Hello! Welcome to my exciting blog series of recipes that you probably haven't thought of before. Prepare to embark on a marvelous journey through the world of brazen combinations of common foods without leaving the comfort of your home. If reading recipes, grocery shopping, or preheating the oven isn't your proverbial cup of tea, then I feel you buddies. I'm pretty sure I had measuring spoons at one point, but when I think about it, I haven't cooked anything that needed that kind of precision since I got mixed up with the wrong crowd in college. (Parents: Who your kid draws as a roommate in college makes a difference!)

I'm not sure what is required for a blogger introduction, but let's skip lame introductions for the moment. I already have to worry about my Facebook profile being published without my consent. Plus, someday I'll be able to post a FAQ with all the questions that I imagine all you glass souls are thinking in your head.

Not being super skilled with the vocabulary or this blogging platform, I'll try to give you guys pictures in lieu of excessive wordage in these columns. And if you have any questions… tough kiddies. Eat wit and pie!
(The Aimless Chef is just playing, readers. If you haven't noticed, my sense of humor often gets mistook for d-baggery, but I am unapologetic, just like my insane/asinine recipes. And if you think about it, what is worse: This here column of delicious nonsense or the insufferably dull crap going on at the blog of that free paper you pick up at the bus stop?)

Enough about me...

Today I bring you something that is sure to amuse your bouche. I call these Fire Crackles.

You are going to need this stuff:

  • Can of Spam
    It's pork shoulder and ham y'all!
  • Bag of Ruffles
    How was "Ruffles have ridges" ever an effective marketing campaign? What is wrong with people?!
  • Ketchup/Catsup
    America… English language experts… Can we agree on a single spelling and go forward? It is the twenty first century for diced sake.
  • Tabasco
    A sauce so important that I was taught it in my Louisiana History class in Middle School.

STEP 1: Pop the top on the Spam.

Oh, the sound of the Spam coming out is unique and wonderful.

STEP 2: Slice the Spam.

Cut the loaf in half crosswise from the top. Rotate the two pieces to lay lengthwise on the cutting board and slice these crosswise. Don't sweat the size, just don't make it too thin or too thick. I ended up with 20 square-ish Spam pieces.

STEP 3: Pan fry the Spam.

Raw Spam tastes like crap. You need to cook this stuff. Find a pan and (if you are like me) clean it. Spray the pan with Pam, toss some butter in there, or drop a little oil in the pan if you want. I used half a cap full of veggie oil. Flip your stove's knob to something between full blast and halfway. Lay your Spam slices down and brown both sides (1-2 minutes per side depending on your heat). Be sure to get a good crust on the slices. When you start to see the edges dry up, they are getting close. My pan fit 10 slices, so I cooked the Spam in two batches.

STEP 4: Lay out your Ruffles.

Give all the chips a healthy few dashes of Tabasco.

STEP 5: Assemble Fire Crackles.

Lay Spam slice on each chip.

STEP 6: Garnish!

Garnish is normally for haughty food freaks. In fact, garnish and Spam may not ever have been put in the same sentence. Show some pride and blob a bit of ketchup on top of each of these. If you want to take it up another notch, dash some more Tabasco on top (The Aimless Chef suggests Chipotle Tabasco). Whatever you do, don't be condiment a snob. The sweetness of the Ketchup is essential to this recipe.

A meal this special deserves a great beer. I went to my beer fridge and pulled a Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 3 (Double IPA) from my lagering shelf. Something bold and hoppy will pair nicely with Fire Crackles.

Six simple steps, that's all you need. Six simple steps and you will succeed. Good appetite my friends.

Peep this how I freaked that in the slide show below, yo.

This blog will kick off a five part series throughout 2010 to compare the 2009 versions of Saint Arnold Seasonal Beers to the 2010 version. The Ferm is a decent fan of Saint Arnold, except for some notable dissensions for the Divine Reserve.

For some reason a good 15 months ago, I decided to save one bottle of each of the Saint Arnold Seasonals. I thought maybe there would be one time the next year when I really wanted one of the off season variety. Well, it ends up being, as Sir Ron has published, with one and only one, you end up holding back for that really really special occasion which never comes.

So as I got up to one of each, the question became. What next? Do I save a second of each? For Spring yes (actually two from this year for three total). Wait, I have an idea. I wonder if I (a very amateur beer taster) could tell the difference between brews of a different year? We're talking same brewer, same style, different vintage. Probably not. I've tried a couple of taste tests before (Kona vs. St. A. Lawnmower, Red wine with and without the Vinturi). Very mixed results. Some would call them "within the statistical mean". But what the hey, I've got a few St. Arnold Spring Bocks to burn.

