If you can’t seem to pour from a crowler without making a mess, like me, I have the solution. No, I don’t know how to pour from a crowler… YET. Today we are going to figure out, once and for all, how to pour from a crowler, properly.
It’s not like pouring from a crowler is hard…right?
You see, I have been having problems pouring from a crowler. Usually, the beer runs down the side of the crowler as I am pouring or my pour is mostly foam or both.
Maybe you have no problems pouring from a crowler and are wondering why I am so stupid. That’s fine.
I have figured out three ways that work for people. Two of the ways worked for me and one did not. I made a video trying out all three you can watch or read on and I’ll lay them out.
For reals. All those beer releases. Limited cans. Haze craze releases. Only so many cases per person. Only so many 4-packs per nerd. One bottle. Two bottles. You can get paid to wait for those beers. Yes, line sitter jobs are a real thing for iPhones, but they are a real thing for beer too.
But do you want to? SHOULD you want to?
They don’t get paid a lot. It seems like it runs around $25 per gig. But if you are one of those people that can mentally handle waiting in line for things, why not wait in a line with a bunch of (usually) cool people drinking beer all night?
Just hope there is a McDonald’s restroom nearby and the person behind you is willing to save your spot. Actually, there is a way around that I will explain in a minute, but I digress…
Looking For A Line Sitter Job?
Your city, if it’s big enough, might have one of these services line services you can work for. New York certainly does. There is one called Same Ole Line Dudes. They are set-up to wait in line for anything, beer seems to be low on their list.
But yes, you can be somebody’s “task rabbit” for the latest can release.
Try searching out your local area. Talk to some other beer geeks around or get into a local craft beer Facebook group and start asking. You could get a little flack for it. Beer geek related Facebook groups are know to be…passionate, at times, so tred lightly.
You can also go on boards like Beer Advocate and see if anyone will “donate” money or beer to you in exchange for you waiting in line for them. I feel like this is not exactly legal but … it’s a free country or whatever. On the record I say not to be doing this, but if you’re reasonable about it, who cares?
Is A Line Sitter The Same As A Beer Mule?
Not exactly. If you’re new to craft beer geekdom, you might have heard the term “beer mule” associated with this. A beer mule can be different from a line sitter or a task rabbit. A mule is simply somebody that brings beer to another person, usually a long distance.
So, you could be a line sitter and a beer mule or just be one of those things. A line sitty beer mule.
Know This Before You Line Sit
Some of the people in line are not liking what you are doing. Beer geeks that live in the area, as you can imagine, don’t like not being able to get the amount of beer they wanted because somebody that is not a beer geek is buying beer for somebody that doesn’t even live there.
Having somebody from the brewery come out, walk the line, and tell the person in front of you that they are the last one that will be getting any beer and that last person to get beer is you, the line sitter, might not go over well.
Maybe don’t make eye contact with the person behind you.
I have not heard or seen anyone get physical or even get into an argument, but know this is something that could happen if you start opening your yap about what you’re doing there.
Luckily craft beer nerds are a cool bunch of people. If you’re cool, they are cool.
Breweries You Might Run Into A Profesional Line Sitter
It seems that Other Half is a big line stander/sitter brewery. Being in New York helps plus they have can releases happening all the time. There is a lot of line work to be had. I don’t imagine every release calls for an epic line, but it all depends.
I have also heard of Monkish in Los Angeles (Torrence) is a big can release/line place. Ya might find some work there.
Hell, really, any small to big craft brewer that bottles or cans has the potential to have a freak show line situation. And that is what’s fun about indie breweries.
What Triggers An Epic Beer Release Line?
I think it starts with the reputation of the brewery and the reputation of the beer. Add in a hot style (haze me bro), proper hype from the brewery and the local beer community, and you have the makings of a LINE FEST!
And now. The most epic line in the history of lines. I think I have watched this video four or five times and I am still amazed every time:
It’s the most jaw-dropping beer release line I have ever seen. I challenge you to find one bigger.
Even the epic lines during the two-week event know as the Pliny The Younger release at Russian River, can’t compare. I know I know, Younger release and limited package beer releases are not the same things, but I’m just sayin’.
