1. Getting Riced on Chhaang

    If the Yeti was going to step out of seclusion and make a little coin endorsing some hooch, it’d likely be chhaang.  It’s a mountain-man good times and ceremonies kind of beverage from the Himalayas and one of the mighty drinks to claim the title Nectar of the Gods.  Even the recipe is kind of mystical, yet casual, basically amounting to showing off some rice and then letting it hang out and think deep thoughts in a bottle.  Via Momo Tours:

    1. Cook 5 kgs. Rice
    2. Spread cooked rice on large sheet
    3. Take off clothing and roll around on it
    4. Wait till rice becomes room temp
    5. Take 3 pieces of tibbo yeast and crush
    6. Spread evenly on the rice
    7. Close up cloth, make into bundle, and keep covered with blanket, to keep warm
    8. 24 hrs. Later wake up and smell the godly whiff
    9. Put fermenting rice into plastic bucket by hand (not the cloth too you drunk.)
    10. Leave if possible,for one month
    11. Open lid of tightly sealed bucket
    12. Take out as much mix as required
    13. Mix with cold water
    14. Strain
    15. Mix brown sugar according to taste
    16. Drink and proceed to hold conversation with tibetan gods.

    Alternate recipe here: Chhang

    Back in my Osaka days, I hung around with some righteous Nepalese guys in a foreigner tachinomiya where every now and again someone might produce an unmarked bottle and pour a few sharp ones for those assembled.  It had that raw taste of fiercer liquors like rustic tequila or your lower grades of arrack.  Definitely the sort of thing that leads to excited talk and nights that go far later than originally planned.

    Plans are maturing around the ol’ TITLE HQ to see about expanding our brewing operations to chhaang.  We’ll keep you posted.

  2. Schlitz: A Brief History of Cheap Beer

    While we here at TITLE are some of the fanciest sons of bitches you’re liable to come across–Mr. Veer even spent some time in Dandy Jail–we’re not ones to act all snobby when it comes to the frosty ones.  Quite often around the ol’ HQ, you’ll find our typing accompanied by intermittent sips from a can of Schlitz.  And no, I didn’t get paid for saying that.  That stuff is cheap, man!

    Schlitz would have to be my favorite of the retro beer brands that have been relaunched as of late, notably because of its genuine historical importance.  At one time, Schlitz was the biggest brewery in the world, selling 1 million barrels of beer in 1902.  Schlitz also claims to have introduced the brown glass bottle, the tall-boy and the pop-top can, referred to in the mildly frightening advertisement above.  Throughout much of the previous century, Schlitz was a powerhouse national brand, serving the army in WWII rationed olive drab cans and building the world’s largest brewery in Winston-Salem, N.C.

    So why aren’t we all still under the thrall of Schlitz’s famous gusto?  In a word, hubris.  Being a corporate gargantuan, Schlitz Brewing Co. sought to lower their production costs while increasing their volume, ditching time-tested brewing methods for high temperature and continuous fermentation brewing, producing greater volumes of beer that tasted worse and spoiled quicker.  Not a recipe for success.  The decline in quality drove down sales through the 70s and a strike in 1981 put the final nail in the coffin.  Stroh’s bought the Schlitz brand in 1982 and Schlitz has toiled in cheap beer obscurity since.

    Schlitz is now one of many brands sold by the Pabst brewing company.  A brand reboot kicked off in 2007, returning the classic 60s formula to brown bottles in select markets with accompanying advertising seemingly catering to the middle-aged nostalgia market mid-way between high volume consumers of watery domestic and craft beer ingenues.  Unfortunately, this version has yet to make it to my stomping grounds of Brooklyn, NY.  As of this writing, store shelves remain stocked with the canned basically-PBR-but-not-quite-as-sweet recipe.

    Getting off your head on Schlitz Malt Liquor, on the other hand, is popular everywhere.

    No, I have no idea what is going on in that clip with the break-dancing Hamburglar-cat burglars. And the bull.

    Anyway, best of luck with the relaunch, Schlitz.  I’ll keep drinking the cheap stuff until you reach me with the classic, hopefully bringing along some of that classic advertising that looks a bit like it’s trying to illustrate a John Cheever novel.

  3. Jesus Grassdancin' Christ, Obama… Bud Light?


    Alright, I knew what I was getting into, not going to pretend I didn’t.  Obama’s a politician and you don’t get further than your front door in politics if you don’t have a healthy dose of the Zelig in you.  Some of the backslapper, the faux everyman, the telegenic blank slate that talks pretty and says little.  But c’mon…

    CBS says that for his cop and proffessor ‘hey let’s talk about racial profiling bay-bee’ beer session Obama’s choosing Bud Light.

    This is intolerable.  Are they playing beer pong?  Is that why he’s going for watery domestic? I don’t know about you, but I like my elected representatives to be smarter than me, with better taste.

    I remain too indignant to say anything useful about the Fourth Amendment or the numerous descendents of Niall.