Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Really?!?!?!?

When will people learn that if you want the best, stick with the original and go to the source.

While I appriciate the Japanese for producing something in their local market, I don’t understand the mass consumption.

Read my review of Suntory Yamazaki to see what I mean.

 

Whisky, Japan’s Next Big Export?

From cup noodles to Pokemon, there’s a range of Japanese products that have surprised people here by becoming much more popular overseas than most in the country of origin ever thought possible.

Is Japanese whisky the next in line?

Certainly, connoisseurs have been praising Japan-distilled whisky — based on the Scotch variety — for some time, but the pace of growth in its popularity has caught even some of those who make it unawares. Ahead of the close of this year, Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., one of Japan’s biggest drinks makers, was pleasantly surprised to discover exports from its Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. unit shot up 60% this year, to 25,500 cases.

The home of award-winning drams like Taketsuru Pure Malt, Asahi and Nikka have been putting no little effort into developing the product overseas, but that volume was still 16% above targeted shipments. It’s worth noting that just five years ago, Nikka whisky exports stood at just 1,800 cases.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Shane McGowan

If anyone belongs in the S&B Hall of Fame, it’s Shane.

My favorite piece of trivia (other than he’s born on Christmas) is that he was also born the same year as Michael Jackson. 

I wonder what the odds were that he would outlive MJ?

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Shane.  You are the greatest.

shane

George Washington’s Eggnog

Friday, December 23, 2011

Where was Tom on the Night in Question?

I think that is what we all want to know.  Personally, I would NEVER do anything stupid after only “five or six” beers……….right?

Handicap Scooter Bumper Car Competition At Walmart Ends In 2:30 AM Arrest Of Drunken Louisiana Guy

An early morning game of drunken bumper cars--using Walmart handicap scooters--was broken up Saturday morning by Louisiana cops who arrested a 22-year-old man who copped to driving to the store while intoxicated.

Officers with the West Monroe Police Department arrived at the Walmart around 2:30 AM in response to a call about a disturbance. Store management told cops that a group of intoxicated suspects were “playing ‘bumper cars’ with the handicap scooters in the store,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

A police sergeant contacted Christopher Butler, who appeared “very intoxicated.” Butler, pictured at right, admitted driving his 2004 Ford truck to the retailer after consuming “five to six beers.” A subsequent Breathalyzer recorded Butler’s blood alcohol content as .133 (the legal limit is .08).

Butler’s fellow bumper car enthusiasts apparently escaped arrest.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WWSD–What Would Santa Do?

I know I haven’t posted much lately – I’ve been on a business trip to England (although it wasn’t an investigative trip like THIS ONE for Asiansnakewine.com) and I getting back into the swing.

What better way than to ask yourself What Would Santa Do while reviewing vintage advertisements?

First it seems Santa is an indiscriminant smoker…..from Lucky Strikes, to Pall Mall, to Camel……he smokes the hardcore stuff.  No Menthol here.

3_14SantaSmokesPallMallSantaVintage-Ads-Santa2

As for beer….nothing is better than the timeless Guinness ads.  Next year this is going to be my Christmas card.  I also liked the Ginger Ale ad with the bottle of whiskey in it.  If I were Santa, I would be all over the W.

4867021735_3863ec9302a9955santa-ad-with-white-rock-and-whiskeysanta-claus-1919-mon-magazine-beer-quebec

Finally, a special Merry Christmas from me and Father Christmas with a picture taken in Hyde Park.  Yes, I was drinking wine…what can I say, it was FREE!!!

photo-1

Friday, December 9, 2011

DWI enforcement effort is under way

Be Safe this weekend

Monday, December 5, 2011

An enforcement effort to identify impaired drivers will be conducted throughout the week in conjunction with a national campaign.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department will participate with additional DWI saturation patrols today through next Monday, according to a sheriff’s department news release. The campaign’s focus is to reduce deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired drivers.

Impaired driving contributes to nearly 30 percent of all Missouri traffic fatalities annually, the news release said. Columbia police also are participating in the national campaign.

The sheriff’s department Saturday completed a sobriety checkpoint in the 3600 block of Vawter School Road, according to a news release. Nearly 150 vehicles were checked, resulting in six misdemeanor arrests for driving while intoxicated and a single arrest for drug-impaired driving.

Deputies also arrested two people for driving with a suspended or revoked license and two more for liquor law violations. An arrest for a drug violation also was recorded.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2011/dec/05/dwi-enforcement-effort-is-under-way/

DUI Checkpoints

2nd Most Shoplifted Item

Mike sent me THIS the other day, and I never got around to posting it (Sorry Mike).

So, as we enter the holiday season…..what do you think the most shoplifted this time of year is?

If you said Filet Mignon ……well, then you already read the article.

Of course, since this is Smokes and Booze, I would just like to call your attention to the Number 2 Item- Jameson Whiskey.

Not t just any Whiskey, but Jameson.  I originally found this hard to believe, until I thought about it a little bit.  Every gas station, C-Store, Walmart or bodega sells Jameson.  In 99% of those cases, this is probably the highest end whiskey most of those stores sell.  So, if you are stealing, go big or go home.

Personally, I think it is all a plot by Delta House for another Toga Party.  MEAT, Whiskey, Electric Tools, Let’s Rock Elmo – Sounds like a hum dinger coming up.

Cheers -

Will Ferrell does an Endorsement

Will Ferrell is one of those actors you either love or hate.  His type of humor grates some people, and to others….it causes a belly laugh.

I happen to be one of those people who love him.  From Ricky Bobby, to Buddy the Elf to Prestige Worldwide……almost everything he does is classic.

Meanwhile, we sorta celebrity endorsements at S&B. 