What You Need To Be A Line Sitter
If you’re a paid line professional or actually a beer geek with no plans to sell the beer (you know, you actually want to enjoy the beer), study up on how to drink all day and stay upright, first. Then buy the right gear to help your overnight sidewalk stay be more comfortable.
I put together a list of items you might find useful for your next rare beer release line.
A CHAIR. This is a must. Use the one that you yell at your kid’s soccer coach from. Or buy a new one. This one has a cooler and that seems relevant.
A BACKPACK COOLER. You will need beer for your overnight line wait. Then once you have emptied the cooler from your line-fest, you have a plenty of room for all the cans you’re buying everyone. This one holds 36 12oz cans!
Alright, maybe that is excessive…but not really.
COOLER TUBE: I have only moments ago discovered these were a thing. I want one. Take a look at the Mountainsmith:
BRIEF RELIEF: Yep. It is what you think it is. Because not every brewery has a Wendy’s bathroom next to it. When ya think about it, it’s better than going in the street. Once you do your business in there, the gel inside hardens and you just toss it in the trash.
For a comprehensive story on ‘line life’ at Other Half Brewery, check out this post from VinePair.com.
If you have any stories from a beer release line, don’t be afraid to leave them in the comment section or email me mikeytoppour [@] gmail.com.
Day drinking is glorious. Except when it’s not. Here are five tips on how to day-drink with beer
So, you want to know how to day drink? I got you.
Day drinking does not always have to end badly. If you’re smart about it and have a plan, you can have a delicious pale ale in front of you all day and still make it to the next day just as fresh as those boring-ass sober people.
Even if you day-drink alone, you can come out ahead.
Make a plan and you’ll have a good, fun day and a better next morning. Here is what has worked for me.
1. Start Small
Obvious I know but not everyone does this. You got to start the day with a low ABV beer. Whether you begin your drinking day in the morning with some sort of coffee stout (shout out to Modern Time’s “Blackhouse”), or at noon with a Kolsch or pale, pick a low alcohol percentage.
If you don’t start slow, you’ll be trying to correct it the rest of the day and it will use up too much sobering energy.
2. Stay Hydrated
Water. Always have a water sitting there with you. This is probably the number one tip overall. If you have a glass of water with every beer you drink it will go a long way towards keeping your day going and your wits about you.
I like to mix in caffeine too, about every other drink. There are times of the day when I have a water, a beer and caffeine all going at once.
Here is a rough order I try to stick by:
As you can see, there is some work involved and a lot of liquid. Which reminds me, don’t forget to mix in:
3. Food. Eat Some
You must eat like always. Not like you were not going to, of course, but some of us get super bloated and may skip a meal. Don’t. Maybe throw a salad in there too.
Actually, here are some of the best food items to enjoy that help prevent day drinking issues.
4. Take Breaks But Don’t Stop
Maybe you slow down about midway through your day. That is fine and probably a good idea. But don’t take too long a break. If you do, your body will start sobering up and realizing what a mistake this day has been. Don’t let it. Wait until the end of the day or tomorrow morning for your body to remind you that you’re an idiot.
5. Be Nice To Everyone
Are you mentally in a good place right now? Are you a fun drunk? If you are and you stick to this plan, you and everyone around you can have fun. In fact, you may not ever really get drunk.
Stick To Your Day Drinking Plan!
As proof of this method’s effectiveness, I followed this to the letter on Opening Day of baseball this year and made it all the way to 11 that night – I started drinking at 10 am.
Not only that, I was a delight to everyone all day! Ask anybody. Well, at least I think so. Nobody got openly mad at me, at least.
Nothing ends your previously fun day of drinking quicker than being surly. Nobody wants to deal with you and people close to you will try and shut your day down. And that sucks because you had all those delicious beers left to drink!
Good luck. Cheers!
So I hope you know how to day drink like a pro by now. But in case you feel there will be a time you do not remember to eat and hydrate properly, maybe you should stock-up on one of these things:
A few years ago I started taking the day off from work to watch Opening Day of baseball. One of my favorite days of the year. It was obvious to join my love of craft beer, baseball, and having a day off from work, into one glorious day. I really need to name it.
