Monday, April 30, 2012

Why we like 44 Stone Public House

While sitting at 44 Stone this past Sunday, I sat back and watched the morning unfold in front of me-

  • My son interacting with the wait staff, and they truly looked like they enjoyed themselves.
  • I met someone from Twitter  ( @ScottMRowson ) face to face – which was cool. 
  • My wife make her first Tweet (from @Debi_Bell ) “for real”
  • I talked with Dave on upcoming beers that will be going on tap (I’m looking forward to the Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti)
  • I met another regular (Mike), and had a great conversation about the state of Craft Brewing, Breweries in CoMO and we compared Beer Adventures across the US.
  • I saw friendly faces everywhere and people enjoying them selves.

How does a business get to this point in just over a year – especially when the owners/staff had huge shoes to fill with taking over from Hemmingway’s.

I think it can be summarized by them following three basic steps -

They listen to criticism and positive feedback

If you are a frequent reader, you know that I attended their Soft Opening back in February 2011.  There were some things I was critical about, and some I was positive.  I gave feedback – and to be honest, they reviewed and took action.  Dave and Mark are constantly “Visible” in the restaurant and are always keen for feedback from patrons.

They Care 

As I said above, when you have the owners being this visible, you know they are committed to excellence at every level.  This trickles down through the staff, and I love how everyone will go to great lengths to make things right.  The entire staff goes out of their way to recognize return customers, and that translates into even better service. 

Anecdotal evidence I have heard – One waitress remembered a customer more than 6 weeks later after his last visit, recalling what he had to drink then and thus making a recommendation based on the current tap selection.  I think he was flattered that she remembered, but its been my experience that this level of attention to detail spills over to the entire staff.

For me, I find the staff incredibly knowledgeable about the various offerings they have behind the bar.  Not only do they know the products, but I find them continuously trying to improve that knowledge and learn more each time there is a change in rotation.  This is paramount to success.

They are innovative and constantly changing 

44 Stone has one of the most aggressive menus and beer lists in Columbia, hands down.  Their daily specials are exciting, their brunch is excellent and without a doubt they have the best rotating beer list in Columbia.

When they say – Imitation is the greatest for of flattery, one only needs to look at other restaurants in CoMO to see the impact 44 Stone has had – both Broadway Brewery has trended now towards a Gastro-Pub menu, and Flatbranch have recently copied the 44 Stone Burger with the Chefs Burger  - down to the egg on top.

44StoneBurger            FlatBranch Burger

44Stone Burger                 vs         Flatbranch Burger


In addition, many of the sauces and condiments are freshly made in-house – from the Beer Ketchup, exceptional hollandaise (shown here on the Steak and Eggs)  Steak and Eggs

The tap list is a continual evolution, and for beer connoisseurs – this may be the only opportunity to try unique beers.  Throw in the proposed expanded Tap – and I would say the pub will have THE best beer selection in Mid-Missouri.  Throw in the unsung premium whisky and Scotch listing behind the bar, plus the competent bar staff mixing drinks and there is something for everyone.


I cannot speak highly enough about 44 Stone – they are a shining light in Forum area of Columbia.  If you are looking for a nice night out, or maybe a delicious Sunday Brunch – this is one of the few places where you cannot go wrong.

To me, with just a little over a year under their belt, I think Mark and Dave have gone a long way to standing above the rest – and I have almost forgotten about Hemmingway's – it is nothing but a distant memory.

Monday Morning Quick Hits

Been awhile since we did one of these, and there are some pretty interesting stories that came in over the weekend – so lets get started with NYC – land of stupid rules.

‘Everyone Is a Child’: NYC Department of Health Allegedly Mulling ‘Happy Hour’ Ban

The New York Post is reporting that the Department of Health is considering a ban on beer and booze specials in New York City bars and restaurants, and the proposal is apparently serious enough that one source quipped: “the alcohol lobby better find itself a good lawyer.”

