Tag Archives: craft beer

Kerouac Pub Crawl Set in Alabama

23 Jan

WP_20131011_020a photo of a bar in Lowell, MA, where there are also Kerouac pub crawls

Anyone up for a Kerouac-inspired road trip to Alabama?!

There’s an On the Road pub crawl in Gadsden, Alabama, on March 12 at 5pm. David Murdock, an English instructor at Gadsden State Community College, will be giving a lecture on Jack Kerouac’s On the Road at the Back Forty Beer Company and then the group will begin a pub crawl.

There will also be a poetry contest for “beat-style” poems “preferably in ‘stream-of-consciousness'” for those who have pre-registered. You can sign up for the event (seating is limited) with Carol York at carol@gadsdenlibrary.org.

I’ll let anyone who wants to duke out what “beat-style” poetry means do so in the comments section. Here’s a hint: it does not mean saying “man” over and over again while you pound a bongo drum. Want another hint? The poets associated with the Beat Generation each had their own style and voice.

It is, apparently, Gadsden‘s longest running literary pub crawl series. Other authors highlighted in the past have included Hunter S. Thompson, John Milton, and Flannery O’Connor.

For more information on the On the Road pub crawl, visit Al.com.

Oh, and if you’re into beer culture, the story of Back Forty Beer Company is worth checking out. Here’s just a snippet on their name:

Back Forty Beer Company’s name is inspired by an old agricultural term referring to the 40 acres of land situated furthest from the barn. The back 40 acres are historically the most challenging land to maintain and are often overlooked due to their remote location.

Likewise, Alabama is widely seen as the wasteland for craft beer in America. With mass produced light beer being the drink of choice for many Southerners, the craft beer market here has been largely ignored.

However, if you dig a little deeper into the story of the back 40 you will see that because the soil is rarely used, it’s very fertile and is actually capable of producing a tremendous yield.  And just like the farm, the Deep South’s craft beer culture is fertile and primed for harvest.

I visited Alabama once. I saw more Confederate flags and livestock than classic novels and craft beer. Obviously there are probably a lot of different opinions, but I’d be really interested to hear how Kerouac is generally perceived there.

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Hipsters Hate Driving

3 Jul

I knew I was getting old the day I saw a car commercial where the driver was clearly younger than I am.

So here’s an interesting bit of news: Generation Y doesn’t like to drive. According to Reuter’s “America’s Generation Y not driven to drive,” the Millennials think driving is more of a hassle than it’s worth.  A California think tank analyst, Tony Dudzik says instead of a driver’s license, a cell phone is the new rite of passage for young adults.

The article points to a few different reasons why Generation Y may be less interested in driving:

  • Smart phones make it easier to know public transportation schedules
  • More Gen-Yers are riding bikes
  • People are more concerned about saving the planet
  • Car-sharing services are making it easier not to have to own a car

From a cultural perspective, this makes total sense.  Gen Y is the hipster culture.  The kids in Williamsburg who listen to low-fi indie music on their hi-tech iphone, knit water-bottle cozies that they sell on etsy, ride their bicycles to work, buy their clothes from Buffalo Exchange, spend their weekends at the food coop, brew their own craft beer, and vlog on YouTube. If they drive, they drive hybrids. Because they’re all about the i-this and the i-that, they seek out community more intentionally. Who needs a car, if your friend or parents (they also happen to be the Peter Pan Generation, living at home after college) have one?

I personally fall somewhere between Gen X and Gen Y, making me part of Generation Flux.  Generation X refers to people born between the early 1960s and 1980s, while Generation Y refers those born between the late 1970s and the 2000s.  I know when I was growing up, there were a lot of cultural arts programs in the school about saving the rainforest and saving the whales, we studied acid rain and the ozone layer, and we joined KAP: Kids Against Pollution.  In drivers ed, they pretty much terrified you with statistics, photos, and videos that suggested it was likely you were going to die if you got behind the wheel. The shows that were popular when I was a teen were Mad About You, Seinfeld, Friends, Will & Grace, and Sex and the City, all of which were set in New York City.  Other popular shows like Ally McBeal, Frasier, and ER were also set in cities. Our stars didn’t drive.  They took cabs and rode the subway. Is it any surprise that we moved into the city and followed suit?

So will a generation who grew up watching Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and Snooki getting arrested for driving under the influence and/or crashing their cars, a generation coming of age during the Great Recession, a generation who doesn’t care about driving, embrace the 1950s road trip adventure of On the Road when the movie comes out and the novel by Jack Kerouac it is based on?  Well, here’s another interesting twist: Jack Kerouac didn’t like driving either. If you read his novel, you’ll see that most of the time, the character based on him in the novel is on the bus or in the passenger seat.

How do you feel like the era you grew up in influenced you?

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Tasting Tuesday: Greek Grilled Cheese

23 Aug

I’m a big fan of grilled cheese.  It’s easy to make, inexpensive, and usually a safe bet when you’re at a restaurant.  It’s also yummy—the perfect comfort food.  Sometimes, though, I like to mix it up a little and try out various alternative grilled cheese recipes.

Epicurious has a recipe called “Grilled Cheese and Tomato Stacks,” which is pretty much a grilled cheese gone Greek.  They replace the bread with pita and use a Greek cheese.  I can’t wait to try it!

Also, my sister’s been promising to take me to The Queens Kickshaw, the fancy grilled-cheese restaurant that opened up in Astoria, the traditionally Greek neighborhood in Queens.  They serve so many delicious-sounding alternative grilled cheese sandwiches, like one with feta cheese, which was inspired by the Greeks in Astoria.  They also serve specialty coffee and sodas (sasparilla?!) and craft beer.

What’s the most alternative grilled cheese you’ve ever eaten?