Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stuff we see

Today was one of those days.  Given that I don’t get out as much as I should (working from home and living in the sticks has it’s disadvantage), my exposure to the things you see at the Liquor store are fairly limited.

Well, tonight we are going to C&T’s for dinner and we are going to do a taste test of Gin while we are at it (Hendrick’s vs Caorunn).  Since we are the guests, we decided to hit HyVee and restock a little.  

Here are a few observations.

Jack and CokeThe first one that jumped out at me was a marketing program for Jack Daniels….the end cap/display for their “Go-To” line. 

I don’t think I need to go into much description, other than “Jack and Coke”.  The cocktail is so famous that it is synonymous for Whiskey and Cola.  

What I think is funny about it is the name “Go-To”.  While I agree that these are the two primary ingredients of the drink…..I wonder if this is also a slight subliminal message for “To Go”.  Considering the display location, the ease of purchase (everything in one spot) and the play on words….it’s definitely a possibility.  I give someone in Marketing a B+.

Next I went out of my way to check out the Wine Section.  Not that I was looking for any, but to play to a comment that Jeremy made on my post “Making Alcohol Eco-Friendly” and regarding Tetrapaks -

Anyhow, the days of crappy box wine are gone. You can already get decent wine in boxes, and some mid-tier wines are going to tetra paks.

WineBox wine is not normally on my Radar, so I thought I would take a look to see what was available. 

To my surprise, there was literally an entire isle devoted to it.  While I don’t think there were many mid-tier wines, there was defiantly a wider selection than I had anticipated.  I still don’t think it will replace the bottle, but I do realize it is an upward ticking market trend. 

I would love to still hear from TommyG (my plastics expert) and possibly some of you wine experts out there on the industry impact and/taste of some of these products.

Also, I’m sure some of you are wondering what a restock looks like here at S&B – Well here you go (Sorry for the bad picture)


Basically 12 different kinds of beer, some mini-bottle samplers, a couple bottles of wine and a couple bottles of liquor (Hendrick’s Gin and Devil’s Cut Bourbon) for tonight.

The beer samplers (you can pick and match at HyVee…which is an excellent service, you should check it out) are to hopefully entice Mike and/or TommyG over to help me (as if I need it) sample. The  Gin is for tonight, and the Jim Beam Devil’s Cut is to get Alby out of the house.

The best though was a bottle of 2011 Samuel Adams Utopia.  This is the bottle that looks like a brass pot still and is a 27% ABV “Beer” that has matured in Portuguese muscatel finishing casks, as well as sherry, brandy and Cognac casks.  I’m hoping to get Debi to help me review this one.  Smile

Overall it was a great day spent out and about (thanks to a break in the heat).  Stay tuned for reviews….hopefully with other people’s help.

Finally, here are some classic pictures others have sent….ones that fit my “Stuff we see” theme….enjoy.











Thursday, July 28, 2011

Making Alcohol Eco-Friendly

There is an interesting article over at PSFK regarding the branding and reimaging of alcohol containers. 

I’m somewhat torn on a few fronts, so I would love to hear your ideas as well.


My first thought is – How will the plastic/mylar coating inside the Tetrapak will affect the taste of the various liquors pictured.  Vodka tends to take on flavors well, so will it have a nasty aftertaste?  I realize that there have been box wines out there….but those tend to be lower tier and have questionable quality in the first place.

Secondly, how does it hold up to long term storage?  Bottles, although fragile in their own right, hold up well over time and multiple reuse (in case you can’t finish a 5th in one sitting).  

Cost is another concern.  My fear is that you will be purchasing less liquor (.5L vs .75L) for a higher price without being given another option.  You know that the distiller will not be passing savings on to customers, but instead using it to line their pockets.

Finally….why is someone not thinking of the Children?  Obviously these look like Milk Cartons and therefore we are encouraging kids to drink.  Ok, I’m being sarcastic….but you know someone/somewhere will use this argument.

In the end, if I have the option, I will stick with glass… about you?  I’m particularly interested in TommyG’s take.