Read More HERE

happyhourNow, if you can be an adult and don’t need the government looking over your shoulder –here is an interesting video on “Can Happy Hour be Healthy?”  Pay attention for the Guinness SHOUT OUT

sanitizerIf you can stomach going to CNN, you can watch a video about Teens Drinking Hand Sanitizer.  While one could argue that this is out of desperation, I call it stupidity – and this would not even be an issue if we taught the children about responsible drinking vs how EVIL it is.

I’m UFC fan, although I have watched it from time to time if it is the only thing on at a bar.  It’s a brutal sport and for some of the fighters, this might be their only shot in life.  I find it interesting that Budweiser Threatens to Yank UFC Ads After Nazi Tattoo-Clad Fighter Allowed to Compete.  Really?  Just because a fighter has a few questionable (and open to interpretation) tattoos, you threaten totattoo pull sponsorship?  I don’t see them pull the NFL, NBA or MLB sponsorships over the controversial things some of those players do.  Perhaps the (alleged) Neo-Nazi tat hits to close to home for the Belgium owned InBev, but all I know is the beer is crap – so the UFC should find a better sponsor.

Finally, I have to applaud the Union Bar in Iowa City.  It was there that the bouncers prevents Jordan Ramos from getting up on the bar and dancing with her friends.  You see, Jordon is a “Plus Sized” college student and the bouncers (for various reasons) told her she was not allowed.  When you read the article, its easy to feel bad for her – but if I am at the bar, I don’t want to see that.  Yes I am old, and I am not even remotely in shape – but even I know that its usually the hotties that get up there and dance.  Hell, they probably wouldn’t let ME up there either.  The fact that they went to a Social Work Prof for advice is even funnier – because its apparent that they were setting up for a lawsuit at that point, only to be thwarted by the Human Rights Commission in Iowa City, who told her that “They could not do an investigation because size discrimination is not illegal by law”.   I guess someone does put Baby in the Corner.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Storm Destroys Beer Tent after Cardinals Game- One Dead

Very Sad Story – I can foresee Beer Tents being banned in 3…2….1…

St. Louis beer tent collapses in storm, killing one

Published Sunday, Apr. 29, 2012 4:16AM EDT
High winds swept through a beer tent where 200 people gathered after a Cardinals game Saturday, killing one and seriously injuring five others. The owner of the bar that hosted the crowd said lightning, not wind, killed the patron.

Follow the link for Video -

Friday, April 27, 2012

Greatest Bloody Mary Mix - EVER

BloodyMaryI like hot and spicy stuff.  Always have, always will. 

Sadly, its been hard to find a good alcohol oriented product lately (HERE is an example).

So it was with excitement when we saw a salsa tasting station at Sam’s Club.  The setup was by Original Juan, which of course lead to us going over and trying as many as we could.

One of the things that caught my eye was the Batch 218 Cajun Bloody Mary Mix – made with both cayenne and chipotle peppers.  A small sample piqued my interest and so I bought a bottle and didn’t think anything more of it.

A few days later, when I got home from baseball practice, I saw Debi was having a cocktail and I asked her how it was.  Her answer – If you want some, you better get it now.

Needless to say, when mixed up – this stuff has the perfect amount of burn, aftertaste and more burn.  No need to add more pepper on top.  This truly was an excellent mixer, one that lasted all of 3 hours (thus the empty bottle).

If you like a little kick in your drinks – I 1000% Endorse this product, and at $4.99, its actually fairly well priced. 

Based out of KC, many of you should be able to find it locally – but if you cant – visit the website HERE….I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Potentially Product of the Year – I give this a 5 out of 5


This Day in History- April 27 1986

One of the ways you can tell if you were a child of the 80’s is by recognition of the phrase Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone’s Vault.

I myself recall sitting in the hospital, waiting for my father to come out of triple bypass surgery – and live on TV. 

