ASTROLIQUOR for November 30 to December 6—What the stars say you should drink!

My Fellow Inebriates,

Here’s your booze horoscope:

Aries, you’ll run into your doppelganger this week, and you know how that usually turns out. Two belligerent freaks one-upping each other at the bar? Other astrological signs would do well to stay out of your collective way. And for the last time, yes, you can mix vodka and cognac, so don’t start a fight about it. You’ll be far more attractive to that horny coworker if you don’t have a black eye.

Taurus, you feel happy and generous this week—ready to chat with anyone, anywhere. That person at the Starbucks counter; your bankruptcy counselor; hobos… You can’t take all the credit for this social energy—you pretty much spend the week ripped out of your head on UV Blue, waking yourself up with Red Bull when your head starts nodding. What an awesome life!

Is someone ignoring your affectionate overtures, Gemini? Dissing you behind your back at work? You may be cluing in that your charisma is on hiatus this week. In fact, your charms will remain at a low ebb until January. Ordinarily hard to get, you find yourself hard to want. Hang in there with some vodka and Blue Curacao.

Cancer, your spider sense leads you to all the best parties, and you can expect to stay hammered all week. Careful, though: Malibu +vanilla vodka = a lot of mouthing off, and you might say the wrong thing to someone you care about. Try to hook up early in your drunken evening; instead of offending fellow party-goers with filthy comments, you could be soiling one of the guest bedrooms.

Leo, the stars are calling for sado-masochistic, anonymous sex with a Scorpio. You mustn’t be the sub, though! Be the captain of your genitals; your self-esteem will thank you for it. Be discreet and agree never to speak of this week’s events again. The rest of your week is less thrilling—you pull Designated Driver duty.

A happy week beckons, Virgo, featuring frivolity and triviality—and that means Malibu. Malibu and Midori, drunk out of a hollowed-out pineapple. Ahhhh! Despite your attraction to silly drinks and your disavowal of politics, economics, and books authored by people using their real names, you seek out flirtations with forceful, aggressively intellectual types. Make sure you don’t end up on YouTube.

Libra, emotions get the better of rational thought this week. Whatever you do, don’t sign any contracts or undertake anything of a legal nature. If someone says, “Hey, I’ve got this great business idea, are you interested?” say, “Hey, I’ve been wearing the same thong for most of Movember and it’s grown its own moustache.” Non sequiturs are your best conversational ally. You should make a chocolate martini.

Someone phones you this week, Scorpio. On the actual telephone. Not a text or an email but a real telephone call. What the hell? You’re so nonplussed by the weirdness of a person interrupting your day to talk that you ignore it. Nah, not really. You ignore it because you can’t move. That’s what three ounces each of Jagermeister, Goldschlager, Cuervo, and Bacardi 151 do to a person—even a Scorpio.

Sagittarius, nobody at home knows what you do at work, which is just how you like it. This week you solve all kinds of ridiculous problems, you ingratiate yourself with higher-ups, and you strike a perfect balance between strength and vulnerability, garnering both love and respect. And you pack away a 26er of Jameson Irish whiskey.

New opportunities flash like lightning this week, Capricorn. The key is socializing—go out and hang with friends and acquaintances. Be open to new experiences. Say hi to everyone. Give money to hobos and bears loitering outside the liquor store. (While inside, buy Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, and Crown Royal—the stars say you’ve run out of these products.)

Aquarius, you’ll have another run-in with the law this week, so make some hasty travel plans. With the right attitude, you can spin this into a holiday somewhere hot. While abroad, you may receive worrying communiques—ignore them.  Quell your apprehension with liquor. You probably didn’t have time to take any anti-malarials, so you’ll need lots of crappy low-alcohol beer for hydration purposes.

Pisces, you have a hectic week ahead. You have a porn-compromised computer to cleanse of viruses and worms, plus some actual work associated with your job, plus some drinks to mix to make it all tolerable. I’m thinking vodka for you with some bitters and gingerale. Then maybe a nice romantic comedy.

