Sunday, March 19, 2006


This is by no means an original thought - I believe the concept was handed to me by my pal Tony B years ago - but the world of small-batch, shoestring-budget microbrewing is very similar to the world of underground music & record nerd-dom. Those of us with a tendency to root for the underdog and to look in dark, undiscovered corners for our "culture" - even if it's the culture of getting a buzz-on -- can see and appreciate the parallels. I find that to my shame, perhaps, I get some of the same thrill from discovering a killer beer that no one's heard of from some godforsaken Oregon town as I do from discover some killer band that no one's heard of from some godforsaken California town. When the two come together - watching a band while downing microbrewed nectar - well, that's manna from the gods, brother. That's what it's all about.

I'll say right off the bat that while I have some decent knowledge about music, and write about it on my other blog of 3 years-plus running AGONY SHORTHAND, I don't know jack about beer. Oh, I've been drinking it with great pleasure for roughly 22 years now years now, most of which have been spent in the company of American microbrews & whatever's on tap that I've never heard of before ("you've got something called Pacific Osprey Wild Amber IPA?? Fuck yeah, I'll take one of those!!"). Last year my wife bought me a 1-night "class" in beer appreciation for my birthday (seriously), and though I expected it to be somewhat lame, the guy that was running it was such an unadultered beer SNOB he hit all my buttons. His "pourings" were of the most incredible beers I'd tasted this side of the Anderson Valley - stuff from tiny Colorado breweries, Belgian imports, and the like. He would sniff when people in the class brought up fine beers like Pyramid or Full Sail that they liked -- "Pyramid? Hmmpf. That's SWILL". I loved it. It piqued my interest to move beyond mere passive intake, and to actually study the stuff, drink different varieties, and to maybe even share my discoveries with the world. That's right, in 2006 no one can keep their shit to themselves anymore - everyone's gotta have a blog to rant to.

Here are some things we're going to talk about in 2006: Why Microbrews are Consumed by White Men only; The Messed-up World of Awful Brewery Bands; How Anderson Valley Brewing Company Stole My Heart; The Best Bars in the United States of America; The Time I Drank Mind-Blowing Beer in Czechoslovakia when it was still called Czechoslovakia; and of course, whatever I've been drinking recently and why you should care.

Some disclaimers:

1. You won't see me writing about beer the way idiot critics write about wine - or for that matter, the way many beer dorks write about beer. I might talk about its "nose" or its hints of citrus or whatever - but where possible, I'd like to talk about it in layman's terms. Because we're layman, right? I wouldn't even know how to say that stuff without coming off like a moron.

2. I'm totally not interested in homebrewing, unless it's to drink some of yours.

3. It will be very rare indeed to hear about my drunken antics, because with fleeting exception, I never get drunk. The last time I had a serious hangover was 1997. I cut myself off typically at 3 beers. I hate hangovers so friggin' much that I won't go any further. Furthermore, I don't even drink all that often, so.....

4. HEDONIST BEER JIVE won't have quite the "publishing schedule" my other blog does. I'll write something when I feel like it, which might be every day sometimes, once a month other times. It'll just be sooooooo nice for both of us to have it around, don't you think?

Now go drink something! It's a Sunday!


uli said...

Jay - you amaze me!! I cannot believe how you find the time to write such an amazing music blog and I am taken aback even more now that you are going to write about something that matters even more - beer! Looking forward to reading! Prost!

discoxombi said...

YAY!!! BEER!!!

Kyle said...

Hey Jay,

This should be fun. Wow, my drinking habits are so similar to yours, it ain't even funny. 3 a night is all I can stand (the next day). Looking forward to it. I'm sure Anchor Steam is way to obvious, especially in your neck of the woods, but I enjoyed several of those Sat night. I forgot how tasty it was.

henrik olausson said...

this is what I drank on sunday:

One "Grolsch" (dutch) and one "Giraff" (danish) at my parents place for lunch. Had two "Karlssons Bruksöl" (swedish) at home for dinner. The "Grolsch" was probably the best of them.

Anonymous said...

yo Jay good to see you this weekend! What do you think of the Ommegang beers out of Cooperstown, NY? It's great to get a Belgian style beer here in the states for a couple bucks less. And apparently they were a decent enough threat to get bought by Duvel. Try the Ommegang Hennepin. They have it at The Good Life near my house, come on over and we'll open a couple :)


Socialretard said...

Have you tried the Anchor Bock? I'm missing that since I moved up to Seattle. Last year was the first year they brewed it and I enjoyed quite a few during the brief window (Feb-Apr) that Anchor sold it. Evidently, they only sell it in the Bay Area. Not that I'm complaining too much. Seattle's pretty good for microbrews as well.

Jay said...

I have never even SEEN Anchor Bock, and I live in the Bay Area. Time to get crackin'. Yeah, Seattle's not bad - I spent a few quality nights at Linda's Tavern when I lived there. Black Butte Porter!!!

Seth said...

Hey Jay,
Like the blog. Where was the beer appreciation class you did ? That sounds cool.