Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thirsty Work

You might think that this Brooklyn Beer boycott has become nasty and bitter, unlike the cool, crisp, and utterly bland taste of Labatt's Blue. Labatts, as has been reported, replaced Brooklyn Lager in Freddys, and the transition has been a painful one.

So, time for a bit of positivity. The manager of Freddys chose Labatt's not because his tongue had been taken out by roaming wolves, but because he thought Canada, the historic home of Labatts (corporate HQ is now Belgium) has enlightened policies on eminent domain. But it doesn't, it just calls it expropriation instead.

Thus, we're left looking for a beer from a place that isn't sucky in this regard. So I did some reporting. Well, some unpaid reporting. I do paid reporting the whole time, leastaways when I'm not fabricating.

With that in mind, I trooped over to the website of the Castle Coalition, part of the Institute For Justice, which is rather libertarian and endorsed by the Wall Street Journal, but otherwise a very pleasant group of people. I emailed them, explained this Freddys predicament, and asked them this question: "Which state has the most restrictions on eminent domain abuse?"

The answer came back from the super-fast Mr. Anderson (no, I don't think he's The One) that Georgia, Michigan, Indiana and South Dakota are leading the pack in clamping down on eminent domain abuse, and that South Dakota is probably the most restrictive. What you will notice immediately is that none of these are in the northeast.

We're looking for a tap beer with national scale and a tasty dark demeanour, and as far as we can tell, there aren't many that match this description. This discovery we made after a spell on Oregon, yes, Massachusetts, yes, California, HELL YES (Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada, Gordon Biersch). But nothing in the Four States of Freedom.

Then I called up Cutesome, a fine upstanding Michigandlet. "Wot fine dark ale did youse lot drink when youse were little?" "Bells," came the answer, "is good sh*t from Kalamazoo." I go to the Bell's website. They have a ten-state distribution area that takes in three of the Freedom Four.

But not New York. The search continues.


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