I’m putting down the snacks for a bit to work on completing a long held personal goal of hiking the Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail without stopping. It’s 40+ miles, and I am WOEFULLY unprepared for it, so keeping a blog on things that are great but prohibitive from completing this task is counter-productive.
I’ll be back, and the biscuits, whiskey, and beer will as well. In the meantime, follow the new adventures at:
Hey Biscuiteers, quick update on the 2017 Triathlon-a-Thon. We had to adjust the schedule due to the foosball host establishment unexpectedly going out of business (whoops!)
Without further delay, here’s the updated plan for Saturday September 9, 2017:
2:30 – Foosball at Tylers’s Taproom (102 E Main St, Carrboro, NC 27510)
3:45/4:00ish – Pinball at The Baxter Arcade (108 N Graham St, Carrboro, NC 27510)
5:00ish– Skeeball and Prizes at Zog’s Art Bar (108 Henderson St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514)
The entire distance from start to end is 1.1 miles, so its still walkable. There is street parking along the route, and a free public lot behind Tylers, plus the free Carrboro parking garage nearby
1 – Make a tax-deductible donation to Residential Services pet relief fund HERE
2 – Come out on Saturday September 9 at 2:00pm, and have a blast, collect your goodies, and potentially win fabulous prizes. If you want to donate but can’t make it out, I will mail you your shirt and koozie!
3 – Feel excellent knowing you made a tangible difference in supporting an amazing cause.
Thank you for the continued support – please share info about the event 🙂
On Thursday June 8, 2017 greatness was on display at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The feat did not take place on the field, but in the stands, in section 204, row R, seat 8. It was an unseasonably cool evening, with clear skies, and a light breeze. Under these most accommodating circumstances, a man pushed himself through physical pain, mental anguish, and against all odds turned back the clocks some fifteen years to compete with a record he set as a much younger man. This is the story of when Mike V. ate fifteen hot dogs on dollar dog night.
For those unaware, Mike V. is the 2016 Biscuits, Whiskey, and Beer Triathlon-A-Thon bowling champ, but let’s rewind even further to the early 2000’s when the Philadelphia Phillies had a dollar dog promotional night. Young Mike V. proceeded to consume 17 hot dogs, and in turn create a milestone achievement. During the 2016 Bull’s season, we discussed the possibility of his attempting to beat this record, but alas did not find the time to make it happen. With Triathlon-A-Thon 2: The Fundraisening just announced, we thought what better time to reignite the flames of competition, and have Mike make a new record attempt. I would wear a hot dog suit to act as a mascot of sorts, cheering him on, livestreaming our antics, and generally talking to anyone that would listen about the Triathlon-A-Thon, while Mike would slam dog after dog and chasing down fortune and glory in the process.
I got to Mike’s house around 5:30pm where he informed me that he had just had a slice of pizza and a garlic knot, in an effort to “get a good base”. I didn’t quite understand, but I do love pizza, so I had no judgement and took note. Before we got on the road, his loving wife looked at him and gave strong sincere encouragement, it was like something straight out of an inspirational film, it was wonderful. On the ride to the stadium we established his self-imposed ground rules:
-No beer as it would be too filling
-Must consume a minimum of 12 to maintain any semblance of self-respect
-12-15 would be deemed “a solid effort”
-18 would be the gold medal goal
So we got to the park, I put on the suit, and Mike went to work. Before the first pitch was thrown he had eaten 6 dogs, and put down a Dr. Pepper. At this point, I’m amping up the hype telling people higher and higher numbers when they ask how many he’ll eat. I figured this was acceptable as we were forging a new baseball legend, like Wade Boggs beer count on the cross country flight. In the second inning Mike’s “feeling good” and in the top of the third he goes for six more and a soda water.
