Oktoberfest Prep Work

In case you haven’t been watching the calendar, Beer & Pork Product Christmas (Beerporkmas?) is rapidly approaching. I will be assuming my usual table at the Tyrolean Inn with the occasional polka, stein holding competitions, and tackling of the pretzel girls so I can get salty deliciousness in the scant seconds before they usually run out and have to go fetch more.

But every year I get messages from people with a quandary, a worry my own family had when I handed them the first set of 1000ml FMJ steins: “I need a stein that can hold a maB worth of beer at Oktoberfest, but this one seems awfully tall and easy to tip over. Especially once I’m drunk.” I can’t deny, they’ve got a point there. The aspect of this stein definitely puts it in the tall and prone to being knocked over, much like a Paulaner glass. I’ve had no reports from bereft Steinwielders saying this has actually happened, but I can definitely see the worry.

Last month, Steinwielder Tyler, who had such concerns, asked me a simple question, “Could you make a 1000ml in the rugged style?” In the crunch to meet BBotE demand in the last year, I’d sort of stopped experimenting with the steins for a bit, save confirming that mine continued to work when filled with beer, cider, and rather large cocktails. I didn’t see any reason why I couldn’t, I just hadn’t. So, here it is:

Yes, that is a big stein.

1000ml “Textured Rugged” FMJ Stein of Science

The base is a good inch or so wider than the normal 1000ml FMJ and it is almost twice the weight, coming in at 5lbs thanks to the heavy silicone sheath. This makes it considerably less tipsy but more of a workout to drink with. Not even remotely in the same neighborhood of crippling weight that the 4.3L FMJ is, but still substantial once full. The first one has headed north to Washington state and I hear tell it may grace PAX Prime in the coming days.

Of course, following the fine example of Mr. Hadden in Contact, why build one when you can make two for twice the price? In addition to Steinweilder Tyler’s new toy, I made one extra that I tossed in the Prototypes & Clearance section.

In general, I’ve stocked up on most all the steins prior to Oktoberfest just in case you people to a run on me again. You can go check what I have kicking around the bench here. Oh, and the September 16th pre-order slots for BBotE are mostly open now. To answer a question I get a lot, the pre-order slot dates are “production will be completed and ship by”, not “will not ship until”. I know clarifying this makes me seem like less of a miracle worker, but it thought it was important.

And as a final note, I’d like to thank everyone that grabbed 1000ml bottles of BBotE with the Ineffable Mustachio’d Goat of SCIENCE! in the last two weeks. Thanks to your support, we were able to deck Ms. Penny out with some new gear in fairly short order, causing things like this to be written and making some Greek neo-Nazis rather cranky. All in day’s work.

Helping Ms. Penny

You may recall a little while back that I did a special run of dedicated Ineffable Mustachio’d Goat of SCIENCE! labeled bottles to slap together a few bucks to help send Molly Crabapple and Laurie Penny to Greece for a project. Thank you again for making it possible for me to help them.

Unfortunately, the world is not filled entirely with pleasant people. Yesterday, Laurie’s backpack was stolen be some complete and utter bastard while she was out in Bloomsbury. In and of itself that’s not cool, but Laurie’s backpack was more or less her life and livelihood as she is a journalist/gypsy, wandering wherever the stories may be. The laptop and phone are a modern journalist’s stock and trade, in addition to all the notebooks that were in there.

The computer, phone, and notebooks are expensive but replaceable; the notes and writing in progress that they contained are not. While Laurie tries to put her head back together for the projects that were in progress, I would like to help replace her gear. So, I’m going to do another run of twenty 1000ml bottles that will have Goat labels to put together a chunk of change to throw at her so she may return to her usual role of astute socio-economic observation and drunklympics coverage*.

*: Yes, I know the Olympics are over. But when you have cold medicine and soothing whiskey in your system, the world is a more beautiful place with a Big Rock Candy Mountain and the drunklympics never end.

Guatemala Nueva Vinas and Death Wish

I want to open up with some praise for the folks at Death Wish Coffee. This is not because they sent me a couple t-shirts and coffee mug, though I do love swag. No, this is because the Internet appears to have finally noticed them out there in upstate NY and the link aggregators have commenced to chatting and link recycling. The Internet, being the beast that it is, doesn’t like to read deep but it does like conflict. So, I’ve been getting more than few messages along these lines:

“Dude, these guys say they’ve got the strongest coffee out there. I totally think they ripped you off. You should throw down, man.”

Maybe not in those precise words, but a similar vein. I can only assume the guys at Death Wish have been getting the same about me.

So, for the record, Death Wish Coffee makes a hell of a bean. Their beans are what I use to make the Death Wish BBotE, which is why I’ve preserved their name with their permission and linked like the dickens to make sure everyone knows who roasted this beast. I told the tale of my Death Wish testing adventures and am quite upfront about my flavor preferences. I like Death Wish BBotE in absinthe and that’s about it, but that’s my palate which I’m reliably told is holycrapOMGWTFBBQ weird. No, I’m not stealing business from them nor are they stealing any from me. If anything, they’re probably laughing all the way to the bank, depositing their well-earned zillions for having made a remarkable coffee.

So, that’s that. Ain’t no beef here.

On to happier topics, the folks at Caffe Vita responded to my tears at losing my favorite Guatemalan Mundo Nuvo beans by sending me a roast from the same farmer, just the crop from the next valley over: Finca Nueva Vinas. On opening the bag, it gave me the same lovely bright aroma that Mundo Nuvo did which made me quite excited. As a hot cup, Caffe Vita’s description was spot on: citrus and hazelnut.

As BBotE, the Nueva Vinas kept those same hot cup qualities, which was surprising as that normally isn’t the case, but lead to some variation in flavor reception amongst the Panel of Pallets. Universally, the aroma of the cold and straight BBotE said cocoa to people, with the a primary taste of chocolate-salt caramel . There was a secondary flavor on the front of the tongue that was described variously as salt water taffy, bittersweet chocolate, and “that German bitter lemon drink, you know the one, c’mon guys work with me” that actually blended quite well with the main. Mixed with the 3:1 hot water dilution and and the dash vodka test, the flavors muted but were still present and unchanged.

My final review is that it isn’t Mundo Nuvo, which I will mourn until it’s return at some point in the future, but that it is quite drinkable and tickles my Central American fruity coffee bone. You may grab it here if you’d like some.