Cheers -

I hope they serve beer in hell

I know my posts have been rather sporadic lately.  This really has been due to all the traveling I’ve been doing and work obligations.  Throw in there that I have a life and actually enjoy spending time with my wife and son….well, you get the picture, something had to give.

Now that I am somewhat back, I thought I would post a blurb about someone I find absolutely hilarious…..the one and only Tucker Max.

Tucker is one of the original Shock Bloggers, and I have been following his antics Off and On since 2003 (I told you Debi) when he posted about his relationship with Miss Vermont.  His antics can be considered rude and totally unacceptable, as he exploits women and drinks himself to oblivion.  He’s an asshole, but up front about it and he never tries to hide it.  To me….he’s genius.

41862846I’ve read his first book – I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell ( a rehash of some of his blog posts and a few new stories) and found it a great compilation at the time.  The writing style is lifted straight from his blog, and if you are into that (like I am) this is a really easy read.  The new stories are funny and the old ones hold up well.  If ever there was a book made up of bathroom humor, that was perfect for bathroom reading….this is it.  Solid Three stars.


tucker%20maxI recently bought his second book – Assholes Finish First – which is predominately new material dating from his days at Duke to well after the release of his first movie (more on that in a minute), and loved it.  I read it while flying back from CT/NY and I was literally laughing so hard that I was crying.  From TuckerFest to the Duke Campout, it is pure comedic gold.  100 times better than the first book (and there are more midgets).  If you are a man, you owe it to yourself to buy this book now.  Five Stars out of Five (yes, I know).

After reading AFF, last night I was decided to check out his movie inspired by (and named after) the first book “I Hope They Sell Beer in Hell”.  I use the term inspired, because the movie doesn’t follow any one particular story line.  The pretense is based on “The Austin Road Trip” and there are some similarities.  A lot of the quotes in the movie come directly from it and the story somewhat matches.  However, I wish they hadn’t tried to “Clean it up” and make Tucker look less like an asshole.  Omitting being banned from Embassy Suites for life and adding the “touching” moment at the end was a little off.  Also, I watched the unrated version and there was far less T&A than I would have expected….especially considering the crux of the story is a strip club. 

10895365_detI almost wish they wouldn’t have tried to make a linier movie, but instead did a series of short bits that fit into an all encompassing storyline  (somewhat like Pulp Fiction).  That way the midget piece wouldn’t have felt so crammed in there (yes, pun intended) and we could have gotten a broader swath of material (such as “Dog Vomit”, “The Worst Tucker Story Ever”, Charity Auction, Buttsex and others”).  Of course, the MPAA would never let some of those get made….so a direct to DVD/Streaming release would work well.

All this being said, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the movie….just that it wasn’t as good as it could have been.  There are some great jokes for the blog followers and it was good to see Traci Lords on screen again.  Watch for the cameo of the real Tucker at the end (he’s the brother giving the toast) and see if you can spot Drew Curtis (founder of as well.  A fun movie for a guys night, but only if you are drinking heavily (as you should).  I would give it a middle of the road 2.5 Stars and I look forward to the second one. You can check it out on Amazon HERE.

As a final warning for those of you who might be following the links above to either buy books or rent a movie…..Tucker is NOT for everyone.  If you have a warped sense of humor and are not offended easily, MAYBE you can stomach the stories he tells.  If you have fallen on your head (or jumped in a fountain like Glenn), drank more beer than humanly possible AND don’t mind jokes that could be considered demeaning to women…..then he is right up your alley.

Personally, I would put “Assholes Finish First” up for consideration of S&B product of the year….and that is saying something.

Cheers -

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Schlafly to the Rescue

So, I’m stuck in the airport in St. Louis and am truly experiencing the devastation that took place when a tornado swept through back in April.

Due to the continued restoration of the facilities, the majority of traffic is routed through Concourse D… the most sparsely populated one.

There are minimum shops and it is very crowded.  The only place that appeared to have beer was the food court Burger King. 

Life looked bleak.

Then, Schlafly to the rescue.

