Your 4th of July Day Open Thread & Commentist Beer Barrel: Boots On The Ground – San Diego International Beer Festival 2018

Heyyyy, happy 4th of July, folks! Low Commander here to dust off the old Beer Barrel and hopefully wet your whistles for the incredible day of BBQing, blowing shit up and straight up shameless DRANKIN’. 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, (mostly because I am not a pet or a PTSD suffering veteran,) and am looking forward to spending the day going to a few local breweries starting right around when this baby goes live at 11 West Coast time, BBQing the hell out of some ribs and then enjoying fireworks right from my balcony. It really doesn’t get much better than that, and if you factor in a strategic 5-day weekend, well,  you can probably see why I’m in a good mood.

Today is also a perfect time to catalog my now second annual review of the San Diego International Beer Festival, which took place last month at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. You may remember last year’s post better than I remember going to the event, and my memory of this one is really hazy after a certain point. All I’m saying is I am really glad that I took notes and had some good friends there with me to make sure that I didn’t make more of an ass of myself than usual.

What follows are said notes from the event. I certainly didn’t have the ability to write about every beer I tried, but when something caught my attention, I took it down. For those keeping score at home, here is the full Beer List from the ‘Fest, and if you have any questions on things I didn’t list, I would be happy to see if I can recall what I thought of them in the comments. Shall we begin?

San Fernando Brewing Co. Imperial Death Star Stout (San Fernando, CA) – Boozy, maple nose. Pure bitter chocolate taste. Literally like drinking a handful of melted, bitter chocolate chips.

Track 7 Brewing Co. Nukin’ Futz Imperial Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream Porter (Sacramento, CA) – Peanut butter, sweet and coffee. Perfect combo and surprisingly light in feel. That’s drinkable on a cold day and even on a pretty warm one. Hey, it’s only 7.3% after all!

Kern River Brewing Company Think Tank Rotating Hop Build IPA (Kernville, CA) – Little more bitter than I like up front, but kinda sweet and great pine after that fades. Solid choice.

New English Brewing Co. Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Zumber (San Diego, CA) – The original, non-barrel aged version has become a pretty standout staple around here. This is everything I loved about the original, but twice the power. More chocolate, kinda bitter and a little nutty.

Ninkasi Brewing Co. Ground Control Imperial Stout (Eugene, OR) – YASSSS. You may remember this from a past Beer Barrel that I wrote, and found this beer, brewed with yeast sent into SPACE, a little disappointing. I attribute that to me aging this beer much longer than I should have, and was really happy to be able to try it relatively fresh. Sweet as fuck, but complex and amazing. Most of my other friend’s didn’t like it, but what the fuck do they know?

Humble Farmer Brewing Company 80 Acre Carrot Ale (Holtville, CA) – This beer is carrot cake in a glass. I usually hate carrot cake, but this was damn good. NUTMEEGGGG, cinnamon, somehow creamy and with a sweet carrot taste. Recommended for the holidays.

The Bruery Girl Grey Belgian Strong Golden Ale (Placentia, CA) – Smells like a cup of Earl Grey. Tastes like a sweet cup of tea. Has lactose and almonds in it. I don’t like black tea, but this is good. Not bitter at all. I want to have this with a plate of bacon pancakes. STOP MAKING ME WANT TO DRINK IN THE MORNING!

King Harbor Brewing Company Swirly Special American Brown Ale (Redondo Beach, CA) – This was hands down the most unique beer I had at the ‘Fest. Mouth feel of soft serve ice cream. Coffee, vanilla and chocolate. Weird, not a full pint worthy but good. I can feel SonOfSpam’s yearning for a pint from here though.

Silva Brewing Paso Pale and Hop Maniac IPA (Paso Robles, CA) – I have mad respect for Chuck Silva, former Brewmaster of Green Flash, who left when the owner started tinkering with his award winning recopies. I’ve heard that they are old school Green Flash, and I heard right. These were bitter as all fuck. Not my thing, but I definitely glad someone is still making these types of beer. Old school West Coast, IPAs that Papa Commander is a massive fan of.

The Bruery So Happens it’s Tuesday (Placentia, CA) – Love this beer. Just pure POWER. So much going on. I don’t know much else, but it’s incredibly smooth and delicious. I don’t know how the Buruery does it but they do!

