This is a bit late but Real Lifetm got in the way of my finishing it in a timely manner. Wow where to begin. Ah yes, at the end.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I flew down to San Diego Comic Con both for work and for fun. I had a small role to play in the NerdHQ tweetup with Major Nelson (unveiling the Star Wars Kinect Xbox was probably one of the more fun things I have ever done). However I was also there because a vast majority of my friends would all be in one place for SDCC and w00tstock 3.0, saving me a significant amount of time and trouble to hang out with them. And hang out with them I did.
The night before w00tstock was going to be spent at the Stone Brewery outside San Diego celebrating the birthday of Dammit Liz. Stone makes my all time favorite beers, from Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, to Ruination IPA, all the way to Champagne Supernova Global Thermonuclear Ragnorak Passive Aggressive Stout*. So getting to go to the brewery was like visiting the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s own private noodle foundry. Not only that, but Greg Koch himself was going to have dinner with us at the Brewery bistro and there would be a tour! So not only would the Flying Spaghetti Monster himself be there, he would show you in exacting detail how his noodles are made. We would even get to sample the beer! IT’S LIKE SUCKING ON THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER’S PARTIALLY COOKED PROTO NOODLES!
Except, of course, this would be beer. I just want to make that clear.
For you fans of w00tstock, to say it was an all star cast for dinner that night would not be an understatement at all and in fact perfectly accurate.
Paul reached over a plate that was stuffed with roast duck in a light bbq sauce with a milk drenched cabbage slaw wrapped in soft fluffy crushed grain flatbread for a chip made of dried corn meal with a light dusting of artisan sea salt and paprika so that he could scoop a little crushed chickpea paste flavored with roasted summer garlic and dried fennel while discussing George R. R. Martin’s epic series. Storm nodded in agreement, grease and hot juices running down his chin from the succulent tofu yakisoba he was enjoying, and he washed it down with a deep swallow of bright golden ale as the waiter put down a plate of roasted boar ribs in a spiced sauce with trenchers of bread for dipping. It was agreed over a dessert of chilled cream cheesecake infused with fruit from the jalapeno bush and glasses of magnificent Stone brews that one minor flaw in the work overall might be the over descriptive feasting scenes.
“Yeah,” Wil said, “but at least it’s not like the Lord of the Rings, where every event is like ‘hey here’s Rivendell. And here’s a song about it!’” He paused and set his beer down, “And here’s a song about it!”
How well we know the books’ downfall!
Though movies clearly made the call,
Despite the fanboys’ wail and cry
Way too much song is not for all.
Tom Bombadil who sang too much
About his wife and land and such,
Was silenced when Jackson made cuts,
Left to bemoan this cruel retouch.
And the elves, oh dear god the elves!
They sing for pages of themselves!
Take all their songs and cut them out
Now much more space on your bookshelves!
Way too much song! Way too much song!
Way too much song is not for all!
Wil sat down and there was a smattering of polite clapping, and songmaster John Roderick declined to participate in the debate.
We then moved on to our tour.
I looked at the infinity of steel vats and remarked “This looks like main engineering on the Enterprise.”
“No it doesn’t,” Wil said.
“I mean the new one.” I replied.
“Oh. I meant the real one.”
evil Wil said.
The tour was amazing. To get to see the place that makes my favorite beers and to drink Stone IPA unfiltered from the tap was a pretty cool thing to get to do. Just one thing seemed to be missing from our overall group.
“Hey,” I said, suddenly noticing someone was missing from our evening, “Where’s Mike Phirman? Where’s the human smile?”
Paul looked somber. “Best you see for yourself. Tomorrow night.”
(to be continued)
* Note: Not a real Stone beer. However Stone marketing people give me a ring. That’s a great name for a Stout.