Resolutions, drinking news and John Brown’s Body

by Chris Aaland

When the great snowflake dropped at midnight, it signaled New Year’s resolution time. No need to stop chewing tobacco, one of my 2010 pledges. That happened during Thanksgiving week — 11-odd months later than I’d hoped, but still a successful resolution for the past calendar year. The losing weight thing I pledged a year ago was not as successful. I weigh almost exactly what I did last January. A failure, for sure. But it’s tough to give up all vices at once.

I’m going to choose something equally challenging for my New Year’s resolution. I pledge to be nicer to bad drivers in 2011. Personally, I’m the type who usually goes the speed limit. I’m equally impatient with those who either weave through traffic like a NASCAR wannabe as I am with those who slow it to a snail’s pace like a student driver fearful of his instructor scribbling notes on his every move behind the wheel.

So I resolve to avoid sarcastic comments to those who are too stupid to navigate the double left turn lanes at the Camino Del Rio intersections with College Drive, U.S. 160 West and in Bodo Park. I’ll try not to gesture at those who can’t figure out the four-way stop on Third and Eighth. I’ll stop referencing somebody’s mama when they putter down U.S. 160 a good 15-20 miles under the speed limit when roads are dry. And I’ll avoid cursing those who zoom down the same stretch of road at 75 or 80 when the roads are icy and snowpacked.

You see, road rage runs in the family. My father is the worst. He strings together verbal tirades directed at fellow travelers that would make a sailor blush. That may have been drilled into him during Marine Corps basic training in the ‘60s. Or it may have to do with traveling Colorado Springs’ notorious Academy Boulevard his whole life. Oddly, Dad usually hurls these insults at folks who are driving safely and courteously, but that’s part of the mystery.

There you have it. My resolution for 2011, a year in which I hope all of us are happy, healthy and prosperous.

It certainly gets off to a great start. When John Hickenlooper is inaugurated as Colorado’s 42nd governor on Tuesday, it’ll be a big day – and not just for Colorado Democrats, who survived challenges by the likes of Scott McInnis and Tom Tancredo. It’s a big day for the microbrew industry. The Hick, who founded Denver’s

Wynkoop Brewery in 1988, is featuring as many Colorado-made products as possible at inauguration events, including nearly 20 Colorado microbrews. Steamworks will be among those featured, with its award-winning Colorado Kölsch being served at the dinner-dance at the Fillmore Auditorium and concert at the Ogden Theatre. Ska and Silverton will also be represented, along with such Colorado sudsmiths as Avery, Boulder, Breckenridge, Bristol, Del Norte, Great Divide, Left Hand, New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, Pug Ryan’s, Trinity and even Molson-Coors. Wynkoop and Breckenridge have even collaborated on InaugurAle, which blends Colorado malts and beet sugar and is aged in oak.

And it’s not just fun and games – the craft brewing industry will earn some well-deserved kudos from the state business community. “Craft brewing as an industry in Colorado will receive increased acknowledgement for its contribution to economic development during Hickenlooper’s tenure,” Steamworks co-founder Kris Oyler said. “The Colorado Kölsch is the perfect selection, as the label features the state flag, and it is one of our most popular beers.”

In other beer drinking news, Ska released its 16th annual Snowdown celebratory creation, the One Eyed Monster Black IPA, on Tuesday. Bombers will fly off the shelves of liquor stores almost immediately, so if you’re a collector like me, drop by your favorite package store ASAP. Kegs of the stuff also show up at Lady Falconburgh’s and occasionally at other bars during Snowdown festivities (the first week of February).

John Brown’s Body returns to the Abbey Theatre for a 9 p.m. gig Friday. Critics praise the band for fusing reggae with dub, drum and bass, electro and funk. “JBB is an eight-piece outfit that delivers some of the most forward-thinking reggae music in the world today,” wrote LA2DAY. The band, which hails from Ithaca, N.Y., and Boston, had its most recent album, “Amplify,” debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s reggae charts. The show is all-ages.

This week’s Summit schedule includes Thirsty Thursdays with Tubby Love at 9 p.m. tonight (Thursday, Jan. 6); Eric Kiefer at Friday’s acoustic happy hour from 6 to 9 p.m.; the monthly First Friday event featuring a live visual artist paired with the musical musings of the Diabolical Sound Platoon at 10 p.m. Friday; Rupnow & friends during Saturday’s 6-9 acoustic happy hour; Lucy at 10 p.m. Saturday; and the weekly DJ Double D Karaoke/Gong Show at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The Starlight’s lineup features Salsa Night with DJ Caliente at 8 p.m. tonight; music and dancing with DJ Double D at 10 p.m. Friday; more DJ music with Benjamin K and Peter Robot at 9 p.m. Saturday; and Musica del Mundo at 9 p.m. Sunday.

The Ska-B-Q tradition continues in 2011. Catch the Assortment playing Americana, blues and folk at 5 p.m. tonight and enjoy cheap pints and free chili.

This week’s Top Shelf includes gridiron gurus who would be on my short list if I were hiring the next head coach of the Denver Broncos.

1. Jim Harbaugh. The high priest of Broncohood, John Elway, put the full court press on him at Monday’s Orange Bowl, where Harbaugh’s Stanford team dismantled Virginia Tech.

2. Marty Schottenheimer. Sure, he’s never been to a Super Bowl. But he’s an offensive genius and the San Diego Chargers no doubt regret relieving him from his duties in 2007.

3. Jon Gruden. Chucky won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay and is the consummate player’s coach.

4. Bill Cowher. The former Steelers coach should be on the sidelines, not in a TV studio.

5. Urban Meyer. Meyer’s retirement from coaching at Florida came around the same time that Josh McDaniels was canned in Denver. And Tim Tebow may be his favorite player ever. Hmmm.

Gold is the reason for the wars we wage? E-mail me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net.

 

 

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