Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Baseball or Beer? Don't Make Me Choose

And so the school year ends and the Ten-Year Old, a Texas Ranger, is playing against the Yankees. If they win, they challenge the Cardinals at 5:00 this evening. Which is a Problem. A Big one. My dear friends are hosting a fundraiser for their Unitarian Universalist Church at 5:00 this evening. Not that I'm all religious-like. But the fundraiser is a beer tasting.

With beer.

What to do?

My son is a pitcher.

My friends are beer connoisseurs.

And did I mention it's a fundraiser?

It's all about balance. So I go to the beer tasting instead of the first half of the game. And without trying to sterotype, you gotta love those UUs. They bike to their beer tastings, they wear Birkenstocks, they make great Costco gaucamole. And you get to know people like Pat (pictured with the lovely Mrs. Host in the background).

A few years ago, because Pat's significant other doesn't like to travel, she took her 16-year old grandson for a 39 day trip on the Oregon Trail while listening to ICP all the way there. On the return trip, she insisted he listen to her classical music. He slept the whole way.

Here is the host of our tasting wearing a Lord of the Beer shirt (more meaningful if you realize he's an American History teacher of Slovenian descent who does Irish Step Dancing).

Lord of the Beer begins the event with an Egyptian proverb: “Do not cease to drink beer, to eat, to intoxicate thyself, to make love, and to celebrate the good days.”

I couldn't agree more.

We start with lagers from Slovenia and work our way up the hops scale. We are told that the difference between lagers and ales is that one is bottom yeast fermented and one is top. Plus lagers are brewed at a cooler temperature.

Before the next selection is brought out, a Czech proverb is read: “A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.”

I take a few extra sips to make sure.

I stagger to the nearby baseball diamond. I arrive in time to wipe away the tears from my son's eyes because they lost quickly to the team that was stacked with the most "travel team" players. We return home (with the promise of a Webkins for being a good sport) and I stager back over to the fundraiser.

I'm oddly committed that way.

By now the UUs are into the IPAs (India Pale Ale). We learn they get their name from the British trade route to India where they stored the brew at warmer temperatures to help preserve it. ( I'm convinced if the Brits would have landed in the Middle East, they would have added hops to the toubouli).

We also learn there's a debate in the beer world about the trend to add extra hops, which raises the alcohol content to the equivalent of a bottle of bourbon. While the brew master of Brooklyn Brewry thinks this is like adding more salt to a really tasty dish, the Bells and the Dogfish Head folks think it's like adding more garlic to the hommos.

And after several glasses of double IPAs, I couldn't agree more. I love garlicy hommos.

Soon there's another quote: “Drinking beer doesn't make you fat, It makes you lean....against bars, tables, chairs, and poles.”

And then out come the stouts.

And the Belgians.

And the home brew.

And the continuous calls from kids at home, too lazy to make themselves something to eat.

What to do?

I fill a bowl with torilla chips and borrow a tub of gaucamole form the refrigerator. This is the beauty of friends who are Unitarian. They let you take things. I stagger home to the lovely family.

Before I depart, another quote is read. This one by Benjamin Franklin: "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

I couldn't agree more.

Hey, I'm off to the West Coast again--this time with the family. If all works out, I'll have some scheduled "stuff" posted. If all doesn't work out, check out Humor-Blogs. My ratings are slipping there faster than my parenting skills.


what's a donzer said...

That sounded like a perfect night. I think the UUs might have just found a new convert in me. Off to research their beliefs. After I finish this beer.

Alice said...

I wanna go to a beer tasting in your neighborhood. *whiny voice* I went to one once where the guys talking about the beers were very knowledgeable and it was actually quite interesting. Have fun out west!

Arpeggio Andy said...

I've looked into the UU beleifs before. They seem a little whacky to me. I will stick with what I call the Buzzed Baptist faith. (based on Mathew 15:10)

CableGirl said...

Oh, how I love beer. I'm actually a bit of a beer snob. That beer tasting sounds like it was an absolute dream.

Ms Picket To You said...

if obama went to a church like this, hillary would have conceded a long, long time ago.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Have a wonderful trip, Meg!

damon said...

I'm gonna hold out for the next church group to endorse whiskey.
Yeah, that's somethin to believe in!

Jake Titus said...

Ahhh, what a conundrum? But the true question is, "why choose"? Beer and baseball compliment each other so well. Like Abbott and Costello, Lewis and Martin, Kennedy and Beefeater Gin. It's so great to enjoy them together.

jt said...

Man, if the had beer drinking churches where I live, I might actually go once in awhile!