So the test was set up like the two above. Two identical small beer taster glasses on a coaster with a mark under each to differentiate. Gameday temperature was 50 degrees (the temp of my aging beer fridge, but unlike most, I actually do like beer a little warmer than ice cold). FWIW, St. Arnold recommends 40 degrees for the Spring Bock. A tasteless wheat cracker to be consumed between all sips. Best of 7 series, World Series, Stanley Cup style. The beers are rotated left and right in circles so many times I lose track.

Round 1: The Bock is a pretty flavorful beer ("robust, deeply flavored lager" according to the website link above), I feel like my taste buds are more or less just woken up by the flavor but not really tuned in yet. I probably like the second sip better, seemed to have a bit more flavor which I like. Turned out that was the 2009. Okay, 2009 takes a 1-0 lead.

Round 2: I take both sips. Whoops, I forgot the cracker in between. What to do? Well, the first tasted more flavorful (but maybe the second was on it's coattails and blended in). It's 2009. A contingency point is awarded, if it is within one at the end, we'll re-play it. But for now, 2009 2, 2010 0.

Round 3: Hmmm, this second one really does taste different and better (to me, just more alive with flavor). The other one, good but more toned down. It was 2009 again. A near sweep at 3-0 (contingency still in play).

Rounds 4-5. I've got it now, I can tell a difference. If 2009 was first, I knew right away. If it was second, I would think "hmmm, that might be it" then take the second and say "nope, it's #2".

I play through all 7 rounds for sport now. Hit the 2009 7/7. I mean that's me, I like more flavor. I have a feeling I could have picked it 100 times in a row if a) I didn't lose mental focus and b) I didn't pass out.

Of all the taste tests I've done, this one was the first where I knew what I was drinking. I was surprised at the result, but maybe others have noted the flavor difference as well. Maybe the brewer tweaked the recipe. Also consider the year aging, somebody smarter than me can tell me what factor that might have.

I do remember last year I would hit up about one 2009 Spring and think "I need to move on". Maybe my taste buds were saturated or something. This year, I could go two deep before lightening up. I had thought it my taste buds that had changed (which happens frequently, sometimes I can't stand IPA's, sometimes I can't get enough of them).

Interesting, the next four contests (Summer Pils, Oktoberfest, Christmas, and Winter) will be from two different brewery locations. I like waiting until out of season to do these, just to enjoy the flavor when I can't get it at the store any more.

And you remember I saved two from this year, one was tested for this, the other 2010 is available for test, or special occasion, whichever comes first!

More to come!

Eating Our Bird

Posted by SirRon | Friday, June 11, 2010

We've been listening to our readers' Google searches, and when you surf, we are trolling for the details. Based on our study, we have decided to add a new focus to our mixed bag of drinking posts about nothing.

Beer reviews! Nah, just kidding. Seriously guys, please use Beer Advocate and Rate Beer for beer reviews (or ask you IRL friends... friends are good too). However, if you want to know who we would try to be if we could muster up the drive and discipline to write beer reviews on this blog, check out our friends at Dos Beerigos. They are good people whose beer reviews don't read like a movie review where the person only summarized the plot.

In an effort to keep our collective finger on the pulse of the blog reading public, we have actively pursued the idea of including food as a topic here at The Ferm. The food blog business has been around since Jane Websurfer found free online blogging sites (I saw Julie & Julia), but it really seems like the industry is exploding now. In our opinion, the best part about the food blogs is that in aggregate, the big winner are you guys that like to tinker in the kitchen or unknown eateries that rely on word of mouth for advertising. Drinking a particular adult beverage, on the other hand, is somewhat of a subjective experience. The consumer can't tinker with the preparation of that beverage (mixologists excluded) or choose from a menu of items that fit his preference. In fact, government regulations keep the majority of the beverages you read about off the shelves of your favorite grocery or liquor emporium.

After an admittedly uninspired search for a quality food blogger, we have recently extended an invitation to an individual. He has very little blogging experience, much less food blogging experience, but I believe in the American dream y'all. I believe in the little guy. I believe that in this World you should take every opportunity to stick it to The Man (within reason obviously… I have kids and Daddy doesn't want to do any jail time). Plus, I can always reset his password.

Please welcome to The Ferm: Vaughn Shehorn Gregg

Funny name... Funny dude. It is my understanding that his first offering is already in the works. If his posts are anything like his emails, you guys are in for the treat. His sense of humor is on another level… like sometimes I didn't even know what he was saying.

