- Offering inaccurate parenting advice since 2013 You're welcome.
Fresh Out of the Diaper Pail
Top Posts & Pages
Kickin’ it Old School
Introducing a new column: “Get Styled with Beer Styles” Issue #I: Blonde Ales get to have all the fun
Introduction: Welcome to a new subset of the blog – a regular column, which teaches you about different beer styles. This concept was created by a newly hired team of well-oiled creative monkeys working ‘round the clock with one goal in mind – craft the greatest topic in Pampers N’ Pints history. Since the regular writer’s brain makeup has been compared to that of a monkey, very few will realize new writers have actually been added to the staff.
The craft beer scene has exploded, and with it, so too has innovation. Breweries around the country are on hot pursuit to take alcoholic capitalism by storm by doing something unique. As a result new and reemerging beer styles, sometimes dating back centuries, have hit the shelves. But the questions are now firing like Donald Trump on The Apprentice – what the heck is a Gose? A Rye beer? How does one discern between a Belgian Tripel and a Belgian Dubbel? How about a German Helles Lager and Dunkel Lager? A California Common and a Steam Beer? Ok, so those are the same thing…
C’mon, it’s confusing enough! What is this the Punk’d of beer blogs? Is Ashton Kutcher going to jump out from behind my growler?
Amazingly, no. Finally, you might actually learn something from this worthless blog.
This first publishing will compare the difference of a lager and a blonde ale
To a novice, both styles tastes relatively similar. And when you ask an uneducated bartender how to describe a blonde, they’ll usually say ditzy, lots of makeup, and firm thighs, but eventually explain “they’re like a lager.”
He’s halfway correct. Blondes may look like a lager, but the reality is, they are completely opposite in how they’re brewed and how they’ll impress one’s parents.
Let’s start with the basics. There are two types of beers. All the rest you see are subtypes of these two categories – lagers, and ales.
An ale is a type of beer brewed from malted barley fermented at higher temperatures than lagers. The yeast used, which is a strain of brewer’s yeast, ferments quicker than lagers and generally produces sweeter, and more robust tastes. Many ales contain hops which balance the sweetness of the malt.
In contrast, the crisper lager, boasting drinkability and propensity to dominate the beer scene on a hot beach day, is fermented at cooler temperatures. Instead of the varied grains of ales, a lager is produced often on a massive scale using cheaper options such as rice and corn (known as American adjunct lagers). Lagers generally fall flat in the taste department but are more drinkable due to less bittering hops, and their light bodies – at least for the ones doing jazzercise twice a week. Lastly, and most important in differentiation is the yeast. Lager yeast produces less fruity esters than yeast used in ales. Examples of lagers are of course Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Heineken, Yuengling, Pabst, Stella Artois, Hinano, etc. etc. Every country has one you’ve heard of. It’s science.
So why do blonde ales get to have so much more fun than lagers? Well, contrary to what most match.com users think, blondes have a more complex profile. Underneath that layer of foam, a fizzy complexion, and hour-glass, glass lies a silhouette bursting with full-bodied flavors. But don’t be fooled by a blonde ale that isn’t truly one – there are lagers out there doing their best to trick you into thinking they’re something they’re not. Just ask Hank Baskett. Trust me, you’ll thank me the next morning.
Here are some examples of Blonde Ales you may have tried:
Big Wave Golden Ale by Kona Brewing Co.
Hoptober Golden Ale by New Belgium Brewing
Twilight Summer Ale by Deschutes Brewery
Summer Love by Victory Brewing Company
Third Cast Beer by Bell’s Brewery
Redhook Blonde by Redhook Ale Brewery
Barrio Tucson Blonde by Barrio Brewing Company
What do you do when you don’t have time to post new content on your blog? Naturally you re-post a previous post! This one got more views than other other posts on the blog and is great for anyone going through a pregnancy… who also loves beer of course. Don’t want to read about babies turning into picnic snacks? Scroll to the bottom and read about a review of the greatest beer on the planet – Pliny The Elder!
