Thursday, April 02, 2009

VICE BLOG TRIBUTE: ANCHOR BREWING’S “OLD FOGHORN”

I have to admit, I sorta envy the way Aaron over at THE VICE BLOG puts together his “beer reviews”. Not only are his beer-as-an-afterthought pieces more like “columns”, columns that probably will someday be collected into a book because they’re often so friggin’ funny & well-written, but the obligatory beer review at the end of each post is invariably spot-on & helpful to non-casual beer dorks such as myself. Now when I started my various blogs I made a wager that sticking to a single topic in each was the way to go. Too many blogs careen all over the place, from uninteresting personal navel-gazing, to film, to music, to social issues, to “here’s a picture of me on a bike ride”. I swore I’d never have one of those blogs – though I actually did for a short time with my (2nd) music blog Detailed Twang. I reckoned that giving beer geeks or music dorks or politics luvvas red meat on a near-daily basis was the best way to ensure that those readers came back repeatedly to see whatever the hell it was I was spouting off about. For the most part, I think that’s a correct reckoning.

Anyway, I’m still jealous of the way Aaron gets to write about anything he wants – French fries, strange dates, St. Patrick’s Day, the counterintuitive attractiveness of women with large noses – and still have one of the more vital “beer blogs” on the planet. So I’m gonna steal some of his shtick for one post only. I was in Las Vegas this week, and there were two things coursing through my head during many occasions on the trip: One, how utterly lame Vegas is, and two, OMG you guys it’s totally baseball season, starting this Sunday!!! I never get to write about sports – but first – here’s a Las Vegas-themed list:

The Ten Lamest Things One Can Do In Las Vegas


  1. Say, at any time, “Vegas, baby, Vegas”.
  2. Imitate the sound made by the desperately poor “porn card” slappers while walking down the Strip
  3. Attend a “sexy circus” show at a hotel/casino
  4. Go out of your way to view the lion habitat at the MGM Grand
  5. Say the word “titties” out loud
  6. Take pictures of the fountain show at the Bellagio or the pirate fight at Treasure Island – or worst of all, the fake Eiffel Tower at Paris
  7. Go to the Coyote Ugly bar and hoot at the skanks
  8. Watch the fake rain show at the Miracle Mile shops in Planet Hollywood
  9. Gamble at the airport
  10. Gamble anywhere
And that’s just off the top of my head. OK, now on to baseball. The reason why I think it’s important that I share my 2009 picks with you is because – and I’m not ashamed to be immodest about this one – I’M THE GUY WHO PICKED THE TAMPA BAY RAYS TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS LAST YEAR. Yeah that’s right, before the season started. I have an uncanny knack for evaluating the relative worth of major league baseball teams, it would seem, and just so folks know where their/your beloved MLB team will end up in October, I figured I’d share the results with you now, in April:

NL West

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. San Francisco Giants
  4. Colorado Rockies
  5. San Diego Padres

NL Central

  1. St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Chicago Cubs
  3. Cincinnati Reds
  4. Milwaukee Brewers
  5. Houston Astros
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates

NL East

  1. Philadephia Phillies
  2. New York Mets (wild card)
  3. Atlanta Braves
  4. Florida Marlins
  5. Washington Nationals

AL West

  1. Los Angeles Angels
  2. Oakland A’s
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Texas Rangers

AL Central

  1. Minnesota Twins
  2. Cleveland Indians
  3. Detroit Tigers
  4. Kansas City Royals
  5. Chicago White Sox

AL East

  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. Tampa Bay Rays (wild card)
  3. New York Yankees
  4. Toronto Blue Jays
  5. Baltimore Orioles

NL PENNANT: St. Louis over NY Mets

AL PENNANT: Boston over Los Angeles

WORLD SERIES: Boston over St. Louis


You know, I’m seriously tempted to drop the Yankees down below Toronto, too – I think at least 10 games will separate them from Tampa Bay, and that they’ll barely be a .500 team this year. (I’ll love that, like so many others). Boston is just too loaded across the board – they’re the class of baseball. St. Louis is my Tampa Bay-like pick this year – I think they’re going to surprise a lot of people, with Pujols going bananas again and Chris Carpenter & all those young arms pitching them into the world series. I wish I could go higher with my Giants, but I’m not stupid. We’ll finish just below .500 this year – maybe 80-82 or something. I can handle that. I just wish we were better than the Dodgers again.

ANCHOR BREWING’s been making a barleywine-styled ale called OLD FOGHORN for many years now; in fact common wisdom says they were the first brewer in the US to make one, at least in this modern era. You’re not gonna believe this, but until two nights ago I’d never had one – and I’ve lived in San Francisco for twenty years, all of them over the age of 21. What gives, right? Well, outside of the PORTER and the 6-10 ANCHOR STEAMS I drink every year, I just can’t get all that excited about their stuff. I always seem to reach for something else, and after having my first OLD FOGHORN, I’ll probably keep that tradition going. This one is a really malty “strong ale” that pours a nice orange-ish brown, and has a sweet and unfortunately slightly syrupy taste to it. I know barleywine doesn’t have to be that way – just ask GREEN FLASH or any of the other heavyweights who make superlative barleywines. I’m even picking up a little cinnamon and clove, too. Don’t get me wrong – like everything Anchor brews, this was just fine, and I enjoyed drinking it. But it was consumed in godforsaken Las Vegas, and man, there’s next week’s baseball schedule to think about. 6/10.

3 comments:

Mike said...

You didn't pick the Giants? For that mistake you will be cursed with flat Lost Abbey beers over the mext year.

Mike said...

Kudos on keeping your blog focused (except this one time). I always appreciate that. Having recently discovered barleywines, I'm going to have to check out that Green Flash.

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