Flat Tire

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So I wake up this morning and head out on a gorgeous North Carolina Autumn afternoon and what do I see? A nail. In my tire! Low pressure warning on my car’s dashboard. Great! It’s Saturday afternoon in a small town outside of Charlotte. Both local tire/auto service shops are closed. But guess what. I am a AAA member and there is a shop not too far from me. First come, first served on Saturdays. They can’t fit me in. I guess being a member doesn’t have its benefits. Firestone, same story, but they can fit me in! Two-hour wait. But there is another problem…

Firestone employees gave me the bad news. The nail is outside of the “Thumb Rule”. Damage to side walls more than a thumb’s width from the tread can not be repaired. New tire required. Firestone doesn’t carry my brand. Ugh. Off to Tire Kingdom. Again, confirmed, can not be repaired. New tire. And, for a follow-up performance, cars with All-Wheel-Drive must replace ALL FOUR TIRES if you have less than 50% of your original tire tread left on the old set or you risk damage to your transmission system. I have 4mm left of 10mm original. Consult Internet. Confirmed. Luckily for me, Tire Kingdom was running a buy two get two promotion this weekend but at any rate the expected $30 tire plug wound up costing me 25 times that and four hours of my life that I’ll never get back.

You may be wondering why you are reading this on a beer blog. Well, I am so glad you asked. Here I sit, after a long and stressful day, drinking one of my homemade, handcrafted Dirty Goat Oktoberfest beers. You know the kind that we brew at home for a fraction of the cost of buying Craft Beer in the store. No, I’m not going to become a self-made millionaire making my own beer but the cost savings in Home Brewing is substantial over time. There are those that say the cost of the brewing equipment counters any savings that you reap in brewing. Well I have never seen anyone count the cost of their stove, oven, pots and pans when cooking their $1 box of Mac and Cheese!

Speaking of flat tires, that brings me to Fat Tire. New Belgium Brewery’s Fat Tire is a staple in the Craft Beer industry. It has been the catalyst to swing many to the dark (beer) side. Unfortunately, I don’t share the same affection for this brew. I’ve had it twice and sent it back both times. The first time I thought it was skunked. The second time just confirmed that I don’t like it. I lovingly refer to Fat Tire as Flat Tire. No offense to the people at New Belgium. Their Ranger IPA is great and I have a world of respect for a company that can mass produce a Craft Beer that has the power to bring people on board with the anti-big-brew revolution.

So go crack open your own home brew, Fat Tire, or libation of choice and let the worries of the day slip behind you.

Cheers!

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October First? Oktoberfest!

October First. What a great time to start blogging about beer. Oktoberfest is in full swing and I’ll be heading out to a local German restaurant to partake in the festivities. Marzen, pretzels, and brats!

Marzen is the unofficial beer of Oktoberfest and after doing a little reading I found that back in the day, Bavarians were not allowed to brew beer between April and September due to fire hazards of the warm, dry, Summer months. The beer was brewed in March, or Marzen in German, and stored underground until Oktoberfest. So, off I go to celebrate tapping the casks and to a new season of brewing.

Prost!