Saturday, March 28, 2009

Not Snowed In with Schlafly and Bell's

You know when you're driving around and you happen upon a construction zone or a little traffic jam and there's a guy with the stop/slow sign or just standing in the middle of the street directing traffic. I almost always follow this random person's direction, whether it be stop (even though the light is green) or turn or whatever. Then afterward I'm curious as to why I respected that guy's authority. He wasn't a 5-0 or anything, if I disobeyed his commands there would be no consequence. Respecting his authority could cost me in any number of ways; a ticket for running a red light, stopping for a long time etc. Yet, I still almost always do what they direct me to do and so does everyone else.

All this past week, we've been bracing for a spring blizzard. The weathermen/women were all atwitter with the chance to get major airtime because of the chance of snowfall. How did we respond KC, we stocked up on groceries and snow supplies even though the snow was going to start melting off within a day or two. People endured long lines at the grocery just because of the chance of being inconvenienced by snow for a day or two. I was no different, I went to the liquor store and picked up a couple of sixers to help me get through the snowstorm, a sixer of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout and a sixer of Schlafly Scotch Ale.

Now, as we wake up on Saturday morning with the streets bone dry and no snow in sight, the weathermen are morose as they tell us we're only going to get about 2 inches of snow later this afternoon. We've once again ceded control over our lives to someone who should not have any control over our lives. To me, this is a little distressing that We the People are so willing to let someone, anyone, tell us what to do.

At least I picked up a couple of pretty good beers to help me drown my shame. The Bell's Kalamazoo Stout, at $9.29/sixer, is one of the cheapest beers in the Bell's family of beers. It says on the bottle that it is brewed with brewer's licorice, a substance I had never heard of, I trust this doesn't mean that the head brewer didn't drop some Good N'Plentys in the brew pot. I really liked the Kalamazoo stout, and at 6% ABV it's a little easier to drink a couple and not feel funny. But, it's not quite as tasty as the Schlafly Extra Stout which is only 20 cents more for a sixer. I think that in the future I'll get the Extra Stout and deal with the extra alcohol.

I got the Schlafly Scotch Ale largely because Scottish ale is one of Stella's favorite styles. It had a good bit of malty goodness, but was just a little lacking. It's an average beer, but since it was on sale at Gomer's Midtown for $6.49/sixer I was pretty pleased with the purchase. Those who really like a Scottish Ale, not the easiest style to find, might really enjoy this beer.

Now that it is raining a little bit, the KC metro is much more likely to stay in because of the threat of 2 inches of snow. If we had been told that we may get 2 inches of snow in the first place, virtually none of us would have done anything differently (I did get to see Lezak standing in front of a radar picture that looked just like a vagina, I didn't think I'd ever see Lezak that close to an exposed vagina). Of course if they had predicted 2 inches of snow, we probably would have gotten a foot. But, I ask you, which is worse, preemptively canceling your weekend plans because of a threat or postemptively canceling your weekend plans because of an actual foot of snow? Either way your weekend is ruined and either way the weatherman draws your ire. If you decide to not cede your authority to a third party, at least you've got a shot at doing what you want. When you find yourself cursing the weathermen, you should really blame yourself for listening to them. They are only acting in their best interests, by escalating threats, you're to blame for believing them.

In my case, I have a couple of decent beers to drink over the weekend as I watch a little bit of precipitation fall outside my windows. I don't have much to be upset about.


  1. Scottish ale and Scotch ale aren't the same thing. Just saying.

    From beeradvocate:

    Scottish Ale Description:

    The Scottish style of ales break down into Light, Heavy and Export. In the 19th century Scotland, a nomenclature, based on the now obsolete shilling currency, was devised in order to distinguish each. 60/- (light), 70/- (heavy), 80/- (export), 90/- to 160/- for Scotch Ales.

    Scottish Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew and a higher level of unfermentable sugars which create a rich mouthfeel and malty flavors and aromas. Overall hop character is low, light floral or herbal, allowing its signature malt profile to be the highlight. Smoky characters are also common.

    Scotch Ale Description:

    Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

    Scotch Ales are strong ales, also known as "Wee Heavy." In the 19th century Scotland, they'd also be known as 160/-, a nomenclature based on the now obsolete shilling currency.

    Scotch Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew. Compared to Scottish Ales, they'll be sweeter and fuller-bodied, and of course higher in alcohol, with a much more pronounced malty caramel and roasted malt flavor. A low tea-like bitterness can be found in many examples. Best served in a "thistle" glass.

  2. The reason they called them by their shilling names was also based on how taxes worked... more alcohol meant paying more tax, hence the shilling designation.

  3. Forget the scottish ale I got in a fucking wreck in the rain/snow/hell-mush Saturday after telling several people it wasn't going to snow. It was hell.