I went with my cousin to Creative Loafing’s Beerfest in Downtown Atlanta this past Saturday. There were literally over a 100 different types of brews. Most were regional brews from the Southeast, but they had a few international ones too (namely German and Belgian brews). Most sampling booths gave you about a quarter of a beer to sample, but some others were a little more generous. Either way, samplings were unlimited, so no one left unsatisfied.
Fortunately and surprisingly, the weather cooperated. The afternoon was mild and overcast – a perfect day to be outside. Anglo-Saxons and brewskis were scattered in abundant supply at Woodruff Park. It was a lot of fun; my only regret being that I barely remember half of the beers that I sampled. It wasn’t as though I was too flipped outside of my mind to remember, it was just that I sampled too many different brews. Like a true geek, I probably should have brought a notepad or something to jot down a few thoughts on the different brews.
One brew that I do remember was the “Carib” lager, which didn’t even taste like beer (a fantastically amazing feat). After years of drinking, I still haven’t gotten pleasurably acclimated to the taste of brew. I haven’t and I assure you that I never will. That is why, ironically enough, I like beer that doesn’t taste like beer. Odd, right?
Thankfully, there were a few brews I sampled on Saturday that were smooth and devoid of that bitter aftertaste I’ve come to loathe. I think that a true beer drinker savors that aftertaste, but not me. I am as disgusted by that aftertaste as I was by the arthritic strippers at the Clermont Lounge. Tomatoe, tomato I guess – to each his own. I have been and will always be a wine and liquor guy. Although, my cousin did point out to me that I seem to have an affinity for blonde ales.
Yesterday was a dramatic and highly entertaining day in the universe of sports. The day started off with the Turkey-Czech Republic soccer match. At the 75 minute mark, the Czechs looked poised to head to the quarterfinals with a solid 2-0 lead. But then, their hopes were shattered. First, Turkey scored a quick goal to finally get on the scoreboard. Then, in the 87th minute, the goalkeeper mishandled a lob and Turkey scored the equalizer. At that point, I looked at my brother and said, “Now…if they could just score a third goal, this would be absolutely AMAZING – but I doubt that…I mean, 3 goals in like 15 minutes? Cmon.”
2 minutes later, that’s right, TWO minutes later….BAM!!! Turkey hammers home the winning goal past the keeper and off the crossbar.
With that goal, the Turkey squad went all Clint Eastwood on Spike Lee on me and told me emphatically to “Shut my Face!!!”. Face. Face. Face. Is all I can say.
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a comeback like that. 3 goals in 15 minutes? Playing in the quest for a Euro Championship? Turkey had falafels of titanium in the last 15 minutes. They might have been more desperate than clutch, but still…wow…
Then, a few hours later, after I had come back from a Father’s Day dinner at the relocated Madras, I caught the final putt on the 72nd hole by Tiger Woods. He needed a birdie to send the U.S. Open to a playoff. All day, Tiger had been battling his surgically operated knee and had struggled. Yet, amazingly, he had a chance to send the tournament into a playoff if he could somehow birdie the last hole. He drained it with the remorseless efficiency of a cold-blooded asassin. Was there really any doubt? This guy is amazing. He has liquid nitrogen coursing through his veins when it matters the most. He has an uncanny flair for the dramatic. What a riveting performance all weekend by Tiger to somehow maintain composure in the midst of recurring knee pain and inconsistent play. It reminded me a lot of the Michael Jordan Flu Game (as sacrilegious as that sounds) when Jordan battled the flu to drop 38 HUGE points on the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals. Like MJ, Tiger overcame physical deficiencies to put himself in position to be a champion. It was painful just watching Tiger grimace after each shot. This is why there is no better reality TV than sports. It is more captivating and gut-wrenching than any manufactured script could ever be.
For the nightcap, the Celtics and Lakers battled down to the last minute in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. The Lakers prevailed and staved off elimination, but for how long? The Celtics are the better team. I’ve said this after the 1st two games in this series and reiterate it now. Even in victory, the Lakers did little to convince me that they can win Games 6 and 7 in Boston. Boston will probably close out this series in Game 6. I just don’t see the Celtics losing 3 games in a row. Their defense is too damn good to allow that to happen. But, I’ll be tuning in on Tuesday anyways. I mean, even though it has never happened doesn’t mean it can’t, right? right? It’d be ironic if the Lakers pulled of a Boston Red Soxish comeback on the Celtics. Ironic…and highly improbable.
Beerfest pics below (click on thumbnail to view in larger detail).