The good would be Bill Murray (for Suntory), Willem Dafoe (for Jim Beam) or Sean Connery (in the classic Playboy Ads)

The bad would be my continual rant against P-Diddy.

When you combine the two, you have Ferrell doing something really special.

The ads are not the funniest thing, nor is the beer he is pitching great (Old Milwaukee), but the fact that he is doing 100% Free because he loves the brand and wants to promote it is something that the entitled in Hollywood (funny how the 99%ers never talk about them) should really take a look at.  Instead of worrying what is in his goody bag at the Oscars, flying first class to get somewhere or (heaven forbid) sharing a makeup trailer with someone else…..Will just believes in a product and says Give it a Try.

This truly is something we respect, as it is our mentality as well.  We don’t have sponsors here for a reason.  We want to be able to give honest opinions, and sometimes you feel compelled to overlook a product/service’s shortcomings if you are getting it for free.  The only time we ever ask for money, if for Charity.  That’s the way it should be if you love a product.

Maybe I’ll try some Old Milwaukee when I get back from London.  At least Will got my attention.

Well Done Mr. Ferrell – Cheers!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Don’t Drink and tweet

at least not if you are a government aide AND especially if you are tweeting from Work.

LarsenTweetB03

Needless to say……all have been fired

http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowldc/nw-pub-reports-larsen-aides-booze-it-up-at-work_b58351

Two of the Freakiest Ads of 2011

Adweek has run a piece on the “Freakiest Ads of 2011”.

You should jump over their site to check them out, but I have linked to the two Smokes & Booze worthy ones here -

Number 6 – Coors Light with Jean Claude Van Damme

What is up with the Muscles from Brussels?  His pants froze? WTF does that have to do with beer?

http://www.adweek.com/video/freakiest-ads-2011-coors-light-van-damme-136830

Number 5 – Suntory “Rickey”

Suntory is no stranger to us here at S&B, from the Yamzaki Single Malt review (with the Bill Murray commercial) to the Suntory Gin Ad (scroll down) – They love their commercials.

This one on the other hand will give me nightmares.  Mix booze with the Stepford Wives and you have this.

 

http://www.adweek.com/video/freakiest-ads-2011-suntory-rickey-136815

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Harry Morgan 1915-2011

Harry Morgan was a great actor, literally someone I grew up with.

From Dragnet to his role in The Shootist to the eternal Sherman TEE Potter in MASH….he was always on our TV.

I still quote him or sing like him to this day. 

RIP Harry….you will be missed.

Sad smile

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

World’s Greatest Dog

Christmas Gifts–Part 1

 

Here we go – As we go into the Holiday Seasons, here are a few items that might be of interest to the S&B audience – From $130 to $.01.

Stay tuned for a more items as we get closer to “The Mad Rush”.

  

  

How much is the beer at an NHL Game?

From the folks over at Saveonbrew.com (and friends of Beer Bouquet…..remember them?), we have the 2011 NHL Beer Price Analysis Chart.

Man, I love these kinds of break downs, as they show just how much the Arenas/Stadiums/Venues rake you over the coals.

With its exclusive NHL Contract (at $375 Mill) at least Molson Coors is passing some savings to those in Colorado (To bad InBev doesn’t do that for Rams Football Games), but still prices are out of control.  Its no wonder people are slowly starting to stay home more instead of attend a sporting event.  Its their way of showing the Stadium Owners the $10 Foam Finger.

Well done SaveOnBrew.Com and stay tuned to see if they answer some interview questions.

Cheers -

2011-NHL-beer-prices

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Quick Hits

 

Boy, it’s been an interesting weekend of stories.

First, we have what I am sure is going to be a MADD statistical field day, where a Driver rams into 'Booze it & Lose it' unit.  Knowing MADD, they will probably factor in all the police and cars present as part of the accident to inflate statistics.  But at least we got a funny pic. 

t3mza_Em_138

Meanwhile, Former Miss USA arrested for drunk driving after 'attempting to be the designated driver'.

Rima_FakihI don’t know which is more interesting – the fact that she is Muslim and shouldn’t drinking or her tweets to try and make it all go away -

Saturday: "Let's clear things up now. ... I'm NOT in Michigan and I'm NOT in jail! Wrong Fakih."

But ... it sort of looks like that was the right Fakih.

The post has since been removed, and on Sunday her attorney Doraid Elder confirmed the arrest, noting that her record "has not a single blemish," other than this and that Rima is "very saddened and very apologetic for the situation that she's in."

Oh well…..when is she giving back the crown?

Over at Aleheads they have a compilation of the MOST OFFENSIVE BEER LABELS.  Some of them are pretty good….here’s a taste.

hitler

Meet Steve Long.  Steve is a Douche.  I don’t mean that because he StevenLongis gay….personally I could care less.  Steve is a douche, because he picks fights in bars, slaps girls on the ass (in front of their boyfriend) and then wonders why he gets his ass kicked in (several) barfights.  Dude, I don’t know you….but I know your type, and it is the reason I have really disliked going to bars lately – it’s become amateur hour.  Everyone that was sober that night, from the Police to the bar owner, disputes your hate crime claims

so why look even more like a douche and continue them.  Instead, man up and say you got drunk.  Pay your fine and for the damages. It happens and people will respect you more for it.

Finally, on a lighter side…..Mike sent in this AWSOME AT-AT liquor cabinet someone made….>DEAR SANTA -

ATAT

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Helping St. Jude's

With today being the first day of December, I was originally going to have a post today about Smokes and Booze related Christmas Gifts.

That all changed this morning when James gave me his entry form for the St. Jude's Math-a-thon.

Math-A-Thon is a volunteer-based fundraising program for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The program includes a fun, free curriculum supplement featuring comic book characters for grades K-8.