Getting to an even dozen takes a toll, and the champ is hurting. He’s shaking hands, smiling, and giving kids thumbs-ups all over the place. The legend is starting take shape, but there’s a sadness in the champ’s eyes, a sadness that comes from knowing that the pain is not set to end any time soon. I’m trying to be encouraging, and eat two veggie dogs out of solidarity (it would be cannibalism for the dog to eat a regular dog). The livestreams are getting really dumb/dull, the Instagram posts are offering diminishing returns, and the time from 6th to the top of the 8th is basically the dark night of the soul for this adventure. Things aren’t looking good on any front.
Then that baseball magic happens, and our hero says “let’s go get three more, and see where that takes us.” We go, he inhales the first, starts in on the second and throws up in mouth. This is where the boys are separated from the men…Mike keeps it down, AND FINISHES THE DOG LIKE THE HERO WE NEED IN THIS MOMENT. He takes a drink, sets dog fifteen in the cup holder in front of him and says “I might be done.”
BUT HE WASN’T DONE! Despite sweating nitrates, feeling like total garbage, and almost losing dog 14, he ate number 15 on the way out of the stadium at the end of the game cold, and mushy. He didn’t have to, but he did it anyway because that’s what commitment looks like. For competing with a younger version of himself, throwing pizza and soda in the mix, I’m going to go ahead and say that Mike crushed it. Good job man.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk a little about the Bull Durham Beer Co. at this point. As reviewed last season, I really like their Lollygagger Kolsch (which is now available in cans!), but during this adventure I was drinking their amber. It’s a reddish looking medium bodied ale, pleasantly bitter with 5.5% ABV, and I could drink them all day. Love those guys!
So here’s my proposition to you biscuiteers, who wants to come at the champ and try to beat his record?
I’ve got a sponsor lined up for donations to Triathlon-A-Thon 2: The Fundraisening that will make donations per dog consumed…it’s a real easy way to punch your ticket to a glorious place in history, come out and give it a shot! Drop me a line if your game!
Triathlon-a-Thon 2: The Fundraisening will be coming to Chapel Hill at the end of the summer. Last year we bounced around Raleigh, had a great time, a great turnout, a great pizza sponsorship from realty expert Matt Szalecki (for all your triangle related real estate needs, check out the links below), and most importantly made a tangible contribution to supporting independent lifestyles of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
For those just tuning check out the full breakdown on the page link to the left, same great cause, awesome new events. More details on specifics to be posted here soon.
So what are we gonna do?! In response to suggestions from last year, this year’s event will be fully walkable and will include: FOOSBALL, SKEEBALL, and PINBALL. Like last year, there will be fabulous prizes in each category, and participants will receive tremendous gifts for their donations in the amount of $20 or more! Details to follow soon, but mark your calendars now for Saturday, September 9 2017! If you want to donate, but can’t make the event, that’s cool too! We will be using Crowdrise again to ensure RSI receives all donations directly, and sending out the thank you gifts to all donors of $20 or more, not just attendees.
Thanks for reading, let’s do some good and have some fun!
Triathlon-A-Thon 2016 Golf Champion, and devoted Biscuiteer Andrew Scercy recently blessed my household with a bottle of Wicked Weed’s “Malice”. It’s a complex and mature beer for fans of sours based on blood oranges, lime zest, tamarind, and ancho chiles – I feel classy already.
The bottle has art and verbiage that conjurs Mayan lore, with statements like “The underworld holds secrets beyond words…”. Instead of being whisked away on a journey of the mind filled with mystery and suspense, I am taken to my first and only (to date) trip to Mexico with the Mrs. We were staying at an indulgent “all you can anything, all the time” type place an hour or so south of Cancun but still North of Tulum. It was fun, we ate a lot, drank a lot, hung on the beach a lot, and time passed too quickly. Having never been to a place like this, on day three or so, I foolishly concocted a conspiracy theory that they were watering down the hooch, so to test this I asked the bartender to give me some shots of tequila…at 10:30 in the morning. After washing those down with some beers I soon realized that they do not in fact water down the booze (at least at this one), and I needed a nap by lunch. Another key bit of information regarding the all-inclusive resort experience that took a day or so to sink in was that the buffet did not in fact have a wide variety of cheeses, but instead, the same kind of cream cheese shaped and rolled in different spices and seeds. High-grade stuff, really.
