Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How can this be good?

I don't consider myself a beer snob. I don't really know what makes one an ale and the other lager. Some day I might study up on that.

However, I do want my beer to taste like something. Thus, several years ago, I gave up on the mainstream brands in favor of microbrews and craft brands. Just the other day I bought one bottle of a beer bearing the Smuttynose label. Even if I tried a microbrew and didn't particularly like it, I usually liked it better than a billion-barrel-a-day brand. It deserved credit for trying to deliver some flavor. A name like Smuttynose should count for something.

Anyway, I nearly dropped my mug tonight when I read that one of my favorite brewers, Goose Island, of Chicago, had been purchased by Anheuser-Busch (which itself was purchased by InBev in 2008). The brewers of 312 and Honker's Ale are now owned by a brewing monolith. Of course, everyone is putting a happy face on this.

How can this transaction be good for beer lovers? The best we can hope for is that InBev won't screw it up.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Birthday observance -- March 19, 1914

Saturday, March 19, would have been Jay Berwanger's 97th birthday. The winner of the first Heisman Trophy was born in Dubuque, Iowa, on March 19, 1914. He died in June 2002.

The photo above right shows Berwanger as a senior at Dubuque Senior High, 1931-32.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

You can take it to the Bank

We had a great time Saturday night at The Bank Bar and Grille, where we took in the first (and only, they claim) performance by a bunch of Telegraph Herald/Woodward Communications colleagues as well as the Dubuque reporters for the Telegraph Herald's news coverage partner, KWWL.

The band calls itself Bad News.

Who knew that Channel 7's Lauren Squires was a drummer? And Becca Habegger played keyboard and handled vocals!

The first set ended with a guest appearance by Dubuque's mayor, Roy Buol, who did a nice job covering three Eagles tunes. That's Roy in the photo. Backup singers shown are (from left) Rachel Gull, Andrea Hauser and Megan Gloss.

Later, Ron Steele, KWWL anchor, came all the way from Waterloo to take his turn at the microphone. Unfortunately, that came past my bedtime, so I can't provide a review on Ron's performance.

Let's see. Who else did I see on stage? Kurt Ullrich, Ron Tigges, Hobie Wood and, sitting in for a couple of number, retiree Sid Scott. Joining them were a couple of professional guitarists, Rick Hoffman, representing Kephart's Music, and Denny Krueger, of Rondinelli Music.

The event was a fundraiser for the Haitian Project at Loras College. The place was packed, so I hope that organizers collected a nice sum of donations.

Bad News claims that last night was the only night. We'll see about that.

As colleague Erik Hogstrom 'tweeted,' it was a good night for Bad News.