We. can't. wait.

5/17/10 8:27 PM
For reference, below is the order for the 3rd round.

1. Mr. Smokeypants
2. J.R. Ewing (@longhorndave)
3. Two Pints (@pig1ett2000)
4. K Dub (@K_Dub_02)
5. The Ferm (@DosBeerigos)
6. Leslie (@LesNor11)
7. SirRon (@sirrong)

3rd Round Pick Index:

  1. (15) Mr. Smokeypants: Whiskey
  2. (16) J.R. Ewing: Tedeschi Vineyards at Ulupalakua Ranch
  3. (17) Two Pints: Mini Cocktail Umbrellas
  4. (18) K Dub: Burping
  5. (19) The Ferm of DosBeerigos.com: Taco Bell
  6. (20) Crawford (from Leslie): Nick Nolte's mugshot
  7. (21) SirRon: MoreBeer

Round 2 Recap

  1. Mr. Smokeypants
    Foam in the Dome

  2. J.R. Ewing
    Bill "The Fox" Foster

  3. Two Pints
    Dallas (TV Series)

  4. K Dub
    Upright Brewing Company

  5. The Ferm of DosBeerigos.com
    Cigar City Brewing Company

  6. Alexander (via Leslie)

  7. SirRon
    Kitchen Stadium

5/17/10 8:28 PM
Mr. Smokeypants is on the clock.

5/24/10 8:00 AM
With American Craft Beer Week behind us, let's get back to the mock draught.

5/26/10 10:23 AM
With the 15th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, Mr. Smokeypants selects... Whiskey

Chalmun at the Cantina is tired of me bumming off the Norris tab at happy hour.
So, I’ll finally draft a DRINK.
Whiskey for everyone. On me. Screw you, wookie. Now it’s free, behatch.

Though I don't always drink whiskey, when I do, I prefer bourbon (among many, a great friend has been Knob Creek: Drink Life Deeply).
Nevertheless, whether it’s Scotch, Irish, Tennessee, or even Canadian (meh), I’ll take it on the rocks.
Straight up, that works too. Especially in a flask. Just remember to screw that top on tight.
Add water, fine.
Soda, I’ll bleepin kill you, fool. No, I’m just kiddin. Seriously, I will rip your arm out of its socket.

With this diverse member of the team, I’m also taking dibs on Willie Nelson’s fabled Whiskey River and the band Whiskeytown (that means you, Ryan Adams).

And I’ve still got 2 prospects on my draught board. Score. Till next year, stay drinky my friends.

5/26/10 2:15 PM
J.R. Ewing is on the clock.

5/26/10 7:41 PM
With the 16th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, J.R. Ewing selects... Tedeschi Vineyards at Ulupalakua Ranch

Having brought in some solid beer and liquor prospects into the fold, it was time to find someone to play the wine position. I admit I'm not a flavor connoisseur, so my pick will lean more toward intangibles, such as location, location, location. Look no further than the Tedeschi Vineyards at Ulupalakua Ranch, Maui, Hawaii. If you go to Maui and read this blog, it's a must stop. The tasting room is open 7 hours a day, 7 days a week. Three free tours a day as well, it sucks when you get to your favorite vineyard and are locked out. It's in the "upcountry", which is code for "the beautiful hills heading up to the volcano peak". The draft intangibles are oozing. It's 2000 feet from sea level, which means cooler temps and nice breezes (temps don't vary from summer to winter much). Yet minutes from the beautiful beaches of Maui. And 20,000 acres, I say, 20,000 acres of Hawaiian land with a beautiful view. Can't beat that with a 3rd round pluck.

5/26/10 8:38 PM
Two Pints is on the clock.

6/2/10 5:14 PM
With the 17th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, Two Pints selects... Mini Cocktail Umbrellas

That’s right, I'm snatching up those cute little umbrellas they put in tropical drinks to hold down chunks of fruit and whatnot. How cool are these? They even open and close! One night SirRon and I were having dinner at a restaurant when we spotted my old boyfriend from high school across the bar. This toolbox -- the same boy who notified me that we broke up by making out with his new g/f in the hallway between classes -- is drinking a pink girly drink with a tiny umbrella in it. After catching our breath from all the laughing, we each took a hit off our own drinks, which happened to be served in his and her Buddha and Geisha containers. We decided two things that day: We are glad he holds the title of "ex", and (more importantly) tiny umbrellas are the S*!#.

My final pick of the 2010 Anything Mock Draught is in honor of those adorable tiny umbrellas. I dedicate this to anyone who is man/woman enough to order a fru-fru decorated tropical drink.

