Friday, March 24, 2006

Stomach, Friend or Foe?

To paraphrase author Samuel Blythe, "The human stomach will easily accommodate numerous quantities of beer, but the human stomach cannot handle a similar quantity of any liquid that does not cheer or inebriate." Written in an article titled, THE OLD GAME in 1914, there has never been a more true sentence. Sammy went on to say that he tried to prove this fact by trying to drink as much water as he would drink pilsner and he could never do it. I understand.

The college rugby days had many an all night quarter bounce game, followed by a shot-gun can of beer, a small funnel chug, and then leisurely drinking until the night was over. Try that with a few gallons of water. I don't think it is possible to finish the same quantity of liquid with water as with beer. The Blythe cheer factor comes into play. Water is boring. As I have matured, the drinking games were replaced by multiple pint glasses and intellectually stimulating conversation. Well, maybe just the multiple pint glasses. The stomach still seems to hold a lot of beer. "Come on, one more." I know those words come from our friends sitting on the barstool next to us and those same words also come from the inner workings of our intoxicated brains, but do they come from our stomach? I have a funny feeling our stomach just doesn't know when to quit. That and the efficient way beer is transferred from inside our body to the outside. Our stomach is probably much smarter than we give it credit for. He gets full, sends it off to the kidneys and the next thing we know, the seal is broken. And that my friends is the secret to intoxication. Our stomach doesn't ever actually become full. He passes the buck and allows us to drink more and more.

I have a good friend, a philosopher of sorts. His mission in life was to always play rugby and live in quest of the ultimate tan. He is in his 50's now, and damn him, he plays rugby every chance he can get and his skin is as dark as ever. He once said to me, "Don't eat your drinking money." It took me years before I ever realized the deeper meaning to his words. Initially, I thought he meant, If a person only has so much money to spend on a night out, don't use a portion of it on food, save it for drink. It was when I read the words of Samuel Blythe that the true meaning dawned on me. "If you eat, you idiot, your stomach will get full and you won't be able to drink."

Atlantic City Beer Festival:

This event was a blast. Over 100 different beers to sample, live Irish music (St. Patrick's Day weekend), thousands of beer lovers, it was beer drinker's paradise. Stone Brewing, recently brought into New Jersey was there. Their Arrogant Bastard Ale was fabulous. DogFish Head from Delaware was in full force, as was Heavyweight Brewing, Lancaster Brewing, Brooklyn Brewing and one of my Local favorites, Riverhorse Brewing. Imports like Chimay, Paulaner and Guinness, had their full line-ups spread out for everyones enjoyment. Even Budweiser, had some new brews to sample. The Highlight of the festival was sampling Sam Adams, Utopia. A 25% alcohol, $140 bottle of beer. One of the best tastes to ever cross my lips. The Tun Tavern also saved a cask of their award winning Freedom Ale, Barleywine, awesome. The beer stands were set up in a large oval. I cannot remember how many laps we did, but my brain was not to happy the next morning. It seems in the excitement of things, I forgot my beer festival rule of drinking a bottle of water every half hour or so. In addition to feeling no pain that afternoon, the hangover the next day was priceless. This will be an annual event. Start thinking about next year. I am.


At 5:59 AM, Blogger Bryan said...

Thanks for the update. I just came across your site and will bookmark it for future reading. You look like you have a similar style to our's at

It's always good to see others writing about good beer experiences (and even the not-so-good!)

I was initially skeptical about this event and didn't go. But, have been since hearing good things about it. Sure will be on my event list next year!

Keep up the great work!

At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where in California I can buy Utopia beer made by Samual Adams>


At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where in California I can buy Utopia by Samual Adams

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