Thursday, February 28, 2008

Having parents with conflicting religious beliefs can be beneficial

Because my mom & dad decided that they couldn't raise their kids in a Catholic household, this conundrum holds no water with me. Thanks Mom & Dad! Attending an Episcopal church (Catholic Lite!) in my formative years is making St. Patrick's Day a non-issue. For those of you actually grappling with this dilemma, I say you are Irish first, Catholic second.

I really am Irish, truly. I don't even have to wear a green t-shirt to prove it. Between 40-50%, in my extremely complex and totally unquestionable estimation. As my brother informed me this evening, we have a duty to celebrate our ethnic holiday. Check.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Is it spring YET?

The winter depression is so deep in my office right now that there were actual, audible moans, coming from cubes all over the floor, when it was announced that it seemed to be snowing again this morning. Only a flurry, mind you, nothing real. But what used to be pretty is now cause for grief. We're all just so OVER winter.

I noticed the beer industry has heard our cries. While it just isn't appropriate to think about beach beer yet, they are slowly inching us into seasonal mindsets. Here's the start of a decent to do list:

Sam Adams released the White Ale this year for spring. It is a milky, unfiltered, Belgian wheat.

New Belgium is bringing back it's Springboard Ale for the second year, another Belgian pale ale with a little zestiness built right in.

Old faithful, Boulevard has released it's seasonal Irish Ale, my long-standing favorite.

Sierra Nevada has already released it's ESB for 2008 spring.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

How can you lose? The lights are much brighter there...

The Pitch published a story just yesterday, written by David Martin, about beer, Kansas City entertainment districts, festival and open container laws. Interesting reading.

Lots of friends have been talking about whether the entertainment district downtown is sustainable. Is there enough visitor traffic downtown to hold them over when there is no big concert or sporting event? Will the people of KC actually change their habits and spend more time downtown? It's been promising for many of us to see places fill up on week nights and Friday, but sad to go almost anywhere on a Saturday and see everything empty. And even if the P&L district does succeed, what does that mean to areas like Westport? Someone's going to lose in this little game.

Snipped straight from the article:

Cordish, it appears, doesn’t want Waldo, 18th and Vine or Zona Rosa to enjoy the same sorts of privileges it won on an earlier trip to the capitol. Back in 2005, state lawmakers passed legislation making drinks portable in certain entertainment districts. The law was written in such a way that only the Power and Light District would qualify for the exemption.

Cordish’s unwillingness to share relaxed liquor rules is only the latest bit of discouraging news. Originally scheduled to open last October, significant pieces of the Power and Light District will still be dark when the Big 12 basketball tournaments come to town next month. Last November, Cordish announced that it wanted to charge $2 for parking in garages that were supposed to be free (“The Dance,” November 22, 2007).

Monday, February 11, 2008

Linky linky

After avoiding my Husband, who I cold-heartedly accused of suffering from manflu, all weekend, I think I am finally catching the creeping crud that has been passed around lately. Which means that I am going to share some of my favorite linkable stories from the past few days, rather than trying to type anything in complete sentences.

The Brookston Beer Bulletin makes some interesting points about our ginormous friends over in St. Louis. It's hard for giants to accept changes in paradigm.

Diageo might be getting thirsty for beer. They're eyeballing opportunities with big beer companies.

KU might bring back beer to the Jaybowl. Man. I don't think it's a bad idea, I just can't believe it has been 10 years. The article says they stopped selling beer in the Union in 1998.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Thank you sir, may I have another?

Bull & Wes over at the KCBeerBlog are the best little KC PR bloggers around. They pick up every downtown related story and post, post, post away. Which I appreciate. Because I sadly do not keep myself as well-informed. Oddly enough, a steady diet of the local FOX news morning show does not make for an educated person. Who knew?

The Big 12 tourney hits the new Sprint area on March13th, so everyone is in a race to get drinking holes ready for the crush. I am concerned that this is SO last minute. I can't imagine some of these places only being open for a few days before the hordes descend. Out of all the new stuff going in down at the new Power & Light District, the ones I am most excited about are below:

ChefBurger - Opens first week of March! Created by the same awesome dude (Rob Dalzell) who brought you 1924 Main, Pizza Bella and Souperman, so you know it'll be good. A locally owned build your own burger joint should do extremely well. Not to mention that you'll get to choose from 4 arty breads, different meat/veggie patties, 10 cheeses, 24 toppings, and 10 sauces!

Gordon Biersch Brewery - Opens March 10. Yes, another corporate brewery/restaurant, but variety is the slice of life, and I like options. This will be a full-scale brewery with a big outdoor beer garden.

Raglan Road Irish Pub - Opens first week of March! Another corporate, faux irish pub. Guess where this one comes to you from? Pleasure Island, Disney, Orlando, FL! Which fits, really, the whole feeling of the P&L district. Disneyland, KC. But lend credibility, KC chefs are being trained at the company's 5 star restuarant, Dunbrody House, in County Wexford, Ireland.

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
- Opening in early May. Lee posted a PR piece on the company before they opened in Austin. This is COOL. They will have 225 beers from more than 15 countries. They seek to "elevate beer."

Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge - No idea when this will open. Likely some time well after May. There will be an "upscale restaurant and swanky lounge subtly emphasizing the Maker's Mark Bourbon brand." End quote. All I know is that when I visited their main website, John Denver's Country Boy started playing thru my speakers. SWANKY!

The Living Room - No date yet. This will be seating area and prominent bar inside the LIVE! area, featuring plush cushions, ottomans, chairs and tables surrounding a flowing waterfall with a center flame. There will be space heaters and fire pits to keep everyone warm in the winter. When the KC smoking ban finally hits, I wonder if this will be a popular spot with people taking a break from the many bars & nightclubs.

I plan on spending a bit more time downtown to check it all out. Yes, it'll be tourist trap themed. There will be more nightclub concepts and Lucky Strike bowling lanes, and other silly things to compliment the other places. I don't care if any of those places attract, "douches," as some call them. I am pleased that the downtown bars are gaining traction. I am happy that there are young people living and working in our downtown, and I am glad that there will be more stores and services moving in to support them, like more regular restaurants, dry cleaners, and grocery stores. I hope that the area doesn't feel the pinch too badly AFTER the Big 12 tourney ends, and people go home. I'm just very excited to see it all roll out, and hopeful it is sustainable.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I already know what Bull is going to say

...but at least the McFaddens crew will have another stop in their tour of downtown establishments. Howl at the Moon opens this Friday! If you don't know, Howl at the Moon is a terribly popular place for Bachelorette parties in other markets. And like McFaddens, it is a chain. They sell strange colored liquid shots in test tubes, and jello shots in these weird, syringe-like contraptions, designed to shoot booze-laced jello down your throat. There's hardly a beer tie-in here, except that I know they sell it by the bucket. So head on out to the newest spot in town to watch large groups of drunken girls.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Six years ago...

Six years ago was crazy. The farther away that day gets, the more I forget how crazy it was. So I look at this and I laugh. And I think I have to call my brother and thank him again for kneeling in ice in a rented tux to hold up the train of my silly, big, im-a-bride-look-at-me dress, just so we could get these totally staged photos. My family rules, and my husband is the best. Happy six years to us.