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Thread: Social Drinking

  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    I suppose I could have been more specific.

    I've had lots of Woodchuck (several varieties), I think it's passable as a pretty inoffensive option and is widely available where I've been.

    Strongbow was an option in many of the stores/bars around where I went to grad school (and I've discovered that it's available on tap at least one of the bars where I am now). I like it about as much as Woodchuck, but that's not terribly hard to get.

    I've had Magners a time or two.

    Hmm, at least a few others. Original Sin?

    The only one I can remember being in the store near me now was Woodchuck. There were other brands that I'm not familiar with. I'll do some reconnaissance here in a while.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    The other thing about real cider is that, like real ale, it should be served at "room temperature" - in reality slightly below room temperature - rather than "ice cold" as many bars do. There shouldn't be any ice anywhere near them, either. Don't believe any of this "Magners - made for ice" stuff.

    Of course, most of the fizzy cider tastes horrible at room temperature, which is why it's served so cold.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Around here ciders seem to be even less alcoholic than beers. I've seen a couple in the house because that's the only kind of alcohol my mum can tolerate at all and she has a little occasionally.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Ok, rundown of what's across the street.

    3 varieties of Crispin: Crisp, Extra Dry (both of which say "over ice" on the box - I've had iced cider in a restaurant once, was very confused), and a spot on the shelf for "Browns Lane" which claims to be imported, but they were out.

    3 varieties of Angry Orchard: Traditional Dry, Crisp Apple, and Apple Ginger.

    2 kinds of Hornsby's: Amber Draft and Crisp Apple.

    2 kinds of Woodchuck: Amber and Granny Smith (I've had these before, don't particularly care for the latter).

    And a Michelob Ultra Light Cider, which I assume I'm safe in ignoring.

    This being a college town, there's probably a wider variety at at least one liquor store somewhere, but I haven't made a wide search in the 2 months I've lived here.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    Sounds like I really need to get to the UK so you folks can take me on a cider tour!

    As for alcohol by volume, most US commercial "beers" tend to be in the 2-3% range. An average micro/European beer will be around 5-10%, depending on style. It's not unusual to find stouts over 10, and barleywines are usually around 12-15%. Then you get into the high octane brews, Avery out of Colorado does some tasty stouts around 20%, and Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout is often around 23% (it's a seasonal brew, and varies year to year. They do a couple other high alcohol brews, but overall they're kinda hit or miss for me).

    Of course, if you are used to higher ABV brews, and a friend from Poland warns you to be careful of the Polish beer, you should not laugh when you see it's 6%. That would be rude, and for people drinking Pabst, that is a fair warning!

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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    2-3%? Hardly. I don't know any crappy american lager that is less than 4%.
    Normal
    Miller 4.66% ABV
    Budweiser 5.0% ABV
    Light
    Busch Light 4.1% ABV
    Coors Light 4.2% ABV
    Bud Light 4.2% ABV
    Natural Light 4.2% ABV
    Ice
    Bud Ice 5.5% ABV
    Icehouse 5.5% ABV

    Ice beers are naturally higher, due to the concentrating process of ice filtering.

    Do note, however, that like wine, it is very difficult to brew a beer with a higher ABV than about 13%, as the fermentation process itself is self limiting. The alcohol retards the digestion of the bacteria that produces alcohol. Higher alcohol contents can be produced through various concentrating processes such as ice filtering (freezing some of the water out) or distilling (boiling off the alcohol and collecting it), or simply the addition of other, higher concentration alcohols (obtained via distillation).
    Last edited by Keld Denar; 2012-09-28 at 08:39 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    I stand corrected! Though in my defense, I haven't had beer like that in years, though there was a surprisingly good local cheap dark lager by a purveyor of swill...Augustiner Dark by the home of Iron City. Sadly, no longer made. Either way, a far cry from, say, anything that Stone brews.

    I also don't really know belgians because I don't like them (generally too hopsy for me), but I know they can get pretty stiff too.

    Now I want beer....

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshL View Post
    Now I want beer....
    indeed, you people drive me to drink.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshL View Post
    Sounds like I really need to get to the UK so you folks can take me on a cider tour!

    As for alcohol by volume, most US commercial "beers" tend to be in the 2-3% range. An average micro/European beer will be around 5-10%, depending on style. It's not unusual to find stouts over 10, and barleywines are usually around 12-15%. Then you get into the high octane brews, Avery out of Colorado does some tasty stouts around 20%, and Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout is often around 23% (it's a seasonal brew, and varies year to year. They do a couple other high alcohol brews, but overall they're kinda hit or miss for me).

