Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beer #154 / Day #28: Staying True To The Game

I was weened on hardcore punk music around the early 80s. Not only did the music itself appeal to me, but I was drawn in by the fact that anyone could get involved. I was 15 when I started drawing flyers for local shows, and sending contributions to various fanzines. I eventually started making music myself, and had the opportunity at a very young age to open for some of my favorite bands. And being involved helped assure I wouldn't be called a "poser", which is a scarlet letter no one wants to be tagged with.  Even to this day, I'm still involved in The Scene.  But one of the underlying mantras of The Scene that has stuck with me these past 30 years is staying true to your roots, not compromising, not selling out. My definition of "selling out" has always meant you do something you wouldn't ordinarily do, you go against your morals and make decisions that should be out of character, but you do them anyway in the interest of some superficial gain.  Not cool.
Life is tough when you're 16, trying not to be a poser
Last Tuesday was the usual Infest practice night, which typically starts with me, Domino, and Denunzio at a local bar.  Our latest haunt has been The Snug.  Prices are right, bartender is friendly, music is good, and the locals are not douche bags.  In spite of that, I’ve quickly made my way through their taps in recent weeks, racking up numbers for my Big Year, and there were only two remaining that I hadn't yet claimed: Guinness and Shock Top.  In light of so many incredible stouts being produced these days, Guinness is somewhat bland in comparison, but in the interest of something "new" for my Big Year, I went for it:  GUINNESS DRAFT– Beer #154, it was on nitro, and visually it was a pint of perfection. The nitro made it creamy and smooth, and it looked lovely, but as I remembered, it lacked much depth. With the basic Guinness pint on my list, it was time for the big showdown.  The lone tap in the house missing from my Big Year list:  Shock Top.  A horrifying corporate brew, weakly posing as a "craft" brew.  Yes, there are worse corporate beers on the market, but something about a shitty beer trying to be a cool, grass roots one has always rubbed me the wrong way.  It was a moral dilemma… order a Shock Top and willingly drink a shitty pint in order to raise my numbers, or avoid it altogether, and fail to add an easy one to my count.

I chose Stone IPA, a beer I've already had on the 9th day of my Big Year (Beer #45).  I avoided a pint of Shock Top and didn't add to my numbers, but man, did I thoroughly enjoy that Stone! 
And despite intentionally handicapping my Big Year tally, I was proud of myself for not selling out.  

Not to mention, I hate posers.
Not the greatest, but also not an embarrassment

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