Cheers! ...And you can stand under my under my mini umbrella (Ella ella eh eh eh) Under my mini umbrella (Ella ella eh eh eh eh eh eh)...

6/2/10 7:56 PM
K-Dub is on the clock.

6/3/10 11:37 AM
With the 18th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, K-Dub selects... Burping.

What...is...up? How could I forget one of my favorite adult beverage consumption side activities, BURPING. Drinking carbonated beverages often times results in consuming....well....carbonated gas. And while I enjoy processing said carbonated product, I typically prefer to remove as much as possible through the age old classic of mouth evacuating said gas. Also known as belching, ructus and eructation, burping is fun, enjoyable, and often times humorous. Although often seen as an impolite act in the United States, in other parts of the world belching is considered a compliment to the host. So celebrate other cultures around the planet and open one's mind to wide world of burping, because farting stinks.

6/3/10 3:46 PM
The Ferm from DosBeerigos.com is on the clock.

6/3/10 4:28 PM
With the 19th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, The Ferm from DosBeerigos.com selects... Taco Bell.

Wait....what does Taco Bell have to do with drinking? I think the real question is what doesn't Taco Bell have to do with drinking. Taco Bell is wonderful drunk food at an affordable price. Who doesn't love the Open till 4am sign after a long night of Boozing. ForthMeal should be an official meal especially while drinking. Now if they only delivered....that would be magical. The sober person in the room will have to do for deliveries until Taco bell realizes what they are missing out on.

There is even a Facebook Group for Drunk Taco Bell Eating!

Here is to Taco Bell, helping to fill my tummy with food after a long night of drinking.

6/3/10 4:35 PM
Leslie is on the clock.

6/6/10 10:35 PM
Leslie relinquishes her final pick to Crawford for a Neil Diamond Greatest Hits CD.

6/6/10 10:36 PM
Crawford is on the clock.

6/7/10 10:48 AM

Kids! Apparently two blog posts does not a team member make. Although I didn’t get a 2010 Anything Mock Draught invite, I have been reading that Leslie’s picks can be bought very inexpensively. (See that Specs, Leslie is not cheap, she is inexpensive. Not that I am trying to say that Leslie, the person, can be bought, or that if she could it would be for a trivial amount of money. I have never even met Leslie. Apparently she is some breakfast cereal ad wiz in New York City. I wonder if after a late night cranking out cereal commercials if she ever hits a diner and has breakfast for dinner. Nothing like a little reversal satire! Ha ha ha!)

Why exactly has the diner concept not really caught on outside of the Northeast/New England area? The diverse, inexpensive, 100+ item menus are ideal for patrons at any stage of hunger. Not to mention the fact they are nearly perfect meals after those casual evening “meetings” go long into the night. Speaking of long meetings, I’m reminded of recent weekend energy conference I attended in Denver. On Friday evening, a colleague and I broke away from the HVAC tour of Pespi Center to instead grab a steak at Denver Chophouse & Brewery. If you have seen one variable air volume energy recovery unit with integrated active sensing controls and an enthalpy wheel, you have seen them all.

Readers, I will never see a dime from the Denver Chophouse & Brewery for this advertisement, but I want to tell you that the next time your work takes you to Denver, you have to drop by for a remarkable steak and their impressive house beers. We overindulged in both, left a hefty tip, and headed to the legendary Wynkoop Brewing Company. According to their ads in the airport, newspaper, train stops, billboards, hotel, cab, back of their menu, etc., Wynkoop is Colorado’s first brewpub. Readers, I will never see a dime from Wynkoop for this advertisement, but I want to tell you that the next time your work takes you to Denver, there are much better places to find beer and food than the Wynkoop. Oye. It seriously took three or four pints to find something that was not off-putting. However, Wynkoop does have a really great pool hall on the second floor of the building. Once up there, we gravitated toward the shuffleboard tables. As my daughter would say, I pwned that shuffleboard table. The establishment also had something they called an Internet Jukebox on the second floor (I assume that means there are not any records inside). I am not really sure how an Internet Jukebox works, but I know if you put a Jackson up in that thing, you can play Neil Diamond’s greatest hits all night long. America.

Fresh off an immense winning feeling from shuffleboarding, and just a little sweaty, my loser colleague and I decided to hit up one more bar before calling it a night. ESPN Zone would have been a great option, but apparently they keep Mickey Mouse hours. A street folk of questionable character suggested we go to Coyote Ugly. I seem to remember a movie by the same name. Like Showgirls with a bar setting, I believe. I hoped the Ugly would have a pool table or a dart board so I could put another beat down on my colleague.

