Friday, October 31, 2008


It's Halloween and although I have a brilliant costume (pictured here), inspired by my Scottish and Aroostock County ancestry, I won't be going to any party this year. Why? I'm down with a horrible man cold.

The source of the dreaded man cold? The severe and inhumane dietary restrictions put in place by my dietitian.

Specifically, with my body depleted of the essential vitamins and minerals found in ale I became susceptible to airborne illness. To make matters worse, I faced a horrific medical procedure. Sure enough, by the time my tooth cleaning and polishing was finished (thank the gods it wasn't an X-ray year!), I had a full on man cold, and I've been down with it ever since.

Be careful out there!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Size Matters

So I went to Binga's Winga's, which features big beers and tiny burgers. I had three (my limit, of course) of the big beers: an HSA; a Harpoon IPA; and back to the HSA. The barmaid claimed they were 22 ounce beers, I'm sure that she was exaggerating. In any event, I'm not going to get into fractions. Three beer is three beer, it seems to me. I didn't have the tiny burgers, rather, I sampled other items on the menu. Maybe that's why my weigh-in result was reverse stock market like: losses early in the week gave way to gains.

The three beer brutality is particularly harsh on the weekends. It's now lunch time and I can't even think about that nice Saturday lunchtime ritual of a sandwich, a couple of beers, sports on TV, and a nap. I need to save my allocation for the evening.

I also face a new dilemma. I've been invited to a party where, presumably, beer will be served. Isn't it incredibly rude to stop at three? Isn't that an insult to the host? In this case, not only is the limit a form of physical, psychic, and emotional torture, it puts me in the awkward position of being disrespectful.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Did It!

Although no one has been so bold as to put it in print, there has been a whisper campaign that is nasty in tone. Specifically, some of the pundits have implied that the severe restrictions levied by my dietician (pictured here) are not actually all that difficult or stringent. So let me elaborate:

1. If I have a glass of wine, or a warm-up martini, or even a post-meal sphincter of brandy it counts towards my three beer limit. Said another way, if I start my day with a friggin' Mimosa (sometimes known as a Bucks Fizz), I'm only allowed two beers for the whole rest of the day!

2. With no specific timeframe agreed upon, these cruel limitations are ongoing and indefinite, like the way Dubwa looks at wars with countries we invade. In addition, I live under the constant threat of random audit.

In the face of this evidence, I think you will all agree that these restraints are repressive in nature.

It was with this knowledge that I waded timidly into the belly of the beast after work yesterday. That's right, Novare' Res, and their $3 draft special (ends tonight). And I did it! I drank 3 of the glorious Smuttynose IPA pints , left the bar 25 minutes after I'd entered (I'd nursed the beer to prolong the enjoyment), went home, pulled the sheets up over my head, and cried myself to sleep.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joe Three-Pack

In 2004 I weighed 210 pounds. By saying that I weighed 210 pounds I mean that I weighed myself every morning (technically 341 times, I missed a few days because of travel) and averaged 209.9 pounds for the year. I currently weigh 245 pounds. In addition to this statistical evidence of weight gain, note the photographic evidence between the running photo (2004) and the park bench photo (current). I have had a series of injuries that now keep me from running. My weight has become a significant challenge, and a bit of a health issue.

So, I consulted a dietician (this is a free service provided through my job). I told her that I had gained 35 pounds and offered a theory for the weight gain: over time, I have taken in more calories than I have burned. She indicated there might be some merit to this theory. She asked me about my daily diet, and there seemed to be no problem through breakfast and lunch. The issue seems to arise in the evening, when I drink 5-6 beers and eat way too much.

With the problem diagnosed, we agreed upon a plan:

1. Exercise 4-5 times per week. This is easy, and I will be deeply ashamed if I cannot achieve this consistently over time.

2. 3 beers per day. As in, no more than 3 beers in any one day! This is barbaric and I have notified the authorities and suggested investigating this as a possible human rights violation but I did agree to try to achieve this monumental goal.

3. Eat more vegetables, as a percent of my total food intake. I should be able to do this, I really like vegetables.

I started this plan yesterday and ran into an immediate problem. I went to a function that included free beer (my favorite kind of beer). And it was good beer, the Gritty Halloween Ale, one of the better local seasonals. But here's the issue: it was served in a cup! Probably an 8 ounce cup. Maybe a 10 ounce cup. Almost certainly not a 12 ounce cup. And sometimes the cups weren't even full. There's no way I should have to call one of those beers one of my quota of 3. So I had to estimate, and I limited myself to 4. Or maybe it was 5. It might've been 6. I'm fairly certain that it wasn't 7.

Not a bad start!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Official Endorsement

In a stunning move that surprised loyal readers and physically sickened one of the candidates (pictured here), the editorial board of Beerlocavore has agreed--by consensus--to endorse Barack Obama in his bid to become the next president of the US of A.

Beerlocavore has never endorsed a candidate before--hence the surprise of the readership--but was moved to act for the following reasons:

• There's a huge difference between the two candidates. And it's important to weigh in on the difference. We are a very different country now than we were in 2000 and the difference is 8 years of a Dubya presidency, not 19 whack job terrorist assholes. We can't afford to fall further as a nation, and there’s a risk that we would with John McCain.