The hype leading up to this was almost as much “Who Shot JR?”, with everyone speculating the contents.  In a way, this was one of the first “Reality” TV shows – because you really didn’t know how everything was going to unfold.

I think everyone knows, Al Capone was a famous gangster/bootlegger during prohibition.  His place in S&B History is definitely confirmed.

This show, however, focused on a previously “unknown vault” found in the Lexington Hotel in Chicago – a place Capone used as his headquarters from 1928 until his arrest in 1931.

The hype began when construction workers in the 1980’s found secret tunnels (that connected bars and former brothels throughout Chicago), a shooting range and hidden vaulted area.

In swept Geraldo – ever the showman.

What transpired next was one of the most watched syndicated television specials of all time – with an estimated 30 Million views.

What was in the vault?  Well – here is a retrospective, from Geraldo himself, that gives a flavor of the show AND shows the “treasure”.

Ahhhh – the 80’s, how I miss you so.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

This Day in History–April 26th 1865

BoothDiscovered hiding in a Garrett farm's TOBACCO barn, John Wilkes Booth is shot in the neck by Sgt Boston Corbett .

Dying and paralyzed from the neck down, he whispers: "Tell my mother I did it for my country."

As his hands are held up to his face, Booth mutters "useless... useless..." These are his last words.

J&D Cigar–Temptation Habano Claro 5x50 Review

We’ve always had a great relationship with J&D Cigars.  They sent us a sampler when the first started out, and we rather enjoyed them – which lead to THIS REVIEW.  Taking into consideration that the brand was fairly new – I was really happy with the product, and estactic when they contacted me to review the Temptation and Allure lines.

Since we had a really “Bad Tobacco Day” yesterday – and the birds were really singing, I thought – it’s time to break them out.

The first cigar I will review in the line is their Temptation Habano Claro.

For the record, they couldn’t have picked a better size to send me, as the 5x50 Robusto is one of my choice sizes to smoke.

JD Cigars

Temptation Habano Claro 5x50

Wrapper- Ecuador
Binder- Nicaragua
Filler- Nicaragua

The overall appearance was good, with a hardly discernable seem and a smooth wrapper and no prominent veins.  

While not a big aesthetics person, I did like the Blue and Silver band – very eye catching.

A pre-light pull showed the cigar to be of medium density and lead me to believe (correctly) that this would be a nice relaxing smoke, not one you have to work.

The cigar lit fairly easy on one match and burned with a consistent rate throughout. With the exception of a little looseness at the end,  I thought everything held together well and only needed to be relit twice – which could be due to me talking with Simon on the phone at the same time.

I found this to be a well rounded cigar, with a medium/mild flavor profile consisting of a light coffee and oak at the beginning, heavier wood and malt toward the middle and exotic spice (nutmeg) and more coffee in the last third.

What I particularly liked, especially since  I was smoking a bit early in the day, was the lack of oily feel to the smoke.  If anything, the mouth feel was more creamy than oily – and that bore itself though into the flavors as well.

While lighter than most cigars I tend to smoke, I really enjoyed this product and would highly recommend to “New Cigar Aficionados”, particularly women who are wanting to make the leap from flavored cigars.

I always enjoy competition – and its heartening to see cigars taking the path of micro breweries and distilleries, with more and more independent Growers and Producers popping up.  J&D is fitting that Indie-Mold and hopefully they continue to embrace the love and passion they put in every batch.

Excellent Product – 4 out of 5 Thumbs Up

Thumbs upThumbs upThumbs upThumbs up

Stay Tuned for the a review of their Allure line.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Avengers–The XXX Porn Parody

Ok – this has nothing to do with Smokes and Booze, but due to the great feedback I received from the Star Wars XXX Parody (and my love for The Avengers), I had to post it.

Sadly, the fact that it has Spiderman, She-Hulk (Brilliantly casting Chyna), Thor in a HELMET and Hawkeye in the right costume – this actually looking as good as The Fantastic Four release.

