Published on October 17, 2007
Beer Memories: Beer Memories by Tony Watkins Slide2: O’doul’s nonalcoholic beer. This beer reminds me of my grandpa Morty and his boilermakers. The last time I was back home, we had boilermakers. After the shot of whiskey, I noticed the beer was nonalcoholic. I asked him why and he said he liked the taste. It seemed absurd, but also made a lot of sense. Slide3: Korean beer sucks, but it’s good when it’s cold, you’ve already had a few bottles of soju, and your stomach is full of meat. Korean beer memories for me are about all you can eat 6000 Won galbi with Alex in Gangnam, DVD bongs with lots of Korean girls, nore bongs with crazy co-workers, and horrible booking clubs with fruit baskets and angry looking girls. And 7-11 near the goshiwon with Dave and Clemens, of course. Slide4: Lambic is yummy and fruity and it always reminds me of Indian food at Panna 2 near 6th street. They let you bring your own beer, and I’d always pick up something in the Indian deli downstairs. A bottle of Lambic costs more than an entrée and mulligatawny soup, but it always seemed worth it. Slide5: I only drank the real King of Beers once. I was in Mongolia with my dad and Oko, and we were on a horseback riding trip for a few days. At the end of the trip we spent a night at a ger camp where we ate lots of mutton, took a sauna in the middle of the Steppes, and had real Czech Budweiser. Slide6: COLLEGE! Slide7: Miller is the beer with my earliest, and possibly best beer memory. As a kid, we used to drive to Ithaca every once in a while to visit relatives. Invariably, my dad’s ancient Volvos broke down somewhere between the upper west side and Whitney Point, and so we spent a lot of time in tow trucks, on the side of the road, Dairy Kings (not queen) and Gas Stations. One summer we broke down and were stranded at a service station. It was hot as hell, so I asked my dad for money for the soda machine. He was drinking a quart bottle of Miller High Life at the time and, not wanting to shell out the quarters for the vending machine, passed me the bottle and told me to drink some. I was about 10 years old, so I said, “Dad! It’s beer” and he replied, “It’s not beer. It’s Miller!” At this point in my life, I’m not 100% sure this really happened. I can only recall the memory of it, not the actual event. But, in any case, it’s the story I always think about when I drink a Miller. Slide8: Belize, Caye Caulker, Belikan beer. Slide9: Not the right pic (should be a bottle) but what the hell. My best (or worst) Guinness memory is from Beilize, new years eve 1999-2000. I drank a few shots of rum, and then went out dancing with Tiffany at the local Belizian spot, where I was the only white boy in the whole club. After trying to dance for about five minutes I gave up, realizing I was out of my league. I hit the bar and started drinking Guinnesses. After six bottles (remember the rum) I started feeling much drunker than I should have felt. I read the label and realized that the Guinness in Belize has 8% alcohol. Tiffany took me back to the hotel she lived in and I passed out in the square room. Slide10: Chingis Beer is another Mongolia memory. My dad took me to an Irish or a German bar in UB (can’t remember) and we ate Irish or German food and drank Chingis Beer. There was always Chingis and other Mongolian beer in the fridge in my dad’s apartment, too. Slide11: My recent memories of draught beer are nights in Wudaokou at outdoor beer gardens, hanging out with college kids eating shish kebobs and enjoying the nice Beijing nights. Slide12: Corona and salt is something I remember from my days bartending at The Shelter. The Mexican and Guatemalan busboys taught me to put salt in the beer and it was yummy. I never combed my hair and they called me Sepillo. Slide13: Kingfisher brings to mind delicious butter chicken in Bangalore with Laura Giugni. I was in India a long time ago, and I was young, but I distinctly remember the food, beer, ice cream, tea, and banana porridge and they were all wonderful. Slide14: Leffe conjures up a lot of memories, but the most recent is eating pizza in Beijing with my mom. We went to The Tree in Sanlitun and had pizza and Belgian beer. Slide15: OE. In 1994 or so I went to Florida to visit my girlfriend Kim and her friend and go to Disneyworld. I don’t remember how or why we all took different modes of transport, but I had to take a Greyhound bus all by myself from Port Authority to Orlando. When I got in the bus I saw that every seat was taken and there would be no chance to stretch or lie down for the next 24+ hours. I was getting depressed when the old black lady sitting next to me pulled out a 16oz can of OE and asked me if I wanted one. I said yes. She handed me a can and a straw and said we had to drink it with the straw so the driver didn’t catch us. I cheered up right away. Slide16: Peroni is another beer that reminds me of my grandpa Morty. Whenever we go to an Italian restaurant, even if it’s just Frank’s Trattoria on First Avenue, he orders a Peroni. Slide17: Red Stripe reminds me of a lot of things, but mostly my old bartending days at The Shelter. We didn’t have a full liquor license and only served beer and wine. Bud, Heineken, Red Stripe, Corona, and Guinness – that was it. Red Stripe is good if it’s as cold as death. Slide18: Sorry for the bad pic. San Miguel reminds me of the Philippines. In Manila I left Jungju in the hotel and went outside one night. It was a weird neighborhood and I grabbed two beers at a store where you had to hand your money through a gate. It felt just like being back home in New York. I was the only gringo out that night and I wandered into a street chess game. I took winners and ran the board for a few rounds before heading home. Slide19: Thailand. I remember being with Lucy, drinking Thai whiskey and then promising never to drink Thai whiskey again. We met lots of English people and Israeli people. I got a massage on the beach by a transvestite masseuse whose boyfriend drowned to death later in the week. I got lost trying to circumnavigate Koh Pha Ngan. Thailand. For Bangkok memories, I’m planning a collaborative presentation with Dave. Slide20: Tiger might be from Thailand. I’m not sure. My memory of Tiger is Vietnam with Alina and wandering the streets of Hanoi looking for something to eat, somewhere to go, something to do. I bought some ice cold Tiger and we went into a small restaurant on a small street. It was pretty nice. Slide21: I try to avoid TsingTao in China. I stick to the real Beijing stuff: Yanjing. TsingTao is for Chinatown. Slide22: Yanjing. 串. There’s way too much to write about Yanjing. I will probably have to make a separate presentation with just this Chinese beers. Anyway, Mike knows what I’m talking about.