Friday, September 27, 2013

Craft Beer

First off you should go to this.  It's a big event for Lakewood and is going to have so much awesome going on it's unbelievable.  You can buy tickets at the event, online or at World of Beer and Rozis!  Go here for more information!

I wrote part of this a little while back and decided to turn it into a blog.  I should have some pictures up after the event.

Over the past decade the craft beer industry has rapidly expanded. There are a number of reasons for this growth, including directly introducing brands to local markets, the rise of home brewing, and the unifying of craft beers as a market. These factors combine to make a product market that has moved beyond a simple fad and becomes a part of our edible culture.

Why is craft beer different than your regular domestics? The first reason is purpose. Craft beer aims to be tasted. They describe their beers with words like hoppy, malty, piney, bittersweet. Domestic beers goal is maximum drinkabilty and depict themselves as what people like you drink. They instead represent themselves with words like crisp, refreshing, and nondescript flavor word like superior and flavorful. At this point the domestics usually detour to their cool cans, history or effect on your lifestyle. The second is fizz. A proper craft beer and basically all home brewed beer gets its fizz from the gasses released by the yeast. This means that the beer has a life form continuing to ferment, adding alcohol and fizz for the lifetime of the beer (up to 5 years) Obviously, domestic beers ferment their beer as well or else it would simply be gross grain juice. However, your domestic beers are more likely to kill their beer and then carbonate it like a Coke. The farther you attempt to compare the two the more you see the same differences you find with any products that are made both in factories and by artisans. Examples include store bought and baker made bread, prepackaged and butcher cut meats, and of course Amish vs IKEA furniture.

The most important difference you will find between the craft breweries and the large corporate brewers is...well, it's beer. Craft beer is not made in the cheapest way possible. It's not made to give you something to drink with the fewest calories imaginable. It's not a “lifesytle choice.” It does not strive to be the most flavorful beer tasting alcoholic beverage. Craft beer is beer.

It's not simply that craft beer tastes better and has an alcohol content higher than NyQuil. Craft beer has become part of our culture. It has entered the standard guy conversational topics, like cars and sports have in the past. (*Women can, do and should like beer just as much as guys. Awesome has no boundaries.) Networking no longer needs to be on the golf course, but now takes us to the craft breweries and gastropubs. When we are expanding our business, we no longer have to worry about sweating out in the sun carrying a bag full of steel but instead share an experience with our associates with a mug full of a cool, unique lager. It has become the wine of the common and not so common man.

Craft beer is a reflection of the state of Ohio. The grain we grow over a vast section of the state. It is our ingenuity at the building of industries, like our expanding automotive that should no longer exist. We yearn to create superior products and work hard to get ourselves success. It creates a community of growers, builders, crafters, family members, friends and drinkers. Craft beer brings these elements together into something that is more that just alcohol, it's Ohio.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bar #48: Quaker Steak and Lube (Deceased)

Since the beginning I have tried to give the bars a fair chance for representation. If I didn't think a place was a bar but they did, then more than likely, they'd be added. If I had a bad experience or part of my experience didn't live up to their normal standards, then I'd be happy to visit the bar again. The only bars that have contacted me after the fact were the bars that I really liked and really liked me, so until now there hasn't been the call for a redo. This week's bar has been given a second chance and they didn't even have to ask. Bar #48 is Quaker Steak and Lube and do-over has been called.

We'll start off with the ugly, aka, what the original blog would have looked like. It was a pleasant evening out and I looked forward to spending it on Quaker Steak and Lube's patio. Behind the newly refurbished building their were a number of classic cars parked. This helped to show Quaker's 1950's era neon lube shop design. Upon entering, I was given a prompt and friendly greeting. I was ushered to the front patio where I met my friend Nick for a night of beer and very hot wings. I sat down and waited for my waitress. 2O minutes later I had yet to meet my waitress or get a menu. Here ends Quaker Steak and Lube's first blog.

This time through we came on a Tuesday for their wing buffet. Obviously, it was a busy night. The wait was an acceptable 20 minutes. We were able to get seats at the bar immediately. The service was ok.  It took a little effort to get information and order.  Ordering the buffet involves saying you want it and going over and grabbing your wings.
Before you make it to your seat you will notice your eyes dilating and begin attempting R.E.M. while awake. Everywhere you look is exciting stuff. They range from car paraphernalia to beer signs and from TVs in the floors to a car and motorcycles on the ceiling. There are people everywhere ranging from children to the elderly. Quaker Steak and Lube makes sure no matter where you're sitting you've got a TV in sight from your chair.
I assume Quaker Steak and Lube makes a mean steak. What they are known for ,however, is wings. They have a wide range of flavors and spiciness levels, ranging from ranch to so hot you have to sign a waiver. The idea that sounded smart was, come in on the all you can eat buffet night. It means you get a proper sampling of what they have to offer. Unfortunately, like with every other buffet/all-you-can-eat night it also means a bunch of food that's been sitting in some baskets for longer than you'd like. Most of the flavors were fine but didn't really stand out. Then there is the Arizona Ranch which is a good mixture of tangy and spicy. Along with the all you could eat wings you had the options of pizza, salad, cookies, and even funnel cake fries. I've had the wings in the past, including the atomic, and they are worth checking out fresh.
Your beer options, like many of the big chains, are designed to make everyone happy. They carry everything from your domestic favorites to some worthwhile craft options. They have a bunch specialized drinks, like any Applebees or TGIFridays but with their own twist. You can also get a crazy pitcher/really tall mug full of beer. For no better reason then I grew up in PA and never had one, I tried my first Keystone Light. It comes in a pretty nice blue can with some mountains on it. That's all I've really got to say about that.
Jonn tried his hand at the claw machine. The claw didn't seem to have the strength needed for its task. Jon easily grabbed the first toy he went after but instead of lifting it into the air it simply dragged across the other toys. It got stopped at the the hole because it wasn't high enough to make it over.
Quaker Steak and Lube is what it is. They have a large menu with a ridiculous amount of wing options (26.) They hire what seems to be a cool group of people. They have a slew of promotions and is a magnet to classic cars and motorcycles. Quaker is probably the most kid friendly bar in town and least friendly to meeting people outside of the circle you're with. Is it worth visiting? Of course. You will get what you're looking for including really drunk with your taste buds scalded off if you so choose. I already plan on heading back to get one of those really tall beers and put their triple atomic wings to shame. I gave bar #48, Quaker Steak and Lube, a second chance and I'm glad I did.

15312 Detroit Ave