The two trailers below are Safe for Work (not even language issues), so enjoy.


Smoking in the News

Here are a few stories regarding Smoking in the news that have been passed over and I thought I would share -

We start with New Zealand – where their Health Ministry is mulling the idea of increasing the price cigarettes to $100 ($81 US) a pack.  That’s right – $81 a PACK.  When the Prime Minister says it seems “An Awful Lot” and an Anti-Smoking Activist implies it is to high – you know you have issues.  STOP THE SIN TAX.

money smoke

Meanwhile – we have Charlie Weis kicking two players off the Football Team at KU for breaking team rules.  The press release doesn’t get into details – but another article does.  KU gives us this insight -

Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence police spokesman, said bar employees asked Garrett to stop smoking inside, but an altercation began. Garrett was accused of pushing one employee in the face, and both Garrett and a bar employee received facial injuries during that exchange, McKinley said.cigarettes

Garrett was ejected from the bar, but outside the front door Garrett and Robinson had another altercation with staff members. When police were called, both Garrett and Robinson had left the area. They were located and briefly ran from police, but officers apprehended them near the 1700 block of Louisiana Street, McKinley said.

How about a study shows that Anti-Smoking TV Ads Apparently Work.  Gee – we’ve been told for ages that kids (and some adults) believe everything on TV….so why is this shocking?  Maybe KU should have more TV Learning. 

Finally – we have counterfeit COHIBA Cigars seized in Miami.  While I disagree with the street value of $20 a stick, I think it does highlight that the embargo just creates an underground illegal activity.  Open the flood gates – We all didn’t have a luxury that JFK did to stock up.


I hate that there was nothing positive to post on tobacco – but my mailman made me smile today…..Sampler Cigars from JD Cigars.  So look for a review later today.

Smoke’m if you Got’m

Underage Sting - I love the cops

I happen to know someone who’s establishment was the target of one of these types of “Stings”. 

The draconian tactics these cops use are insane (often using actual legal age agents, but with false IDs) – but this takes the cake.

I really struggle that Prosecutor didn’t know there was video evidence, and that it clearly showed the guy refusing to sell, and I cannot believe the cashier pleaded out….well, I can – but his lawyer should have done a discovery.

I really hate that the onus is on the shopkeeper and seldom is the purchaser (who is perpetrating fraud and breaking the law) held responsible.  The larger fine rides with those with the deeper pockets. 

I liken this to someone robbing a bank with a note that just says “Give me all your money”.  The note isn't threatening, and the cashier isn't charged with robbing a bank when they hand the cash over.  Instead, common sense takes over and we realize who “The Bad Guy” is here.

Sadly, because the kids are underage – they put the responsibility on the shop keeper.  How about fine the parents and hold them responsible for the actions of their underage kids.

That is just a thought.

Cheers -

PS – Following the link also takes you to the video

Underage booze sale bust is blasted after video shows clerk Ismael Duran refused to sell Smirnoff Ice to teen

A POLICE STING nabbed a Brooklyn bodega worker for selling booze to a minor — even though a security video shows the clerk refusing to do so, the Daily News has learned.

Before he realized the video would acquit him, Ismael Duran pleaded guilty to avoid spending time behind bars.

But now a bodega industry group is pressing the Brooklyn district attorney’s office to vacate the plea — and to investigate the police officers involved.

“This kind of illegal activity is not going to fly,” said Fernando Mateo, spokesman for the Bodega Association of the United States.

“If we didn’t have the video, this guy would be screwed.”

Duran, 44, a married father of three who immigrated from the Dominican Republic three years ago, was arrested April 12 at the Giselle Mini Mart in Brownsville.

Auxiliary Police Officer Anthony Harriott, 18, tried to buy a Smirnoff Ice in an undercover operation, but was denied after showing Duran his identification, court papers show.

“I did everything right,” Duran said. “I asked for the ID. I told him no.”