Apparently there used to be a Schlafly outlet in the concourse back in the day, but it had been closed.  Still, the brewery retained the rights to the location and they have now reopened it (it’s not even on the maps).  The only downside is there is nothing on tap, all bottles….but the do upsell $3 Shots with their beers Smile

What was looking like a miserable trip to NY/CT is now looking up.

Thank you Schlafly – Cheers

Happy Birthday David Hasselhoff

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Columbia Star Dinner Train Review (Part 3)

The two previous posts (Part 1 and Part 2) highlight the history of Columbia Star Dinner Train and the drinking/dinning experience onboard.

The third installment covers the bizarreness of the train ride itself and the final overview.

Of course, when I say bizarre, I mean that in the nicest way possible (seriously), and I struggle now to put the experience in words.

As described in Part 2, there were protesters present when we arrived.  Being protested against is surreal in it’s own right, but it was nothing in comparison to the experience of riding the train to Centralia.

To begin, I know many people think – Meh….it’s just to Centralia.  But the slow train ride through the countryside was actually rather nice.  The weather was perfect, and the scenery was typical Missouri.  Farms, Lakes, Horses….it’s just as you would expect.  You pass through a few small towns (most notably Hallsville) and that was what we expected.  The return in the dark was also quite nice – the train would shine light out into the trees, creating a unique view that somewhat blotted out the houses along the tracks.

Another interesting thing was seeing people dressed up.  Far to often (yes, I know I am one to talk), people have become lazy and do not dress up for dinner anymore.  It’s a bygone era where gentlemen would be turned away for not wearing a minimum of a tie (and preferably a jacket).  Also, it was great to allow the ladies to also put on their best clothes, jewelry and shoes (Debi needs a reason to wear all the one’s she has).   They look great and feel good about themselves.  The sad thing was the guys in T-Shirts and tennis shoes. 

The final unique thing about the trip was the people.  Not just the protesters…..but the regular people of Missouri.  I liken it to the scene  in Titanic, where the ship is about to depart and everyone is waving to the ship and back to land.  All along the way, there were cars pulled over – taking pictures, waving and even partying along with us.  We say people waiting in their backyards, parked at one lane crossings and even pulled over to the side of the road to take pictures or video the train .


We saw several parties as we rode, including one out in the middle of nowhere that were obviously waiting for us.   Two cars, 10-15 people and obvious drinking going on – all set to cheer as we went by.  On our return trip, they were STILL there and the group was even larger.  Needless to say, this kind of support far outnumbered the few protesters at the Colt Station.

So, what did I think?  What would I change? 

  • I would give the food a solid 3.5 Stars based on taste and merit, with an additional 1/2 star due to to confines of being prepared on a train. 
  • The bar selection was worse than some airlines that I have flown with….and would be lucky to get 1 Star.
  • The experience and ambiance of the trips was great a solid 4 Stars.

This gives us an overall score of 3 Stars, a score that could go up greatly with a better drink service.

As for my recommendations -

Enforce the dress code.  There is already a recommendation in the FAQ, so I would say tighten down on it.  During the reservation process, remind people and then stick to your guns when it is time to board.

Expand the menu.  I get that you have limited space, but I would go to TWO beef choices, an addition side choice with the main and maybe an additional appetizer choice.  A little more variety goes a long way.

Revisit the pricing model.  While I think $65 is fine, it might be to pricey for some.  As an addendum to this, I would suggest a “First Class Car” that is left at the $65 price point and then lower general fare to $50.  The “First Class” group could automatically be upgraded to an addition appetizer or complimentary drink, and have less seating….equating to more room.  To also enhance this experience, Jacket required for men.

Finally, the bar.  There are so many things here that I went to bullet points.

  • Put in a few pony kegs for draft beer and expand the offerings.  Sticking with Inbev products is pretty off-putting.  This is supposed to be an elegant experience, so having just Jim Beam (which I do like) and Budweiser instead of a nice Scotch or Craft Brew really looks bad.
  • Likewise with wine.  Proper planning would be to have approximately a bottle per table available.  I get that space is limited, but there are ways around that. 
  • Top off the stocks right before you leave station, and restock during the 15 minutes at Centralia by having a van ready with supplies.  A quick call ahead has everyone on the same sheet of music and variety would greatly enhance the experience.
  • Have drink menus on the table.  First the customer can see what brands of Beer/Liquor/Wine are available.  Secondly, the wait staff will not be wasting time referring to notes to verify what is available.
  • Hire a real Bartender.  This is a profession, and they can steer you to the right things (and quantities) to stock.
  • Remember that you have a captive audience for 3 hours.  When socializing, people like to drink….so by focusing on this, your profits will go up exponentially.

