Friday, July 3, 2009

Chamberlain Pale Ale

With all the swimming I've been doing with my kids already this summer, including this afternoon, I was reminded about one of the requirements of graduation from Cornell University. To graduate, you needed to be able to pass a fairly basic swim test--swim from one end of the pool to the other. There were probably some medical ways out of the requirement, but the vast majority of my fellow students and I had to prove we were pool ready.

So during the first week of my freshman year, every student had to make an appearance at the pool and swim the length of it to get that requirement checked off. If you didn't show up when you were told, didn't pass the swim exam, or just said I can't do it, you were automatically signed up for swimming lessons in your first semester and every semester until you passed. I'd guess that 90% of the students passed on day one, but there were many that didn't. What do you think about that being a requirement for some nuclear space physics major? She could potentially win the Nobel Prize, but would not graduate if she couldn't swim. OK, I will tell you my opinion--I think it's an absolute must-have skill and I applaud the University for their initiative.

Since tomorrow is Independence Day and we'll be celebrating the end of British tyranny (I heard someone say that a few days ago, funny), I picked up a bottle of Chamberlain Pale Ale brewed by Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. Now the beer was named after a Civil War Hero, Joshua Chamberlain, so forgive me for drinking this beer when the holiday tomorrow is in honor of a different war, but it's the best I could do. This big 22 ouncer has a long biography on this guy too, quite interesting.

Very light aroma, citrus, orange and some bread. The main flavors are bread again, faint caramel and some hops providing a high amount of bitterness. This is a very watered-down beer and the flavors are lacking anything of note. Carbonation is high. There is a dry and bitter finish, and the aftertaste leaves, yep, you guessed it, more bitterness on your palate. I am not a fan and I liked the last half of the bottle less than the unenjoyable first half. I'd find something else if I were you.

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Speedo Women's Vanquisher Swim Goggle

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