Tales from the 1st Trimester – Originally posted July 2013
With first trimester comes an emotional roller coaster of mood swings, nausea, and bizarre food cravings. And then of course there was how my wife was feeling.
I was about prepared for a pregnancy as a Tyrannosaurus was for a face-slapping competition with Gumby.
So, like Stevie Wonder at an orgy I was left to feel my way around the first trimester.
How did this actually happen, I kept asking myself, and I mean that in a good way. I can’t even navigate my way home from work sometimes and I’ve done it a hundred times. How on earth did my sperm find its way? It must’ve been pure coincidence. Like for example, the sperm accidentally backed over an object while driving in the fallopian tubes and it just happened to be the egg?
There are plenty of books, articles and movies for women in the first trimester and rightfully so, but not as many for dad. The ones that are available however are pretty good. It’s just that I didn’t read them.
How hard can this roller coaster be I thought as I handed my nifty pregnancy ticket to the pregnancy park usher. Well, it’s the type of roller coaster that takes you up 300 feet, drops you, takes you up 300 feet, drops you, takes you 300 feet, up, down, up, down, up, down, so by the time the second trimester comes around you’re no more than a useless piece of mental jelly.
If the first trimester was a piece of furniture it would be one of those Ikea dressers that come with four less holes than screws just to make you think you’re an idiot and did something wrong. Month three hits, and you’re left standing in your kitchen watching your wife devour a carton of Rocky Road ice cream and all you have to show for yourself is a worn down allen wrench.
One day you’re absolutely ecstatic and the next day you’re frantically scanning the bus schedule for direct routes to Portugal.
How am I going to afford this thing?
What if he or she hates me?
What if he comes out as the devil reincarnated like in that movie The Omen and begins plotting my demise? Say I come home on a random Tuesday and find him in my den with horns and pointing a fiery pitchfork?
These were the things keeping me up nights.
My wife downloaded another app which gave her dynamic news for every week of the pregnancy.
Her favorite part was telling me what the baby’s size was each week.
“This week our baby is the size of a pea,” she’d tell me.
Another week it was the size of a plum.
Another? A yam.
Jesus, did my wife get knocked up by the cast of Farmville? Or did Yogi the bear surreptitiously make his way into our apartment with his basket while I was at work, put the moves on my wife, and now she’s filled with picnic snacks?
How does the app determine what your baby’s the size of anyway? Is it fruits and vegetables for every city or just the ones with the propensity to for healthy eating?
Meanwhile at the baby app headquarters…
“We’ve got another subscriber here boss- this one from San Francisco.”
“Dynamite work Jimmy, let’s turn their baby into a fruit salad, followed by a hummus dip, and then hit them with honeydew for the third trimester. That will shut them up.
“Jimmy just do it – trust me on this one.”
What about in other parts of the country?
“Another one boss – looks like a Houston baby this time.”
“Great job Jimmy, ok let’s see, make it a doughnut, then a beef brisket, and at 22 weeks, make their baby the size of the largest Big Mac the world has ever seen.
This app is the only one created that was successful in making me actually want to ingest my baby. By the 26th week, I was a full-fledged vegetarian.
The first trimester is also when medical professionals ensure you don’t sleep at night. At the end of an appointment you receive a document informing you of the exact chance your child will have some horrific disorder, as such, one previously found only in manatees.
“So there’s a 1 in 321,000 chance your child will have a condition that will actually swap their left foot and their genitalia,” the Doctor tells you after careful examination.
“Doc I don’t think that’s possible – so let me get this straight, my kid could possibly come out with a penis for a foot? Is that even legal?”
“Yes, and after examining with close precision looking on this monitor here, we’ve also determined with nine percent accuracy that your child will have a higher incidence of Indian burns when he or she is older.”
“Like the ones you get when someone turns both hands on your wrist in an irritating manner?”
People asked me.
What if your child comes out ugly?
Doesn’t like sports?
Is a communist?
Doesn’t love Justin Bieber?
Looks like Yogi bear?
Well after the Doctor’s assessments I would’ve been happy with a cross-dressing, hippy, peg-legged transvestite for a child, as long as he was healthy…wait a second did you just say Yogi Bear?
