Monday, December 26, 2011

Top 50 (Part 1): Andre and Pony P get weird.

Top fifty lists.  Or top ten lists.  Or even top three - like your top 3 three albums of all time - right now - give ’em to me.  It’s not easy to do.  I’ve been there - Thanksgiving eve, fresh from being snuck upstairs to see the second set of a great local band with a new line-up - a few deep on some Mad Elfs and chasing with Pabst in a basement bar (picture me running around in a basement with a guy named Pabst, a stout hairless man with his shirt off, think Iron Sheik meets a bowling ball, chasing stuff, and maybe there‘s a crowd of on-lookers waving cash and placing bets).  The band covered the Lemonhead’s “Drug Buddy” and that inspired me to declare It’s a Shame About Ray (the Lemonhead’s album containing “Drug Buddy”) as a top ten of all time.  To which my friend Andre (yes, I have a friend named Andre, and yes, he is a man that likes a fine lightweight scarf) proclaimed his number one album of all time was the motion picture soundtrack to The Last of the Mohicans.  Starring Daniel Day Lewis.  His defense of this “album” at one point included the phrase - “man, when those violins hit you…I could run up a mountain.”  It was around this time that I noticed a fire in Andre’s eyes that let me know he was serious.  I feared he would punch me in the crotch. 

I was and still am awestruck.  Flabberghasted.   Last of the Mohicans.  Really?  I almost downloaded it on iTunes.  Three different times.  But I don’t have a credit card.  Or any iTunes gift cards.  I am way off the grid.

But top 50 lists, specifically top 50 beer lists, like Andre’s bold pledge of allegiance to Daniel Day Lewis and the stringed compositions that attempt to describe an elk hunt, tend to get my attention.  While out stalking on various social media sites, I came across such a beer list at  The way I look at it, a beer on such a list is a beer worth having. 

I’ve had the opportunity to have more than my fair share of some of these:  Allagash White (a Belgian wit with a slight American twist), Bear Republic Racer 5 (an IPA), Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (a double IPA), North Coast’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, Troeg’s Nugget Nectar (a hopped up Imperial Amber), Stone’s Sublimely Self Righteous Ale (a black IPA), and Stillwater’s Cellar Door (a saison).

Obviously all of these beers are very good.  The Sublimely Self Righteous, while I wasn’t completely sure about it when I wrote about it here, has grown on me in a big way.  One day I was lucky enough to have a 21st Amendment’s Back in Black, another Black IPA, followed by some Sublimely Self Righteous.  Both were good, but I was quickly falling in love with the Self Righteous.  That night, I had a bottle of Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, a beer I love, and it seemed mild in comparison to the Sublimely Self Righteous I had earlier in the day.  I was hooked.

Stillwater’s Cellar Door is one that I just had recently, once on tap and then again, with Wife, in a big bottle, at this place called The Mint - a bank that got turned into a gastropub - the beers are kept in the vault!  What I love about this beer is the subtleness of it’s complexity.  It’s a saison, but with wheat and sage.  It has a smoothness and an earthiness that really dance around one another.  Very Last of the Mohicans, in it’s own way. 

There are a few more on the list of the 50 best beers that my good friend, Pony P, and I recently enjoyed at a lovely event called Hoppy Christmas or Very Hoppy Christmas or something like that - you get the idea, right? - and I want to tell you about those beers, I do, but all I can think about right now is the fact that Pony P shaved his beard.  He’s bare faced headed into the height of winter. Clearly, he is not mentally sound, and I have some real concerns.  The fact that he took his dog to sit on Santa’s lap doesn’t not make me feel any better about the whole situation.  The fact that he told me about the whole dog and Santa thing has my bowels all knotted up and shaky.  Pony P has taken this bromance to a level of intimacy that, frankly, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with.

Andre’s listening to movie soundtracks; Pony P is shaving his face and taking his pooch to Santa - what the fuck is going on here, guys?  Does the dog ask for stuff?  I mean seriously!  Keep your weirdo shit to yourself.  I don’t go around flaunting my collection of pictures of animals dressed as doctors.  Nobody wants to see a kitten, or a golden retriever for that matter, wearing a stethoscope and a white coat, looking all George Clooney on ER circa 1995.

Thank You uNatrualInspiration!
Anyway, I found another list, this one is the top 50 American Beers and is based on votes.  I’ve had quite a few off of this list as well, some with the man formerly known as Pony P. 

Oh, and I'm in the process of creating a new list: Top 50 most embarrassing things you can do/say while/after drinking one of the Top 50 beers. 

But I’ll tell you about those later.  Right now, I need to go write “Pony” on some cinder blocks and smash them with a sledge hammer.  Yes, I will wear safety goggles.  And a toga.  And yes, I am gonna grow the fuck outta my sideburns.


  1. Top three Beers - beers I always love to drink: Old Rasputin, Bell's Two-Hearted Ale, Stoudt's American Pale Ale. I really wanted to include Watney's Cream Stout, but I haven't had it since the glory days of Alexander's so I don't know if it's still my favorite.

    Top Three Albums: Impasse by Richard Buckner, Darkness on the Edge of Town by Bruce Springsteen, and The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place by Explosions in the Sky. That's a very "Last of the Mohicans" kind of thing, I guess. Epic in it's sparseness. For the record, It's a Shame About Ray is a top 15 for sure, maybe top ten.

    Top three things to put pickles on: Cuban sandwich, Grilled cheese, French Fries.

  2. Just recently started to delve into Darkness on the Edge of Town. It is superb.

    Top three things to put bacon on: everything, nothing (stand alone bacon), bacon (bacon wrapped bacon).