Yes, you read that right – James is volunteering to do extra work in school to help raise money to help kids.

SAM_0179As you may know, James lost his brother Joey in 2008 to Cancer.  Several times in the past, he offered his own money or volunteered to help Cancer Research, and this has become his pet project.

Last year, James raised over $750 for this same cause, and now he has set a higher goal of $1000.  If you know me, when my son sets a goal, I will do whatever it takes to help him attain it.

Personally, I understand this is the holiday season and times are tough.  All you need to do is pick up a newspaper and see how people all over the US/World are struggling.  But as I sit here and think about it….this is the perfect time to think of this, as we can all agree…Christmas is a time of giving, and you can never go wrong when giving to kids.

If you would like to help us try to make a difference, you can visit James’ St Jude’s Page HERE  and make a donation.  If you can’t afford to help….please share the link or Facebook, Tweet it or just use “old fashioned” Email.  Get the word out.  It’s all we ask.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read this.  We appreciate it.

Cheers -

Ed, Debi and James.

https://waystohelp.stjude.org/sjVPortal/public/displayUserPage.do?userId=727631&programId=551&eventId=181446

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Check Out Woot–Whiskey Stones

As spotted by Simon today – Woot.com has SPARQ USA Soapstone Ice Rocks on sale, a set of 9 for $5.99.

Woot

Now I reviewed the two premium products on the market (Whiskey Disks vs Whisky Stones), but I never tried SPARQ.  In looking at their website, it appears that they do more than just Ice Rocks, but also Soapstone Shot Glasses, a Soap Stone Griddle and a Soapstone Thermal Appetizer Plate.  Kinda cool.

The Woot Price  seems quite the deal at almost 75% off the MSR of $19.50.

Since I already have two sets of stones (pun intended), I probably won’t be picking these up….but it might be a good stocking stuffer for the whiskey drinker in your life. 

That being said, if SPARQ wants to send me a set, I would be happy to do another comparison – Their product against the other two.

What do you say SPARQ?

Cheers-

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guinness and Cornflakes

 

I will say for the record……the lyrics are not even remotely safe for work and could be offensive to people who do not like rough language.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Quick Hits

It’s Monday again – so lets see some of the insanity that came in through the weekend.

kirstieTo start things off, how about Lt. Saavik (Kirstie Alley herself) demonstrating her secret weight loss plan.

To me, I could care less.  I think if smoking works for you, let me pass you a lighter, but of course the media has to be in her grill.

So, if that is your thing – head over to the Daily Mail and check out the rest of the pics.

Since we are on the subject of smoking, how about an article that “Smoking may be beneficial to long distance runners”.

-Serum hemoglobin is related to endurance running performance. Smoking is known to enhance serum hemoglobin levels and (added bonus), alcohol may further enhance this beneficial adaptation.
-Lung volume also correlates with running performance, and training increases lung volume. Guess what else increases lung volume? Smoking.
-Running is a weight-bearing sport, and therefore lighter distance runners are typically faster runners. Smoking is associated with reduced body weight, especially in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (these folks require so much energy just to breath that they often lose weight).
In the discussion, Ken goes on to point out that:
Cigarette smoking has been shown to increase serum hemoglobin, increase total lung capacity and stimulate weight loss, factors that all contribute to enhanced performance in endurance sports. Despite this scientific evidence, the prevalence of smoking in elite athletes is actually many times lower than in the general population. The reasons for this are unclear; however, there has been little to no effort made on the part of national governing bodies to encourage smoking among athletes.

Another tobacco article in the news (wow – three in a row) just goes to one step further to make Baseball Dead to me.  You see, MLB is enacting a new rule about Chewing Tobacco -

Major League Baseball announced it would no longer allow the use of chewing tobacco when fans are present. If you've got it, says the league, you've got to conceal it.

Really?  Kids don’t chew tobacco because big leaguers do…they do it because their friends and parents do (and yes, I knew some women that did).  MLB needs to focus on regulating steroid use and allowing Pete into the hall…..but tobacco enforcement is the least of their worries.  What would the Babe think?

On other news, Boone County Police released Gary Pinkel’s dash cam footage from his arrest.  I will refrain from my standard commentary and just let you make your own judgment.

Finally, on a lighter note…..I’ve stolen a picture off a friend on FB.  Justin pinged me this morning to let me know he liked the blog, and in going through his pictures – I found a good one, especially if you are tired of dodging all the deer this year. 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and stayed safe….and Justin, check out Crystal Head.

deer

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Since its the Holiday Season

It seems the people over at Wodka brand Vodka have shown some extremely poor taste in billboard advertising. 

Hey, I’m not above a little tongue in cheek joke (just ask Steve) – but even I thought this was a little crass (although funny)

vodka

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This Day in History

I give you a hijacking! 

Come on, did you really expect something about Thanksgiving?

DBCooperInstead, we have a little tidbit about D.B. Cooper.  I’m sure are we have all heard of how he hijacked a Boeing 727, received $200K in ransom and then parachuted in the November 24th 1971 night sky.

Some of you might even be aware that some ($5800) of the money was found in 1980, leading most to believe he died in the jump.

But did you know that he ordered two bourbon (some say Jim Beam) and waters, paid for them and even left a tip for the stewardess.  All this AFTER he hijacked the plane.

I won’t get into whether he was a criminal or hero…..but I will say he had some nuts.

So, as you have your turkey today – maybe think of a silent toast to the crazy brave…..I know I will have bourbon and water.

Cheers and have a safe Thanksgiving Weekend Smile

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Quick Hits

It’s been awhile since we’ve done an update, and for this I apologize.  Work has been a bear and family life thrown in makes for little time for blogging.  Hopefully we can get back to business and start putting some regular updates out there again.

So, I though a Monday Quick Hit is a great way to get things going again.

