Summit Beer

On September 25, 1986, Minnesota’s best home brew, , was born. It’s not surprising that this momentous event went overlooked at the time.

On September 25, 1986, there were .

On September 25, 1986, , the president of the Philipines, went into exile in the US after a 20 year rule and was replaced by , who became that country’s first woman president. But you couldn’t have hoisted a nice cold Summit Beer in celebration.

On September 25, 1986, President appointed appointed to Supreme Court of the United States.

On September 25, 1986, the were 65-86 before they . Twins pitcher lost to the Royals’ . went 2 for 5, driving in for the Twins only run. It was ‘s 13th major league game as a head coach. The Twins woud finish 71-91, just edging out the Seattle Mariners for possession of the cellar of the American League’s Western Division. the following year. But if you’d gone to the game that day at the Metrodome, you couldn’t have ordered a Summit Beer in the third inning.

On September 25, 1986, an 1884-S Barber Head dime was sold for $83,000 in a California coin auction.

The week of September 25, 1986, you could have heard singing Stuck With You and singing Amanda. On September 25, 1986, , watching bad movies on HBO and preparing for and playing a gig at Stashe’s. But no one at Stashe’s was drinking Summit Beer.

On September 25, 1986, you could have chosen to see , , , , , , , , or at your local movie theater.

On September 25, 1986, the books on your bedside table could have included It by ; Red Storm Rising by ; Whirlwind by ; The Bourne Supremacy by ; Hollywood Husbands by ; Fatherhood by ; His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra by ; The Rotation Diet by ; Word for Word by ; and James Herriot’s Dog Stories by .

On September 25, 1985, you would have watched the following shows on TV: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; or

In fact, , you wouldn’t have been able to have a nice, cold Summit Beer. But fortunately for us Minnesotans, our state’s best craft beer, Summit Beer, is now fairly widely available.

The Best Swiss Cheese

My turkey sandwiches got infinitely more tasty about two months ago when I discovered Nelson Cheese and Deli on Como and just off Snelling Avenue in St. Paul.

They sell aged swiss cheese that absolutely makes the sandwich. When you cut open the wrapper, the cheese is often swimming in water and when you cut it, water seeps from the holes onto the cutting board. It is much more pungent than the ordinary swiss cheese you’ll find in the grocery store. As you cut slices off, it will flake off on your knife like slate will when chipped with a hammer. The taste is much sharper and just far more interesting than your garden variety swiss cheese. I have bought no other type of swiss cheese since I found the stuff.

Num, num, num, num.

West Indies Soul

There must be some slight Karmic misalignment because when I thought about getting some Jerk Chicken today at West Indies Soul, I actually could.

The thing is, nearly every time I get a craving for Jerk Chicken, it’s on a Monday and West Indies Soul is closed on Mondays…and Sundays, it turns out, but that doesn’t matter because I’ve only thought about eating there once on a Sunday.

It goes like this: I get a craving for Jerk Chicken around noon on a Monday and so, of course, I think of going to West Indies Soul. Then I remember that they’re closed on Mondays and I gently curse them for their lack of consideration. By noon on Tuesday, I don’t have a craving for Jerk Chicken so I think of someplace else to eat, go there, eat, and then remember that West Indies Soul is open. Again, I gently curse them. For the rest of the week I have neither cravings for Jerk Chicken nor do I think of West Indies Soul. So it goes.

The point, faithful reader, is that I strongly suspect that there is some type of harmonic convergence conspiring to keep me from eating at West Indies Soul. Either that, or they should be open on Mondays.

I’m sure you’ve surmised by now that their Jerk Chicken is quite the treat. It is. It’s crispy. It’s Jamaican spicy. It comes with seasoned rice and fried plantains that are delicious.

Maybe one day I’ll get something else on the menu, but I doubt it.

Red Bull vs. SoBe Energy Drinks

Have I mentioned how much I love football? I do. A lot. This much [Fade in picture of me with arms outstreched to either side of my body]. I love football so much that I play it at least twice a week (touch football, that is). I’ve been playing with more or less the same group of guys for about three years now. We play pick up games every Saturday (usually three games, sometimes four).

Yesterday was a perfect day for playing, with the sky fairly clear and the temperature hovering in the mid-sixities. We’d played several games when someone spotted the Red Bull mobile. The Red Bull mobile is a modified pickup truck that wanders Minneapolis and St. Paul dispensing Red Bulls. It’s easy to spot because the truck has a huge can of Red Bull with the bottom resting in the cargo bay and the top resting on the back edge of the cab. In the cargo bay, on either side of the can, are refrigerated storage areas where they keep their supply of the energy drink.

So we were playing ball when we notice a pretty blonde girl and a nice looking guy walking toward our game. And of course, they are Red Bull employees come to give us each a complimentary cold can.

I’ve seen the Red Bull mobile around town but that’s the first time I’ve seen it in action. I gotta say that I was very impressed. Their target market is young male athletes, night owls, and college students and they nailed all three because a couple of the guys I play with probably fall into each category. Several of the guys I play with are regular Red Bull drinkers. And everyone was quite happy to get a free Red Bull.

But after enjoying a practical monopoly on the energy drink market, Red Bull is losing market share to, for my money anyway, better tasting and more effective competition (Fortune magazine calls Red Bull a "a caffeine-laced drink that tastes like cough syrup and promises to enhance athletic performance and concentration."

SoBe Adrenaline Rush

The drink does taste like cough syrup and I don’t think it works nearly as well at energizing than SoBe. SoBe has a diverse product line but I’m partial to SoBe Adrenaline Rush, a direct competitor to Red Bull. It tastes good and works longer. But don’t just take my word for it, I’ve turned three of my friends into SoBe-drinkin fools.

SoBe’s original can design displayed their sense of humor with the slogan "Get it up. Keep it up. Any questions?" Beneath that was a 1-800 number which I presume you were supposed to call and ask when it would go down.

Mmmm….I do love my SoBe but they do gotta work on both their distribution (like in bars) and their visibilty. Hey, they could always sponsor my touch football team.

The Plan – Psycho Suzi’s

The plan was to go to Psycho Suzi’s for a few beers and then head somewhere to watch the Vikings/Falcons game. That was the plan, anyway. And as you know, the best laid plans of mice and men…

The game started early at 6:30 and because I knew this, I was very careful to point out the fact to anyone who would listen. Though plenty of people listened, I very much doubt anyone heard me because three or four pitchers of Summit later, there we still were, not watching TV forty minutes into the game.

I beg your indulgence while I digress…

Psycho Suzi‘s: If you’ve never been, you must. It’s located in Northeast Minneapolis at Marshall and Lowrey. Think of an old A & W drive-in restaurant converted into a bar with a goth/tiki theme, park Billy Idol out front as the doorman/bouncer, and you get an idea of what Psycho Suzi’s is all about. They sell beers like Schmidt and Schlitz and Blatz by the can, they serve deviled eggs as appetizers, and the descriptions on their drink menu often describe everthing but the ingredients.

There is outdoor seating, which is good because many of the customers are smokers. And there are plenty of suicide girls [don’t go here during work hours] on staff and as clientel.

So, as I said, I didn’t get to see the first part of the game. In fact, I didn’t get to see the first two touchdowns. But I did see the replay on Moss‘ touchdown bomb and who did he beat but Falcon’s first-round pick, Cornerback DeAngelo Hall.