At this point I’m in Mexico, having a good time, but the resort bubble is starting to feel constrictive. We decided to hire a guide, venture out past the armed guards, and go on a real adventure. Our guy drove us waaaaay into the jungle like an hour further southwest from the resort to a little village that accepted tourist guests. We hung out, got a tour, ate some lunch that the village ladies prepared, and went to check out a nearby cenote (underground water filled cave). So we go on a long hike to get to this place with a dude we were told was the village Shaman. When we get close to the hole in the ground, he burns some herbs and crystalized amber, before saying some stuff and blowing the smoke on us. Our guide says it’s because ancient traditions dictate that the cenote was viewed as a portal to the underworld, and the blessing is to protect us from harmful spirits. Very mystical, and cool from a cultural learning perspective, but I ain’t afraid of no ghost. So we got our blessing, and were lowered like 50 feet down on a rope by some villagers into this dark cave. We swam around a bit and climbed the scariest 50 foot rope ladder back out. It was a great day, and easily a highlight of the trip.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’m perusing National Geographic and there’s a thing about THE EXACT SAME CENOTE/VILLAGE. At this point I’m like “awesome!”, until I get to the part where they laid out how the villagers don’t tell tourists that make the trek out that the cenote was believed to be a portal to the underworld BECAUSE ITS WHERE THE BODIES OF THE DEAD WERE LOWERED TO REST. So I swam around in a dark pit of bones and death. 75% baller, 25% off-putting. I share all of this to say that the Mayan lore on the bottle scares me not, because that prior experience gets me at least few notches closer to Indiana Jones levels of awesome.
So I opened it up, and poured it out, and its got the color of crystalized amber! Whoa. Maybe this is getting spooky?
It’s got a sour nose, but that’s kind of what Wicked Weed does, so it’s expected. First impression is tart – WHOA, really tart! Like biting a lime, but then it mellows into sweeter citrus. It’s made with chiles and they’re definitely present on the backend, warming your throat and belly a bit. But wait…whats that aftertaste? It’s familiar – yet foggy, like a forgotten citrus treasure….the aftertaste is similar to 5-ALIVE! I LOVED 5-Alive! My grandmother always had it in her fridge, and I hadn’t thought of it since who knows when. I’m going to try and find it again now, that and Donald Duck Orange Juice with the little cartoon on the side of the carton are the pinnacle of citrus, and this beer has brought them both flooding back into my consciousness. The beer doesn’t taste like 5-Alive mind you, the aftertaste just reminded me of it, so don’t thinking this isn’t an overly solid beer, it is.
The Sam Adams West Coast Style Rebel IPA is a beer that when dropped on a set of keys will erupt like Mt. St. Helens. I was unloading a variety pack when this can fell out, and landed directly on my keys. One in a million shot. From the windows, to the wall, til the warm beer covered all, this thing sprayed everything and made my house smell like an unclean bar mat at closing time. It was gross.
So a week or two later I had one the way they’re meant to be consumed instead of wearing it, and it tastes just like the can said it would. Rarely is truth in advertising a thing, but they did not overhype any aspects of the beer, so here ya go:
So yeah, that’s that for this one, it was good. It was never going to change my world, but it was good.
Look, I know labels are important for survival and roping in new customers in the brutal craft beer arena. Without a notable label, an up and coming beer company’s brew can languish among the labels pushing looks that are stylish, modern, ironic, funny, edgy, any other adjective the marketing team of a brewery goes for when rolling out a new beer.
I’ve seen monkey astronauts, retro-pin-up models, wacky paintings of headless horsemen, and even blank labels used to push beer, and they all worked for effective branding. Yesterday I saw a label that did not work.