Enjoy -

Remember Onyango Obama (HERE), well it appears he is STILL in Obamacountry and still working at a liquor Store.  It must be nice to have a famous Nephew.  Head over to TMZ.COM to see more pictures.

For something really different, check out the “Worlds Fastest Beer Drinker” in Japan.  I have no idea if it is a guy or gal, plus I don’t think its fair to wrap your mouth around the glass….but damn it is fast.

How about Atlanta…finally coming into the 21st Century and allowing citizens to buy alcohol on Sunday.   About time…..and BTW, they have this great invention called electricity….maybe you should check that out too.

Finally, two pieces of advice…..don’t give your kids booze (do people still drink Wine Coolers?  If you do, don’t tell anyone.  Finally, if you see you sister doing….don’t smack her, or else you will ALL end up in Jail.

Monday, November 14, 2011

First DUI and Damn IU

Submitted from JC and sourced HERE

On September 10, 1897, a London cabdriver named George Smith slams his taxi into a building and is the first person to be arrested for drunk driving. He pled guilty and was fined 25 shillings.

Police officers knew that Smith was drunk because he acted drunk (he had driven that cab into a wall, after all) and because he said he was, but what they lacked was a scientific way to prove someone was too intoxicated to drive, even if he or she wouldn't admit it. Blood tests were soon introduced, but those were messy and needed to be performed by a doctor; there were urine tests, but those were even messier, not to mention unreliable and expensive. In 1931, a toxicologist at Indiana University named Rolla Harger came up with a solution--a device he called the Drunkometer. It was simple: all the suspected drinker had to do was blow into a balloon. The tester then attached the balloon to a tube filled with a purple fluid (potassium permanganate and sulfuric acid) and released its air into the tube. Alcohol on a person's breath changed the color of the fluid from purple to yellow; the quicker the change, the drunker the person.

The Drunkometer was effective but cumbersome, and it required a certain amount of scientific calculation to determine just how much alcohol a person had consumed. In 1954, another Indianan named Robert Borkenstein invented a device that was more portable and easier to use. Borkenstein's machine, the Breathalyzer, worked much like Harger's did--it measured the amount of alcohol in a person's breath--but it did the necessary calculations automatically and thus could not be foiled or tampered with. (One tipsy Canadian famously ate his underwear while waiting to take a Breathalyzer test because he believed that the cotton would somehow absorb the alcohol in his system. It did not.) The Breathalyzer soon became standard equipment in every police car in the nation.

Even in the age of the Breathalyzer, drunk driving remained a problem. In 2007, more than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated, and a Centers for Disease Control survey found that Americans drove drunk 159 million times. That same year, about 13,000 people--more than 30 percent of all traffic fatalities--died in accidents involving a drunk driver.

Quote of the Day….and some music

From our friend Jen-

"Don't you know there ain't no devil, it's just god when he's drunk.”~Tom Waits

LOL–It sucks to be in Sweden

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Winos Rejoice

From TommyG via FB

I have mixed feelings about this article. As a wino, I love cheap wine. But I think the $3 target the author mentions is a little low. One would never write an article scoffing at craft beer stating that you should never pay more than $3 for a six pack of beer. Well… someone might. I would believe it if he said $6-8 is a reasonable “cheap wine” range to shoot for.
But beyond these quibbles… WINOS REJOICE! Lets bathe in inexpensive wine! (Of course CoMO would need a Trader Joes for that to really be an option for me, but still.)

SLATE – Drink Cheap Wine

Try this experiment: Walk into the nearest wine shop and ask for an “everyday wine” recommendation. Refuse to give a price range, and see what the merchant suggests. My guess is you’re out 15 bucks. Critics seem to be pushing this price point as an appropriate range for “everyday wine”—Slate is as guilty as any publication—even though the phrase can’t possibly be taken literally. If you and your significant other were to drink five bottles of wine a week, at $15 per bottle, your annual wine outlay would approach $4,000. That’s more than the average family spends on groceries.

Read More…..

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Greatest Halloween Costume EVER

320251_131596513612514_118031484969017_136959_407241096_n

Thanks Jeff……you made my night

PBR, Disco and……Patrick Swayze???

Before Road House (an Official S&B Classic), before Steel Dawn, before Dirty Dancing….Patrick Swayze still had a great career.

Remember the hockey movie Youngblood (With a young Rob Lowe)?  How about the Russian Invasion of Red Dawn.  Hell, even Uncommon Valor was good.

Hell, I even remember watching re-runs of MASH and saying “Wow, that’s Patrick Swayze”.

But, before all that…..we have this 1979 Disco PBR Commercial. 

Watch a star at work.

Cheers

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We’re getting the Hobbits back together

Wow – 10 Years.  Seems like only yesterday we were buying an extra ticket so that new born James could have a seat at the midnight showing (and YES, we really did).

Now Empire magazine is getting the gang back together for an interview……with (what appears to be) Maker’s Mark.

AWSOME

 

It's ten years on since four little hobbits set off from the Shire on an epic quest that spanned Middle Earth and took in vast battles, demonic monsters, wizardry, Orcs and, ultimately, enough Oscars to fill the Lonely Mountain. It's ten years that have seen the rise and fall and rise again of two-part prequel The Hobbit, now firmly in production in Wellington, offering moviegoers an imminent return to Middle Earth.


Obviously this all called for a big celebration so a celebration is what Empire is having. The new issue is more bursting with revelry and nostalgia than a Friday night at the Prancing Pony. There's tall tales - well, tallish tales - memories; behind-the-scenes pics from Aragorn himself, Viggo Mortensen; Oscar night reflections from Ian McKellen, Peter Jackson and Mortensen; and rarely-seen concept art.