That son of a…
And now to the bear I mean beer (darn that Yogi!) portion of the blog…
What beer is in Steve’s fridge?
Brewed by: Russian River Brewery Santa Rosa, Ca
Style: American double IPA
If I could live out the rest of my days swimming in a pool of this stuff I would, but no one will give me the construction loan I need to make it happen. Perhaps it’s because I always ask while under the influence of this delight.
This beer is so good it literally is no longer in my fridge because I’ve drunken it since I started writing this sentence.
This beer is so good brewers melt into gold when brewing it.
If this beer was an orgy it would consist of Megan Fox, Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba.
Have I mentioned this beer is amazing?
The taste of this beer is the epitome of perfect balance – hoppy, but not too hoppy. Malty but not too malty. Fruity but not too fruity. Sweet but not too sweet. I mean who are these guys? They are the perfect ying and yang of beer making. No ingredient is too much or too little!
These guys could seriously throw any ingredient in and it would come out perfect.
“Bill what if we threw in this old moldy sock?”
“Mmmm… not bad… a little moldy, but not too moldy, perfect…”
This is a heavy IPA yet goes down as smooth as blackberry lemonade at a hot day which makes things a little dangerous with its high alcohol content.
Unfortunately this beer is almost impossible to find. You have to go directly to the brewery or be lucky enough to find it at a bar, but unlike Lewis & Clark’s discovery of North Dakota, it is worth the effort.
Try on some other posts for size:
Recently, a craft home brewing website called Noble Brewer asked me to write a post on why I started a beer blog. They take high-quality home brews, brew them at a commercial brewery, pretty them up and then ship them off direct to your home so you can have exclusive beers no one else has. Pretty cool.
Since I haven’t written on here for a while I figured I’d double-dip a little bit, and post the blog on here as well. Although this blog title should probably read Why I started a beer blog yet don’t ever write on it making me one pathetic loser, but you be the judge.
Here it goes…
Today anyone with a halfway decent internet connection and a hint of something interesting to say can start a blog. For me it was no different when I started mine about fatherhood and beer (naturally two things most fathers know go hand in hand).
So why did I start it? Was it because I’m insecure, crave instant gratification and am under the false impression that others actually have an interest in what I have to say?
Pretty much, but if that was solely the case, I could’ve started a blog about just about anything. After all writing a beer blog is a fairly difficult task, and it’s not because you need a degree from an esteemed university, must possess infinite creative wit or have the aroma-sniffing nose of a grizzly bear in heat. Sure, those help, but the real issue is documenting every fleeting thought at a time when you could be at the very least, slightly intoxicated.
So why did I think I was up for the task?
When a hospital handed my wife and me a beautiful baby boy in June 2013 without instructions or a gift receipt of any kind, we found ourselves lost, confused, and somehow responsible for another life.
This is it? I thought to myself as the release form was signed and dated. You’re just going to hand him over and then what do we do?
The iTunes disclosures when downloading Angry Birds are more legally binding than the paperwork you sign to receive a human.
Shouldn’t we receive a six-week training course, a 200 page manual and some sort of buyer’s remorse guarantee if we decide that dirty diapers, zero sleep, and having one’s life controlled by nine pounds of screaming monster simply isn’t worth giving up game night and Pub Crawl Thursdays?
The lack of required preparation and basic knowledge of something so important made me realize I had no idea what I was doing. As a result of the stress and confusion, some pretty hilarious blunders began to take place and I felt that they needed to be shared. That way other fathers could either relate to them, or more likely, be relieved that they weren’t the least capable dad on the block.
Before I launched I decided to sit down with a favorite beer and do some research to see what was currently on the web. What I found was that there were several dad blogs that provided parenting tips at different stages of fatherhood journey. But what dad wants to read solely about caring for a child? As far as I was concerned, I had planned to learn that part as I went and deal with it the same way one deals with a monster under the bed – curl up in the fetal position and hide under the covers until morning. I knew that in order to capture the attention of other dads my blog would have to be entertaining and funny but it couldn’t just stop there. There would have to be another draw.
