Ann Arbor

This one pains me to write. I hate the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor to me is representative of that. Ann Arbor is the city of Arrogant Assholes. Their Walmart Wolverine fan base is insufferable. I have a strong rule when rooting for college sports teams at a school you didn’t attend, if you ACT score was not within 2 points of the school average you can’t cheer for them. It’s my rule and you must obey. Yet, spending all day Saturday in Ann Arbor was a good time. There, I said it. I had a good time in that city. Like a drug addict admitting their short comings, that was good to get off my chest.

During our day visit to Ann Arbor, we tried three different breweries, Arbor Brewing, Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak. Each had some good beers and good food. We went heavy on the carbs going with soft pretzels, truffle fries and mac & cheese at each respectively. I like to justify this as carb loading. Regardless, the food was good. Arbor Brewing was probably my favorite of the three with the large selection of beer variety. The Pollination Sensation Honey Lavender Ale was the best one of the day. Top notch beer. Though, if sours are your thing then head to the Jolly Pumpkin. They specialize in sours and have quite a large number of them. The state of Michigan continues to be near the top in beer quality and Ann Arbor did not disappoint despite their reputation as Arrogant Assholes. I may even go back.

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First Four, Dayton, and a Gas Leak

There are certain sporting events that every guy should go to. Things that don’t require being a fan of either team to enjoy. The NCAA First Four in Dayton is one.

My buddy and I drove down for Day two of the First Four and took in the city of Dayton. We managed to stuff our faces in food ranging from poutine to pizza. We visited five breweries. Lock 27, Dayton Beer Company, Warped Wing, Carillon and Toxic City are all doing really good things with beer. Dayton Beer Company had a great stout. I really enjoyed Lock 27 as the best of the bunch though. Really nice location next to the Dayton minor league baseball team. I imagine that makes for a great summer night.

Then, there is the First Four. We saw two games with the second one being a great one. Syracuse vs Arizona State came down to the end. The crowd was dyed orange as this was clearly a Cuse home game. Really not a bad seat in that arena. I can see why they play those games there in this small midwestern city. Just pure hoops fans in Dayton as we saw people wearing shirts ranging from Ohio State to South Dakota State. First Four does not disappoint.

Now, I have to say I’ve never had and issue with AirBnB and credit to the company and our hosts for refunding our money. See we couldn’t stay in the house because not only was the furnace broken, which they told us as we arrived but we walked into the place and it clearly smelled of a gas leak. If you lit up a cig, I’d imagine that placing blowing up like a fireworks display. So after a day of drinking and right as the hangover hit due to no alcohol in the First Four, we drove home at midnight. Three hours back to Cleveland made for a late night but it was a hell of a day. Dayton didn’t disappoint.

I’m a Stoolie and the Sun is Cold

Have to say, I’m fairly late to the game at becoming a self proclaimed “Stoolie”. I️ probably first learned about Barstool back in 2010 as a college freshman and over the next 5 years dabbled in their content. I️ experienced serious FOMO over never going to a Barstool Blackout Party, perused the Smokeshow pages back as 20 year old college guy in the dorms and laughed at all the absurd videos. Sometime in late 2015 or 2016 I️ became a full fledged Stoolie. Yes, the sun is cold.

Barstool has been all over the news circuit since the cancellation of their show on ESPN after one episode and then the New York Times wrote this piece here https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/magazine/spurned-by-espn-barstool-sports-is-staying-on-offense.html. Like many of my friends, Barstool appeals because it is not PC. We are not racists or homophobes. Many of us have libertarian type leanings. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal. We really don’t give a fuck what you do. Just don’t tell us what to do either. And that’s where barstool appeals. It doesn’t try to be a moral compass, it doesn’t shove its views down my throat and it never takes itself too seriously. We don’t think any joke is off limits because in comedy it shouldn’t be. Barstool offends people and make them uncomfortable because it isn’t afraid to. I️ can’t watch ESPN talk shows anymore. I️ use to love Around the Horn but wouldn’t waste five minutes on it anymore. Instead, I️ look forward to Michael Rapaport calling people out for being sick fucks and want to know who Pardon My Take will name Football Guy of the week. I️ enjoy drinking and sports and comedy. I’m your average 25 year old male. Barstool gets me. Do I️ always agree with everything they say or post? Hell no, but I️ don’t get caught up in it. I️ laugh and move on like countless other Stoolies.

The PC world wonders how this media outlet rose to prominence and can’t believe people enjoy it. But I️ ask how can you not enjoy it? I️ know someone will think I’m a prick or misogynistic asshole for calling myself a Stoolie. Yet, there in lies the beauty of Barstool and its followers. We really don’t give a fuck what you think.

Beer and Academics

Beer and college go hand in hand. Usually it’s cheap beer and large quantities. I have to admit I didn’t have much of a care for anything that wasn’t sold in a 30 pack in college.

At Case Western Reserve University, there is actually a brewery on campus. While I didn’t know this when I was picking grad schools, I’m glad the one I decided on is Case Western. The Jolly Scholar has been a campus bar there for awhile but they added brewing to their arsenal and sell craft drafts for 3.99. An unbelievable price point and I tried multiple there and was not disappointed, especially considering that price.

This little pub is literally smack in the middle of the campus inside one of the buildings. I know I’ll be making plenty of stops here over the next three years. Definitely a place worth stopping at in University Circle for a good beer no matter if you’re a student or just hoping being amongst a bunch of college kids will make you feel 21 again. Three years of grad school should give me plenty of time to work through their beer list.