Rock. I see where this might go. I never much liked either Red Stripe or Rolling Rock so this news doesn’t move me much. On the other hand, Medalla Light is now widely available in Florida. I remember it fondly from my years in Puerto Rico.

  4. Lu Senz says:

    The writers I know who have dealt with Jose Reyes over the last few seasons concur that the pine tar be puts on his bats has more smarts than him. Nice enough kid and talent to burn, but dumb as a cleat and clueless, to boot. Keep him happy, pay him big money, and dry his drool and he’ll be a productive part of your team. Don’t make him team captain, union rep, or responsible for anything that involves counting past his 21 digits.

  5. Doug Hansen says:

    Sorry, wrong link. BTW, I got autoresponder back from my email to Latrobe blasting for destroying Red Stripe. Basically, “so please tell us your problem so we may resolve the issue.” Huh?

    Anyway… http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=4598490321373928106#editor/target=post;postID=6436388695820438354

  6. Squathole says:

    Stike Two on the link, Doug. Drop the beer and try again. You might be the worst spammer ever.

  7. Ryan says:

    You guys are such cranks. I was just visiting Jamaica and the Red Stripe there tastes the same as it does here. Besides, you should all be happy that the guys who used to make your favorite summer brew are making you another hot day drink. Finally, 11.2 oz sucks, but blame the British not Red Stripe. It is 330ml.

    • Squathole says:

      In the south Florida market, the Red Stripe sold in 11.2 oz bottles in brewed in Latrobe, but the RS in large 16 oz bottles is still imported from Jamaica! Odd. I found the large ones at Tottal Wine, and my neighbor tells me they’re also available at various convenience stores. I’ve tasted them in a side-by-side comparison, and they’re quite different beers. Both good, though. I’ve come to like the local RS, and in fact it does capture some of the refreshing sparkle of Rolling Rock in the Latrobe era.

  8. drinker with a tongue says:

    I just got duped into buying PA Red Stripe at the grocery, not noticing the label difference. Never again. It’s not even a decent brew let alone worthy of a Red Stripe masquerade. How is making crappy beer good business? How is it someone’s job to make that happen? People who drink beer immediately notice the difference and look elsewhere. Trader Joes has a very good Kennebunkport IPA for a dollar/bottle now, BTW, and they have my business.

    • Squathole says:

      “How is making crappy beer good business? How is it someone’s job to make that happen?” Seriously, Drinker? I think the revenues generated by Anheuser-Busch over the decades answers that question rather resoundingly. Making bad beer for American consumption is a gigantic and lucrative business.

      I’m okay with IPA’s but they’re not my favorites. There’s one brewed by Pikes (Seattle) I like, and another by Stone. Friends recommend Sierra Nevada, which I don’t care for. As a rule, I don’t like IPAs’ citrus tang.

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