Enegren Brewing Co THE BIG MEAT (Moorpark, CA) – I tried this beer last year, and still absolutely love it. It’s like drinking a smoked pork chop in a glass. Drink this while BBQing and it’s everything. Yeah, I’m weird and love smoked beers.

North Park Beer Co. Pierpont’s Reserve Porter (San Diego, CA) – I’m a porter whore, and this beer screams to me. It starts like a porter and ends like a chocolatey stout. Fuck yes, give me all of it.

Stone Brewing 2013 Old Guardian Oak-Smoked Barely Wine (Escondido, CA) – Fuck. Me! For how light this beer looks, it’s all flavor. It’s like sticking a cigar in the original version, in all the best ways. More bitter, but so great. So glad to see smoked beers making a comeback this year. Did I mention that I love them?

It’s only been an hour? FUUUUUCK!

El Segundo Brewing Co. Sietes de la Suertes Double IPA (El Segundo, CA) – Well El Segundo is amazing and have easily become one of my favorite breweries. It’s funky as fuck for a DIPA, but I dig it. I have never been led astray by them. And the Hammerland IPA is right THERE TOO.. Stupid smooth. These guys continue to always amaze.

Founders Brewing Company Kentucky Breakfast Stout (Grand Rapids, MI) – Coffee and Bourbon? What’s not to love?!

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co Zero to Sexy Golden Mocha Ale (Buellton, CA) – Love the name. Can’t taste it though, because the Stout from before is still in my glass after rinsing it.

Nickel Beer Company Bruce Banner Grade Double IPA (Julian, CA) – Makes sense because it’s powerful as fuck. Strong DIPA, with sweet but sensual flavor. Kinda funky, but it gets me. Look out for those stupid, sexy Hulk pecs.

Fremont Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star with Coffee (Seattle, WA) – When I approached this booth, I asked the ‘tender what they got. “We have light, fruity light and Guinnessy.”  I think you know what I chose. Oh, it’s not on nitro, but it’s smooth and good. Quickly fading chocolate, but solid. This is definitely pintable.

***FIREWORKS INTERLUDE***

Six years ago, the Big Bay Boom fireworks show in San Diego had a malfunction where all of the fireworks went off in a 30 second span and gives us one of my favorite clips. Unconfirmed reports indicate that a masked, yellow foam headed man was seen tampering with the equipment right before, but those reporters went mysteriously missing right afterwards, so I’m just going to chalk it up to a glitch in the system.

***RETURN TO BEER***

At this point, I was challenged to a race by the Manager of Burning Beard, one of my favorite breweries in the area (and was named after a song by one of my favorite bands), for a koozie. “I play competitive rugby, mother fucker!” She wasn’t fooling around. I thought we were gonna run, but it was to drink 10 oz of their Normcore Pilsner. My ass was kicked, but she sold one to me for $3. Best money spent. Also  love their beer, period.

Pizza Port Brewing Company Strong Ale Blend 2017 Barrel Aged (Carlsbad, CA) – That’s an ager. Really good,  It’s boozy, and there goes my legs are little bit. Fucking a.

Beachwood Brewing System of a Stout (Long Beach, CA) I HAAATE System of a Down. Like, literally my least favorite band ever. But this beer is fucking great. It’s got all the vanilla, mixed with perfect barrel aged and Bourbon. Had this aged before and it’s amazing. Always buy this beer if you see it.

And this is where things start to go sideways, as the next beer I review I’m pretty sure I made up. I can’t find the name to exist on the list, and through online search yields no results. I’ll leave my notes in their original format from where on out.

Things aren’t seeming to impress me anymore. But Pizza Port doing Happily Ever After is quality. There’s…. And I’m swinging. It’s good. Stop talking to me,  lama man!

I keep hearing things about Novo Brazil, and I am constantly underwhelmed. I had a hazy that was average, and  it just didn’t  do much for me. Do better, guys

I have questions about the Sam Adams ’76. I’ve seen the commercials, and that’s not how I wanna find out about my beer, but this isn’t bad. It’s definitely trying make a name for itself, but it’s nothing amazing. Lager heavy is my best way to describe it. But not bad. A six pack or a pint will tell you plenty. Their hazy though… Nawwwww.

