Fruity Beer

The hot trend in cold beer seems to be . . . fruit.

IMG_3397Blue Moon Belgian White Wheat Ale, served with a slice of orange, has been around for a while and is a favorite of mine.  Shock Top Belgian White often is served the same way.  And, in my recent trips to the beer aisle of our neighborhood grocery store, I’ve seen raspberry beers, and lemon shandies, and blueberry beers.  I’ve also heard of peach beers, and watermelon beers, and other fruit-based experiments.  I’ve tried the shandies, and they are light and refreshing.  On the other hand, the blueberry beer I bought on a lark one time was just too sweet and cloying for my taste.

Most recently, after seeing countless commercials in which an indecisive guy trying to figure out what to order at a bar gets bonked on the head by an apple, I decided to try a Redd’s Apple Ale.  It’s also not bad.  It’s sweeter than most beers and has a distinctive apple tang.  It would be a good choice to sip on a sultry summer night while you are cooking sizzling meat on a hot Weber grill.  It also would likely promote responsible drinking, because I can’t imagine you could drink more than two or three before your fillings started to ache and your mouth puckered.

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The Steubenville Rape Case

If you Google “Steubenville” today, you’ll get hits on countless stories from around the world about Steubenville, Ohio.  Unfortunately for Steubenville — a depressed town in eastern Ohio — they aren’t positive stories.

The stories are about the verdicts in an awful rape case.  Two players on the Steubenville high school football team, the “Big Red,” were found guilty of raping an inebriated 16-year-old girl after an underage drinking party and then taking pictures of the victim.  The two players were sentenced to at least one year in juvenile prison, and one received another year for taking photos of the victim.

The Steubenville rape incident touched a lot of hot buttons.  Are prosecutors taking rape cases seriously and pursuing rapists as aggressively as they should?  Are high school sports stars in small town America treated like they are above the law?  How much underage drinking is going on in high schools?  How could young people be so desensitized that they would not only commit or witness a crime, but then post photos and tweet about it?   And the hot buttons continue to be pushed.  When a CNN journalist reported on the verdict yesterday and noted the emotional reaction of the defendants and the impact the verdict will have on their lives, she was castigated by some for being a “rape apologist.”

This is an ugly story all around, one that makes you sick to your stomach.  It’s a story that makes you think we need to restate, and return to, basic principles.  Rape is a crime, and rapists must be apprehended and punished.  Children need to learn concepts of basic human decency.  Star athletes must be held to the same standards of behavior of the rest of us.  Parents need to monitor their children’s activities.  And no one should be above the law.