On the way, we belt out an impressive a capella interpretation of Sweet Caroline (chorus only, of course). Coyote Ugly is located on the second floor of an open-air mall-like building. To get there, we step on an outdoor escalator that was reminiscent of the ones in the Washington D.C. subway system (non-travelers, this means it was really long). I start another perfect pitched “Sweeeeeet Car-ooo-liiiinne” and my colleague screams the loudest, drunkest, echoing “bah bah bah baaaaaah” you could imagine. Good times never seem so good, friends. Unfortunately our performance had caught the attention of a few cops. By the looks on their faces, I could tell they had not enjoyed our beautiful noise.

The ride to the top felt like minutes, because literally this was one of the tallest, slowest escalators I have ever been on. I certainly would not be passing a field sobriety test this night, but I also was no menace to society. I remember thinking, “This can’t be happening. I can’t get arrested. What will my coworkers think? What will my family think? This is not how I want to be remembered.”

Kids, Crawford is not afraid of getting arrested. If I were ever to get arrested, I want to it to be spectacular. Not after shuffleboarding at the Wynpoop on the way to see a bar where they promote their dancers but call themselves “Ugly.” When I file my first photo with the authorities, I want it to be a good one.

With the 20th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, Crawford selects... Nick Nolte's mugshot.

After what must have been a heck of a good time, California Highway Patrol scooped up Actor Nick Nolte on September 11, 2002. Kids, I am certainly not advocating driving under the influence (I prefer to drink at home because I have better stuff). What I am saying is that if I were to get picked up, I want my mugshot to be a proper representation of the time I had before getting arrested. When I see Nick's mugshot, I can fill in the blanks on how his night went without being given the backstory. That night in Denver, I had on a button-up Polo shirt, my hair was still in place, and my shuffleboard perspiration was nearly dry. I was in no condition for a mugshot picture.

Nick Nolte's mugshot even has its own Twitter feed! Kids, if you are going to dream... dream big.

(in case you were wondering, the fuzz just sent us back down the escalator. *whew*)

6/7/10 11:04 AM
SirRon is on the clock.

6/8/10 2:59 PM

In 1996, around the time of my 21st birthday, Two Pints and I stumbled upon a beer making kit in the appliance/gadget section of a department store.

Hold up, you can make beer in a plastic barrel?!

Why had no one told me about the loophole that you buy beer ingredients at any age… because it isn’t alcohol yet?!

This. Changes. Everything.

I purchased the Mr. Beer Deluxe Edition kit for ~$30-$40 and headed home to begin cheating the system.

Brewing: Clean the 2 gallon plastic barrel and parts, assemble, partially fill with water, open can raw beer stuff, pour in a pot, add some sugar, boil with water, pour into plastic barrel, sprinkle yeast packet on top, place under the sink. Blam! The chances of this actually being beer are slim to none.

Bottling: Seven days later… Complete 28th fist bump with roommate RE: making beer at home, clean 1 quart plastic Mr. Beer bottles and caps, add sugar to each bottle, fill bottles using the convenient spigot on the plastic barrel, screw cap on, put bottles back under the sink, taste what is left in the barrel, comment that kind of tastes like beer.

Carbonation: Squeeze the bottles several times a day, fist bump with roommate the first time one of the bottles becomes hard to squeeze, put the first hard bottle in the fridge for “quality control,” remove fruit and milk from the refrigerator to make room, place all bottles in fridge after seven days. Thank you sweet baby gods of beer! This tastes almost like a real beer!

Fast forward to sometime between the celebrated and the real turn of the millennium, I had sidelined my brewing career for several years. By this time I had graduated from The University of Texas, moved to Houston, gotten married, and took a job working for The Man. While moving apartments, I came across my old Mr. Beer plastic barrel and accessories. My recipe cans were all way past their expiration date (I checked), but a quick Google search indicated that you can still buy recipe mixes… which of course I did. I few batches into my resurrected Mr. Beer career, I was ready to take this hobby to another notch. Brewing in the Mr. Beer plastic barrel reminded me too much of college. I had a job now. I could afford much better beer.

One fateful day of surfing the web at work, I typed "brew beer home" into Google. Apparently homebrewing had a counterculture I was completely unaware existed! I retired my Mr. Beer 2-gallon system that day.

Before I make my pick, I want to give a shout out to DeFalcos (who sold me my first *real* homebrewing starter kit) and Austin Homebrew (one of my favorite mail order stores when I want something delivered quick). However...