Barrel aged Blue Dream. This is Xmas in a glass. Nutmeg, all the spices, this is everything for Winter.

Nickle Brewing Jalapeno Gold: For Senior. It’s got  great kick and that’s most of what I taste. It’s good though and I’d definitely drink more. Nickel knows what’s up.

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers was ALL THE BEER, probably drinking close to 80 different kinds during this 4 hour span and should not have been trusted to make decisions. This led to him ordering a “Falafel Waffle” as his post Beerfest meal at the fair for the second time in five years and being horribly disappointed for the second time. He threw up some of said “Waffle” in front of everyone while on the phone with an already pissed off Roommate Commander, then come home, drank copious amounts of water and woke up the next day amazingly refreshed. He now hopes you enjoy one of his favorite DFO Radio playlists, which he was unable to contribute to due to flying up to San Jose for the weekend 2 years ago.

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Low Commander of the Super Soldiers
Low Commander of the Super Soldiers
Low Commander of the Super Soldiers is a native North County San Diegan with an affinity for the Padres, beer, whiskey, punk rock, video games and the end of days. If you eat a fish taco with a fork in his presence, you may lose your hand.
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Horatio CornblowerBrettFavresColonoscopyMoose -The End Is Well NighBrick Meathookscotchnaut Recent comment authors
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BrettFavresColonoscopy

Well, fireworks from the beach was a first. How are everybody’s dogs holding up?

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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scotchnaut

Ringo Starr reminds me of The Commodores

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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scotchnaut

“The Last Waltz” reminds me of the only ex-Beatle to have #1 back-to-back hits

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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herodotus450
herodotus450

-GOP’s entire platform since 1973

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“WUT?”

-NRA

scotchnaut

*unless it’s my daughter* ppl forget that

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“Still legal if you are rich.”

BrettFavresColonoscopy
Horatio Cornblower

I see I should scroll down more often.

Horatio Cornblower

“unless it’s my MISTRESS
fixed

herodotus450
herodotus450

For no reason here’s Apu
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Wait that’s not Apu.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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scotchnaut

“She’s Got Bum!”

-ZZ Topp

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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scotchnaut

Robbie Robertson reminds me of Levon Helm

scotchnaut

John Hiatt reminds me of Robbie Robertson

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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herodotus450
herodotus450

Chuck is looking good.

scotchnaut

John Prine reminds me of John Hiatt

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Redshirt

Honest question.

If TV existed then, would the Civil War had happened or had the same outcome?

How about the Revolutionary War?

herodotus450
herodotus450

“Is you neighbor a Tory? Tune in at 11 to find out!”

scotchnaut

Would the tv have a remote with a mute button? This is important.

Redshirt

Uh… Sure, I guess. Part of me wants to say no, but I’ll make it today’s TV. You take away the mute button, you return TV to the 80s.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Redshirt

…and a protester climbed the Statue of Liberty with an “Abolish I.C.E.!” banner.

Don’t hate the player; hate the orange douchebag who tells I.C.E. what to do. You can’t fix Trump shit if he stays in power.

America isn’t liberal. It isn’t conservative. Its 45% Democrat-45% Republican-10% Undecided. You need to win the 10%.
That’s how B. Clinton and Obama won. They knew they had 45% in the bag. They just needed to convince the 10% to vote for them over the three old guys and the entitled idiot.

Gore, Kerry and H. Clinton didn’t, they didn’t win the 10% and lost the Electoral College in winnable races.

To paraphrase Sgt. Osiris: You went Full Libtard. You don’t go Full Libtard.

scotchnaut

This is the ‘Born in the USA’ that you may never have heard, courtesy of john Prine

Redshirt

(watching America the Story of Us)

“In 1948, the first step in Civil Rights started when the U.S. Army is desegregated. No longer will white and blacks serves separately. They will now stand, shoulder-to-shoulder, side-by-side.”

(the TV screen shows a black barracks with nary a pale white guy in sight)

Brocky

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Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

It’s 72°F where I am in Los Angeles right now!

That’s 22°C to my friends who speak metric!

But don’t worry, WE’RE JOINING THE PARTY!!!!!!!

