Words with friends.
Because after all- What do we have here day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year, but a few words with friends?
Truth be told, I don’t know how the game works, who plays, or why, but it seemed an appropriate enough image with which to kick off todays effort, so let’s see where this takes us.
Firstly, and though I fully understand and appreciate that many of the AHTBM readership don’t care for my particular taste in beer, I’m going to share some words in discussing one specific brand that is near and dear to my heart.
I’ll preface the story with this article which was published in 2011, after a Greek fella named C. Dean Metropoulos and his two sons bought the Pabst Brewing Company, screwed everything up, and sent all the company’s top brass fleeing like rats from a sinking ship.
Shortly after the Greek fella bought the company, they moved it to Los Angeles, and began to basically upend everything that the previous management had achieved as they effectively pulled the company (and all of its subsidiaries) out of the fire.
One of the most notable things the new owners did was not only change the Olympia Beer can from it’s previous gold color to orange, but they changed the formula inside to something that was reminiscent of mind erasing malt liquor;
I would say that this was just fodder from the rumor mill, had I not had a first hand account of with the poison they were pedaling.
I wrote about this topic both here, as well as a more detailed rundown of said experience here.
In short, I was in Portland to emcee an event that Portland Design Works was hosting, featuring their then-recent procurement of the legendary Circulus;
At some point as I was barking my particular flavor of whatevers into the bullhorn at the assembled crowd, somebody sensed that I may have been feeling a bit parched, so being the kind soul whoever that was is, they dropped a chilled six pack of Oly cans at my feet, which over the course of the evening, I drank without pause. Not knowing that the formula inside had changed however, and along with a handful of other libations, my physical response was one of dizziness, nausea, and general white girl wastedness.
At the event’s conclusion, a group of us made our way downtown, during which time I crashed no fewer than five times. Finally, we arrived at a historic peeler bar, and went inside. As soon as we sat down, a lovely individual in the bar’s employ came to take my hand and lead me away to a darkened corner, where she proceeded to earn the $30.00 one of my spirited compatriots had paid her upon our arrival, the hard way.
I recall putting my hands on my head, and I believe, momentarily falling asleep. The song ended, as did her admirable efforts at maintaining my attention, and I returned to the table where we continued with our debaucherous ways.
It wasn’t until the next morning when I saw my leg and to my horror, realized I most likely bled on my hapless hostess the evening before;
I take responsibility for my actions, and if I could apologize to the woman a thousand times, I would. Just the same, had I been drinking regular Oly, and not the horrible orange canned malt liquor toxicity, I doubt that any of my shame would have ever occurred.
Anyway, it was upon reading this piece about Rainer potentially moving back to Seattle, (and that the Greeks were out of the picture) that I had renewed hope for Oly becoming the delicious, crisp, watery, and kinda boring pilsner we’ve all come to know and maybe in some cases, love.
It was with that news that I sent the following email to Olympia, and sat with my fingers crossed;
“To whom it may concern,
I followed the purchase of Pabst with a fair amount of interest, and was pretty bummed when Oly went from the gold can to the orange can, and with it, (at least so it seemed), the original recipe.
Now that the Greek family has sold it back, and things are getting back to normal, (again, at least that’s how it looks from the outside), my question is if Olympia beer is back to the same recipe it was before Pabst moved to LA, and all of the top brass quit.
With all due respect, the stuff in the orange branded can was really horrible.
Thanks very much.”
Notice I left out the part about it being the force behind me bleeding on a stripper.
Just a few days later I received the following transmission from HQ;
“Thank you for taking the time in contacting Pabst Brewing company.
We have gone back to the original look and original formula for Olympia Beer. You will see that our “yellow classic” can and formula is back.”
Saints be praised;
Today is a really, really great day, and this occurrence stands as proof that if you wait long enough, sometimes good things do actually happen for bad people.
In news not necessarily related to drinking beer, but not exactly not related to drinking beer, the last few days have seen a fair share of riding bikes both alone, and with friends, but nearly always on dirt;
Being that exploring is the spice of life, Griff Dog (pictured on the left) and I took our road riding flavor a step further just this past Monday, during which time he may very well have questioned ever going on a ‘road ride’ with me again;
Because as I’ve declared in many ways, and on many days- e’rybody got they own kind of road ride.
Ahhhh…..Oly. I’ve not had a lot of the Olympic brand as it’s not readily available in the deep dark south were Dixie would probably be the local equivalent. But I do have an Oly story…
Back in the dark ages of the early 80’s, I found myself in the company of pirates raiding the more nefarious ports of the Mediterranean Sea. While plundering Naples on a bright summer day and downing cans of Heineken in the local drinking holes we started pining for the taste of a good watery pilsner from the wondrous land of our fathers. The wines of France and Italy, the sangrias of Spain and even the occasional beers of northern Europe that trickled down our way could no longer quench our thirst.
Word soon came of a ferry that crossed from Naples to the Isle of Capri. It was said that on this excursion, libations of a continental flavor could be had for those who knew the password, “Olympic”. We made our way past fleet landing and the hordes of transvestite prostitutes near the seaside castle and paying a small fortune we boarded the vessel that promised liquid relief.
I don’t recall how many of those beautiful cans of American elixir I downed in the hour and a half cruise. I do recall enjoying the wine again once we stepped ashore at Capri. We may have finished off the stores of Oly on our trip back to Naples a few hours later, I really can’t remember. I woke up in my rack aboard ship trusting my shipmates had navigated me surely and without incident around the transvestite prostitutes and back to safety.
I’m glad to hear they are back in the game.
better to bleed on a stripper than have a stripper bleed on you.
classic! its always good to look on the bright side.
That looks like a proper road ride. I recognize sibley park from those picture but I’m trying to place that wooden gate. Hm…
Thank you for your Olympic investigations. I frequent a creekside bar (Willowbrook creek brook river stream junk-filled ditch) in Petaloom that stocks it just because one regular old fart demands it. I always get it, and every time I do, I am told by the person behind the bar that I am the only other patron who ever asks for it except for this regular old fart guy who demands it (so, about every 15 minutes). Anyways, I kinda stopped. The can changed, the beer changed, I am not crazy. Well….whatever. My point is that now I will resume my regular activities with gusto.
I worked at the Chile Pepper Bike Shop for a bit, and if you didn’t have an Oly in your stand-mounted bottle cage by 3pm, one was placed there FOR you…so, yes, hydrate or die.
Olympia was the very first beer I drank in college. Granted I was being held down by a couple friends while another poured it in my mouth….