Sometimes you just gotta hang up the Beer Geek hat and throw down, college style! Of course, that would imply that I actually used to throw down "College Style" back when I was in college, but unfortunately, that's not the case. I didn't play beer pong and Kings (my favorite card game EVER) until my late twenties, nor did I enjoy the simple pleasures of Flip Cup until I was... wait for it... thirty-six (my current age)!!!
When I use the term "throw down," I of course mean the kind of drinking in which one would typically engage during one's formative drinking years. This would entail drinking the dreaded fizzy, yellow piss water, as us beer geeks refer to it. You see, in my close-knit circle of musician friends, I am the lone true beer geek stuck amongst a horde of Silver Bullet swillin', triple hop enjoyin', "lite" beer drinkin' yokels. These guys definitely prefer quantity over quality, while I tend to enjoy both quality AND quality! Perhaps that's why I was zonked out a little after midnight, while many of my cohorts kept it going until almost 4am. Of course, I was knocking back Troegs Hopback like it was Bud Light, while most everyone else was partaking in a keg of Miller Lite (which happened to kick at around 11pm... an impressive feat for less than 20 guys).
As an unfortunate result of my beer geek-ery, I am frequently targeted as an object of ridicule. This includes getting teased for pouring a bottled beer into a pint glass, then smelling it before I take a sip. I am also taunted for reviewing beers, and they typically start making up fake reviews when the see me taking notes on a beer. For example: "I can taste the 95 IBQs of the malted hop barley flakes in this porter when served at optimum cellar temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit." Clearly, they don't get it, but it is still comical to hear them poke jest at me for something I enjoy so passionately. Hey, if you can't laugh at yourself, you have no business laughing at others, right?
But let's backtrack a bit. The reason for this gathering was for my good friend Jay's bachelor party. I've played in bands for almost ten years with Jay, and he is like a little brother to me. We both share a deep love and passion for making music, and we also have an affinity for loud, obnoxious gaseous secretions from our nether regions (or farting, for those of you not feeling overly verbose today). We both grew up in similar areas of PA (me, in the "coal region" town of Shamokin, and Jay in the more NEPA-based town of Mountain Top).
OK, back to the bachelor party festivities. Typically, the focal point of most old school college parties is a good, old fashioned Beer Pong tournament. Ironically, my Beer Pong team (Team Taint, consisting of Mark Halowka and myself) went undefeated, beating every team pitted against us. I found this to be amazing for a two reasons: 1.) I was undeniably intoxicated for pretty much all of the matches, and 2.) I have probably played beer pong maybe a dozen times in my life. While I got mocked for my "bounce" technique by virtually every competitor we faced, all I can say to those Team Taint defeated is... EAT IT!!! After our Pong victory, we assembled teams for an epic game of Flip Cup. Unfortunately, the game was not completed due to some of the guys taking a smoke break, and others (ie: me), went downstairs to pass out. I am happy to report that my team was kicking major ass, though! Fast-forward seven hours, and after a good night's sleep and a fantastic homemade breakfast from Jay's mom consisting of pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, toast, juice and coffee, I was ready to come home and take my mom out for a birthday dinner at Iron Hill Lancaster, where I enjoyed the new Sweet Leaf IPA and Habanero Porter.
While I absolutely have come to love and appreciate the more cultured beer tasting events I typically attend, sometimes I just can't resist unleashing the caveman inside of me and "throwing down" old school college style!