Best of all, though, is a gathering of the four hobbits themselves: Elijah Wood (Frodo), Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee), Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Dominic Monaghan (Merry). It was so momentous it called for its own trailer - and here it is for your perusal pleasure. Sadly the Nazg├╗l got stuck in LA traffic.

http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=32314

Big Bad Wolf

There are not many things that leave me speechless, but today Boys and Girls…….I saw one of them.

This MAY be NSFW, so use caution

BIG BAD WOLF duck sauce from caviar on Vimeo.

Whisky and Food

I love food, and I LOVE Whisky – so THIS ARTICLE fits right into my wheelhouse.

Here are a few snippets -

“The most sublime pairing I can think of is a delicately fresh, fleshy oyster with a few drops of Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength. Another unforgettable combination is a Glenfarclas 40 Year Old with an aged (for at least four years) Gouda cheese. For something completely different, try roasted pineapple served with a long peppercorn ice-cream and Glenlivet Nadurra.”

“And don’t try to pair smoky whiskies with smoked foods – as the strong flavors clash terribly.”

The Oyster/Laphroiag combo sounds AWSOME, as does the Ice-Cream Dish.

I know 44 Stone is on the cutting edge with cooking with beers and pairing whiskys, but I would love to see it going to the next level.

MMMMMM…..Now I’m hungry and thirsty.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Herman Cain–Pro Smoking?

Politics aside, I love the smoking bit at the end -

Out and about in Brussels

I thought I would share some pictures and thoughts from our recent trip to Brussels. 

The first place that caught my eye as we were walking around was a bar called Celtica – The Original Celtic Pub.  I want you to just take it in for a minute how much beer is being loaded in at 10AM. This bar seemed to have everything I was looking for while in Brussels – IMG_1587Beer, Irish/Celtic Theme, Beer, Music, a smoking room and Beer.  Never before had I wanted a place to succeed as much as this.  Sadly, they failed miserably. 

We took approximately 20 customers out and this was the location we chose, only to find the music horrible le (the one man band was screaming when we came in), a very local scene, a bar that would not run a tab and they did not accept credit cards.  We would have dropped AT LEAST 1000 Euro a night (if not more), but they were not very accommodating.  Big Disappointment.

Also on the first day, we stopped and ate at the Greek Restaurant PLAKA.  Excellent food and the biggest bottle of generic Ouzo I have ever seen.  Prices were low and it was almost more than we could eat.  Two other interesting facts

1. Simon says he can never get a picture of me not making a face

2.  On our last day- Simon, Jim and I were roaming Brussels (after finding AsianSnakeWine.Com – Story HERE) looking for somewhere to eat.  After wandering for hours, where did we end up on a whim – you got it…..PLAKA. 

IMG_1589IMG_1588

Of course, no trip to Brussels would be complete without seeing the Manneken Pis.  What, you’ve never heard of him?  Well, let me assure you before you leave Belgium….you will have seen at least 1 MILLION of them in all the tourist shops around the city.

Wikipedia has a good write-up (including the various legends).

IMG_1590

Finally, the nights in Brussels are very beautiful…..especially after a few pints.  The Grand Palace at night is something not to be missed, and of course….if you are tired, just grab yourself a Guinness and plop right down in your cardboard recliner. 

 

IMG_1644IMG_1633

Finally, I have only one word for our little excursion to the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert at approximately 4AM.

SILENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

800px-Galeries_Royales_Saint-Hubert

Who needs mixing glasses?

 

I like this guy a lot……maybe I should offer him a job at S&B or in TS.

Cheers

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yes we CAN have more on AsianSnakeWine

The real question is, how many pages can I have dedicated to AsianSnakeWine.com?  The answer is….not enough.

You can read several of our stories on this fraudulent product -

And several others……but now, not only am I a blogger – I am an  investigative reporter.

I’ve actually held off blogging, as I was worried that I might let it slip that I was making a trip to Brussels Belgium earlier this month.  Normally I don’t mind people knowing where I am going or what I am doing, but I didn’t want key information to disappear from the web before I tracked it down.  What information you ask…..sit back and pour yourself a drink.

I recently realized that the main address for AsianSnakeWine.com was based in Brussels.

59279585-177x150-0-01

A very basic address is listed at the bottom of every page of their site. 

What I wanted to know, is what is their REAL address?  This can be found ONLY on the Conditions of Use page -

59279585-177x150-0-0123

Now we are getting somewhere.

I did try and reach out to AsianSnakeWine.Com on their customer feedback page back in August-

59279585-177x150-0-0

Notice when they say that they only have a Warehouse in Belgium.  I posted a follow-up comment (that they kept deleting), asking if the product ships from Thailand, why do they need a warehouse in Belgium?  I guess they don’t have an answer (but I have a theory coming up).

Fast Forward to three weeks ago – We arrive in Brussels and have a great week (more posts on that to come).  We did have some free time one afternoon, so I went with two friends in search of 4 rue de la Presse, Brussels 1000, Belgium. 

On the map, it didn’t look to far from our hotel…..so off we went.

After a stop at the Cathedral of St Michael, we followed my fantastic “Map” almost directly to the address.

Here are some pictures -

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So, what is at 4 rue de la Presse, Brussels 1000, Belgium?  Absolutely NOTHING.  Well, that’s not fair – There are some offices (not a WAREHOUSE like they said on the feedback), but they are all Ghost/Virtual Offices.  Don’t believe me?  Look at this Website for Burotel – Fully serviced Virtual Offices, Flex Offices and Meeting Rooms. In fact, they advertise Domicilation – ie, a fake address to receive mail (and a service to forward it on) and give airs of having a prestigious address in Brussels.

Asian Snake Wine does not exist at this DoJo.

