Public Opinion Trends in the French Broad Brewery (Wednesday Edition)

March 6th, 2013

The long-awaited results from the poll we put in the field yesterday are in. Gird yourself before reading on, folks: this data is hot, and it’s possible (I’d say likely) that many of you won’t see eye to eye with many of us. Here goes:

When asked, “Would you let your daughter marry an Oompaloompa?” 1 out of 1 French Broad employees answered, “Sure.”

When asked, “Would you let her marry one of those winged monkey creatures from ‘The Wizard of Oz’?” 1 out of 1 French Broad employees said, “It’s her decision.”

When asked, “Would you let your son marry a guy?”‘ fully 100% of the staff replied yes without hesitation. (Interestingly, when the question became, “Would you let your son marry a guy with slight hearing loss?”, there was total reversal.)

Her decision, Shannon? Really?

Her decision, Shannon? Really?

To the question, “Have you guys seen ‘Ben Hur’?” 2 out of 2 employees eventually answered yes. (Clarification was called for: one employee said, “Was Charlton Heston in that?”) Both respondents concurred that it’d “been so long” since they’d seen it, and both evinced surprise when informed that a man had died during the chariot racing scene.)

Uh, yeah. That's him, all right, Alex.

That’s him, all right, Alex.

Finally, in response to a question put in the field in an unscientific, seat-of-the-pants manner just prior to publication, Rainbow Road was universally declared the most reviled and difficult track in MarioKart.

No caption needed here, I think.

No caption needed here, I think.

As usual, this poll has a margin of error of +/- 0%. And as usual, please feel free to suggest questions in the comments section for the next poll.

Thanks everybody. And go team!




Nothin’ Says “Sequester Friday” Like Triploid Aroma-Type Cultivar

March 1st, 2013

Howza. Is everybody hip to this cask program over here? It is RIDIC. Today and this weekend only, let us engine out for you into one of our unassuming pint glasses an Anvil Porter featuring guest star Mount Hood hops. Or into one of our unassuming tasters. Perhaps you could convince the tender to bestow on you one of our really really unassuming (read: anonymous) specialty 14-ouncers. But I don’t know about that. She’d have to be in a giving mood. (Which–good news!–she probably is!)

O.K. Here’s what the craft stylists at BeerAdvocate have to say about these sassy little devils: “Mt. Hood is a triploid aroma-type cultivar, the 1983 result of a cross between the colchicine-induced tetraploid female Hallertau mf (USDA 21397) and the USDA 19058M, male plant. It is a half-sister to Ultra, Liberty and Crystal. An aromatic variety derived from Hallertau with a refined, spicy aroma and clean bittering. A good choice for lagers. (alpha acid: 4.0-6.0% / beta acid: 5.0-7.5%)”

If you’re like me, you’re slapping your forehead and going: “Colchicine-induced tetraploid! Duh!”


Now let me thumb through my silver-linings playbook for a positive spin on the sequester business. You know what’s kind of cool about this whole sequester business? It’s a community thing. I feel sort of like we’re all a little bit closer today. We’re all, every one us, in a boat. The Captain is a committee. One third of the committee is bent on scuttling the boat because…who knows why? Because it will reflect poorly on the other two thirds? Because our dependence on the boat has weakened us? Because they don’t like the boat? What’s freaking wrong with these people?

Well, we can’t help it: though we try to vote out this reckless faction, they’ve drawn our districts so that only an unimaginably large landslide would do the trick. Now, hands around each others’ throats, they’ve let us drift into an uncharted sea, albatrosses of gridlock circle, sharks of austerity darken the waters. We eye the food stores, check our gums, pray together, squeeze closer our loved ones. Or: we have no idea. We yawn. We understand dimly there’s trouble in the cockpit but isn’t there always? We whistle as the waterfall gets louder.

Anyway, we’re in it together, all of us half-brothers and -sisters to Liberty.

It could drive a person to drink.



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Keep Asheville Droneless

February 27th, 2013

Let’s be real with each other: this world is effed up, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any less effed. Very powerful people seem to have a stake in making sure things stay effed, and indeed appear at times to actively pursue effing stuff up for everyone else. Small collectives of effers bent on effing over those pretty much already thoroughly effed go to work every day to see to it that the effing continues unobstructed. There’s money in it, I suppose.

So whenever it gets to be a little more than you can handle, and you’d rather ride out the last fumes of an overheated engine with a cold beer than a newspaper: friends, retreat here. Like all good watering holes, the Tasting Room exists in a latitude apart from the hustle-bustle. It’s a lazy latitude. No one tries to eff you here. We just smile and say welcome and how are you. Then, if you want to vent? Go ahead. It’s kind of a free country.

At least until the drones get here.

Cupid Porter

February 14th, 2013

I just did a Wiki cram on St. Valentine. (In a morning stupor, I was confusing him for some reason with St. Patrick, and thinking to myself: why do we celebrate amorous love in the name of a missionary famed for casting serpents from Ireland?) Here are some neat things I learned:

Valentinus may actually have been two different saints of the same name. According to hagiography, one saint of that name was a third century renegade officiant, marrying Christian couples on the sly at a time when that was absolutely NOT done. (In other words, the Romans were defending marriage from the infidels.) One of those emperors named Claudius had the fellow arrested, grew rather fond of him, then had him beaten with clubs and stones and chopped off his head.

In another version, Valentinus was a Christian Bishop who miraculously restored a blind girl’s sight, refused to deny Christ and was arrested by operatives of an emperor named Claudius, who grew rather fond of him, then had him beaten with clubs and stones and chopped off his head. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. (…or can you…?)

It is appropriate that Love’s marquee idol be a two-faced creature, cloaked in mystery and given to hot moods. It is proper that scholars be stymied by its origin and true nature. We must turn to the bard, who through the character Rosalind in As You Like It opined on love at first sight: “There was never anything so sudden but the fight of two rams…for your brother and my sister no sooner met but they looked; no sooner looked but they loved; no sooner loved but they sighed; no sooner sighed but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy; and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs to marriage…they are in the very wrath of love, and they will together; clubs cannot part them.”

Clubs cannot part them!

Shannon and team over here at the Brewery have prepared a special cask for the day of the Saints Valentinus. The last time we got crazy with Anvil Porter it was vis a vis a pair of donuts. Today it’s chocolate, vanilla agave, and freakin’ rose petals.  Come hence, lovers, and gather them while ye may.

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