I took a swig of my golden Belgian ale, holding it in my mouth a second longer than normal to let the yeasty notes and fruity sweetness embrace in a tornado of passion like two horny teenagers at their first keg party.
I swallowed and as the lingering floral aroma danced up and out of my nostrils, I felt the new parenting stress departing my body.
I took another swig and it hit me.
Now that I was a new father, I needed this beer for a temporary escape. I didn’t just need it – I relied on it. I knew I couldn’t be the only one. Every new dad, or every dad for that matter could use a beer once in a while right? Does that make us bad fathers? Quite the contrary actually. And just how would other dads know which beer to drink? And most importantly wouldn’t they want to be entertained when reading about which beer to drink?
And from that, my blog was born.
So what’s so different about it compared to other beer blogs? There’s certainly content out there notifying readers what they’ll taste, just like there are plenty of riveting Facebook posts notifying followers when someone sneezes or heats up a bowl of leftover macaroni.
My goal is not to tell people what the beer is like – I want to show them how it makes me feel. That’s the story that I try to put on paper. Sometimes that story also includes random ruminations you won’t find elsewhere such as what the surfboard-toting shark on the label of Lost Coast’s Great White does to pass his Sundays. (Clearly important).
Beer is fun to drink, and rightfully so, a beer blog should be fun to read.
A good beer gets the job done. But a great beer transports you to better times when life made sense and all was right with the world. Because that’s what a great beer does- not only do you get the satisfaction that comes with drinking it, but it can conjure up pleasant impactful memories of times past. For example, like the time your father showed up during your shift at Arby’s and let you know he finally accepted you weren’t going to be an astrophysicist like him, and then you shared a German Doppelbock next to the roast beef slicer. These are things that deserve to be put on paper and quite frankly if I don’t – who will?
At the end of the day I started the blog to have a creative outlet, but also because I want others to get enjoyment out of it. And in some rare cases, just maybe learn a thing or two.
Years ago messenger pigeons dominated the sky – visionaries in communication technology, delivering messages to dignitaries throughout the land. Today, with the rise of cell phone communication most of them are shells of their former selves, forced to live out the rest of their days as mere common birds.
The unlucky ones found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as in the back alley of a French restaurant, but others decided to call Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California home. With only dreams of memory’s past to occupy an anxious brain, pigeons often find comfort in teasing young children into thinking they can be captured, only to disappoint the youngster as they dance just out of reach of the tyke’s reach. This bird of un-prey was no exception…
The first few days after a new baby’s arrival, your cat’s strange behavior typically goes unnoticed. Any unusual occurrences indicating your cat is pissed about the arrival and probably wants you dead are easy to chalk up as another catnip overdose or miss completely. Inauspiciously for you however, your clandestine feline’s plot won’t remain underground for long. Somewhere in the darkness, your cat lurks, prepping for a secretive attack leading to your ultimate demise.
What are the signs exactly? How does one know if their cat really wants to roll them into a ball of tuna and feed them to local alley cats, or if it’s just a phase, like when she used to post pictures of you wearing your wife’s undergarments (photo-shopped of course) until you changed her litter box.
No two cats are the same, but here are some fairly universal signs to look out for.
Your cat is coughing up hairballs Every cat expert knows that each hairball contains a high level of morality. This means that when the last one finds its way up the pathway of your cat’s esophagus and out into the world, your cat will be pure evil – all the way from the tips of her whiskers to the last hair on her tail.
Strange cats keep showing up at your door Your cat has made some new friends, and none of them are that cute kitten that gets tickled and then sticks all four paws out in delight. Your cat is fraternizing with suspicious hobo cats – in particular the ones trained in paw to paw combat.
Your cat hides in tight places without moving for long periods Unless you have a cat who is also working towards a career as a pantomime this tactic is for determining best time and angle for an attack. Remaining still in tight places allows her to focus and master the art of patience.
Your cat sits and gazes out the front window Zoning out and appearing to fantasize about catching birds darting to and fro in your garden was cute months ago, but now your cat is using this for strategic reflection time. She is carefully brainstorming every step of her sinister plan while charting out hideout spots for when the deed is done at the same time.
