Beer On My Shirt: The Wake Up Diary And Other Disappointments From 2013

J. R. Shirt, , January 24, 2014

At the beginning of 2013, I started to keep a diary of my thoughts as I woke up. I told myself I'd either write in bed the moment I wake up or while completing my morning bowel movement – depending on the urgency of the content and/or the bowel movement. In theory, the Wake Up Diary was a great idea – I could clear my mind and my colon before I finish my first cup of coffee.

Early on, I think some good things were happening:

Jan. 4th, 2013:

This morning my ass asked me a question, and like most morning flatulence I was half asleep when it happened. I’m not sure what my ass said, but it was definitely a question. The forced air had the that quality of inquisitive inflection that most questions have – “Wanna get some pizza?”

My backside has the cutest high pitch voice – a soprano for sure. Probably because my ass has no testicles. Following this logic, my front genitalia, also known as Dr. P, has a deep voice (not super deep, just average deep). Which makes sense -- a boner should bellow.

Imagine the voice of Franco Ventriglia, but a cyclops: “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, nobody knows my sorrow.”

Or a cyclops wolf man, with a double chin, howling at the moon.

However, after a few days, I found it difficult to keep up with the Wake Up Diary without regularly writing terrible, angry things directed at the days of the week (“Hey Monday, go F yourself” or “Good Morning Tuesday, you selfish bastard”), specific times of day (“Five A.M. is the worst time ever and I hate myself and I want to smash all the lights and the sounds”), or inanimate objects (“I tripped over the rocking horse again this morning – there has to be a better way”).

It turns out, I am not a morning person. At all. The shine of it wore off rather quickly and it turns out I generally have very little to say in the morning.

Gradually, when I wasn't swearing at weekdays, the Wake Up Diary became more of a Dream Diary.

Jan. 13th, 2013:

Last night, I had a dream I was drinking two beers. One was called “Barely Legal”. The other was called “Legal“. I was really afraid to drink the Barely Legal beer. I’m not sure why. I mean it was legal, barely, but still legal. Right?

I half woke up after said dream and snuggled Wife. “You’re legal,” I mumbled.

“What?” she said.

“Beagles.” I said softly and fell back asleep.

March 16th, 2013:

Last night I had a dream I was in a hotel banquet room and these two rather large men were fighting. I mean large like overweight. And one guy was way overweight. There were lots of people standing around watching but no one was doing anything. Some people were cheering. Perhaps I had stumbled upon some sort of morbidly obese underground boxing event. They seemed to be getting pretty tired so I moved in to break them up. Once I had them separated, I realized that the much larger of the two men was actually my friend Gary that I hadn't seen in awhile. His face looked exactly the same, just bigger, and he had the hair of Ringo Starr.

I said, “Gary, what happened?”

He started to tell me about how the fight started. I interrupted him and said, “No Gary, I mean, you gained A LOT of weight.”

He looked up at me as he caught his breath, sweat dripping from his giant face, and said, “You think?”

I said,“Fuck yes Gary, you are like four to five hundred pounds now! What the hell happened?”

That was it. I woke up. The weird thing about it is that I don't have a friend named Gary, and the face from the dream, which I can still picture, is not a face I recognize.

It took a few more weeks, but like morning planking and daily shots of garlic vinegar, this early year idea eventually fell by the wayside. The abandoned Wake Up Diary, like a SkyMall magazine filled with blank pages on a plane flying straight into the sun, can officially be filed under 'Disappointments'. And while 2013 was personally a solid year for me in terms of beer, there were, like any year where you try over a hundred different beers, a few stinkers and disappointments in the bunch.

Looking back through my Untappd history, which I only started using in June of 2013, I was pleasantly surprised at how few beers I had tried this year that I just plain did not like. However, there were definitely a few that for any number of reasons could, like the Wake Up Diary, be classified in my mind as a disappointment

The lowest Untapped rating I gave to any of the following “disappointing” beers was a 3 based on the logic that I would rate Yuengling's Lord Chesterfield a 2.5 or 2.75 (or maybe even a 3 depending on how many I've had), and these beers, while perhaps not living up to my expectations, are better than a Lord Chesterfield. At least in theory.

Piercing Pils, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (99 Style+, 1.67 BAR)

I rated this one as a 3.5 but it finds itself on this list because it really isn't all that 'piercing'. The pear and tea are nice additions, lending a mild sweetness to the pilsner of it, and I look forward to having this one in the warmer months. In my head, due to the name,I had figured the pear sweetness was part of the deal to help balance a more 'piercing' hop profile than usually found in a pilsner. Unfortunately, this was not the case, and while this was good, it did not have what I was hoping for.

Lolita, Goose Island Beer Co. (101 Style+, 2.95 BAR) - I used the stats associated with the 2013 vintage since this seems like a beer more likely to be checked in by vintage, even if it doesn't follow Untappd's guidelines for that sort of thing

Again, this was good (3.5), but the wine characteristic was a bit strong for me. I would drink it again, but at the $25 price point I won't be the one buying. It was, however, a big hit amongst the wine drinkers that tried it. This beer actually made me think that perhaps I wasn't a fan of sour ales/wild ales that had been aged in wine barrels – and then I had Russian River's Temptation and realized I was just being silly.

Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans, Stone Brewing Co. (104 Style+, 4.52 BAR)

I loved the taste of this beer but with each sip the aroma was almost unbearable for me. Gave it a 3.5.

Jubelale, Deschutes Brewery (102 Style+, 2.08 BAR)

I just need to resign myself to the fact that I am rarely, if ever, satisfied with a Winter Seasonal. This winter strong ale was well done but apparently winterized styles are just not my thing, hence it only received a 3.

Imperial Biscotti Break Natale Pretty Please With a Cherry On Top, Evil Twin Brewing (105 Style+, 4.99 BAR)

I was extremely excited to get my hands on this, which probably is what lead to my disappointment – that and I just really wished the cherry flavor wasn't there. Turns out, based on the 3 I gave this, I am not a huge fan of cherry.

Hopivore, New Holland Brewing Co. (97 Style+, 1.18 BAR)

A wet-hopped pale ale, the beer overall was okay, I guess – I just did not care for the hop smell or flavors at all and in a hop-forward, wet-hopped pale ale that is a pretty big obstacle to overcome. Drinking the two bottles I had was the closest I've come to suffering in a long time. If I had to choose between this and a Lord Chesterfield, I would take the Chesterfield every time – I still gave the beer a 3 under the hopeful assumption my aversion to the hop profile was a personal issue based on childhood trauma and that other may actually enjoy it.

All Day IPA (Session Ale), Founders Brewing Co. (102 Style+, 4.85 BAR)

Apparently I can not have my cake and eat it too. A session IPA that I enjoy as much a regular IPA appears to be as elusive as the mouse that takes his daily poops next to the mouse trap under my kitchen sink. I would rather drink a solid 6% or 7% IPA that I really enjoy and pace myself than pound these 'all day'. That is not to say I would turn down the opportunity to drink these all day if said opportunity were to present itself to me, say next Saturday, maybe around 3-ish, your place? Leave your address in the comments.

And your disappointments

Leave your address and a list of your disappointing beers from 2013 in the comments – that way, when I come over, I'll know which beers NOT to bring. Maybe you should also list any food allergies you have. JUST IN CASE.

Okay, maybe just your disappointing beers from 2013, although I'm not sure why I would need to know that if I'm not coming over.

Actually, never mind, don't leave your address in the comments, I'm not coming over – you'll just be disappointed.

Follow J. R. Shirt on Twitter and UnTappd @beeronmyshirt.