Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tragedy strikes... after some silly video

Recently I came across this video, which I feel nicely displays the natural result of working in a cubicle. Let's watch.

Having formerly worked in a cubicle not wholly dissimilar to the one shown, I can completely relate to the bizarre antisocial rage that the environment incubates.

I realize it's terrible, but you can't help but feel a sense of vicarious freedom. Sort of a "Oh man, he could hurt someone, but I don't have to accept or acknowledge the consequences, so go nuts!"

It's this sense of escapist schadenfreude that is responsible for the popularity of both Office Space and The Office.

Also, to a lesser extent, The Office.

Not worse, just different.

Anyway, silliness and being a danger to yourself and others aside, we have to talk about something very ephing serious.

It's taken me a week to come to grips with this, and I'm sure it's one of those moments that decades from now your children will ask you where you were when it happened. My response will probably be either "8th Avenue, midtown Manhattan", "How did you find me?" or "Are you going to give me your kidney or what?" Possibly all three.

Of course I'm referring to the Brewery Fire of 2008.

Which brewery, you ask? Fool. The F.X. Matt Brewery of Utica, NY of course.

"Ohh," I imagine you saying, "You mean the 12th largest brewery in the country, founded in 1888 by German immigrant Francis Xavier Matt, which incidentally was the first brewery in America to sell beer after the repeal of Prohibition?"

The very same.

I speak of the august institution in which I began my formal beer education. My Alma Malt-er, if you will. I suppose you could say I'm an "Ale"umnus. Over two summers of working there as a tour guide, I earned a bacca-lager-ate degree with an impressive IPA.

I hate myself.

Anyway, last Thursday this landmark, this important piece of national history suffered a fire in the canning department. Thank Goodness the blaze was contained there, and didn't spread to the tour center or 1888 tavern, where many of the mouth-watering Saranac varieties are available for sampling, including their award-winning Root Beer and other Soft Drinks, including Diet Root Beer, Orange Cream, Sparkling Lemonade, and my personal favorite, Ginger Beer.

The link in the picture doesn't work. This one does.

Tangent: One time, two days after I had my wisdom teeth out, I attended the Saranac Thursday event ripped off my gills on prescription pain killers. I couldn't drink alcohol, so I said that I was a designated driver and got all the free soft drinks I wanted. It was a fantastic evening of friends, sunshine, and the wonders of pharmaceutical opiates.

I would like to point out at this point that I was by no means actually driving that night. I am a liar, not an idiot. Also, the abuse of prescription drugs, especially painkillers, is illegal and often fatal.

Can't wait to see the new movie.

Anyway, that is only one of literally dozens of fond memories I have that occur in and around the FX Matt Brewery. I propose a call to action of sorts. I encourage anyone who reads this to go out and try some Saranac. Beer or soft drinks, it's all good. Encourage your friends to try it, too. Use whatever you have to, like guilt, threats or mockery. Examples:

"Man, I hope the Matt Brewery doesn't have to close down because of that fire... that would put a lot of good people out of work in an already economically struggling area."

"Corona? You know why they put Corona in clear bottles? Because I'm going to murder you if you keep drinking that."

"Oh, you drink Magic Hat? I read in the paper the other day that Magic Hat causes Gay."

Granted, they all need a little work. The last is particularly weak if your friend happens to be homosexual.

Nevertheless, in the wake of this fire, I would like to see a Renaissance of sorts, with the community, nay, World, uniting around Saranac and the Matt Brewery. Too long have they worked in the shadows, producing other beers on contract for microbrews like Brooklyn Lager, Pete's Wicked, and the now-infamous Billy Beer, the "brain"child of Billy Carter, brother to the Peanut-farming former President Jimmy Carter.

An embarrassing family isn't just Bill Clinton's problem.

So support your (my) local brewery! Rush to the stores and buy up all the Saranac you can! Run to the nearest bar and ask for a cool Saranac Lager. If they don't have it, call the bartender a pussy and refuse to leave! That'll get your point across. The Brewery will be back, stronger than ever!

Fair warning: this won't be my last post on the topic. I haven't even mentioned Schultz & Dooley yet.

I leave you the way I opened, with a video:

Long Live the FX Matt Brewing Company!



  1. I've already decided to build an FX Matt memorial beer fountain in my next house. Not a fountain in the sense of a soda fountain and/or fountain drink. No, I mean like a legitimate fountain spouting delicious beer.

  2. Some people would contest your use of the word "legitimate" in that post.

    Those people are my enemies.

  3. yes, very good michael. you did this justice. IPA part especially. we'll get some saranacs soon; i just had pomegranate on tap here in white plains -


  4. You'll be happy to know that the brave Utica Fire Department was able to carry out several six packs of survivors.

  5. One of the Best! Had a Saranac Caramel Porter last was delicious.

  6. Hey man,
    I don't know how I found this blog but I am glad I did. Brilliant writer. Thanks for the entertainment.


  7. Thanks Veggiemac! I'm glad you found your way here, too.


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