The Air France tragedy of a few days ago made me think about the only time I was on an Air France plane, back in 1996. Before online ticket pricing and bookings were the norm, the Cheap Tickets type outlets were great, but by phone. So I was trying to get from Kennedy Airport to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, cheaply. The guy on the other end asked if I would consider "alternative airlines" which made me ask the obvious question, "What does that mean?" After the explanation, I booked my flight on PIA, Pakistan International Airlines, which flew from NY to Karachi with a stop in Paris one time per week each way on their one airplane. Nice and cheap! So we boarded the plane on time, I gave the flight attendant my ticket and she told me that it didn't matter where I sat, so I picked a seat. By chance a very cool Pakistani girl around my age sat next to me, so the seating assignment was fine. However, there was a problem with their one plane, it was very late at night and they spent the next 6 hours (enough time to be in Paris) trying to fix it with us on the plane still. We ate, they cleaned the plane, but never left the ground. After a night at the Ramada, they still didn't have the plane fixed so they put me and the only two other passengers destined for Paris, two French girls, on an Air France flight. Talk about snotty, all in French, the guys next to me and the flight attendant laughed about their poisson and non-California wine. You'd know what I mean if you were there, guaranteed. Anyway, the flight home in the hot PIA plane with the no-shoe-wearing customers is another story, and a good one. The events of earlier this week are super sad, though. Just too bad.
I am now drinking Holy Mackerel Special Golden Ale 2009 brewed by Gordash Beer Company at the Florida Beer Company in Melbourne, Florida. I started reading about how this home brew dude in Ft. Lauderdale... well, you read it. The label calls this one Belgian-style with a Florida twist and makes a point of saying these are "small batch beers".
There is a decent apple, banana and caramel aroma there. Flavors are pretty sweet up front, like cotton candy-ish type flavor and sweetness. That eventually is toned down by some power carbonation. There isn't any one particular flavor that stands out and dominates, yet I don't think the flavors mesh particularly well together. There are some spicy elements; there are some very light fruity, sweet apples; there are some caramel flavors as well. The 8.5% alcohol is not like drinking a shot of vodka, yet it is not disguised as well as I'd have liked and starts to be a bit annoying by the end of the beer. I don't know what to say. Well, yes, I do--there is something strange about this beer, like all the flavors were in a bar brawl. Maybe that was the "Florida twist" they spoke about?