I should almost re-title this post AsianSnakeWine.Com Fraud Part 2.

My personal theory is that the main players at AsianSnakeWine.com are somehow tied to the political infrastructure of the EU in Brussels.  As some type of diplomat, they have access to various channels, resources and funding, without having to be “based” in Thialand.

I challenge any consumer who stumbles on this page to ask yourself – With the evidence presented above, (plus the links HERE, HERE and HERE), how can you believe in/trust a company that has so many shady dealings? 

Spread the word – There are buttons below for Twitter, Facebook and Google.  If you +1 this on Google, this could help raise us in the search engines (we are already on Page 1, but at the bottom).  Do your part and help me help others.

Cheers -

Beer, Whisky and Lamb–Does it get any better?

This past Sunday, Debi saw a post on Facebook from our friends at 44Stone and that inspired us to head into CoMO for dinner.

It had been some time since we were last there (it always seems we show up on a Monday) and I was excited to try their current Tap Lineup (picture lifted from the 44Stone FB page).

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I am familiar with all the breweries represented, but this was the first time I had seen Modus, Hobgoblin and He’Brew on tap in Columbia.

He’Brew Genesis 15:15 –

PrintI’m not  a big barley wine drinker, but Debi is, so it was a no brainer for her to get this and I got to give it a try.

Not as sweet as most barley wines, 15:15 has a heavy Malt and Brown Sugar taste.  Hints of fruit (Dates and Raisins) and vanilla round out the profile and make this a very interesting offering.  While not something I would normally order, I could appreciate the complexity and craftsmanship that went into its creation an I think it would make an excellent dessert drink.

Added Trivia – Genesis 15:15 Passage is very fitting – “And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age”

Modus Hoperandi -

M_H_-logoThis is a beer I frequently pickup from HyVee, but had never had on Tap.  From Ska Brewing in Colorado, Modus Hoperandi is a perfect beer for the HopHeads out there.  From the slightly cloudy pour, you can pick up a nose of citrus, pine and hops that carries through as you drink.  An excellent beer that I am very excited to have available here in Columbia.  Great Addition.

Hobgoblin Dark English Ale-

59279585-177x150-0-0I had been introduced to Hobgoblin way back in the day by Kevin at the Tinderbox (we still miss you).  He was always good at bringing in unique beers for the various seasons, and I am happy to see 44 Stone carry on in that light.

From Wychwood Brewery in the UK (glad to see the English represented), this clear dark brown ale has a chocolaty nose and carries with it a full bodied toffee and chocolate flavor.  Malty overtones almost hide the hints of smoke, but compliment a slightly hoppy finish.

Bunnahabhain 25 Year Old -

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Hey, I’m entitled to some indulgences from time to time <Grin> and to wrap the night, I went with something on the high-end side.  I’m glad I did.

The nose of this fine whisky reminded me of roasted vanilla beans, caramel and a hint of coconut.  I was totally surprised by the satiny and viscous mouth feel that blended beautifully with flavors spice, berries, toffee and oak (with just a wee bit of sea salt).  Without a doubt, one of the creamiest Scotches I have ever had….and well worth the money.  Outstanding choice by Dave to add to the list.

Finally, it wouldn’t be fair to not mention the food.  I really love the menu offerings at 44 Stone.  They are constantly looking for new ways to challenge the palate and the current special sets a very high bar -

SprintPhoto_bmumucTheO’Fallon Pumpkin Beer Marinated & Grilled Lamb T-Bone Chops (5oz each), Balsamic Honey Glaze, Blue Cheese Butter, Mint & Sweet Pea Pesto, Roasted Butternut Squash with Baby Spinach, Truffled Yukon Gold Potato Hash

The picture doesn’t even come close to doing this justice.  Perfectly seared on the outside, cool rare goodness on the inside.  Each bite was delicious.  To say I was in awe of the flavor combinations (in particular, the Mint and Sweet Pea Pesto) would be an understatement.  I would rate this as one of the best entrees I have had all year, which is saying something if you knew some of the places we have eaten lately.  If you like lamb, you are doing yourself a disservice for not immediately heading over to 44 Stone and ordering this dish. 

In closing, I think it goes without saying that we had a great time.  Everything about the evening was awesome (although my son says they should yell more in the kitchen, like Gordon Ramsey).  A big thank you to Dave and the staff for being great hosts…..and please keep us in mind when you do the Whiskey Dinner.

Cheers.

Joke of the Day

From Mike L. 

I would like to share with you an experience that I recently had regarding drinking and driving. As you know, most of us have had brushes with the law on our way home before. The other night I was out for dinner and had a few too many drinks with some friends. Knowing full well I was struggling, I did something I have never done before. I took a bus home. I arrived home safely and without incident, which was a real surprise as I have never driven a bus
before.

drunk  bus

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Ugly

I often try to stay away from Politics here at S&B, and it usually takes something pretty glaring to bring it up…..today is one of those days.

You see, with all the problems in the world, from wars to the economy, US Senators are trying to pressure Major League Baseball into banning tobacco use during games.

My favorite quote from the article -

''The use of tobacco by big league ballplayers at a single World Series game provides millions of dollars worth of free television advertising for an addictive and deadly product,'' wrote Dr. Cynthia Simmons, the public health authority for Arlington, Texas, and Pamela Walker, the St. Louis interim health director. They said that with tobacco companies banned from advertising on TV, they ''literally could not buy the ads that are effectively created by celebrity ballplayers using tobacco at games.''

 

Give it up people.  Unless you target ALL entertainment (although they try with the MPAA basing ratings on tobacco use) leave sports alone.  Kids idolize the MTV reality shows and music artists more than sports stars these days…..but nobody is going after them.  Leave Basesball alone and focus on more important issues……like the job market.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Bad

In my continued post of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly- We go with the Bad.