But minutes later, Stanfiel Collymore, 51, a customer who witnessed Duran turn Harriott away, bought the booze and gave it to Harriott outside the store.

Court papers state that Collymore had arranged to take Harriott’s money in view of Duran.

But Kevin Faga, Duran’s lawyer, argued the clerk was busy dealing with other customers.

Collymore and Duran were both charged with selling alcohol to a minor and unlawfully dealing with a child — but Collymore’s case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.

Faga said that when Duran was arraigned he took the advice of his then-lawyer, who told him he could go home if he pleaded guilty and paid a $120 fine.

“He was afraid he’d have to go to Rikers if he couldn’t post bail,” Faga said.

The DA’s office declined to comment on Duran’s case, and an NYPD spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

But a law enforcement source said prosecutors have seen the video and are considering vacating Duran’s plea.

Read more:

Stuff sent to me


If you work with me, you know the chaos that my internet has been lately – and this has also had an impact on S&B output in the evenings.

As I polish up the reviews – there are a few stories that will come out and then we will be back to business.

To start, I thought I would pass along some of the great pictures sent my way – keep them coming.

PS – as an added bonus – the pic at the bottom is a preview of upcoming reviews.

Cheers -






Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Irish Craic (Recipe)

Craic"Craic" (pronounced Crack) is a term variously meaning news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation – so I felt it was rather fitting to name this drink thusly.

Irish Craic-

  • 6oz Java Monster Irish Blend
  • 1.5oz Jameson Irish Whiskey

Shake and server over crushed ice.

This Day in History- April 18th 1955

Nobel Prize recipient Albert Einstein dies in his hospital bed from a ruptured aortic aneurysm. Seven hours later, his brain is plunked into a jar of formalin and taken away by the pathologist. It will remain missing for 23 years.

Often considered one of the greatest minds to exist – what did he think of smoking and drinking?

alberteinsteinFirst, with regards to smoking -He smoked cigar and pipe despite his wife Elsa and his doctors forbid him to smoke .

A life member of the Montreal Pipe Smokers Club, Einstein was quoted as saying:

"Pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment of human affairs."

A funny story tells of how he once fell into the water during a boating expedition but managed heroically to hold on to his pipe.

That’s dedication.

As for drinking, Albert Einstein  seldom consumed alcohol -If at all, a glass of wine or a little glass of cognac as served by hosts. Mostly he only sipped on the alcoholics served to him.

Despite this,  there is one known case, in which he was drunk.

In the summer of 1905 he wrote in a postcard to Conrad Habicht:

"Totally drunk unfortunately both of us under the table. ..."

This is meant to be Einstein and his first wife Mileva.

So – with all his “brains”, and knowing the dangers of smoking and drinking, Einstein still chose to partake and definitely enjoyed his tobacco.

So instead of a glass- Tonight….fire one up and think about a great man.

Smoke’m if you gottem.

Happy Birthday Flat Branch Pub and Brewing

Today is Flat Branch's 18th birthday!

In honor of the day, April 18th, 1994 when they first opened their doors, they are going to discount all guest checks 18%!

The discount will be automatically deducted, but doesn't apply to kegs, gift certificates or keg deposits.flatbranch

Congrats on 18 Years, and here is to 18 More.


PS – Please ask Larry to start Beer 101 back up Smile with tongue out

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Because Jeff P. Sent it to me


Our man Keith.

PS – I can see my boy Share in this picture too, although he’s a few year younger.

Penn & Teller, Sleight of Hand, Cups & Balls and Lawsuit

I could have sworn I had this clip on here before, but I can’t find it.  I guess I must have viewed it and thought “Cool- need to throw that on the site someday”.

Anyway, today is the day.

What inspired me to revisit? 

