Fantasy Drafts

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hey baby, you're looking good tonight... Beer Draft: The Commentary

12:43 AM
They say that you can learn a lot about a man (or woman too i suppose) by what he drinks, how he drinks, and where he drinks it. For the sake of our esteemed group of drafters, I certainly hope this is not the case. For if it is, based on the selections drafted, we're a bunch of namby pamby 20-something yuppies who would rather sit around a hot new nightclub drinking overpriced imported beers than down quarter dollar pitchers of mller or red dog and get into knife fights with Clem, Hal, and the rest of the guys. Yikes. Well, enough soul searching, onto the commentary.

*Note: The commentary for Chris, Sarah, Albert, and Adam was completed by yours truly, Flash in the Pan. Hired Hand wrote the commentary for Dan. Almost Ignatius J took care of Sydney (did he ever). Please direct your hate-filled messages accordingly. Thank you.


Shiner Bock
Negra Modelo
Dogfish Head IPA
Abita Amber
Pete’s Wicked Ale

Chris started the draft out strong. His selection of Guinness with the first overall pick was as close to a consensus number one as this reviewer can determine. Not only is it a delicious beer, but you can drop a shot of bailey’s in it and car bomb the night away. His choices of Harp and Shiner Bock in the second and third rounds were equally respectable in their given slots. Both are good beers, be they out of the bottle or from the tap, and I must say, I’ve dallied many a night (and paycheck) away drowning them both. They are not cheap, sadly. Back to the rest of the draft though. Round 4 is when Chris started speaking a language that I, sadly, just don’t understand. Personally, I blame my father for this. Not once during my childhood did he come home drunk. Hell, I can’t even remember him ever even buying a six pack. My mom on the other hand, talk about an abusive drunk. Whoo, and man was the state not happy when they found out about it. Anyway though, back to Chris’ selections. Like I was saying before that aside to my childhood, I had a hard time rating the rest of Chris’ draft, given that I had never had any of the beers. Luckily though, I grew up in DC; I’m a master at talking out my ass about things I haven’t a clue. That said, here goes.

With his 4th and 5th choice, Chris decided to go exotic. Negra Modelo I suppose is a good beer. It's from Mexico, and if there’s one thing Mexicans know how to do, its beer. As for Dogfish Head IPA, well, to be honest, this was the only independent IPA selected in the entire draft, and thinking about it, I know why. It’s because IPAs really just aren’t that good. And that’s saying it nicely. Chris proceeded to spend his next three selections on drafting three more beers. That’s really all I know about any of them. Abita Amber has a nice alliterative name, and therefore must be docked points (can you imagine a drunk guy trying to order that?). Rogue is, uh, yeah, I don’t have anything to say here. And Pete’s Wicked Ale? Well, they sometimes run radio commercials that make me smile, although they never make me want to drink the beer. Take that as you will.

So, to score:
Chris had 3 beers that are likely to be found on tap at a local bar. 4, maybe 5 beers that might be found at your neighborhood liquor or package store. And 3 beers that I’m left scratching my head about. Final Grade: B-


Widmer Hefeweizen
Bass Ale
Red Hook
Killian’s Irish Red

Widmer Hefeweizen? With the second pick in the draft? Albert, what were you thinking? You may like hefeweizens, you may love hefeweizens, but with the second pick in the draft? Good sir, have you gone daffy? Aside from Adam, I don’t even know if this beer was on anyone’s draft board. Not that it’s a bad beer, and I do actually enjoy it when drinking on someone else’s tab, but the second overall pick. Sorry pal, a bit early for my taste. Luckily, Albert did a fantastic job making up for this first-round blunder by selecting solid, properly slotted beers, throughout most of the rest of the draft. Bass Ale, Red Hook, Killian’s, and Molson were all exceptional choices. Michelob would have fallen into this category as well, although ever since they started promoting the living hell out of Michelob Ultra, I’ve had an increasingly hard time viewing them as a legitimate beer company. I mean seriously, who develops a beer targeted to women trying to keep their caloric intake down and then makes it the flagship beer of their line. For shame Michelob, for shame. You used to be cool. Still though, after considerable thought, I have decided to not lambast Albert on this selection. Michelob still makes some good beer, it’s a well known name, its available. That’s all I’ll say on this subject.