What is Bad you may ask?  How about BAD Science.

By Bad Science, I mean the crazy research people put out there and claim as fact. 

Take our own University of Missouri – where they have fount that “As many as one in five students save their calories for alcohol” thus creating a new eating and drinking disorder called Drunkorexia

Really?  Drunkorexia?  College Student would rather spend money on booze than food?  Someone paid money for this research?  They even threw in Substance Abuse, Sexual Assault Victims and Eating Disorders.

This strikes me as research where the student knows what the teacher wants to hear, then tailors it to get an A……just saying the right buzzwords and talking points.

Meanwhile, in the UK, we have the Daily Mail doing an experiment on the impact of drinking and smoking on your looks.  Oh the humanity.  We take the opinion of a “forensic artist” (ie, someone who cant get a real job in the video game industry), and have them alter a picture of a 40 something to that of a 50 something…..all the while blaming smokes and booze, yet telling you just the right products to use to fix it.

To coin a phrase from Simon…..For Fucks Sake. 

Its all BS.  People need to quit being so meddling and vain.  Enjoy Life.  Drink up and Party while you are young.  Smoke if it makes you feel good, toss back 5 or 6 shots if you want.  In the end, life is to short and fake “science” from the media and being put Universities is just another way of pushing others moralities on someone else.

Why cant we all just get along?

The Good

Today I am running a quick series of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly-

First we start off with the Good, and nothing says good like “BEER IN SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE”

but of course, to have Beer in Space, we need to save water….enter those Crazy Cats down under in OZ….where they are brewing beer with 40% Less water.

RESEARCHERS have developed an improved variety of malting barley sure to please beer lovers.

And the improved malting barley could reduce the amount of water involved in brewing beer by up to 40 per cent.

The team, led by Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Wall Biology director Professor Geoff Fincher, developed the not-so-thirsty grain by reducing the thickness of its cell walls after identifying the genes involved in their formation.

Under current malting practices, barley has to be immersed in water for up to 24 hours to ensure it is properly prepared, which requires massive water use.

This is because barley's thick cell walls make it difficult for water to penetrate.

"In the case of malting of grain, it's thought the cell walls slow down the rate of water uptake," he said.

The University of Adelaide plant scientist, named the industry leader of the year at this week's BioInnovationSA awards, said the development of barley varieties with thinner cell walls could cut water consumption and accelerate the malting process by up to eight hours. "Once we know the genes (that make up the cell wall) we can reduce the amount of cell wall components so the wall get much thinner," Prof Fincher said.

The breakthrough promises to reduce water usage in the brewing industry.

Because of Australians' fondness for beer, it could also have significant benefits for Australian water consumption, he said.

"If the technology was used right throughout the industry it would save enough water to serve 30,000 people," he said.

Prof Fincher was one of only 12 leading brewery scientists in the world to attend a scientific conference at the Carlsberg Brewery in Denmark last month.

"I spoke to them about how changing technologies have been applied in brewing," he said.

"And of course whenever you interact with the industry you get ideas about the current problems."

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/cheers-a-beer-to-save-water/story-e6frfrnr-1226170222134#ixzz1bQ0gRFum

Finally, it is USC Week – Go over to SubwayDomer.com and read the story on Freeing the Jeweled Shillelagh….then hit up @CoachBrianKelly on Twitter (with Hashtags of #BeatSC and #Smokesandbooze).  Break out the Guinness, its time for war.  Go Irish, Beat SC!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This Day in History–1814 BEER Flood?

For as long as time and yeast have existed, the great philosophers of the world have argued one vital question: Beer, can it ever be bad?

Turns out that when it's smothering you to death, yes, beer can be evil.

This day, Oct. 17, marks the shocking anniversary of beer's sudden revolt against its human makers. The setting was London in 1814 at the Meux & Co.'s Horse Shoe Brewery, a charming production center of black beer that had slaked the thirst of tradesmen and farmers since the days of George III. The centerpiece of the plant was a mammoth maturing tank standing 22 feet high that contained 3,555 barrels of porter, which was "sufficient to supply more than a million persons with a pint of beer each."

According to Jim Hughes' entertaining account of the London Beer Flood of 1814, building oversized beer-containment vessels was a popular pastime among the English:

At the time of the calamity porter was one of the most popular choices among the London beer-drinking classes, and they liked it aged. Indeed, some porters could spend up to two years quietly maturing in massive oak vats, acquiring all kinds of interesting flavours before being blended with younger beer at the alehouse, according to the customer’s taste. Breweries competed with each other to see who could build the biggest vat, even holding opening ceremonies, one of which was reported to have included a dinner for 200 people inside the the vessel! (Emphasis mine.)

Indeed, who wouldn't want to swim in this vat of pure heaven?

The King Kong mug of ebony suds had a hidden flaw, however. The hoops holding it together were defective and had become weak, making structural failure only a matter of time. The worst-case beernario began in the afternoon of Oct. 17 when an 800-pound hoop fell off the vat and clattered to the floor. An employee took a look at it but apparently did nothing. That turned out to be a mistake.

The vat creaked and squeaked, swelled and cracked until finally exploding around 6 p.m. in a delicious outpouring of unfinished porter that built up into a tidal bore of beer that smashed through the walls of the brewery. The buffaloing beerwave crashed into several other tanks of beer, which disintegrated and added their contents to the brewswell until the wave's crest maxed out at 15 feet.

The residents of the impoverished parish of St. Giles had not undergone preparation for a beernami and were caught completely by surprise, in some cases being lifted right off the ground and dashed into walls. Two buildings collapsed and several unfortunate souls were buried under beer-soaked debris, while others were made senseless from the reeking alcohol fumes. It is probably an urban legend that a ninth person died after heroically trying to drink the beer away, but I choose to believe it, anyway.

