Tuesday, July 7, 2009


today was my second day teaching at a junior college three towns away. i will be teaching a 3 hour reading class every afternoon for the next month. three towns away. a 45 minute drive through texas farm and cattle land. 

a phenomenal amount of activity happens in this small stretch of texas highway. down around a bend near bryan, texas the US department of agriculture houses a pecan regeneration station. then down around another bend, independence, texas curates the texas baptist history museum. and then, once more, down on around that other bend the antique rose emporium sells a particular strand of roses whose roots thrive in clay. a bit further towards the school, there's a patch of gravel that's been recently rolled back like stained carpet, leaving a pitch of dusty air and utility trucks that guide drivers back and forth over soot-like grey dirt. this construction adds nearly ten minutes to my drive towards class. the construction workers are cleaned up and drinking lagers by the time i head back home over 45 minutes of livestock and mutant roses and baptist heritage and military pecans.

drinking lagers. that's nearly all i think about driving home. oh look, there's a grey cow mounting a brown cow. (drink a lager.) oh look, a fat man in a blue and red plaid shirt is buying roses. (drink a lager.) oh why the hell won't the cd player eject? (drink a lager.) should i flunk the one kid in the skull cap on principle alone? (drink a lager.)

tonight i'm drinking a lager i purchased from a liquor store four blocks away from my house. i stop by nearly every afternoon to purchase a single bottle of whatever is on the $0.99 rack. it's my way of trying new beers and building relationships with the townsfolks. who are the people in your neighborhood? cody sells me the beers, he studies algebra. the other dude in the glasses, who i refuse to ask his name because sometimes a little mystery makes everyone more beautiful, is the movie buff who runs the joint. and i think about these fellars on the drive back into town. and i speak swell things over them and their endeavors and their parents and cody's algebra. and then i show up and buy my lager: the punctuation point to the long and arduous day driving past cattle to drive more cattle. 

perhaps i should tip a hat towards the lager: the reason we are all here in the first place. 

this here is the steam engine lager by steamworks brewing company. they have two locations: durango, california and bayfield, colorado. seems a bit like cheating, like a bivocational minister who still takes personal funds from the church offering. but steamworks made this lager fancy and good. these malts stretch out a thick caramel underlay that props up a vibrantly flickering hop marquee. bright. bubbling with pop and flare. flashy on the side bars of the tongue. i like this beer. one time i drank an entire six pack of this stuff. started at noon. lost my tastebuds about three. finished it off in the evening. that was a long time ago. i've already confessed that to the necessary brethren, so now it's just bragging. point is: i like this lager better than i didn't remember. 

that's all i want to say for now. 


  1. Next time you are in KC you need to bring some, I haven't had the pleasure of making that beers aquaintance. Blvd has a new pils, I think you may enjoy it.

  2. i had something recently from sierra nevada called "hop harvest" or something like that.
    it tasted like most sierra nevada's. I also had a Marzen that has just come from a Place in the Lou called The Stable. They have two on tap now, a Helles and a Marzen. The Helles tastes like rainwater after coming out of a gutter and then someone put out their cigarette in it. The Marzen however, is delightful; it's much softer and reminds me of sweet tea.

    I enjoy your commentary on the surroundings as well as your beer thoughts. I too enjoy regarding the environment in which we consume. I think it can often make the experience better. Speaking of good experiences, the prescription, church key, and i recently drank the Stone stuff you gave him. thanks again, it was quality.

    We must talk soon.

    Also, if you have a bad day anytime in the next few days, just remember that we are about 2 and a half months away from the next batch of Schlafly Pumpkin Ale--God personally blessed that one.

  3. It just warms my heart to see others anticipate the release of the Schlafly Pumpkin like I do. Beautiful.
    Kevin, as always, enjoyed reading the post.
    Clint, my personal take on the Boulevard Pilsner was that it was wretched. I don't say that about many beers. It's one of the few beers in recent memory that I had to FIGHT to get down. (Stella is the other one that comes to mind... a skunky, sunlight-tainted Stella.)

    So gents, the family and I are heading to St. Louis in a couple of weeks. If there were only 3 brewpubs that I could visit on said vacation, any suggestions on what those might be?

  4. No doubt you have probably already been to the budweiser one and maybe even the Schlafly. If not, they should be on the list. I would also suggest a couple more that are more bar/restauraunts which brew their own stuff. One is called Square One and is on Lafayette Square, the other is Mattingly Brewing Co. which is newer and is on a street called Jefferson. A place called The Stable has only two on tap, one terrible, one pretty good. They draw there is more what they have on draft--usually around 20 brews and always have good ipa's and decent breweries.


  5. Zoesjourneyhome - I say 1) Schlafly Bottleworks (Schlafly Taproom has funky-wacky food) 2) Square One 3) look on Stlouishops for the third idea.

  6. We're in St. Louis! I think our destination for the eve is Square One. I looked up Schlafly Bottleworks, but realized that's the actual brewery... should have mentioned that I have a toddler in tow, so that's probably ruled out. I need something that I can enjoy a pint or two, then get a growler if I love it.
    Thanks for the tip on Stlouishops!