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The Chronicles of Furthermore, the Masonic Raven
Written by Skip Boyer



BROTHER FURTHERMORE GOES FOAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS

'Tis the season to deal with misconceptions and downright damn lies.

While attending a wonderful holiday party recently, I was standing there quietly, minding my own holiday business whilst drinking a beer. I was approached by a colleague who expressed a mixture of disgust and dismay.

"Beer?! You drink beer? I thought you and that stupid bird of yours only drank martinis!"

Well, naturally, I was deeply offended and I stuck right up for Brother Furthermore. "Actually, the stupid bird and I drink a wide variety of alcoholic combinations. We only draw the line at Sambuco and Thunderbird."

So there.

We do enjoy good beer, however. That means we donít drink much in the way of domestic beers. I wash my hands in stronger water than Coors Lite. There are some native beers, however, that are well worth seeking out. Sam Adams, that wily patriot, makes a pretty good beer for an old, dead revolutionary.

Beer actually has a long and glorious history. For example, consider the good ship Mayflower and our Pilgrim ancestors. They were actually headed for another part of the American coast, which wasnít really the American coast at the time, of course. Instead, their journals record, the Mayflower abandoned its voyage and landed at Plymouth because they ran out of beer. Indeed, that may account for why they hit the wrong part of the coast. Drinking and driving have always been a problem, apparently. Actually, one of the first establishments constructed in Plymouth was a brewery. Two points for the Pilgrim fathers.

To be completely candid, as we always are in these rants, there is some dispute about the drinking habits of our forefathers. One especially fine website, dedicated to beer lovers, points out that most of the Mayflower passengers were poorly educated Separatist farmers. Do you honestly think they drank wine at the very first Thanksgiving in 1621?

Not bloody likely. They drank beer!

Then there is the snob thing. Snobs think beer is, like, a blue collar, redneck, lowlife drink. They wonít say it, of course, but you just show up at a dinner party some night with a six-pack of your favorite brew for the hostess instead of a bottle of cheap red wine and youíll hear about it.

Or - and lots more fun - the next time you go out for dinner and the restaurant has a sommelier (fancy word for wine picker), ask him what beer he would pair with your entrťe and see what happens! I mean, before your wife gets up and leaves.

If you have cause to drive down 16th street in Phoenix, in the vicinity of Bethany Home Road, you will notice a very large billboard advertising a Jamaican beer. Itís a simple ad. It shows a picture of the bottle and the following words: Itís beer. Hooray beer!

Thatís sort of how Brother Furthermore and I feel when we drop by the Back Nine Grill. Hooray beer!

Beer is also easier to prepare and consume. You donít have to mix it with vermouth or tonic, you donít have to shake it (at least, not in the early hours of the party), you donít have to lard the glass up with paper umbrellas and fruit (okay. A lemon or lime is okay if its Corona), and you donít actually have to use a glass at all. How great is that? Beer (hooray beer!) actually comes with its very own personalized serving container in both stylish glass and convenient metal designs.

There are also clubs, associations and website that are numbered with the grains of sand on the beach for beer lovers. Be selective. We recently dropped our membership in DAMM, for example. (Drunks Against Mad Mothers.) It was giving us a bad image and that just worries Brother Furthermore no end.

You might want to visit the guys at the Beer Advocates website (Where the champions of beer unite!). They have just gallons of useful information available, including a whole section of definitions. For example:

beer: 1) an alcoholic beverage usually made from malted cereal grain (as barley), flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation 2) fermented mash

ale: an alcoholic beverage brewed especially by rapid fermentation from an infusion of malt with the addition of hops

all malt beer: a beer made entirely from barley malt, with no addition of sugar or unmalted grains such as corn or rice.

See. Cool stuff. And it actually makes me feel better about drinking beer. If you read those definitions, you could be describing Kelloggís Corn Flakes or just about another other breakfast cereal.

Beer! Itís not just for breakfast anymore. Hooray beer!




BACK TO THE HOME PAGE?

To all Lodge Trestle Board editors: Feel free to use any of the tales of Furthermore. Should you choose to do so, however, we deny any responsibility for actions by your own lodge. If, after the first couple of columns, the brethren appear restless and begin to surge toward you as you enter the lodge room, we suggest you flee and deny any connection with Furthermore.






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