This year is different. Instead of a tradition Monday start it’s a Thursday. I’m fine with it because they are not doing any funky stuff like having games in Japan or having a game on the Sunday night before. Just straight up begins on Thursday morning and goes all day.
So here is a brief rundown of my day. I will probably update as the day goes by as I had to put this post together quickly.
OPENING DAY DRINKING & ACTIVITY SCHEDULE
8:00 AM PT: Wake up late because I recorded the Perfect Pour last night and I’m starting out a bit hungover. Blueberry pancakes and lots coffee.
9:30 AM PT: Clean the studio/man-cave from the podcast the night before.
9:40 AM PT: Cubs vs. Marlins begins the 162 game season. I’ll have a Modern Times “Blackhouse” coffee stout to begin the drinking day.
10:10 AM PT: Cards vs. Mets joins the game watching. Still milking the Blackhouse (gotta keep this up for 12 hours).
12:05 PM PT: Twins vs. Orioles. First AL game of the season! Maybe a little Wiffleball, now thinking about what beer is next. Likely a Modern Times again as there was a sale at Total Wine.
12:35 PM PT: Astros vs. Rangers. First AL West game, now the season truly has begun.
12:37 PM PT: Yanks vs. Bluejays. Time to put burgers on the grill!
1:00 PM PT: Red Sox vs. Rays. Do I dare open up a third beer?
1:05 PM PT: Oakland A’s vs. Los Angeles Angels. Highlight of the day! My favorite team is the A’s and it’s a rare treat to have their game on so early on opening day. Usually, I’m fading by 7:00. I think the A’s have a good team this year and if their starting pitching can surprise, they can legit challenge for the West.
4:08 PM PT: Giants vs. Dodgers: I hate these teams which means it’s fun to hate-watch. I might be veering off the Modern Times or going back to the Blackhouse for the coffee at this point. I’ll probably be feeling good, at any rate.
7:10 PM PT: Indians vs. Mariners: Hopefully I am not too bloated and filled with toasted onion dip, at this point. Gotta finish off my AL West support!
There is more to do and talk about. I just wanted to get a quick schedule up. I’ll be updating on my Twitter and Instagram feed (@mikeytoppour) along with my Untappd feed (@dorktown). Along with this post.
Please hit me up with a comment here or on social media and let me know what you’re doing for Opening Day! Cheers and PLAY BALL!
If you’re going to have a craft beer blog, since it is such a crowded space, it is best to at least have a niche. A focus. I need to get focused. What the hell am I going to do here?
What This Blog Won’t Be.
This is not going to be a beer review blog. That does not mean I won’t be posting about a beer I’ve tried for the first time, or maybe a beer I have had that still inspires a post. But it won’t be a traditional review. I just don’t have it in me.
Naming off accurate (or not so accurate) tasting notes is not my thing. I can’t figure it out. Part of it is I have always found it to be too pretentious for beer. Getting three or four flavor notes deep into a beer feels wrong. Feels like a wine geek kinda thing.
It’s Not One Of The Things That Drew Me To Craft Beer.
Maybe that’s why I resist training myself to be better at tasting beer. But it’s more likely that I am just lazy. I’d like to be Cicerone Certified someday (at least at a server level), but that will be later. For now (and probably forever), no boring reviews. They have their place, I read some of those blogs and listen to some of those podcasts, but you won’t see it here.
The “reviews” will be more like “This beer is making me feel things. I want to miss work for the next few days and just stare into the woods with this beer by my side.”
Hopefully, you enjoy that sort of thing.
What Will This Blog Be?
A different kind of focus on craft beer. On being a beer geek. The kind of focus that will help you not let a drink ticket go unused. Like the one pictured at the top of this post that I let go unused at this year’s Fresyes Fest. Sacrilegious!
Humor. That’s what you’ll find here. Attempting to be funny anyway. A mix of humor and focus. Both for you and me. Helping focus our lives as beer geeks, no matter where we are on that timeline.
How to never leave a good beer behind or a drink ticket unused.