    Of course, if you are used to higher ABV brews, and a friend from Poland warns you to be careful of the Polish beer, you should not laugh when you see it's 6%. That would be rude, and for people drinking Pabst, that is a fair warning!
    I don't remember what my grandfather drinks but he gets it at the supermarket (unless my aunt brings in a case of Japanese beer or he's been to Canada lately). His regular beer is 7.5%, I think.
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    British "bitter" tends to be on the mild side, ABV speaking (usually about 3-4.5%); apparently this is a legacy of the Industrial Revolution. Other ales and lagers usually clock in above 4.5%. A true IPA should apparently be over 6% (it had to be brewed stronger to survive the journey) although they're now normally on a par with other beers.

    If you ever see anything marketed as a "barley wine", that's a very strong beer. The strongest stuff I've had, I think, is Imperial Russian Stoat which the internet tells me is 9% but I could have sworn was 12. Maybe that's just the hangover speaking.
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    I've had a couple Russian Imperial Stouts that were around 12, so you might be right on that. They're sort of trendy these days in the US; lots of micros are doing them that weren't 4 years ago (I am in favor of this).

    In researching, I found this: http://www.brewdog.com/product/tactical-nuclear-penguin Leave it to the Scots. Haven't had any of their stuff since it's pretty expensive here in the US, but that's pretty impressive. Countered by Schorschbrau http://www.benz-weltweit.de/derbraeu...index_eng.html who has the current record at 57%. Damn. Of course, they only made 36 bottles of the stuff, so I'm not sure how much that REALLY counts. And no exploding penguin jokes, so they definitely lose points for that.

    I like my beers full bodied, stiff and whimsical!

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    my only real experience with beer is at metal bars (and the occasional family gathering)

    at metal bars the rule is, finish your beer before the next set starts, or lose it and be sad :C

    this can involve some chugging, which is fun, but probably not good for you...

    at 16 i'm still not sure how much to drink when, so i usualy just try to do as the people i'm talking too do

    (also as a metal critic i get lots of free beers from bands)
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    Ciders round here... There are a gazillion of them (slight exaggeration)

    The thing with Cider in the UK is that a large amount of farms, especially doon south, make their own ciders. So you have lots of own brand scrumpy (if you're ever in the UK, there's an easy way to tell how good a farm cider is: the worse the signposting to the farm, the better the cider is likely to be ), and then you have all the different brands of ciders, and in amongst those brands you have different sorts of ciders.

    Brands I can list off the top of my head would be:

    Kopparberg (normal, pear, strawberry, mixed fruit...)
    Magners (not sure on varieties)
    Strongbow (Moose urine)
    Bulmers (strawberry is better than strongbow, rest are about the same)
    Merrydown (if you can find it, beautiful)
    Jacobs (quite strong)
    Old Rosie (Gut rot, but delicious. Very strong)
    Thatchers (Quite nice)
    Black Rat (Also nice)

    Issue with cider, especially the stronger ones, is you normally drink it like beer (pints/half pints and out the bottle), Where cider can be up to and over twice as strong as beer.

    But yes. Favourite cider I've tried was one I had at a small farm in dorset, which they sold in plastic milk bottle style containers. Was heavenly.
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  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    I'm a fellow disliker of beers. --Lime-- of yon forums took it upon himself to find a beer that I like in York. In the end, he found two - and I'm now pretty sure there's others out there, too. Trouble is, I liked them because they tasted kinda like cider... But anyway, I recommend that you look at fruitier beers, if you get a chance. One of them was Liefmans, a cherry beer, if you can find it.
    We also found a beer that tastes like bread. Burnt bread, but still. Also the scrumpy I had stung my mouth.