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Redshirt

Its 95°F (Heat Index of 105°) but I’ll be here until the party ends or until the fire-breathing butterflies in the corner becomes aggressive.

yeah right

Pretty sure I won’t be cooking in the oven this weekend.

yeah right

Yeah let’s go ahead and light up that drinking lamp.
Cheers everybody!

scotchnaut

/2 weeks ago

Client: “We’re going elsewhere for our main supplier. I think we can do better that way.”

Me: “You have to do what you think is best for your business and I’m fine with that. If I can be honest-I think we over-serviced you in order to keep your business.But… that’s doesn’t mean much now.”

Client: …

Me: “I don’t take this personally-it’s business. Give me a call in a few weeks-I’d like to know what they’re doing better than us.”

/today

Client: [on the phone] “We’re switching back to you.”

#sogratifying

WCS

Just a regular Wednesday in Canadia.

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

What did they come back for – the blow jobs or the free booze?

Redshirt

That’s my job’s biggest customer.

(eight months ago)
“We’re leaving you.”

(two months later)
“They asked us to continue producing because the new vendors are having trouble running their stuff.”

(last week)
Boss: “The layoffs are bad but we’ll survive.”
Me: “Just imagine if in three years, they ask to come back. Think of how much we can charge them for it as payback.”
Boss: “I’ll tell them to go fuck themselves!”

No divorce is a good divorce..

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Do you grow and sell grass? Does your competition sell grass from the other side of the fence?

scotchnaut

I snorfed.

BrettFavresColonoscopy

Where can I find that carrot cake beer like right meow?

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

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Redshirt

(watching America the Story of Us)

Colin Powell: “In every American war, blacks answered the called to serve.”

Uh, for the first 90 years, most of them didn’t have a choice.

SonOfSpam

15 years ago that very same black man helped lie us into our latest war.

PROGRESS!

Redshirt

See! Blacks and whites are equally incompetent or corrupt!

PROGRESS!

SonOfSpam

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Redshirt

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“I’m sorry my boy, I can give your president only one thing. Now what do you want, a brain or a heart?”

“An indictment. If you’re out of that, courage for the Democrats. A double order for the Republicans.”

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

“No” is technically an answer

Redshirt

If you’re a slave, its a wrong answer.

WCS
SonOfSpam

Coming (heh) in Summer 2020…Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson like you’ve never seen him before…as a woman????

(record scratch)

(“I Feel Good” starts playing)

When Harold Rockmeyer can’t seem to get the right part, the right part comes looking for him.

(The Rock in makeup gets frustrated trying to fix a wig)

Sometimes you don’t know who you really are until you act like someone you aren’t.

(Josh Gad tries to pick up a bewigged Rock in a bar. “Dammit, Brendan, it’s me!” Josh Gad looks down in horror at his erection.)

In a world of phonies, only the truly fake person is real.

(The Rock in full drag wins an Emmy, but hesitates before making a speech)

Dwayne Johnson…is…Bootsie!

Directed by Michael Bay

Redshirt

KABOOM!

Senor Weaselo

So… Skyscraper is just a 2018 version of Die Hard, right?

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

What?!? No way!

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Redshirt

Oh, he was framed. So its not Die Hard. Its The Fugitive in a Building.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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WCS

Hollywood exec #1: “Hey! What if we did Die Hard… in a tall building!”
Hollywood exec #2: “That’s brilliant! We’ll call it ‘Skyscraper!'”
Hollywood exec #1: “FANTASTIC!”

/both continue to snort coke

Redshirt

I look forward to The Rock’s next original movie where he plays a cyborg from the future who has to perform pre-conception abortion on the mother of mankind’s future savior.

It’ll be called: Human Hunter.

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

The Rock stars as a Kansas farm girl who’s transported over the rainbow, makes new friends, and learns a valuable lesson. He also kills two witches.