From there on, fermented chaos reigned. According to this not-fact-checked history from H2G2:

Fearful that all the beer should go to waste, though, hundreds of people ran outside carrying pots, pans, and kettles to scoop it up - while some simply stooped low and lapped at the liquid washing through the streets. However, the tide was too strong for many, and as injured people began arriving at the nearby Middlesex Hospital there was almost a riot as other patients demanded to know why they weren't being supplied with beer too - they could smell it on the flood survivors, and were insistent that they were missing out on a party!

The resolution of the catastrophe was probably not all that the victims' relatives had hoped for. The brewery was found not responsible for the accident, with a judge ruling it an "act of God." The owners even got back the excise tax they had paid upon the spilled porter.

For months afterward. the blocks around the brewery stunk like a Delta Tau Chi frat pad after a righteous kegger. Today, the Dominion Theatre sits upon the old brewery site, the Horse Shoe Brewery and the fad for aged porter having dropped out of existence in the 1920s.

Source - http://www.wjla.com/blogs/weather/2011/10/today-in-weird-weather-history-great-london-beer-flood-kills-9-13219.html

Ancient Artifacts Uncovered

I’ll have a Ki-Rin please

beercans

Don’t give Teddy and Jack Daniels

After a hiatus due to recent business trip, we are back in business.  I’m in the process of writing a three part piece (or more) on the trip, plus I have 5-9 reviews to place.  So it will be a busy week.

In the interim, I have some quick things that had been sent over while I was gone to get everyone back into a boozy mood.


Cheers

 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Never Drinking Again–The Musical

Definitely some NSFW language and Adult Themes – I would pay big money to see this one live. 

 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Where did common sense go?

Oh boy…..when go when Common Sense and the Government collide….It’s never a good thing.

For the EEOC to hold this company hostage and force them to maintain someone on payroll in a position of great liability is absurd. 

I can see this leading to companies doing more drug and alcohol testing during the workday and release of employees for lesser (unrelated infractions) instead of being honest.

Smooth Move EEOC. 

Feds to Drunk Drivers: Keep On Trucking

The Old Dominion Freight Line trucking company, based in North Carolina but with 211 service centers across the country, found itself with a personnel problem back in June 2009. An employee with an otherwise clean record approached management and confessed he had a drinking problem. Following U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, the company suspended this employee from his driving position, and referred him for substance abuse counseling.

The company took one other action: they told the alcoholic that they would never let him drive trucks for them again, even after he finished his counseling program. They have apparently told other alcoholic drivers the same thing in the past.

This is not an unreasonable position, for eighteen-wheel trucks are complex and dangerous vehicles, and alcoholism has a very high relapse rate. From an article at About.com:

There is evidence that approximately 90 percent of alcoholics are likely to experience at least one relapse over the 4-year period following treatment. Despite some promising leads, no controlled studies definitively have shown any single or combined intervention that prevents relapse in a fairly predictable manner. Thus, relapse as a central issue of alcoholism treatment warrants further study.

Unfortunately for the Old Dominion Freight Line, other trucking companies, and everyone who finds themselves driving in the shadow of an 18-wheeler with a drunk driver:

Alcoholism is a recognized  disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and disability  discrimination violates this federal law.  The EEOC said that the company violated both the ADA and the Americans With Disabilities Act  Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA) by conditioning reassignment to non-driving  positions on the enrollment in an alcohol treatment program. In addition, the EEOC argued that Old  Dominion’s policy that bans any driver who self-reports alcohol abuse from ever  driving again also violates the ADA.

The EEOC filed suit after first  attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.  The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of reinstatement to a driving  position, back pay and compensatory and punitive damages, compensation for lost  benefits for two drivers, and an injunction against future discrimination.

“The ADA mandates that persons with disabilities have an  equal opportunity to achieve in the workplace.  Old Dominion’s policy and practice of never returning an employee who  self-reports an alcohol problem to a driving position violates that law,”  said Katharine Kores, director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, whose  jurisdiction includes Arkansas. “While the EEOC agrees that an employer’s  concern regarding safety on our highways is a legitimate issue, an employer can  both ensure safety and comply with the ADA.”

That’s from the official EEOC press release about the case. Do you want to know why our economy is in free fall, and unemployment remains high? It’s because every business in America is terrified of this out-of-control Administration and its bureaucratic legions. They perpetrate lunacy like this all the time, and your business could be their next target.

If they’re not sending Justice Department troops to confiscate the property of Gibson Guitars, which has the misfortune to be run by a Republican campaign donor, they’re dishing out madcap edicts that cause business costs to skyrocket. As Lachlan Markay of the Heritage Foundation explains:

If the EEOC prevails, of course, it will mean that Old Dominion will still be liable both for any damage to life or property that results from a potential relapse by one of its recovering drivers – which in turn increases the risks involved in investment in the company – and for the cost of trying to ensure that such damage never occurs. All of these new burdens will raise Old Dominion’s cost of doing business, and hence the cost of everything they transport. And all of this can’t possibly ensure that a recovering driver does not relapse without the company’s knowledge.

Your industry could be the next one targeted for demonization by desperate Democrats with plunging poll numbers. You might be the next to catch the madly rolling eyes of a bloated bureaucracy that has ruled common sense out of bounds. No wonder business expansion is static. Every employee you hire is a ticking time bomb of unpredictable liabilities, from exploding ObamaCare costs to incendiary Red Queen decrees from the EEOC.

It’s better not to hire anyone. It might be safest to go out of business altogether. At least that way you won’t be held liable for the damage and deaths caused by a drunk driver you were compelled by the federal government to put behind the wheel of an enormous truck.

 
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