With the 21st and FINAL pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, SirRon selects... MoreBeer.com.

For my final pick in this draught, I’m selecting the largest, arguably the greatest, and the most respected homebrewing supply shop in the World. I am a kid and MoreBeer is my candy store.

When I talk about homebrewing to those unfamiliar with the craft, I often get asked: “Is it cheaper to make it at home?” I suppose that theoretically it could be less expensive, but it isn’t in my experience. (I wonder how many people pick up hobbies to save money anyway.) Like most of us who haven’t successfully convinced the corner store clerk to give him the correct pin numbers to the multi-state Powerball reserve fund, I have sunk thousands of my unquestionably tapped financial resources in this hobby. Like all hobbies, the payoff is in more than just the final result. (Make no mistake, the final result is almost always quite enjoyable.)

Four years ago, after saving unsuccessfully for years, I took my hobby up several notches and purchased a BrewSculpture from MoreBeer. A BrewSculpture is like a mini-brewhouse and is genuinely a functional work of art. The system has fully digital microprocessor controls, my friends. My B3 1550 may not necessarily enhance my zymurlogical exploits, but it surely makes them a good deal nerdier, only like in a totally awesome way. My neighbors may not know it, but on brew day I’m undoubtedly the coolest person on the block. Thanks MoreBeer. Cheers!

6/8/10 3:47 AM
The 2010 TheFerm.org Anything Mock Draught is complete.

5/10/10 7:22 PM
Barring any trades, below is the order for the 2nd round.

1. Mr. Smokeypants
2. J.R. Ewing (@longhorndave)
3. Two Pints (@pig1ett2000)
4. K Dub (@K_Dub_02)
5. The Ferm (@DosBeerigos)
6. Leslie (@LesNor11)
7. SirRon (@sirrong)

2nd Round Pick Index:

  1. (8) Mr. Smokeypants: Foam in the Dome
  2. (9) J.R. Ewing: Bill "The Fox" Foster
  3. (10) Two Pints: Dallas (TV Series)
  4. (11) K Dub: Upright Brewing Company
  5. (12) The Ferm of DosBeerigos.com: Cigar City Brewing Company
  6. (13) Alexander (from Leslie): Meritage
  7. (14) SirRon: Kitchen Stadium

Round 1 Recap

  1. Dr. Analytics (from Mr. Smokeypants through Leslie)
    The Kolache Factory

  2. J.R. Ewing
    Saint Arnold Brewing Company

  3. Two Pints

  4. K Dub
    SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience

  5. The Ferm of DosBeerigos.com
    American Craft Beer Week

  6. Mr. Smokeypants

  7. SirRon
    Rob and Amy Cartwright

5/11/10 2:07 PM
With the 8th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, Mr. Smokeypants selects... Foam in the Dome: Dollar Beer Night at the Astrodome

For the 8th pick, I can’t go wrong with the 8th Wonder of the World. Get in your Wayback Machine folks, we’re traveling back to FOAM IN THE DOME! a/k/a Dollar Beer Night at the Astrodome. F yeah.
Four words: Best Promotional Night Ever. And I mean EV-ER.

It’s the 70s…we’ve got Jose Cruz, J.R. Richard, rainbow jerseys, and all the Schlitz, Coors, Michelob, Pabst, Lone Star, Pearl, and High Life your fat wallet can handle.
Since I’m in charge, I think I’ll add a few micros to the taps.

While I’ve got PEOPLE, PLACE, TIME, and IDEA covered, I’m lacking a strong EVENT, not to mention an actual DRINK (but more on that later).
I imagine we’re all at Foam in the Dome on a Thursday night, looking very spiffy in our after-work duds.
It’s sweltering outside, but we’re staying cool in the Dome with a tall cup o’ suds. Not to mention a nice Freon breeze. The only things hot in here are the ladies. Certainly not the bats.

I’ve got my Dome Foam and my Dome Dog. And after I polish of 5 more Dome Foams, it won’t matter how the Astros are doing.
A few more and I might gently pass out watching America’s pastime.
There’s no better way to doze.
And there’s no better way to wake up than with a 9th inning CHARGE!

Stay classy, Houston.

5/11/10 2:24 PM
J.R. Ewing is on the clock

5/11/10 8:02 PM
With the 9th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, J.R. Ewing selects... Bill "The Fox" Foster.

