Weekend Open Thread: Come Drink Beer, It’s Good For You!




Ah politics.  Is there nothing better than bickering with each other over countless hours, even days, concerning rabid topics from foreign, domestic, all the way down to boxers or briefs?

Well, there’s beer.

Phantom 1







Yes.  That’s decidedly better.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a beer brewer.  A homebrewer, specifically.  Home brewing has been practiced in this country for, well, longer than we’ve actually been a country.  George Washington did it.  Thomas Jefferson did it.  Barack Obama did it at least once . . . all thanks to the only good piece of legislation to come out of the Carter Presidency.  Due to the diligent efforts of the American Homebrewer’s Association (AHA), in 2014 fermenting beverages at home finally became legal in all fifty states.

Of the many benefits endowed by brewing, pride is the most obvious.  Crafting a robust ale or crisp lager and serving it to one’s friends inevitably results in a chorus of positive adjectives, including the overused (but always welcome) “This is the best beer EVER!”  But let’s be honest.  Family, friends, neighbors: They’re liars.  You could serve them raw chicken in pickle juice and many of them will still tell you the concoction laid before them can be none other than liquefied mana from heaven.  These are people who have to see you again.  They have to be positive, lest the pieces of your crushed soul haunt them for years to come.  Indigestion is temporary; crushing a family member– that stain lasts forever.

Now sure, there are plenty of competitions out there to get real unbiased feedback on your fermented works of art.  National, local, public, private– they’re everywhere.  But beer wasn’t made to be weighed, measured, and judged . . . it was meant to be drunk!  By people in great halls filled with stories, laughter, and general merriment– that is the source of true pride for a brewer.  I labored, I created, I brought . . . happiness.

Now herein lie the conundrum for the homebrewer.  Our ability to make people happy, well, it has limits.  I can’t bring delicious beer to the masses.

Why?  Because I don’t want to go to prison.  It’s illegal.

Enter: Hopwars at Phantom Aleworks in Anaheim.

Hopwars invites two homebrewers to join with a seasoned Phantom brewer to create competing libations to serve to the public.  Two brewers go into the brewery . . . only one comes out.  First keg kicked wins.

This is the people’s contest and answer to every homebrewer’s quest: TO PUBLICALLY SERVE MY BEER AND NOT GO TO PRISON.

Starting today, Thursday October 22, I will have a Porter entering Hopwars.  It’ll be on tap all weekend.  Come one, come all, and experience the simple chocolatey joy that I have created.  Sure, this beer has won multiple competitions including Best Porter in the Anaheim Fest of Ales as well as being selected as a National Homebrew Competition Final Round Entry for 2014.  The ribbons and medals . . . cold and lifeless reminders on the wall.  Good beer must be consumed to be loved.

Phantom 2







. . .

Or, alternatively, come down to Phantom and drink the other guy’s beer for no other reason that you can’t stand me.  Not only will that homebrewer appreciate your feedback, you’ll be benefiting a local business while dicking me over.


Phantom Ales, Cider, and Cellar

1211 N Las Brisas St

Anaheim, CA 92806


Phantom 3

[Editor’s Note: As it had already become so in practice, this post has been drafted — get it? “draft”? — into becoming the new Weekend Open Thread. We accepted the author’s position that it would take this position only if it was unanimous and if this post could take weekends off to be with it’s family. So talk about that or whatever else you want, within … etc. And bottoms up! Also, happy Avogadro’s Day!]

About Ryan Cantor

Our conservative columnist, raised in North Orange County, works as an auditor.