Some of my frequent readers will read the above critique and think I hated the experience….quite the contrary.  I offer my honest opinion because I loved the idea and and totally enjoyed myself.  I want this to succeed, therefore I have to be brutally honest where fault lies.   Everything wrong is easily correctable….and I trust the management to take my recommendations under consideration.

Columbia Star Dinner Train was an excellent evening and we plan to return again soon.  Even though rating (of a solid 3 Stars) is middle of the road….it is definitely worth it, even more so as they iron out the kinks.

Great Job and I look forward to our next journey….even if it is only to Centralia.

Columbia Star Dinner Train Review (Part 2)

Ed Note -This is Part 2 of our experience with the Columbia Star Dinner Train.  Part 1 details some of the history with the project and touches upon the political/protest situations that are currently swirling about the situation.

Now, one with Part 2.

TrainDebi and I arrived at the depot located at the Colt Railroad Terminal on Brown Station Road and were directed to our spot by two uniformed police officers.  It appears the police were on hand to separate the paying public from a group of protestors located at the north end of the station, away from the entrance to the train.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the number of protestors on hand was around 14.  While I didn’t count, I would say that it was a fair assessment, and if more showed up….as we were pulling out, it appeared no more than 20.  While the Columbia Tribune quotes some passengers as being sympathetic to the protestors cause, but I can honestly say that everyone I heard thought they were being rather silly and that there should be other areas they should have been focusing their concern upon.

The train itself looked gorgeous on the outside and the interiors were comfortable, if not a little crowded.  I can definitely see how special accommodations would have to be made to allow wheelchairs or scooters.  Debi wondered why the either the train company or those who were handicapped, did use the smaller/skinner wheelchairs used on airlines, and I can see that point.  However, to justify the additional costs of the lifts and other hardware, this would require the business to be viable…..something I am sure the owners weighed before brining the operation to Columbia.  I wonder what would have happened if someone would have tried using a smaller wheeled chair and took the onus upon themselves to board the train.  I personally think they could have accomplished this (possibly with some assistance from staff) and then this whole hubbub would have been mute.

We were in the 100 (First) car, and due to limited visibility, I was unable to determine how many customers boarded the train.  I do know there were approximately 50 in our car, and announcements during the trip indicated there was a 2nd car, leading me to believe the 85 quoted by the Columbia Missourian to be fairly accurate.

SettingsThe interior was tastefully done and fitted with period level hardware.   Since we boarded mid-train, this allowed us to peer into the Kitchen (that looked immaculate) and pass by the bar (much smaller than I anticipated). 

We were seated with a couple from Columbia (if you want a private table, you much make an additional seat purchase if you have a party of 2) that was both engaging and fun to talk to.  This is part of the allure of this type of dining experience, as it harkens back to the days when trains were the primary mode of long distance transportation and you met people from all over the country.  (Glenn, Jeremy and those who have lived in Europe will also be reminded of the “slow trains” we often took).  We had great conversations throughout the 3 hour experience and we both thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the trip.

Drink orders were taken before we left the train depot, and  the limited drink menu is probably the only glaring problem with the current system.   With NO tequila on board (for Debi), no tonic (also for Debi) and no Scotch (for me), this did not bode well.  There were limited soda choices (no diet 7-Up/Sprite) and the only whiskey was Crown Royal and Jim Beam.  There was apparently Bacardi Rum, but that didn’t interest us. 

The wine selection was next to minimal, with several whites (including a Moscato for dessert), but only two types of red, a Cabernet and Merlot.  The Cab was the “by the Glass” wine and the Merlot was by the bottle.  Our biggest regret was not buying a bottle early, as it became obvious later (and confirmed by staff) that they ran out of bottles before the train even left the station. 