Killer Kolsch…ok, the alliteration works, killer is a widely accepted synonym for exceedingly good…but what the hell man? There’s a person covered in blood looking contemplatively down at their hands as the focal point of the design. You know what? No.
What’s the description on this going to be? Something like – murderous malts combine with havoc inducing hops, to slay your tastebuds? No. I will not buy your murder beer, I find it distasteful. It’s not as bad as ISIS IPA, but it’s not good either.
Located in Durham, NC, the Ponysaurus brewery is an oasis in otherwise drab industrial neighborhood. Amongst warehouses, and next to a particularly spooky looking old house (think Scooby-Do), the brewery has a pretty huge lawn area where people frolic, food trucks park, and merriment is made. As you get closer there’s a deck, and a nice taproom that offers a thoughtful variety of snacks to go along with their awesome beers.
The Ponysaurus approach to sampling flights in the taproom is pretty great. You write down what you would like on a coaster sized little card, hand it over, and with impressive speed and intensity, your glasses are filled and that card is placed betwixt the tiny beers. This eliminates the “wait…which one was this?” that sometimes arises with lesser flight layouts.
So being impressed with all aspects of the Ponysaurus experience up to this point, the main event is obviously the beers, and they do not disappoint.
Gose – 4.4% – Full disclosure : I generally don’t like beer in the Gose family. You may wonder why I got one then…and that is fair. The truth is that I’m willing to give any brewery a fair shake, thinking that maybe their version is something I would enjoy. This one smelled a bit yeasty (my wife said trash-juicey, but I disagreed). It tasted not so much sour but tart and with a hint of salt?! Weird, but you know what? I don’t hate it, and I hate Gose. Off to a good start.
IPA – 6.3% – Citrus, mild hops, great woody finish, I would drink this on the regs.
Biere de Garde – 6.3% – Described as a Belgian table beer, I was stoked to be able to write this one down on the card instead of pretending I knew how it was pronounced. It’s got a bit of fruity thing going on, which I kind of expected, but that fruit is bananas – which as we all know is the devil’s fruit. It’s good, but I don’t think I’d stock the fridge with it.
Imperial Stout – 8.5% – This is great. An amazing stout, that’s so good with present but not overpowering notes of chocolate/cherry/Nutella? I’d definitely keep this around.
With the flight over, I desired a proper pint. I went with the Rye Pale Ale, which coming in at 5.4% had a nice moderate ABV, was light and refreshing. I was once told that Rye Pale Ales are incapable of giving you a hangover. This beer is so great, I would be willing to test that hypothesis any day.
All in all, Ponysaurus is awesome. Nice staff, great taproom, awesome and diverse beers. You should check it out:
In previous post about them, I waxed philosophical about the general high quality of Steel String Brewery’s people and beer, so I’ll be sparing that narrative and getting down to business. They now have a beer called Rollie Pollie that knocked my socks off. Coming in at 6.5%, it’s a sipper with a lot going on. There’s a smokey nose (yes, smokey), a sweet but peppery flavor, very light…OMG WITH A BBQ SANDWICH, THIS WOULD BE UNSTOPPABLE! Its kind amber to orangey in color and a little cloudy, and I would drink a lot more of this if I could.
There happened to be a really fun comic book event going on in partnership with Chapel Hill Comics on this visit that was worth mentioning. If you ordered a flight there were comic book pairings, and you got to keep two of the books. I have to say that the folks at Chapel Hill Comics have always been very easy to talk to, informed, and able to make great suggestions. It only makes sense that friendliest brewery in Carrboro team up with the friendliest comic shop in Chapel Hill and have an event.
The final bit of praise for Steel String I’ll leave you with today will be the fact that you can now get their beers in bottles in select areas!
Next up on the whiskey front, I’ll be taking a flight of single malts from Glenmorangie. See you then!