First, Penn Jillette has been featured lately on the Celebrity Apprentice.  Even though my wife seems to think he is coming across a little bit like an ass (although not as much as Lou Ferrigno), I think he has been true to himself and is definitely the smartest guy in the room.  Its been fun to watch- and I hope he wins.

Secondly, a recent story caught my eye regarding Teller suing someone who is threatening to reveal his famous act, called Shadows.  If anyone has seen Penn and Teller do the Cups and Balls Trick or Sleight of Hand (below) – they are pretty up front about their act.  However, I must applaud Teller for standing up for his signature act – to which he has copywritten.  This is how he makes his money…don’t mess with it.  I hope the courts find in his favor.

Now, here is Penn and Teller explaining “Sleight of Hand”

The Avengers–Clip #3 Headcount

I love what Marvel has done with the Marvel Universe.  They have taken pages from the comics – and brought them alive.  They have created a living world, where there are actions (and reactions) that play out across a complex storyline.  They have done something that I never thought possible in my wildest (Geeky) imagination – They have the Avengers Assembling.

On top of all that, they cast the coolest cat to ever walk the face of the earth (Robert Downey Jr) as one of my favorite roles – one that he has totally owned……Iron Man.

Here is a not so Spoiler clip from the upcoming movie.  I love how Stark, when faced with possible death (?) while confronting Loki, just pours a drink and acts the smartass.


Avengers Assemble May 4th

Another Great Move by Miller

Miller really knows how to play to their target audience.

From the Supporting Our Troops Campaign, to the Sponsorship to their latest Red, White and Blue Can makeover.

If Anheuser Busch doesn’t want to be “America’s Brand” – then get out of the way and make room for a beer that does.

I love the can (almost as much as I love THESE) – and Miller continues to be my steady go-to here at home….so much so that when friends come over, they are bringing too.


There are stupid bets–then there is this guy

Ok – I know I once stuffed a 5 Mark Coin up my nose to win a bet…..but I have never ever ever ever beer this drunk, or this determined to win a free beer.

Doctors remove quarter bottle from man's rectum

Khandwa (MP), Apr 15, 2012 (PTI)

Doctors here surgically removed a quarter bottle of liquor from the rectum of a man who had allegedly inserted it to win a wager of Rs 1000 with fellow boozers.

The incident occurred on April 13 night when the person whose identity was not disclosed by the doctors inserted the entire bottle through his anus. Though he won the wager, the man soon became unconscious. Next day when he regained consciousness, he tried to push it out but in vain following which he went to a nursing home.
"After examining the patient, we decided to perform a surgery which lasted for nearly an hour and removed the bottle," Dr Gurdeep Singh Ubeja told reporters today. "But by that time it has damaged the anus area as well as urinary bladder," he said.
The doctor said that the patient is a chronic alcoholic. The X-ray of the patient showed the bottle entangled in the rectum.

Johns Daphne Whiskey?

If you ever travel, or spend time in the seedier parts of area, you have surely come across some of those “Knock Off” name brand items- you know what I mean, they LOOK like a brand – but the name is slightly different.

Head over to to get a look at a few funny ones….but for your S&B viewing pleasure, I’ve included a related one.

Cheers - JohnsDaphne

Guinness–What are you doing to me? (Review)

I make no attempts to display my love for Guinness Beer. 

Guinness Extra Stout being better in the Can vs the Bottle, was one of the first arguments I won with my wife.  We drank it the first night we met (and for the record, yes….I passed out on her floor, so a positive and negative equal a push). 

We go out of our way EVERY year to have a Guinness on our 44 StoneAnniversary (St. Patrick’s Day).

If ever there was  beer inculcated into my being….it is Guinness Extra Stout.

So, to say that I was excited about Guinness Black Lager, it would be an understatement. 

First, lets discuss Lager is-

Lager (German: storage) is a type of beer that is fermented and conditioned at low temperatures.  Pilsner pale lager is the most widely-consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world. Bock, Dortmunder Export and Märzen are all styles of lager. There are also dark lagers, such as Dunkel and Schwarzbier.