Debi and I both had a few glasses of the red, and I agree with Debi’s assessment that it tasted like a medium level Box Wine.  I didn’t ask the brand, as it would have slowed down our waitress to go check (she didn’t have it written down).  They did however allow Debi a sample beforehand….so that was nice.

Beer selection wasn’t much better.   You might as well have called it the InBev Experience, with the choices being Budweiser, Bud Lite, Michelob and Michelob Ultra.  According to our waitress, there were no Imports or Drafts.  A price list of the offerings can be found HERE.

Dinner began as soon as we were moving.  It was a basic 4 Course meal, with the option to purchase additional “Upgrades”.

This is what we experienced -

  • Appetizer - a bruschetta that had an excellent wild mushroom taste.
  • Additional Appetizer (for a cost) - Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail Avocado.  We didn’t have this, but the other couple did and they enjoyed it.
  • Salad – Your typical house salad with Italian Dressing.  I will say the ingredients seemed very fresh.
  • Prime Rib – This was the main that both Debi and I chose.  We both ordered it rare, and surprisingly…they did a good job with this.  I’m  not a big fan of Prime Rib, but it was the only beef option, yet this was a great cut and had very little fat.  The vegetable medley accompanying it was very good and again, seemed exceptionally fresh.  My only complaint was with the baked potato half, which seemed to have been reheated.  It was edible, but the skin was a little tough.
  • Dessert – A delicious two layer white cake with a lemon custard filling.  This was so good, I brought an extra piece home.

Now head over to Part 3 to read about the “Rest of the Trip”

Columbia Star Dinner Train Review (Part 1)

ColumbiaDinnerTrain_V5_whiteThis is a really hard review to write.   Not because everything about the experience is wrong, but because there were so many things that were right….yet the things wrong were so glaring.  In addition, there were some heated political and ethic (pertaining to the disabled) debates the could have impacted on the evening/future of the business.

To begin with,  I will outline some some history –

The Columbia Star Dinner train was originally built in 1938 in California to run as a passenger train but was rebuilt in 1987 to operate as a dinner train, which is important…as you will see later.  It served as a dinner train in Michigan until 2003 and around June 2010 the dinner train’s operator (Central States Rail Associates) began tabling the idea of bring the train to CoMO. 

Later that year, the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau dedicated $45K to the company as an attempt to offset costs and further lure the Dinner Train to Columbia, believing that it would also bring tourist dollars from St. Louis and Kansas City to the community.  An additional $20K was dedicated to the upgrade of  existing train station's facilities there on Brown Station Road.

The proposed new business did not progress without some bumps along the way.  First, there was the disabled community (organized by the Mid-Missouri Advocacy Coalition) here in Columbia, who protested that the train cars were not Handicapped accessible….ignoring the fact that this had been an operational dinner train from 1987 (being properly vetting to be complaint with the law since that time) and  was exempt from the requirements of FTA Title 37, specifically by Sec .  37.107 due to the historic nature and age of the train.

Secondly, there was the subculture that believes that $65K in Tax funds should not have been allocated to a private business. 

Me personally, I think the first case is a mute point….it is exempt and was 100% a business decision by the Central States Rail Associates not bring in the handicapped accessible car to CoMO.  A further (interesting) read, can be found in the Columbia Missourian (HERE), which highlights that the $175K for an additional handicapped car would be “excessive and unreasonable burden on our new business.” and explains they had written to the City Council back in 2010 highlighting this and their exemption.

I can agree with the second part, regarding use of Tax Dollars, however…this was a decision by your local elected officials of CoMO.  Rather than attempting  hurt the business (that brought several jobs to the community, instead take  your complaint to the Council…particularly in the ballot box.

Now that you have the back story, you should now go to Part 2 (found HERE) that describes how the night went.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cookie Monster and Zombies

Why is it on S&B?  Check what where he keeps his cookies.