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    Been putting off posting in this thread for some reason. Short answer to the OP:
    nope! There's no problem with that whatsoever. I'm a bit of an odd duck in that when I'm not out at a pub (usually with Playgrounders) I tend to average one alcoholic drink every couple of months. With a few exceptions. For the good of your health never play a drinking game with Dominic Deegan when the snark thread makes up the rules. It gets you through a lot of alcohol very quickly.
    So when I do hang out with my mates I tend to drink a fair bit, but don't seem to noticeably act too different from when I'm sober. Usually I get a mixer or a cocktail and alternate with plain fizzy pop.
    But there's certainly nothing wrong with not drinking anything alcoholic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    I'm from the Westcountry where we take our cider seriously.
    West Country girl here. This is very true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Ignoring the cheap supermarket level brands that 16 year olds get drunk on, like White Lightning, you get the main commerical brands like Strongbow which aren't really much better (Scrumpy is probably the best of the lot).
    White Lightning is godawful. Around here even the areas with the really bad reputations look down upon drinkers of White Lightning. Of course, said drinkers are now limited to tourists, those idiot rich kids who infest Nequay every summer and some people who have less than savoury reputations concerning the care of their families.
    However, I do think that Strongbow's just about tolerable is you get Strongbow and blackcurrant. If someone else's buying it for you.
    Problem with scrumpy though is that because it's easy to make you can boil your brain with it. And that everyone can make it, so there's a lot of choice around if you know where to look.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    A word of warning for Americans and other people used to American beer, cider is generally a fair bit stronger than beer and it's very easy to drunker than you expect, especially when drinking it in pints.
    And cider is alcoholic here. You have no idea how confused I was the first time I heard an American parent telling their child that they can have cider with their lunch.
    I was about eight, that child was four.
    Then it took a turn for the funny as I was in a Tescos and half the people within earshot were staring at the parent as if well, they'd just offered to buy said toddler alcohol. And then the dad's face when he asked where the cider was and was pointed to the alcohol section.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Well, that's obviously an entirely American list, which limits it rather. If you're including northern Europe, I doubt there's anywhere in the USA that would make it into the "top 10 beer cities". In fact I doubt there can be many in the "top 100".

    American beer is no longer (all) a byword for "rats' urine" but I think they still have a fair way to go to catch up with Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic, England, the Netherlands, et al.
    The more well-known American beers are known as appallingly weak, with little more flavour than water. Then again Stella Artois is Belgian and that's known as a wife-beater.
    That and Foster's is another lager/beer with a bad reputation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    The only places that are really geared up, therefore, to produce decent ciders are those which already have the trees in situ and usually have quite a long tradition of growing cider apples. Principally, the cider belt in England (between about Devon and Herefordshire) and Normandy. There are a couple of pockets elsewhere that have managed to produce decent ciders, normally by combining dessert apples with cooking apples to produce something like a cider apple taste, although they still tend to be sweeter.
    And in said cider belt and the West Country in general there are so many cider producers that it's not uncommon for two pubs so close together they actually share a beer garden/smoking area to only have two types of cider in common. And they regularly stock about eight each.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Weston's is probably the most widely available "proper" cider in the UK: I don't know about its overseas market. Aspall's is also not too hard to find - it's of the "blended" type but still tastes ok. Old Rosie is pretty good, all things considered, and, if you can find it, Sheppey's is also well worth a go. The best places to get hold of proper cider tend to be beer festivals, food fairs, or specialist shops. If you're in or visiting London, for instance, there's a stall at Borough Market that sells a variety of some very nice New Forest ciders at a pretty reasonable price. Supermarkets will usually have a limited selection, though, and you can sometimes find some unusual ones on offer.
    I find Aspall's a little too dry personally, especially their pear cider; however, it's becoming more popular as of late.
    I've not had Old Rosie in years, but it's strong as Hell if you're not used to it, so if you try that make sure pace yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Castaras View Post
    Ciders round here... There are a gazillion of them (slight exaggeration)

    The thing with Cider in the UK is that a large amount of farms, especially doon south, make their own ciders. So you have lots of own brand scrumpy (if you're ever in the UK, there's an easy way to tell how good a farm cider is: the worse the signposting to the farm, the better the cider is likely to be ), and then you have all the different brands of ciders, and in amongst those brands you have different sorts of ciders.
    Speaking as the most southern Britlander itP (as far as we know) you'll find that in Cornwall most pubs have an exclusive cider - that is, one that only they and perhaps two or three other local pubs stock - that tends to be on seasonal tap.
    Certainly off to top of my head I can name a good half dozen local breweries (as in within thirty miles from my house), one of which is maybe half an hour's casual walk away.
    So yes, local brews for local people, although if it's popular enough it does take off some. Take Cornish Rattler. Started off at sixteen local pubs, and is now stocked in some four hundred pubs, and in several supermarket chains throughout the West Country.