Your cat bites your feet when you’re sleeping At one point your cat may have bit your toes as a sign of affection, but now she is using them as a testing ground so she knows how many pounds per square inch of pressure is required to break flesh when D-day arrives.
Your cat pretends to enjoy childless, senseless games Your cat knows that patience is a virtue because when the built-up anger releases it will unleash in a tornado of feline ferocity somewhere near your occipital bone.
Your cat responds to its name but doesn’t come when you call Again, this is another example of your cat testing your mental strength and patience. This is a standoff with an aim to gauge weakness. If you stop then appear disinterested, then she comes over when she wants, that is a sign that she’s won the mental battle. This gives her the confidence she needs to know she can mentally destroy you if the physical attack doesn’t work out.
Sharpening claws on scratcher or couches Your cat is preparing for battle – with you.
Dead animals are frequently showing up on your porch Haven’t quite figured out what this means, but anything dead brought to you does not equate to anything positive. Danger lurks. You’re near the end.
You receive word from your neighbors that your cat has been hanging out at their house with their cat This doesn’t mean your cat is running with the bad crowd; it means she is the bad crowd. Your cat is assembling a cat militia and she’s leading the charge.
Your oregano was replaced with catnip and you didn’t realize until you started rolling around on the ground rubbing your head on the carpet after eating spaghetti sauce You eat catnip? You have more problems than a cat plotting your gruesome demise.
You wake up and your cat has a butcher knife raised in your direction The end has arrived.
But, before you meet your untimely finale, you might as well go out with a bang and enjoy a nice, refreshing brewski. To be more specific, grab yourself a Mendocino Brewing Eye of the Hawk.
Brewed By: Mendocino Brewing Company
Style: American Strong Ale
In most cultures, ingesting the eye of a large bird of prey would get you a quick invitation to the local insane asylum. This beer may not physically put you in a padded room, but it will make you feel like you belong in one. It claims to be an 8% ABV but it feels more like a 28. A few of these hearty ales, and its highly likely an enraged, eyeless, flesh-eating carnivore will appear at your door looking to have a word.
The most salient aspects of this brew are its caramel, malty, and bread-like characteristics which do a nice job hiding the high alcohol content, however a hint does sneak up on you as you would expect from an 8% beer. But, if you were like me as a teenager and miss lubing your acned face with Clearasil while also eating malted caramels and bread then this beer will bring you back to the good ole’ days when life was your oyster and your dad still told you he loved you.
Its Northern California roots make this beer a magically mental voyage with each sip. A close of the eyes will transport you to the rolling golden hills off the California coast – the wind whipping through the trees and tall radiant grass blowing maniacally in every direction. A bird overhead drifts peacefully through the autumn sky unaffected by the gusts. The sun is setting and the horizon is littered with beautiful shades of pink, orange and yellow.
In the sky above, the bird squawks, likely eying a rodent bounding for safety on the ground below. To your left you hear the crashing sound of the treacherous surf relentlessly pounding the jagged, sea-ravaged hillside, retreating for just a brief moment to refuel for another savage pummeling. Somewhere in the distance a dog barks…
Wait no, that’s the bird again – now seemingly much louder than before. It is now making the sound not as much like a bird, or a dog, but more human-like. Demonic even. Like something you’d only hear in a movie about exorcisms, rings, or 104 years after a girl falls down a well on the anniversary of the occurance. You look up and let out a death curdling scream. There, torpedoing through the dusk sky is an eyeless hawk aimed straight for you. You take one last swig of your beer before it strikes…
Nine hours and twelve alarm clock snoozes later you awake curled up in a fetal ball between your bed and nightstand amidst a small village of Eye of the Hawk beer bottles. Now that’s some good beer.
Bonus sign your cat definitely wants you dead
He takes up speed skating – wait what?
Wow, that was a long Elite 8. The brackets were actually being constructed out of tiny toothpicks, able to be assembled only by the tiniest of gnomes located in only one town in Northern Alaska- ok so the blog writer is at fault here… With that said… here are the continued brackets.
We’re down to the final four.