On other subjects, particularly selections numbered 4 and 7 (Hoegaarden and Hennepin respectively), there are a few more things that must be said. First and foremost, what in God’s name were you thinking? You took a beer named Hoe Garden, the only beer designed and distributed by lazy wives intent on making their husbands work the land until their hands bleed. Worse yet, you took it in the fourth round. I bet you didn’t even know that the yeast in this particular brew is replaced with chlorophyll to give the unwitting men a greater affinity for the crops they’re cultivating. Sheesh man, get educated. As for Hennepin, I’m not even going to say anything. Not because I’m above it, but because I know nothing about it. Nothing at all. Is it even a beer? I don’t know.

Now for the scoring:
Albert had five beers that may be found at a local brewhouse. Those same five beers seem to be equally available at local liquor and package stores. On top of this, he also has one beer (the Widmer Hefeweizen) that is something of a rarity, but good when found. On the other hand, he also drafted a beer concocted solely by women interested in getting their men to farm potatoes. Tough choice here.
Final Grade: A-/B+


Pilsner Urquell
Sam Adams
Stella Artois
Brooklyn Lager
Red Stripe
Anchor Steam

Sarah participated in this draft. And she did it with zest and determination. And for that I applaud her. As for her picks, well, we all know what they say about one hand clapping in the woods, don’t we? A tree falls on it, killing it instantly, and thus making no noise. And so, with that allegory fresh in your minds, I invite you to read commentary on Sarah’s draft.

In her first two rounds, Sarah played it safe. While I can’t say that I believe Pilsner Urquell is a first round beer, I similarly can’t say that it's a horrible stretch. Same thing goes for Sam Adams in the second round. Luckily for my bitter and sardonic side, things turned from the mundane to the overally interesting with Sarah’s 3rd round selection of Sapporo. This selection, combined with her second foray into the Far East (Tsingtao in the 8th round), clearly gives Sarah the Asian Beer award for the draft. Sadly, as this reviewer knows from dating a Korean girl for almost a year, Asians are not particularly known for their drinking capacity. In fact, some cannot even finish their first beer before they begin to glow. And who’s to blame for this horrible evolutionary defect? You could say environment, or perhaps physical constitution. Maybe even diet. Those may all make sense, I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. Personally though, I’m going right to the source. I’m blaming the beers. And anything that could be the cause of such horribleness, well, I can’t support. And Sarah, I’m ashamed and embarrassed that you can.

Anyway, off my soapbox and back to the commentary. Over her next four picks, Sarah made one 'eh' selection, and three 'bleh' selections. Get it, cuz eh and bleh rhyme? Get it? OK, you get it, and now want to kill me. Awesome. Anyway though, we’ll start with the 'blehs': Stella Artois, Brooklyn Lager, and Red Stripe. Stella Artois, sometimes I see it at bars, and they always serve it in weird glasses. I don’t like that, what, you think you’re too good for me Stella. Why not come back to the common folk and be poured in a dirty pint glass like the rest of your hoppy brethren. Jerk. Next up at the gallows is Brooklyn Lager. Pull the switch, release the floorboards. That’s all I’ve got to say about this one. I mean honestly, Brooklyn Lager? Ugh. And finally, we have Red Stripe. Have you ever had Red Stripe? I’m pretty sure they just package Jamaican sea water, let it ferment in the sun for a couple of weeks, and then ship it off to America. Maybe if it came with their spokesman I’d give it a higher grade. That guy does seem cool. And he’s got a sash. Gotta respect the sash. Anyway, because I’m a nice guy, I decided to close on a high note. I have never had anchor steam. I’d never really heard of it before the draft. I’m not likely to have it in the next year. However, I hear that its best described as a west coast version of Yuengling. I like Yuengling. So, kudos on that selection.