So, interestingly – Guinness (an Irish Beer) is trying for a German Style.  My hopes were not high.

Guinness Black Lager (bottled)

Appearance- Poured a dark black GuinnessLagercolor, with a eggshell colored head.  The head was not the frothy foam you get from stout in the can, or symmetric latticing from stout in the bottle, but more of a light foam that quickly dissipated. 

Nose- Light roasted grains and malts, with (just) a hint of chocolate.

Taste- Mellow and light.  Not a flavorful punch that you would associate with the Guinness brand.  Considering that a Black Lager is akin to the Schwarz and Dunkel beers….then this is Lager light.  Light hops, slight malty flavor and a flavor that reminded me of coffee that was made with 3rd run coffee grounds.  All flavors very subdued.

Overall-   Highly disappointed, and it hurts me to say it.  You might as well call this a foray into Light Beer for St. James Gate, even though it has a higher alcohol content vs the Stout available in the US (4.5% vs 4.3%).   The overall taste was bland and underwhelming.  The only reason I would serve this is if I was having a Guinness themed party – and I knew there were some light beer drinkers in the crowd. Mug

People have no idea how painful it was for me to write a negative review of a Guinness Product.  I really do wish they would stick with what they do best, and not play around. 

I’m sure the Guinness name will attract an audience to this release, and I also positive that it will gain a following.  To this, I wish Guinness luck – I just wont be buying it.

Its a sad sad day.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Nice Cans

Sorry – Couldn’t resist.



Monday Quick Hits–April 16th 2012

Here just a few articles that I came across this weekend.  They mostly do not warrant a full page – but they had some interesting tidbits.  You can follow the links if you are interested in the whole story.

Cheers -

London Metropolitan University mulls alcohol ban for 'conservative Muslim students'-

CreepyA London University may become the first in the country to ban alcohol from part of its campus to attract more Muslim students, its Vice Chancellor has said.

Ed Note- Really?  Can I get an asshole free zone?  Also, the picture from the article has so much creepy factor going for it (on so many different angles) that it was to good to pass up.

Groups join DUI fight at checkpoint

Enjoyed this little nugget

“The checkpoint was funded by a federal grant being administered by Penn State and State College police.

Aston said the department’s new high-tech flashlights helped officers spend less time talking to individual drivers, cutting down on the time people were stopped at the checkpoint.

The specialized flashlights use ethanol sensors to detect the presence of alcohol on a driver’s breath.”

Ed Note- So basically, they are getting a breathalyzer from you without consent.  If that isn't illegal search, I don’t know what is.

Hillary Clinton in Colombia dances, drinks beer


Ed Note – Speaking of Creepy Pictures, gotta love Hillary dancing and drinking the night away, especially with her below a sign saying “Havanna”.  Can anyone make out what kind of beer she is drinking? 

No smoking at New York's beaches or swimming areas, including Green Lakes, Fair Haven and Cayuga Lake

Ed Note – Just another area where you cannot smoke.  Given all the restrictions on living in NY, why would anyone want to live there?

Another Sunday Brunch at 44 Stone (some Beer Reviews)

My attempt to try everything on the 44Stone Sunday Brunch menu continued this past weekend, and once again – they failed to disappoint.

Before I get into breakfast, lets talk about a few aesthetic changes at the pub. 

For those of you who have been to pub, you know what the “Big Board” is.  Taking up a majority of the North Wall, the Big Board carries a list of all the beers available at 44 Stone, with the upper left hand corner dedicated to what is on draft.

Now they have added two new boards over the bar – these are now the ones dedicated to tap (with other BIG news coming soon). 

I really like this, as it allows them to highlight their offerings.  In addition, they now display two prices: one for a full pour and one for what I have affectingly dubbed the “Beer Shot”- a snifter pour.  This snifter pour really works for me, as now I can try several beers at one visit.  Great Idea for reviews – with one in this very article.