This is why Miller is becoming my favorite Beer

This is another great PR move by Miller.  After re-continuing their great support of troops, Miller has stepped in for the average man – Christian Lopez.  While this doesn’t address the greater issuer, that being how out of control the IRS is, it does allow him to not be under a financial burden for doing the right thing.

Bravo Miller….Bravo

Miller High Life Offers To Pay Fan's Potential Tax Bill

It's not clear whether Christian Lopez, the fan that caught Derek Jeter's 3000th hit, will have to pay any taxes for the roughly $60,000 in tickets and the signed balls and jerseys they gave to him in return.

But even if he does have to cut a check to the IRS, at least a company has stepped up and said they'd pay it for him.

Miller High Life, which recently had a campaign to make its beer the official beer of fans, has offered to cover the bill—which could be more than $10,000—for Lopez, who said he has about $100,000 in student loan debt as well.

"Miller High Life believes you should be rewarded for doing the right thing, not penalized," said Miller High Life brand manager Brendan Noonan. "We want to recognize Christian Lopez, and in turn everyone like him, for doing the common sense thing and help him continue to live the High Life."

The brand, which does roughly $500 million in annual sales in the US according to Beverage Spectrum, has also offered to throw a party for Lopez with free beer for him and his "legal-drinking-age friends."

Anheuser-Busch, the main competition for MillerCoors, the parent company of Miller High Life, has the official deal with Major League Baseball and the Yankees. MillerCoors is second to A-B in sales and its portfolio of brands are responsible for roughly 30 percent of US beer sales.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It’s a Madhouse….a Madhouse!!!!

Will someone please stop the madness…..think of the children.

PS- Thanks Chris for submitting

Shutdown forces MillerCoors to pull beer from shelves

Miller Time in Minnesota is over -- until lawmakers reach a budget deal.

The state's government shutdown, now in its 13th day, will soon force MillerCoors to pull its beer from Minnesota liquor stores, bars and restaurants. A state official says the law requires the company to remove products like Coors Light, Miller Lite and Blue Moon imminently.

"I would suspect within days to see that product leave the shelves," said Doug Neville, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

A MillerCoors spokesman said they are fighting the decision, which would decimate one of its largest markets in the country.

“Right now we are exploring all options that are available to us," said spokesman Julian Green. "We are currently in discussions and hoping that we can get a resolution with the state, with the agency that enforces the sale ... of alcohol.”

Neville says MillerCoors must remove the beer because they did not renew their brand label registration with the state before the shutdown began. By law, brewers must renew those registrations -- which show the label on each brand of beer -- every three years.

The company tried to renew in mid-June, but the process got delayed when they wrote a check for too much money. Green said they sent in a new check, which the state received on June 27, but nonetheless got a letter three days later saying their brand licenses had expired.

“We believe we’ve followed all applicable state laws on this," Green said.

Neville said his agency has asked MillerCoors to develop a plan to remove the product from shelves and cease their distribution. He added that Anheuser-Busch will face a similar problem if the shutdown extends to October.

Green said they are not currently working on that plan, hoping they can first overturn the decision.

The development follows news that hundreds of bars and liquor stores across the state are slowly running out of alcohol because they were unable to renew their state-issued purchase cards. But eliminating MillerCoors could have a much larger impact, since it would apply to nearly every liquor retailer in the state.

Mike Madigan, with Minnesota Beer Wholesalers Association, says MillerCoors products represent a 38 percent share of the beer market in Minnesota.

A spokesman for Leinenkugel, which is owned by MillerCoors, says they handle their registration separately and it is good until 2013.

Here is a list of the beers that are affected:

Blue Moon Pale Moon Belgian Style Pale Ale, Coors Banquet, Coors Light, Coors Light 3.2, Foster’s Lager Beer, Foster’s Premium Ale, Grolsch Amber Ale, Grolsch Blonde Lager, Grolsch Light Lager, Grolsch Premium Lager, Hamm’s, Hamm’s Genuine Draft Style, Hamm’s Special Light, Henry Weinhard’s Dark, Henry Weinhard’s Hefeweizen, Henry Weinhard’s Pale Ale, Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve, Icehouse Beer, Keystone Light Beer 3.2, Killians Irish Red 3.2, MGD Light 64, Mickey’s Ice Ale, Mickey’s Malt Liquor, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller High Life 12/16 oz can, Miller High Life Ice, Miller High Life Light 12 oz can, Miller Lite 3.2%, Miller Lite Beer, Milwaukee’s Best #1 , Milwaukee’s Best Ice, Milwaukee’s Best Light #1 3.2, Molson Canadian, Molson Canadian Light, Molson Golden, Molson Ice, Molson XXX, Olde English 800 Malt Liquor, Sparks Light

