Beers to go: 3
An exciting night here at Blog Named Brew Manor. Bought a new dog bed for the hounds, got a pizza for dinner. The life of an internationally famous beer blogger is one of luxury and splendor, I assure you.
Tonight's beer is the Malheur 12, a Belgian Quad from Brouwerij de Landtsheer in Belgium. Poured into a tulip glass, this beer has a deep, dark brown color with virtually no lingering head. The aroma has malt, toffee and sour cherry notes, and when you take a sip you get a silky, smooth texture, with plenty of dark fruit, toffee, sweet malt, candi sugar, and a touch of spice. Very nice, very enjoyable beer, and very much potent at 12% ABV. Find one, but probably you should limit yourself to just one. Trust me, I'm a doctor.
Thing to Think About Today:
As tonight marks the last Friday of the 366 beers from 366 breweries challenge, I thought I'd go ahead and drop in a great Friday reference to close things out - Friday Night Lights. This television show tells the story of Dillon, Texas, a small town where high school football is king, and for better or worse, life revolves around the success and failures of their squad. I was fortunate to play varsity basketball in town where high school basketball was immensely popular; a town where the residents came out and packed the gym on Friday nights. I guess that happens all over small town America, but it all becomes very real and important to those involved when you run out of the locker room tunnel with the Rolling Stones absolutely blaring over the sound system and more than 3,000 of your classmates, friends, family members, and neighbors screaming at a pitch found somewhere in the neighborhood of '11' on the volume dial.
In fact, this season marks the 20th anniversary of my senior year Hazleton Area team, which won a Wyoming Valley Conference title and a District 2 AAAA gold medal, and went all the way to the state championship game. I bring this up today because the Standard-Speaker just published an article recapping that fateful season, and I'd often think back to my days of playing high school sports when watching Friday Night Lights. (If you take the time to read the article, you'll quickly find out that I was better at hard work and enthusiasm than I was at actually playing basketball. Not everyone gets to be the star of the show. Someone has to be Landry, I guess.)
Unfortunately, real life sometimes gets in the way of the fairy tale, as our magical season ended with a loss (to a prep school who could recruit students, including kids who lived in New York - just saying) in the final game. That loss was a tragic enough event in the life of an 18 year old who lived to play basketball and wasn't going to be playing in college, but a wonderful silver lining was the amazing people of our town, who held an impromptu parade at midnight to greet our bus as it entered the town, with a police and fire escort to our gym, where a pep rally was held to congratulate us. Us being a bunch of kids who just lost a basketball game, keep in mind.
Friday Night Lights explores the positive and negative aspects of high school sports in a way never before done on television. But it's more than just a show about sports - in fact this program is one of the best dramas I've ever seen. Check the clip below for some perspective, and hopefully take a moment to appreciate high school sports for the positive force it can be - an opportunity to unite and stand together in your community, as young men and women learn lessons about teamwork, character, and how much better it feels to win than lose. Although it does help if Minka Kelly is one of the cheerleaders in your town, I suppose. Good night all, see you tomorrow.
"Clear eyes, full hearts.... can't lose."