Happy Hour In The Heptarchy: Pimento Cheese Hot Dogs and Chaser Pale

by J.R.

It’s five past 5 across Conference III (leave work early, Colorado — you have our permission), time to hit bricks and get that freakin’ weekend started, am I right?

Of course I am.

It’s been a tough week for some of you so loosen your belt, pop a top, grab a spoon and stop being such a sourpuss. III Communication’s got good news for everybody.

The Particulars

20110520-HDOW-sandys-pimento-cheese-dogWhat We’re Eating: My parents bought one of the Predators’ 15-game packs. They claim its to watch hockey, but it’s really so they can hang out with their granddaughter (and who can blame em?). The first game in their package is Saturday against St. Louis, but in a poor piece of planning, my mom is going to be out of town, so my dad is flying solo.

He called me Wednesday to let me know that he and TMurda are riding down together (“He’s going to pick me up at 5:30”) and let me know that he had already decided on what he was going to eat at the game: a pimento cheese hot dog, one of the new offerings at Bridgestone Arena I got to sample.

I like hot dogs all kinds of ways — it’s why Cori’s DogHouse is one of my favorite restaurants — but I’d never thought of putting that southern staple atop a dog, but my stars, is it good!

I’m a sucker for a slaw dog above all things — and the arena has one of those on offer as well — but the pimento cheese dog is a good alternative.

Blackstone-Chaser-PaleWhat We’re Drinking: I have no idea where this endless supply of Blackstone Brewery‘s Chaser Pale that keeps showing up in our office every week comes from. It’s a Kölsch and this is what I learned about Kölsch:

Kölsch stands in direct competition to Altbier, the production of which is centred around Düsseldorf. The difference between the two types is indeed technically slight, Altbier being fermented at slightly higher temperatures than Kölsch and using dark malt, harder water and far more bittering hops, resulting in a nuttier, firmer and drier taste.

There is a deal between the breweries that no Kölsch will be sold with any of the extra titles that are popularly used with other German beers, like “Premium”, “Special”, “Extra High Quality” etc. Karl Marx once famously remarked that his revolution could not work in Cologne, since the bosses went to the same pubs as their workers.

Kölsch waiters (Köbes) in traditional pubs are encouraged, and indeed expected, to speak the local dialect which is called “Kölsch” as well and to use fairly rough, unrefined language, which might include crude jokes with the customers. In keeping with serving tradition, the Köbes in such pubs will also continue to exchange empty Kölsch glasses with new ones unprompted until customers leave their glass half full or place the beermat upon the glass to signal that they no longer wish to be served. Waiters carry filled glasses of the beer around the beer hall, in special circular trays called a Kranz, as shown in the photo above, ready to replace any empty glasses immediately.

Kölsch is usually served about 10°C/50°F in long, thin, cylindrical 0.2 litre glasses. This glass is known as a Stange (pole), but is sometimes also derisively called a Reagenzglas (test tube), or Fingerhut (thimble) because they are a lot smaller than the beer glasses used in most of the rest of Germany. Recently though, many bars (especially outside central Cologne) have moved to reduce the waiters’ work load and to satisfy their more thirsty customers by offering larger, less traditional glasses, (0.3 L or 0.4 L) of the same shape. Connoisseurs would even drink Kölsch from smaller (0.1 L) glasses, called “Stößche” (Cologne dialect noun for a German noun “Stößchen” = little push), as the taste of Kölsch deteriorates rather quickly while it is sitting in the glass. Since 1936 Kölsch has also been available in bottled form, and nowadays some brands are even sold in cans, much to the chagrin of traditionalists.

Reasons To Celebrate

Chicago: While losing to a Flortheast team is an abomination, you may lift the corners of your meatball-stained mouths at the good news that Chief Keef behaved himself and is out of jail early.

Your Weekend Jam: “Hate Bein’ Sober” by Chief Keef




Colorado: The Avs success has the whole city feeling ballsy. Witness the anonymous bystander who helped the Denver police disarm a dude.

Your Weekend Jam: “Disarm” by The Smashing Pumpkins




Dallas: Little slow on the start there, Stars fans, but maybe Zeno The Robot can solve the problems.

Your Weekend Jam: “We Are 138” by Misfits




Minnesota: The good people at Hockey Wilderness have taken a strong stance against the wave (bless), although with the way the Wild score (infrequently), the wave is a good way to prevent deep vein thrombosis. If you need to get moving in a rhythmic way, the Swinging Bridge at Jay Cooke State Park is dang near open.

Your Weekend Jam: “Sit Down” by James




Nashville: Pekka Rinne’s thing is gross, but the call-up of Magnus Hellberg means there’s a dude in town whose name roughly translates as GREAT HELL MOUNTAIN.

Your Weekend Jam: “You Blew Me Off” by Bare Jr. (no reason except I like it)




St. Louis: Enjoy yourselves BFIBers. And congratulations to St. Louis for rejoining the NHL!

Your Weekend Jam: “Resurrection (Paper, Paper)” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony




Winnipeg: The best news is you can’t possibly play Carter Hutton more than three more times.

Your Weekend Jam: “Mr Carter” by Lil Wayne