All we are saying……is give bars a chance

I’m going to say….if I had to choose between being a Beatles Fan or an Elvis Fan (see video at the end), I vote Beatles.

If I had to choose between Yoko Ono and Chlamydia…..I would choose Chlamydia. 

Case in point as an example of what a money grubbing, coattail riding B###H she is -

Yoko Ono threatens to sue over John Lennon themed pub

Singer accuses Scottish bar of copyright infringement for using her late husband's image and name

You will have to follow the link, because I could just see Yoko’s psycho lawyers pressuring NME to send a CD Letter for copying the article.   That’s just how SOUL SUCKING she is.

A quote from Sir. Paul McCartney sums things up -

"I don’t take any notice of her. She’s John’s wife so I have to respect her for that, but I don’t think she’s the brightest of buttons. She’s said some particularly daft things in her time. Her life is dedicated to putting me down but I attempt very strongly not to put her down."

In the end, this is a stupid stupid move on Yoko’s part (almost worse than her music career), and if I were the Publican….I would tell her to go piss up a rope.

As an added bonus, here is a deleted scene from Pulp Fiction – Are you a Beatles Person or an Elvis Person?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This Day in History–July 12 1979

429px-Carmine_GalanteBonanno boss Carmine Galante, the "cigar problem", is whacked at Joe and Mary's Restaurant in Brooklyn. Galante dies with a cigar still in his mouth. Almost everyone in the New York mob feared the ruthless crime boss, so the killing was sanctioned by the consensus of Paul Castellano, Joe Bonanno, and Santo Trafficante.




Saturday, July 9, 2011

Teaching James German

So I was looking for a series of quick videos to help me teach James German, and I came across this one.

Since I blog about Smokes and Booze, check out the 1:28 Mark -

Friday, July 8, 2011

Four Roses (a slight book review)


Are you one of those people that likes coffee tables books, enjoys bourbon or (like Randy) loves Four Roses….then this book is for you. 

Detailing the history of Four Roses Bourbon, this is an excellent book with some amazing pictures that tell a story from the beginning to present day.

I really enjoyed this book, and was very happy to be able to teach Randy something about his favorite bourbon (it has to do with a VERY famous picture).

I found the presentation of this 9x11 Hardcover book excellent, and a quick read at 96 pages.  Included are some nice historical tidbits (how they survived prohibition), excellent photographs, and even a section that details all the various varieties available (although some not in the US) on the Market.

If you’ve never tried Four Roses, sit down sometime with Randy from MySideoftheBar…..he’ll get you going.  He did a review for us on Four Roses Yellow that definitely highlights the quality and reason this was his Number 1 Bourbon of 2010.  Also, check out the Four Roses Limited as well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dead Kennedys and Heineken Beer


There comes a time when Political Correctness goes to far – and when a 1981 Dead Kennedys Song (Too Drunk to F**K, video after the jump) inspires binge drinking when used in a 2011 Commercial….we have left the crazy train people.

For the record, I haven’t seen the commercial in question, nor can I find it on YouTube.  I can only assume that it is just the intro music and drops the swear words (if it has any at all).  I also seriously doubt that any kids today even know this song in the first place….and if they were going to binge, I would wager my life that this song had anything to do with it.  Next thing you will say is that Suicide Solution causes kids to kill themselves.

While I find the song funny, I don’t understand why the PR team at Heineken would have used it in the first place……but they did.  Now they lose out and empower these Asshole Watchdog Groups. 

Get a grip people….it’s a song.