One of the driving forces for me to go in early on Sunday was tapping of Sierra Nevada’s 'Hoptimium' Double IPA



Talked up by Dave, I had to make this my first pour of the day.

Appearance – Crystal Clear (amazingly so), coppery color and a nice creamy head.

Nose- Ok, I know this is a double IPA, so there should be some hops, but this had a really complex nose that included malts and oranges (surprisingly).

Taste – Not as overwhelmingly “Hoppy: as I thought.  With a little bit of piney oilyness, there are a lot of different hops layers to this one.  Of course this can be expected with 6 different styles of hops used in the process – what was surprising was that it was not overly hoppy, especially considering the 100 IBUs it was rated.  Tastes of grass, fruit (orange and grapefruit) and a woodyness round out the beer.

Overall – I was fairly impressed with the complexity, yet mildness (for a hophead) of Hoptimum.  Definitely an eye opener for early in the morning, I was glad I made the trip – everything after that was bonus.  I know this available in bottles locally, but if you can catch it on draft – its definitely worth the wait.

A Solid Three (almost Four)  Beers - MugMugMug

Speaking of Bonus – I would like to continue with breakfast – and in this case, English Breakfast.

English Breakfast

44 Stone Description -

House Made Pork, Apple & Sage Sausage, Grilled Tomato, Baked Beans, Toasted Bread, Cider Cured Berkshire Bacon, Two Eggs over Easy, Herb Roasted Crimini Mushrooms English Breakfast

I’ve always loved their bacon, but it might be replaced by the sausage, which is DELICIOUS and probably the best thing on the plate.  Not to say anything else is bad – its just that good.

Even James liked the mushrooms (his tastes are growing up) and the eggs were cooked perfectly.  The only thing I could have done without is the tomato, but that is due to personal preference…not due how it was prepared.

Another excellent meal that (by design) will stick to your ribs and keep you going all day.  If only they had Guinness on tap to go with it – although one of the next two beers filled in just as nicely.


Perennial Ales Black Walnut vs New Holland El Mole Ocho


I decided, that with the new “Beer Shots” I would put two head to head – just add a little fun to the Sunday Morning.

I chose the Perennial Black Walnut for two reasons.

First, I wanted something “Dark” to go up against the El Mole Ocho.  It doesn’t do any good to compare an IPA or Lager to a dark beer, and I really wanted to try the Chile Ale from New Holland.

Secondly, after I laid into Perennial for their Saison at the Missouri Beer Festival, I wanted to give them a second chance.

Appearance -

  • Perennial – Inky black and opaque, this reminded me of a stout without the head. 
  • New Holland – Dark, Chestnut/Reddish Brown

Nose -

  • Perennial –Sweet, Walnut (obviously), Caramel, Wheat and Bread
  • New Holland – Coco Powder, Maltyness, Nuts and a backend Spice (Pepper)

Taste -

  • Perennial – Dark Roasted Walnut, slight bitterness, toasted malts.
  • New Holland – Dry Chocolate (powdery), little bit of heat with a mild chili pepper finish.


  • Perennial –Sadly, Perennial still doesn’t work for me.  The walnut flavor is overpowering – and not in a good way.  I could possibly see this as a good “pairing” beer, but I am at a loss as to what it would work with.  Until I found that match-up, I would rate it a weak two beers.MugMug
  • New Holland – Unlike the Perennial Black Walnut, the Mole Ocho has some very subtle tastes, and works well as a stand alone.  The fact that I get the whole “Mole Experience” when eating this is very intriguing, although I could see it not working for everyone….much like the Flat Branch Green Chili Beer.  Me, personally, I would order this almost every time I went into a bar – its that solid.  Debi also tried both (without knowing which was which) and preferred it to the Black Walnut, hands down.   An excellent offering from New Holland and the definitive winner of the day – Four Beers MugMugMugMug
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