Is Beer Good For A Hematoma? (Thanksgiving Pt. 3)…

The second day in central New York was the day that I went after lunch to visit my cousin Randy. Our grandmothers are sisters and we grew up a block from each other and were inseparable until high school. Rand is a teacher, athlete and fortunately for someone visiting like myself, a home brewer. I know when someone says home brewer that the image of a guy with a 5 gallon bucket and a beer brewing kit comes to mind just as it did when Rand told me that he brewed beer but I should have remembered our childhood and how he was never really able to do anything halfway. He literally brews more beer than he could ever drink and he’s now up to almost 80 different styles of beer. So for the past few years when I visit home I take a little trip to his house and crash there after trying as many beers as I possibly can. We started around 2:00 p.m. and I couldn’t take it any more at about midnight. Randy has a homemade walkin cooler in his basement that is about 700 cu. ft. and he estimates between 6 and 7 thousand bottles of beer and the floor is covered with kegs. This years big advance forward is two freezers that he converted and retrofit a tap system into that continually forces CO2 into the cool kegs. Here’s the two converted freezers…

Before these were made whenever a tap ran low on CO2, he would have to take the tank to said keg and charge it and this way we could just sit there and pour beers out of the taps and never have to charge any of the kegs (just like in a tavern). Here’s what it looks like inside…

Now I’m a lightweight when it comes to drinking and I prefer it that way, 3 beers at the most at the tavern over 2 or 3 hours and that’s it but these beers are my cousin’s babies… he wants to share them all so there’s a method to the madness. According to him, if you start with a porter or a stout, you cannot go backwards towards lighter beers because you won’t be able to taste them… this means we have to start at the “light” end of the continuum and work our way up to the “heavier” beers. Start with lagers, pilseners, blondes and witbiers and continue toward the brown ales, IPA’s, porters and stouts. Sounds like fun just typing it, only I was a bit under the weather still and because of past experience (this is the 4th consecutive year) understood that I had to pace myself. My brother, Ken, showed up an hour or so after we started at 2 and had to catch up. When I say “try” a beer this means that Rand would pour about 1/3 of a beer glass (probably 4 oz.) for each of us and I have no idea how many we tried but it was pretty steady for 10 hours straight (of course with me lagging behind continually and being goaded that I was holding up the works). Here’s my brother Ken with the brewmeister…

And another, there’s a look of anticipation on my brother’s face…

After about 4 hours Randy’s wife, Linda, joined us and brought in a bowl with about 5 pounds of pistachios and they really hit the spot. All in all it was a great time but towards the end I was having a great deal of trouble staying awake (or conscious?). So I like IPA’s, porters and stouts the best and they’re all the ones that we drink last so although my palette hasn’t been soiled by drinking them early on by the time I actually do drink them, I’m so drunk that it can hardly be said that I have any discernment left. I tried to see if I could get Randy to let me skip forward next year but it probably wouldn’t be as much fun. Anyway, it was great fun and really great to hang out with my long lost cousin. Here’s a couple not so well lit pictures from inside the built-in cooler, it has so many beers in there that Randy has quite a bit of trouble sometimes finding what he’s looking for and sometimes finds a surprise or two that he didn’t know that he had…

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14 Responses to “Is Beer Good For A Hematoma? (Thanksgiving Pt. 3)…”

  1. Jerry Says:

    As Gary would say…”HOLY CATS!!” that is a sweet set up. Though it is only 9:15am, I got to salivating reading about your 10 hour tasting extravaganza. Now I am craving IPAs and pistachios. I still can’t get over that he has 14 taps of beer in his basement. They are all homebrews? Very impressive.

    How is your shin doing? From the original description, I bet it takes a while for the hematoma to go away. Hope it’s on the mend.

    • jim Says:

      hi jerry, i’m off to the doctor in about a half hour… i always feel like i’m just racking up the bills though. no doubt he’ll decide i need x-rays and follow-ups

  2. meredith Says:

    so this is heaven.
    I always wondered what it would look like. :)

  3. Judy Shreve Says:

    Lordy – that’s beer drinker’s heaven! Or it’s how to get to heaven if you’re a beer drinker! What a set-up — and good thing you two don’t live close to each other. I imagine a 10 hour taste testing should only be done about once a year – lol.

  4. linda starr Says:

    Wow, that is amazing, I am impressed, love the beer shelves too. now if those were wine taps I’d be in trouble. ha ha, wine tasting is supposed to be the same way start out with the light and go to the heavier reds.

  5. gary Says:

    No, this time I am gonna say HOLY SH!T

  6. cindy shake Says:

    He needs to figure out a way to get a grille down there! Afraid I’d never leave the basement…

  7. ron Says:

    I second what Gary says!!! That is waaaaaay too cool. I’ve taken to drinking beer here at home out of a small glass, ceramic of course. I understand that this is how beer is served in Japan, in a juice size glass. It’s kinda fun. The novelty will probably wear off sooner or later, but I do think it makes me slow down and enjoy the beer more.

  8. Tracey Says:

    Yeah, I’m going to say it too, HOLY SHIT! I’m spending Thanksgiving with you next year!! I LOVE beer :) Porters, stouts, light, heavy, dark, whatever……

  9. zygote Says:

    Ooooh My GOD!

  10. Jeff campana Says:

    Jim,
    I remember when you told me about this months back. Its about as magical as the picture in my mind. On that note, we’re way overdue to go grab a beer sometime. Let me know if/when you wanna go.

  11. elfriede Says:

    How can I convince your cousin that I’m a long lost German relative so that I can go to his place for a holiday?

    • jim Says:

      hey elf,
      wouldn’t take any convincing at all, he’d be glad to have you up to diminish his inventory… plus it’s you.

  12. elizabeth burtt Says:

    oh my god, I think I may be in love, that is a lot of good lookin beer!!!!
    I am inspired now to make beer mugs

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