    This is the alcoholic anthem of the West Country. That's how important and prevalent it is.
    Note too the age of the audience. We start 'em young.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castaras View Post
    Brands I can list off the top of my head would be:

    Kopparberg (normal, pear, strawberry, mixed fruit...)
    Despite my knowledge of cider I'm not much of a cider drinker (in comparison), but Kopparberg is easily my favourite fruit cider.

    Quote Originally Posted by Castaras View Post
    Issue with cider, especially the stronger ones, is you normally drink it like beer (pints/half pints and out the bottle), Where cider can be up to and over twice as strong as beer.

    But yes. Favourite cider I've tried was one I had at a small farm in dorset, which they sold in plastic milk bottle style containers. Was heavenly.
    General advice is to only have a few pints of cider thoughout the night. Two or three max. And really it's probably best to get them in half pints, but everyone knows men only drink pints.

    EDIT:
    If you can't tell Britain takes its drinking etiquette and experience seriously. I'm always amused by that page, especially when you compare its length to pages about things technically more important.
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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyKitGirl View Post
    And cider is alcoholic here. You have no idea how confused I was the first time I heard an American parent telling their child that they can have cider with their lunch.
    I was about eight, that child was four.
    Then it took a turn for the funny as I was in a Tescos and half the people within earshot were staring at the parent as if well, they'd just offered to buy said toddler alcohol. And then the dad's face when he asked where the cider was and was pointed to the alcohol section.
    Yeah, "cider" over here is more commonly an unfiltered apple juice you can get in the fall (I prefer mine directly from local orchards, although you can sometimes find something approximating it in grocery stores too). No alcohol content at all unless you let it turn, which is more likely to result in vinegar than anything drinkable. One of my favorite beverages in general when I can get it and it's much more commonly known than the hard version here, in my experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTarget View Post
    Yeah, "cider" over here is more commonly an unfiltered apple juice you can get in the fall (I prefer mine directly from local orchards, although you can sometimes find something approximating it in grocery stores too). No alcohol content at all unless you let it turn, which is more likely to result in vinegar than anything drinkable. One of my favorite beverages in general when I can get it and it's much more commonly known than the hard version here, in my experience.
    Yeah, non-alcoholic cider is good. I've tried one hard cider that was fair, and a pear cider that was also good.
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    DO NOT DRINK BEER FOR ANY REASON EXCEPT THAT YOU WANT TO DO SO.

    It is always acceptable to drink water, in any social situation. It is never polite to sneer at what somebody else is drinking. (Admittedly, lots of people do so anyway.)

    Stick to your convictions and drink for yourself, not somebody else.

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    Yeah, non-alcoholic cider is good. I've tried one hard cider that was fair, and a pear cider that was also good.
    Perry, you mean? </pedantry>
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    Perry, you mean? </pedantry>
    No idea, it was a slightly fizzy pear cider with something like 4% alcohol content.
    Edit: Oh, Google says that's the word for it. So yes.
    Last edited by noparlpf; 2012-09-29 at 10:37 AM.
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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    To clarify:

    "Pear cider" is a recently coined marketing term to attempt to foist the otherwise fairly obscure drink Perry onto cider drinkers. This is both confusing, and annoying for those of us who have always known what perry is. It's not a cider at all; it's brewed from pears, so it's no more a "pear cider" than wine is a "grape cider".

    It's also confusing because "fruit cider" is normally used to refer to a(n apple) cider that's been flavoured with fruit, like some of the Kopparbergs - strawberry cider, etc.. So a "pear cider" now can be either a perry (usually) or a cider flavoured with pears.

    I don't blame the punters for it, because they'll have no idea what a perry is until it's sold to them as a pear cider, but the marketing annoys me. As an insufferably pedantic old git who increasingly misses his western homeland, I make myself unpopular by correcting the error at every opportunity, but I feel I'm fighting a losing battle.
    Last edited by Aedilred; 2012-09-29 at 10:43 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    To clarify:

    "Pear cider" is a recently coined marketing term to attempt to foist the otherwise fairly obscure drink Perry onto cider drinkers. This is both confusing, and annoying for those of us who have always known what perry is. It's not a cider at all; it's brewed from pears, so it's no more a "pear cider" than wine is a "grape cider".

    It's also confusing because "fruit cider" is normally used to refer to a(n apple) cider that's been flavoured with fruit, like some of the Kopparbergs - strawberry cider, etc.. So a "pear cider" now can be either a perry (usually) or a cider flavoured with pears.