To recap, Sarah had 4 beers found in bars. Similarly, those four beers are likely to be found at local liquor and package stores. Unfortunately she also selected two beers that can be directly traced back to causing the Asian Glow. And she drafted some sort of swill that can only be found in Brooklyn. Yipes.
Final Grade: C

Blue Moon
Milwaukee’s Best

Dan certainly stayed true to form on this one. As expectations and blood alcohol levels ran high, Dan "commuted from home," i.e. unemployment, for the draft. Our hero undoubtedly perched on his furniture-free floor and pounded tallboys while collecting a respectable spread of brews. He made strong forays into a variety of beer genres - the delicious regional brewery (Yuengling), the corporate beer trying to look cool (Blue Moon), and the homeless man's delight (Busch AND Beast). Harpoon is a toast to his girlfriend (Boston, Massachusetts), and Budweiser *is* the King. Newcastle I take slight issue with, mainly because it represents the kind of understated snobbery that leads one to read, oh, say, the Economist. And for that, I think its first-round selection was a slight misstep. All in all, an easily predictable strong showing from our resident floozy. Final grade: A-

Dos Equis
Sierra Nevada
Rolling Rock

Adam had an interesting draft. To correlate his selections to say that of drinking a 40, he began extremely strong, began suffering in the middle, but still finished strongly, leaving an ounce or two for his fallen homies. Of which he has many. That said, like a 40, there were good parts of it, and there were bad parts. Here goes nothing.

Through the first three rounds, Adam was floating on nothing but suds and good feelings. Heineken, Dos Equis, and Sierra Nevada are three diverse, respectable beers. They come from lands far and near, with tastes as unique as their birthplaces. I have no qualms with any of these selections, and am actually quite proud of our little Californian for pulling off such success in the initial rounds. However, Adam’s tour de force was not to be for the entire draft. Sadly. Adam first stumbled in the fourth round with his selection of Asahi. My disdain for Oriental beers aside, I just flat out didn’t like this pick. It felt like a reach, a pick that was made to diversify the portfolio with no idea how it would be doing so. On top of that, in the fourth round? If you really want this beer, at least take it later, grab something a bit more respectable. Something a bit more, you know, like beer. Anyway, following that slipup Adam did well to select Rolling Rock in the fifth round. Not necessarily a great beer, not necessarily a tasty beer. Not necessarily a classy beer. Not even really a good beer. Yet somehow its popular. Really, I just don’t get it. Honestly, if I ever run for president, you know of like a high school student body, I’m getting Rolling Rock’s PR people.
But I digress, back to the commentary. In the 6th and 7th rounds, Adam took Grolsch and Kronenbourg. I’ve never had either beer, and honestly, based on their respective names, I don’t want either of them. One sounds like something I might cough up after smoking a pack and a half of ‘Death’ cigarettes. The other, it kinda sounds like a drink a German Duchess might poison and then give her husband so that she can run off with the hot new knight at court. “No no m’lady, we can’t do this. Your husband, the duke.” “Don’t worry about that old bastard. I gave him a kronenbourg…” And you can imagine where it goes form there (he fixes the cable?). With his final selection, Adam righted his ship one more time, reached down into the working class roots that he most certainly does not have, and selected Coors. I like the selection. Not so much because I like Coors, but because I like the idea that someone other than Dan finally selected a beer that can be purchased by the gross. Well done Adam.

Hmm, so looking back at his draft, Adam had 3, maybe 4 beers that are typically found in bars. 5 beers that are found in most liquor stores. And three beers that have funny names that I’ve never drank. And for that, he deserves a…
Final Grade: B/B+

Magic Hat
Fat Tire

Oh my Sydney, oh dear Sydney, oh my poor Sydney. Please know that we still love you and that speedbumps are understandable. We all have our off days. Our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, make-Mr.-Frumble-look-like-a-powerball-winner type days. That being said:

When one thinks of places that great beer comes from, I bet Burlington, Vermont isn't one of them. Much less South Burlington, Vermont . Well that is the home of Magic Hat. I don't mind Magic Hat, in fact I like their art a lot. But this selection simply cannot go in the first round. I don't care if you own the beer, if your family has been brewing it since the time of Jesus, you can't take it in the first round. I like Fat Tire too, it is a tasty Amber Ale, but it doesn't belong in round #2 - similar beers went in rounds 6 (abita) and 7 (rogue, anchor steam). I don't mind Corona in round 3. It fits pretty well here, bridging the gap between taste, availability, price, and simplicity of obtainment by high school kids. Remember when we thought Corona and lime was the best. beer. ever.? They can keep playing their commercials though - I like those. Except for the one on Cinco de Mayo, there's no need for it. You don't need to corner the gringo market on a Mexican holiday nobody remembers the reason for. Amstel is a fine choice, though the Lager is not widely available in the United States. I like it in round 4, a bit of a steal perhaps as the drafters began to dip into their cases for favorites (see: Hoegaarden, Blue Moon, Stella Artois, etc). I'm glad that Syd picked up an Irish beer and Smithwicks is a favorite of the Emerald Isle which is good enough for me. The bottles are also good for filing up halfway with gasoline, inserting a gas soaked rag, lighting and throwing at Protestants in Northern Ireland (You didn't think the "wick" part was an accident, did you?). Oh man, when you use a photo like this to promote your beer you're in trouble in my book. Sushi? COME ON! I must admit that I do like Kirin Ichiban, but do the Japanese really do beer? Not much to say about Petrus and Gambrinus. I don't mind the selections, as one should pick up their faves in the late rounds. Overall though Syd really swung and missed on this draft. She managed to do alright in her picks in general, but Syd drafted her top selections far too early.
Final Grade: D+


Blogger Almost Ignatius J. said...

Oh man, that's some bullshit. I get docked cuz Dan's uncultured. Ouch.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Hey, at least you didn't seem to lose points due solely to the asian glow phenomenon. What's that about?

9:36 AM  
Anonymous friendly neighborhood pirate dj said...

you both got docked correctly and might i add consistently. Asain beers are a joke, and Chris as usual you go to out there, i bet your selections are good, but like no one has heard of them. Here's to Sydney getting a grade she should have received for the last draft...TV Sitcom

9:49 AM  
Blogger Almost Ignatius J. said...

you can get at least 6 of the 8 beers I drafted at the Tenly mini-mart. I'd put that ratio against anybody's except for Dan's.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous just read my f^%#ing comment said...

Dear Flash,

Your frequent mentions of a former Korean girlfriend, despite the quip against Asian beers and Asians in general (racist might I add), plus your professed love for a certain city (which pales in comparison to my beloved you-know-where), have led me to the following conclusion:

you don't love me.

However, I still want to have your (Asian) babies.

And I will continue to drink the beer you buy me.

your little golddigger

3:28 PM  
Blogger Hired Hand said...

dear golddigger,

i will make asian babies with you. let the rain fall down and wake my dreams.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous golddigger said...

Whoa, whoa now, Hand... I think I'm comin clean...

and did you hear Hilary Duff wants to take a break from being famous?


Let me take a look at your W2s and you may have a chance with me.

4:38 PM  
Blogger the Thin Man said...

well Iggy J, you can purchse 7 if not all 8 of my beers at the store at the corner of 7th and H in NE Washington. A much smaller more convienent store than the tenley mini mart.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Almost Ignatius J. said...

Nice, and 6 of 8 isn't too bad against that. The point was that my beers ARE readily available if you aren't blind/cheap.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Hired Hand said...

My W-2s are no doubt far more attractive than Flash', he has unpaid sales tax on all those Asian hookers.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Almost Ignatius J. said...

you have to pay sales tax on those?

5:46 PM  
Blogger Selfish Country Music Loving Lady said...

Where's IMC? I don't think there's been enough inexplicable meanness in this discussion so far.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Inexplicably Mean Commenter said...

Have you missed me? My Darling?

Well I placed a thinly veiled jab at half of you guys on my own Web Log (aka BLOG). But no one seems to care or have the intellectual fortitude to figure it out. (but baby its cold outside -- shut up your singing)Or maybe I mistook your intelligence.

Oh the commentary was quite boring, except for the loving diatribes on Asian women -- reminds me of Taipei. Any-who get more inventive get more substantive, show those (cough) Ivy League educations, you're all a bunch of boring, book-worm sycophantic liberal snobs.

10:44 AM  
Blogger the Thin Man said...

Let me just say I had Hoegaarden this weekend at 11:00 am at a casual dining establishment somewhere in Philadelphia -- it was great and just what I needed.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Durward Kirby said...

Wow! I sure did a BUNCH of eye-rolling when I logged on here and discovered that the only sign of life was a faint sound of cricket chirping. Since you're all spending most of this week eating free food during the day and hiding from your relatives during the evening, why not get to work here?

10:16 AM  
Blogger Selfish Country Music Loving Lady said...

yeah, I'm sad too!

11:48 AM  

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