Redshirt

Now I want to see a remake of “The Wizard of Oz” with Dwayne Johnson not as Dorothy Gale, but as The Rock. Don’t tell me that won’t make tons of money!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Redshirt

2010 Redshirt (watching America the Story of Us): “Donald Trump sounds like a blowhard but he’s harmless.”
2018 Redshirt (watching America the Story of Us): “Boy was I wrong eight years ago about President Trump.”
2026 Redshirt (watching America the Story of Us): “Boy was I wrong eight years ago about King Donald.”
2034 Redshirt (watching America the Story of Us): “Boy was I wrong eight years ago about the disposed King of America.”
2042 Redshirt (watching America the Story of Us): “Boy was I wrong eight years ago about Emperor Trump.”
2050 Redshirt (watching America the Story of Us): “Boy was I wrong eight years ago about…ACK!” (heart attack; falls over dead)

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

Dang! That fat boy just sorta vanishes.
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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Redshirt

My family doesn’t understand the concept of “Its my day off and I don’t want to do shit.”

tomsellecksmoustache
tomsellecksmoustache

Man, Maury has some explosive results just for the Fourth. Real American hero.

rockingdog
rockingdog

how about an Independence Day Updog joke?

[July 4, 1776]
THOMAS JEFFERSON: *seals envelope* Make sure this gets to the King
[2 weeks later]
KING OF ENGLAND: *opens envelope and starts reading* Updog? What’s updog?
BEN FRANKLIN: *explodes into the room* JUST DECLARING INDEPENDENCE FROM TYRANNY WHAT’S UP WITH YOU

Redshirt

Nice, but to be historically accurate and funny, Ben has to be drunk, half-naked and be dragging in an equally drunk and half-naked Queen Charlotte. AND be able to get King George III to both pardon him and high five him for getting some tail.

rockingdog
rockingdog

found a funny:

everyone who sets off a firework today and scares a dog will be sent to dog hell. there are no dogs in dog hell except for racism watchdog. have fun!

WCS

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Senor Weaselo

The baseball team based in Washington DC is a shitshow. Just like the football team based there. And the federal government based there. And to an extent the basketball team based there. Unfortunately not the hockey team based there.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Happy 4th everybody! For breakfast this morning I made an omelette with cheddar, pepperjack, bacon, and some tomatoes from the garden, along with potatoes fried in the bacon grease. If I’d had some roast green chilis for inside the omelette it would have been even better, but I was too hungry to spend the time roasting them. Oh, and avocado on top of the omelette.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

I think the dream for me is to own a house somewhere near the ocean that has avocado, lemon, lime, orange, and blood orange trees and enough room for a sizeable garden.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Oh also a bourbon distillery onsite and a harem of Victoria’s Secret models…mmm, scratch that, I’ll take some of the dancers from SYTYCD instead. And maybe Sofia Vegara stops by like once a week or so to make me chocolate milk and help me practice my Spanish.

Senor Weaselo

Dr.-Mrs.-Deadly would be fine with all of this, of course.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Yes in this fantasy she is bisexual and partakes from the harem just as much as I do.

Oh and also it would be nice to have chickens. Fresh eggs are wonderful.

Senor Weaselo

As long as you don’t end up tending the rabbits.

theeWeeBabySeamus

Holy hell, dude. That comment made me do a spit take, literally.
I had to (temporarily) pause my no commenting break to tell you so.

Too funny.

Leche con chocolate?

– Sofia Vergara still not noticing Dr. Mrs. Deadly approaching her ominously with a knife

(oh, and the VS models will be with me on my deserted island…we’ll send a postcard)
((but call before you drop by))
💋

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Hi Rikki,
Everyone here is having a wonderful time.
Love it here, we really do.
Please give our best to Dr. Mrs. Deadly!

Postcard received three weeks later…

theeWeeBabySeamus

Sorry. I thought the bottle would float faster.
😉

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

“PUT SOME ZIP ON IT, COCKWALLET!”

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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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yeah right

Head brewmaster Rob at El Segundo Brewing is going to be opening a pizza place right around the corner called Slice and Pint. They should be open in about 3 months.

There will be a full report!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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We’ll be waiting.

Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

That sounds wonderful.

SonOfSpam

This is super great. Yeah, I want the Swirly Special American Brown, but I’m worried about ordering that in certain company. I want all the beers, then throw them up, then drink copious water, then go back to work tomorrow.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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Senor Weaselo

Sam ‘76 it just tasted like a watered-down ale to me. I understand what they were going for but it just muddies each of the beer categories.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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