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DEAD FROG NUT BROWN ALE—Froggy style has a lot of variations

My Fellow Inebriates,

Two nights ago my dad returned from a trade show with two bottles of DEAD FROG NUT BROWN ALE.

I’d been wondering where the hell my dad was. Often I can find him spread out (his work gear, not his junk) all over the dining room table, stressing my mum out with his tentaculate electronics, and offending us all by playing Pink Floyd’s The Wall out of sequence. But for the last week he’s been scarce.

I suspect he’s been wined and dined by suppliers this week, plied with swag far beyond the two beers he brought home. But we’ll never know. My dad has this effective trick of entering the house with his headset on, carrying on a conversation until the novelty of his arrival has worn off and everyone’s forgotten to ask him about his day. Repeatedly throughout the week, and well past the bedtime of the kids—who would ignore his phone conversation anyway and attack him—he’s entered mid-conversation, muttering away about terminations and racks and permits, and—seeing he won’t respond anyway—I’ve gone back to looking at the People of Walmart or trying on moustaches or whatever other productive thing I was doing before he came in. Effectively I’ve forgotten to interrogate him about this trade show and whatall’s been going on there. For instance:

Why only two beers?

Why NUT BROWN ALE particularly? Does he know that DEAD FROG markets an array of unusual brews (mandarin orange, pepper lime, toasted coconut)?—not quite targeted at craft beer geeks (too light, too lager-y) yet not targeted at the Molson Canadian crowd either. In fact, DEAD FROG has been a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to aligning with the increasingly divergent craft and mass beer markets, particularly with its 650-mL specialty brews, and would have found itself dead indeed had it not sought $500,000 in investment money earlier this year.

 

If my dad hadn’t been yammering into the headset I would have asked about DEAD FROG’s beer portfolio—did Dad have the option to scoop some other products for yours truly or was he just not interested? Did he have his fill of them at the show? OMG, would my dad do that without me?

Fact is, Dad might have picked the best of the bunch. DEAD FROG NUT BROWN ALE is a nice beer. Dark and almost cola color with a moderate-to-weighty mouthfeel, it carries a hoppy punch yet doesn’t distance itself from the warming, mellowing maltiness of a good ale. Crisp carbonation focuses the hop/malt intersection nicely. You can detect chocolate in the background plus the eponymous nuttiness, making for a solid, interesting brew that doesn’t cloy and isn’t so intriguing that it becomes annoying or precious. Paws up for sure. Or flippers or whatever.

With its recent cash infusion and wealth of marketing ideas, DEAD FROG, just one of three new brewers making a splash in British Columbia, evidently has some (frog) legs. If we all boost our drinking, we should be able to keep the frog alive.

You mean we could have moved to the Brewery District?

If you think alcoholic bears are impulsive, you should have seen my parents house-hunting. They took the first house they looked at. No research. No deliberation. No agonizing.

But I’m wondering if they made a mistake. Check this out.

To think we could have established the new LBHQ in the Brewery District. I mean, even making a point of knowing these things, I had no idea we even had a brewery district. Apparently it is “exciting and vibrant,” or will be once it’s completed, with (presumably important) proximity to public transit, hospitals and police. OMG! How could we have missed this opportunity?

Where the hell is the so-called Brewery District? My first guess was the south foot of the Burrard Street Bridge, where Molson Canadian belches out yeasty-smelling effluent. I would have loved to live there, people. But it turns out that’s not the Brewery District; it’s just an area dominated by a giant macro brewery.

The new marketer-spun Brewery District is in New Westminster. How could I not have known this was a particularly beer-oriented locale? (I think my parents really should have known, don’t you?)  I mean, sure, the development’s not ready, and when it is, it’ll consist of little child-unfriendly high-rises, and we’d have to yank the kids out of school and across the city, but…beer. We’d be living the dream, my fellow inebriates.