Tag Archives: LaConner

The Weekly Banjo #11: The Holiday Míse

The holidays can be perplexing for aspiring drinkers; mixed drinks abound, from the jolly (hot buttered rum) to the preposterous yet palatable (egg nog–seriously, who was the genius who invented such a… well… whatever that is).

Poor, poor rum.

The truly successful drinker already knows that the holidays, populated with salts and roasted meats, are perfect for beer.  Do note that I used the word, “perfect,” for there is nothing greater than ANY beer with your holiday ham, turkey, tamales, cakes, pies, stuffing, potatoes, cakes, pies, or tamales.

Now We're Talking.

So, what is the “Míse”?  Simply put, it’s your setting.  Think of míse as a 38% component of successful drinking–unless you are at a McMenamins establishment, where míse accounts for 80% of your SD component.  Indeed, a frosty beer at the Edgefield can taste better than it actually does simply because the setting is so incontrovertibly awesome.  Creating a great míse in your own home may be the simplest task you undertake.  Here’s a quick primer:

  1. Choose the surroundings that make you most comfortable and make them even more comfortable.  Drinking takes time, and you’re going to need a place to sit that won’t hurt your sitter.
  2. Choose your soundtrack and insist that it play while you drink, and make certain it fits your surroundings.  For example, if you are in a cabin in the woods, songs that remind you of home may be the right way to go.  If you are ice fishing, the droning fan of your space heater is likely the best soundtrack, etc.
  3. Get some food.  Beer makes you hungry, and you should be ready to indulge this hunger while you have the chance.  Salt makes the palate happy when the beer comes to wash it away, so have cheese, bread, and other salty etcetera to eat while you enjoy.
  4. Make it the right place to drink.  This isn’t a snobby thing to do, but often, people avoid the effort due to a level of embarrassment with creating ideal situations for themselves.  If you have this kind of embarrassment taking root in your conscience, ignore it or throttle it to death.  There is no such thing as an embarrassed successful drinker.

Creating a míse takes time and work, but it makes your drinking exponentially more successful.  Think of it: a frat party without a keg of macro-lager is simply ludicrous.  If I saw one so sorely lacking, I would leave immediately.  Conversely, if I attended such a party with nothing but local high-gravity micros, I’d feel very (very) out of place, and I’d likely leave due to discomfort with my surroundings.

Everything has its rightful place and time.  Successful drinking includes knowing what these places and times are.


Thursday Banjo #3: Porter Season

For all of you not attending an Oktoberfest (for if you have the opportunity to partake and are yet reading this blog, you are an unsuccessful drinker), I welcome you to Porter season with open arms.  For those of you who have little idea of what a Porter is (or you think Michelob invented the style), I am providing a short description and a hit list.  Porter is a dark ale brewed with roasted malts that carries a distinct flavor.  It is a predecessor to stout, but isn’t nearly as heavy.



You may have noticed that the Banjo tends toward bottled beers, and there is a purpose to this: beer is a community-oriented beverage, and judging by population figures, I live in Montana and you don’t.  Therefore, if I can drink a bottle and you can drink the same (albeit elsewhere), we can share the happiness.  Certainly, draught beer is often better, but don’t be such a damned snob.

1.  St. Peter’s Porter:  A fine example of an English Porter, and the bottles are awesome.

2.  LaConner Brewing Porter.  Sure, you’ll have a tough time finding this one, but drinking is not for sissies.

3.  Kettle House’s Hemp Porter.  This may be one of the weirdest food items I’ve consumed since a chicago-style hot dog.  It’s brilliant, and tastes wonderful.  Find it at your peril.

Go forth and drink successfully.