    I don't blame the punters for it, because they'll have no idea what a perry is until it's sold to them as a pear cider, but the marketing annoys me. As an insufferably pedantic old git who increasingly misses his western homeland, I make myself unpopular by correcting the error at every opportunity, but I feel I'm fighting a losing battle.
    That's fair. But a bit of Googling suggests that the meaning of cider referring specifically to apples is relatively recent, and it used to apply to any fermented fruit drink.
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  23. - Top - End - #83
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Brother Oni's Avatar

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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyKitGirl View Post
    This is the alcoholic anthem of the West Country. That's how important and prevalent it is.
    Note too the age of the audience. We start 'em young.
    Also this because you can't mention cider, the West Country and the Wurzels without this song.
    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyKitGirl View Post
    EDIT:
    If you can't tell Britain takes its drinking etiquette and experience seriously. I'm always amused by that page, especially when you compare its length to pages about things technically more important.
    You are an evil, evil woman.

    *spends the next hour reading TV tropes and listening to the Wurzels, while the wife rolls her eyes in the background*

    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    That's fair. But a bit of Googling suggests that the meaning of cider referring specifically to apples is relatively recent, and it used to apply to any fermented fruit drink.
    Not down here it isn't... *Begins sharpening the pitchforks and lighting the torches*
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2012-09-30 at 09:12 AM.

  24. - Top - End - #84
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Bill Murphy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    It's not rude to drink something other than beer in a beer drinking group.
    It's rude for the beer drinkers to make you feel un comfortable about it.

    Here is a tip. If they pressure you, ask for Guiness. (It's expensive and probably spelt wrong) When they say they don't have any, just give them a dead stare and say "I'll just have a soda then."

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Aedilred's Avatar

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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    But that way, if they do have Guinness you have to drink it. If the OP doesn't like beer, there's no way he's going to enjoy a Guinness.
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  26. - Top - End - #86
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    pendell's Avatar

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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    But that way, if they do have Guinness you have to drink it. If the OP doesn't like beer, there's no way he's going to enjoy a Guinness.
    If the OP doesn't like beer, this is true.

    OTOH, if his only exposure to beer is Budweiser or Coors, Guinness may open up a whole new world to him. I know that I detested beer until I found out that there was more to beer than the mass-produced American stuff like Miller.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    "Opportunities to do good are everywhere but the darkness is where the light needs to be".

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  27. - Top - End - #87
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    I can't afford any better information in regards to alcohol than has been posted here. I will say, if someone who is drinking alcohol questions your not drinking alcohol, they're probably more concerned with their own drinking and not yours.

    @ polity4life: I gotta find out if Dragonmead is available over here in the armpit of new england. The name alone makes me want to try one.

    Crap! Dragonmead is the microbrewery. My bad. Maybe I should move to MI. Not just for the beer of course, the local economy has to be better than here.
    Last edited by nyjastul69; 2012-09-30 at 11:09 AM.
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  28. - Top - End - #88
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    CurlyKitGirl's Avatar

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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    You are an evil, evil woman.

    *spends the next hour reading TV tropes and listening to the Wurzels, while the wife rolls her eyes in the background*
    *cackles gleefully*
    My plan worked to perfection!
    Oi drove moi trackder through yer 'aystack las' noight
    Oo ar oo ar
    I threw moi pitchfork at yer dog to keep quiet
    Oo ar oo ar

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  29. - Top - End - #89
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    Aedilred's Avatar

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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    Quote Originally Posted by CurlyKitGirl View Post
    *cackles gleefully*
    My plan worked to perfection!
    Oi drove moi trackder through yer 'aystack las' noight
    Oo ar oo ar
    I threw moi pitchfork at yer dog to keep quiet
    Oo ar oo ar
    Now something's telling me that you'm avoiding me
    Oo arr oo arr
    Come on now darlin' you got somethin' I need


    (all together now)
    Last edited by Aedilred; 2012-09-30 at 11:32 AM.
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  30. - Top - End - #90
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Brother Oni's Avatar

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    Default Re: Social Drinking

    *Stands up to sing the Westcountry anthem*

    'Cos oi've got a brand new combine 'arvester and oi'll give you the key,
    Come on now let's get together in perfect 'armony,
    Oh I's got 20 acres and you got 43,
    Now oi've got a brand new combine 'arvester and oi'll give you the key!


    Edit: Anybody heard this version? I'm unsure what to make of it: on one hand, I'm disappointed that someone felt the need to improve upon perfection; the other hand is helping to pick myself off the floor from laughing too hard.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2012-09-30 at 11:50 AM.

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