What are the key differences between the two candidates? I’ll explain briefly here:

1. John McCain is an unrepentant neoconservative who drummed up support for the Iraq invasion by spewing lies (the 9/11 tie in; the WMD; and an Anthrax lie he seems to have made up on his own) on national television. In addition, he repeated the Dick Cheney promise that the war would be over quickly and we’d be greeted as liberators. Okay, he was wrong, and guilty of poor judgment (more on that). The bad judgment is a concern but the big issue is that he continues to claim he was right. Does he think we’re idiots?

2. John McCain, by his own admission, doesn’t know much about the economy. So who does he rely on for economic guidance? Phil Gramm. That’s right, the guy most responsible for the deregulation of the Finance industry. Yeah, the deregulation that has led to our financial collapse and subsequent taxpayer (you and me) bailout. Oh, and he’ll check in with campaign manager Rick Davis, the Freddie and Fannie lobbyist (as in he pocketed $2mm from those outfits so that they could avoid regulation). Look, cutting taxes for the richest Americans doesn’t create jobs (except for Dom Perignon importers). It’s been tried (most recently for the past 8 years) and it has failed, repeatedly. There is no trickle down.

3. John McCain’s judgment sucks. Enter Sarah Palin. He thinks she’s qualified. She clearly is not. Her flimsy resume’ doesn’t necessarily disqualify her. It’s her lack of knowledge and her inability to respond to even the most softball of questions regarding foreign policy, Supreme Court decisions, and economic concerns. And here’s the judgment issue: he picked her.

That’s it. Back to beer. Vote for Obama. Buy local.

Lost on the Allagash

The Sox are still playing and I have 'frige full of Allagash. Let us count our blessings! Lobster is cheap! Life is good!

Actually, the Four is gone. I drank it, and enjoyed every bit of it: it's a classic Big Beer--full bodied, balanced, beautifully colored, malty and bitter, with a touch of fruit. In short, it's wonderful.

Damn! The four-pack of Grand Cru is gone, too. It would've been the perfect lobster pairing. Allagash's winter seasonal is a malt maverick that stands up nicely to a spicy seafood red sauce.

At least I've got the other malt monster, the Dubbel. Shit! That's gone too. Oh yeah, it stood up well to my salami-and-cheese sandwich lunch. A fantastic pairing.

Oh, well. It's happy hour. I'm going to tuck into the Tripel while I cogitate which of my remaining beauties (the magnificent Curiuex and the sinful Black) goes best with lobster.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Catching Up

I have a lot of catching up to do, sorry. I've been to New York City, Saco, and an even more exotic location, Western Maine. In the time since I've last blogged, John McCain has gone from feeling a little cocky to feeling desperate, and the campaign has gotten quite nasty. We've had an economic melt down--it's good to know that the barter system is still out there (guns for Peak Organic beer!). You'd need to sell 3 shares of AIG stock to buy one six-pack of quality beer, and Joe Six-pack has moved to national prominance. I wonder who he is?

New York: I took the Fung Wa bus from Boston and arrived in the late afternoon, with an empty stomach and a raging thirst. I walked out of Chinatown because although it's a great place to eat, it's a shitty place to drink, and beer takes precedent. I spotted Kenn's Broome Street Pub, found a stool, and ordered two beers: A Dogfish Head Pumpkin and a Brooklyn Lager. I use a new rule in applying the 100 mile limit, by the way: as the crow flies. Also, in an attempt to be a little less uptight, I don't feel a need to beer-map the measurements. Delaware seems close enough to NYC, for example. Anyway, the Pumpkin is skippable, as is all pumpkin beers. The Brooklyn Lager is brewed in Utica. I don't know where that is and I don't care. NYC is underserved in quality beer in many ways, the Brooklyn is my fallback beer.

Saco: Run of the Mill pub in Saco is a beautiful drinking establishment with above average food and high quality brewed-on-premise beer. It's a big space in an old tannery. All the beers are very good. My one complaint is that none of them are particularly extreme. I'm still looking for that locally brewed hop monster! But they've got a pale, a red, an ipa, and a brown. I found their lager quite good.

Western Maine: It's good to go check out the fall foliage. And there's no place better to do that than Ebeneezer's Pub, in Lovell, the foothills of the western Maine mountains. I don't know why it's there (and I wish it were a short walk from my house) but it's a Belgian Beer bar with an unbelievable (as in fabulous!) beer list in a building that feels a bit like a snowmobile club. Using another locavore rule variation (when in a Belgian beer bar, all Belgian beer is considered local) I sampled the wares a bit. I could've stayed there all day and into the night. I ordered food and had a burger that I'd like to forget. The beer is memorable, though, and worth the trip.

The Seasonals: Geary's Autumn is great! I really like the Gritty's offering (Halloween ale?) also. I'm not big on the pumpkin (sorry, Shipyard). I have yet to try the Peak Organic/Coffee by Design hybrid but I'm looking forward to it. It's seems that combining two of my three daily drinks (water would be the third) is effecient, if nothing else). In general, though, I'm a big fan of the switch from the summer beers to the autumn brews.