Dead Kennedys - Dead Kennedys' Too Drunk Ad Pulled From Europe

A European beer ad featuring a cover of the Dead Kennedys' punk anthem Too Drunk To F**K has been recalled by Heineken bosses after watchdogs complained it promoted teenage binge drinking.

French band Nouvelle Vague recorded an expletive-less version of the song for the Kronenbourg 1664 campaign - but cutting out naughty words wasn't enough for many parents who saw the ad online and complained to marketing watchdog the Portman Group in the U.K.

The complaints suggested the use of the song promoted "irresponsible drinking".

The Portman Group's Ceo David Poley tells Britain's Guardian newspaper, "This demonstrates just how careful companies have to be when marketing alcohol.

"We were pleased that the company took immediate action to remove the track from the playlist. As soon as the complaint was brought to its attention, Heineken has also introduced more rigorous approval procedures as a result."

Sippy Cups? Really?

So, for everyone that asks…I’ve been on a brief hiatus for the past few weeks.  This has been due to work, a small vacation and now an upcoming business trip (with the 4th of July thrown in).  We haven’t given up here at S&B, just recharging our batteries.

I have 4 beer, 2 tequila and 2 bourbon reviews coming….PLUS a most excellent review of Beer Bouquet, so stay tuned.

In the interim, here is a new story while I put the finishing touches on-

There is just so much wrong this article, I don’t know where to start -

Beer Sippy

Legislature approves measure requiring baby bottles, sippy cups to have warning labels

ALBANY - It wasn't just gay marriage and a property tax cap that concerned state lawmakers in the final days of the legislative session.

There were also sippy cups.

The Legislature, for the second year in a row, approved a measure requiring baby bottles and sippy cups to have warning labels about the dangers of childhood tooth decay.

Ex-Gov. David Paterson vetoed last year's measure.

"I can show you photos of children who go to bed with sippy cups," said Mark Feldman, executive director of the state Dental Association, which pressed for the bill.

"All you see is little black stumps that is all that is left of the teeth," he added.

The sippy cup bill was among more than 400 approved by the Senate and Assembly in the final, frantic days of the legislative session.

Many dealt with local concerns like the renewal of a city's or county's sales tax. Others tackled such far-flung topics as hookah sales - and solar-powered trash compactors.

Sen. George Maziarz (R-Buffalo) took a stab at history with a bill creating the War of 1812 200th Anniversary Commemoration Commission.

"New York State played a key role in the War of 1812," Maziarz wrote in a memo accompanying the bill. "Celebrating this milestone gives New Yorkers the opportunity to appreciate and reflect on our rich history."

Maziarz also took out the trash - literally - with a bill requiring solar-powered, trash-compacting garbage cans at four state parks, including Riverbank in Manhattan and Roberto Clemente in the Bronx.

Sen. Martin Golden, a Brooklyn Republican, pushed a bill prohibiting the sale of hookahs, shisha tobacco and water pipes to minors.

"[Kids] shouldn't be in the hookah shops, they should be in schools," Golden told the Daily News.

Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan) and Assemblyman Nelson Castro (D-Bronx) teamed up to pass the so-called Nutcracker Bill, which stiffens penalties for barbershops and bodegas caught selling the homemade alcoholic drink to minors.

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester) and state Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) tried to help the state's struggling race tracks by sponsoring a bill to let them offer free tickets as promotional giveaways.

"It is just trying to get people in the track," Pretlow said. "Because the money is not made in the admission fees, it is made in the [betting] handle."

All of the bills are now headed to Gov. Cuomo's desk.

Read more:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

J&D Cigars finally opening store

Awhile back, J&D Cigars sent me some samples and we ran a review (HERE). 

After a long wait, they are finally opening their online store….and I highly suggest you check it out.

Here is the Facebook “Press Release


J&D Cigars the creators of Temptation cigars is finally opening its online store. For the grand opening we will be offering 50% off our entire line of Temptation cigars Visit our website at and at checkout enter your Coupon Code (Facebook) and 50% will automatically be deducted from your purchase.
Remember your code is (Facebook)

Good Luck to them and I look forward to their product line.


Web Statistics