This pick was an emotional one. I remember where I was in 1999 when I heard that Comedy Central was starting a new show titled "The Man Show". My fraternity house. What better place to celebrate testosterone-dom. I'll admit, I watched Adam and Jimmy go through some over the top sketches and segments and thought it would never work. But it did. Boy did it. Perhaps their best stunt was to set up a table in a high traffic area to "end women's suffrage". After all, we can't have women suffraging. It was all to successful.

But I digress. My draft pick was the epitome of what the show represented. The Fox was all that men want to be. Foul mouthed, "can drink beer as fast as you pour it on the floor", and by all counts a great man. He passed away after a season or two of the show, but he will live on forever in my draft stable. He can join me for Oktoberfest, or in the King of the Hill Alley, or with those hotties doing shots (he did love The Man Show Juggies), I'm sure he's smiling in beer heaven right now (pouring beer down his throat without the hassle of gravity).

A great video tribute to The Fox, be advised it loads slowly, but if you let it download for a minute or two then watch, you won't be disappointed!

5/11/10 8:13 PM
Two Pints is on the clock

5/12/10 9:43 AM
With the 10th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, Two Pints selects... Dallas.

(hit play and continue reading)

No, no, no, not the Dallas as in the city (AS IF!), Dallas as in DALLAS the television series that ran for 14 seasons (1978 – 1992). Odd pick? Actually no, the characters on the show are what I aspire to be. Check it.

J.R.: I pour myself a drink at work every day from the crystal decanter on the liquor cabinet. (What is in that thing? Scotch? Whiskey? Eh, doesn’t matter.) Where in the business world can you still do this? Then after a drama filled morning with my brother Bobby, I head off to the Cattleman’s Club for -- you guessed it -- another drink. Maybe I order some food, but actually I never eat it because my nemesis Cliff Barns has spoiled my lunch after talk of an affair with my wife Sue-Ellen. I order another drink: A scotch on the rocks, or a whiskey… doesn’t matter!

Bobby: I get angry after the confrontation with my brother J.R., I have a drink in my private office, I then head off to find my wife Pam to take her to lunch, where we share cocktails and try to figure out how to get Pam to stop acting like a Barns. Ahhhh the feud between our families is just too much. I order another scotch, or is it whiskey… doesn’t matter!

Sue-Ellen: I drink all day and lay by the pool and become an alcoholic wife because my husband J.R. is just not what I thought he was. He’s a womanizer, I should have known. I pour another glass of scotch, or is it whiskey... doesn’t matter!

Pam: I try to be a good wife to Bobby, but my intense love of my brother Cliff and being a Barns tends to come between us. I head out to Southfork and head straight to the formal living room. I pour myself a scotch, or is it whiskey…doesn’t matter!

Lucy: It is difficult being the young niece of J.R. and Bobby. No one takes me seriously. I’m in love with a poor boy who doesn’t want me to keep my Ewing money. I’m so upset I go to a club and run into my old flame Ray and his new girlfriend. I’m so upset I order a drink… a scotch, or is it whiskey… doesn’t matter!

Miss Ellie: I am the family matriarch and must keep my boys from fighting, my daughter-in-laws from becoming drunks, and my young granddaughter in-line. When I get up, I head over to the crystal decanters of amber alcohol. I look at them pick one up and throw it across the room to smash it… this damn scotch, or is it whiskey… doesn’t matter! It is ruining my family!!

So there you have it Dallas in all its glory. Drama, booze, and a GREAT theme song.

I’m going to go pour something from the crystal decanter. Hell Yeah! Dallas!!!

5/12/10 2:02 PM
K Dub is on the clock

5/14/10 8:36 AM
With the 11th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, K Dub selects... Upright Brewing Company.

This relatively new craft brewer is located in Portland, OR, the mecca of craft brewing in my opinion. Upright Brewing Company's normal lineup of offerings includes variations of flavors and strengths all based on the French saison style of ales. Their seasonal and miscellaneous offerings include an Oyster Stout, Flora Rustica, Gose, English Old Ale, a Wit, and a wild yeast pinot noir barrel aged fruit wheat beer called Four Play. Alex Ganum is one hell of a brewer who has figured out how to make hand crafted ales in the basement of a building. Definitely on my list of to-do's when visiting Portland, Upright will always find me in the tasting area, provided they're open.

5/14/10 9:45 AM

The Ferm from DosBeerigos.com is on the clock

5/14/10 9:57 AM
With the 12th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, The Ferm of DosBeerigos.com selects... Cigar City Brewing Company.

Cigar City Brewing Company, out of Tampa, FL, is a relatively young brewery that is putting the state of Florida on the "beer map." Taking a Gold Medal at GABF last year for their Humidor IPA which was aged on Spanish Cedar, Cigar City placed themselves on the map. They are brewing beer that they enjoy drinking, and it is working for them. Using local and domestic ingredients from the Tampa area, Cigar City represents the melting pot that is Tampa, FL. very well! This year they released their yearly Imperial Stout; Hunahpu's, this beer is a top 5 beer on Beer Advocate and highly rated on Rate Beer. With CCB in my corner I plan to rule the world one beer at a time! Check them out at http://cigarcitybrewing.com/.

5/14/10 10:22 AM
Leslie is on the clock

5/16/10 3:39 PM
ANNOUNCEMENT: Leslie has traded her pick to Alexander for a bottle of Pindar Vineyards 2001 Mythology Meritage.

5/16/10 4:48 PM

Friends, I commend this parody of so-called expert opinions presented as a vehicle to promote your blog apropos “drinking related topics. My interests lie in a level elevated above factory made beverages, and hopefully I will suit this forum despite it's pedestrian label of “draught.” I am in the process of utilizing social media to begin sharing my experiences with wine and perhaps generate a personal brand. Therefore, I am thankful to Leslie for renouncing her 2nd round pick and to SirRon for extending me an invitation.

With the 13th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, Alexander selects... Meritage.

Before you formulate your point-by-point arguments that I just selected the poor man’s version of the Bordeaux region in France, let me delineate the selection.

I will first provide a cursory lesson for the unacquainted. A Bordeaux wine is a blended wine consisting of some, but not necessarily all, of the following grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Carménère. Bordeaux wines are usually red and usually make use of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon as the main grape in the vintage. (For the more curious reader, white Bordeaux is predominantly made from Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle.)

It is without error that I select Meritage, a term used to designate Bordeaux-style wines. “Bordeaux” is a protected geographical indication. Enter the California-based Meritage Alliance. While winemakers must license the Meritage trademark from the group, the only thing stuffy and French-y about these enjoying these wines are the friends you drink them with. While on the topic, do not French-ify the word by pronouncing it “Meritazh” (rhymes with garage). Meritage comes from the two words “merit” and “heritage” and should therefore rhyme with “heritage.”

Do yourself a favor and ask the wine expert at your local store to suggest a wonderful Cab blend from somewhere other than the French aisle. Great wine is more than just a name, a price, or a taste. Great wines communicate varying geography, climates, cultures, and traditions. Ladies and gentlemen, good sipping to you.

5/16/10 5:10 PM
SirRon is on the clock

5/17/10 7:50 PM

Nearly a decade ago, a man's fantasy became reality in a form never seen before: Kitchen Stadium, a giant cooking arena. The motivation for spending his fortune to create Kitchen Stadium was to encounter new, original cuisines that could be called true, artistic creations.

To realize his dream, he secretly started choosing the top chefs of various styles of cooking. And he named his chefs the Iron Chefs: The invincible chefs of culinary skills.


With the 14th pick in the 2nd Annual 2010 "The Ferm" Anything Mock Draught, SirRon selects... Kitchen Stadium.

Takeshi Kaga’s dream cooking arena constructed in his castle (or the Fugi TV Building) was a place in which pure spectacle meets culinary excellence. Between the years of 1993 to 1999, Kitchen Stadium played host to the greatest chefs from around the world. They all came to battle Chairman Kaga’s Gourmet Academy in a sixty-minute cooking competition featuring a secret theme ingredient.

Using all their senses, skill, and creativity, they are to prepare artistic dishes never tasted before. Every battle, reputations are on the line in Kitchen Stadium, where master chefs pit their artistic creations against each other. What inspiration does today's challenger bring? And how will the Iron Chef fight back? The heat will be on!


Kitchen Stadium is the bees knees of kitchens, containing all the ingredients, tools, appliances, utensils, and dishes a chef could ever want. It is also incredibly spacious, which is nice when you need to sprint from one side to the other for that last minute addition of shark fin or for a tin of caviar.

"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are."

Man alive! This pick is sure to gain me the people's ovation and fame forever.

“But SirRon-san,” you ask, “what does Kitchen Stadium have to do with drinking? Doesn’t Rule #2 of the Anything Mock Draught state the pick must be drinking related?”

If my memory serves me right............ there is this!!

Iron Chef Drinking Game

In case are wondering, the awesomeness of Ryôri no tetsujin, more commonly known as The Iron Chef, can be seen on its new cable home: The Fine Living Network.

Allez Cuisine, my friends.

5/17/10 8:26 PM
Round 2 is ov-ah!