Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Schummer of Schaefer 2012

With Labor Day in the rear view mirror, its time again to reflect on the many Schummer Schelebrations and Schindigs enjoyed by the Schaefer Hall of Fame, members of the Schaefer Ring of Honor, and other distinguished Schaefervangelists.

April - Going back to late spring, fellow Petty fan Revilo happened upon Miles The Monster from Dover enjoying a double-fister.

Errr, Miles pound Schaefer. Taste not bad.
Where Ring of Honor shirt?

May - The Schaefer Schummer season got under way in grand fashion. TMC visited Denver, Colorado and had the opportunity to take in a Rockies baseball game at Coors ... err, Schaefer Field.

Then on Mother's Day weekend in Darlington, SC, SHOFers Philly and Cuba and SROH member Pat spent the weekend at Bryan's Race Party hosted appropriately enough by one of our Schaefer Ring of Honor members. On the first night, Philly texted TMC: "First thing seen in Darlington" accompanied by this photo:

A couple of weeks later, the SHOF hosted a pre-party of sorts at the NASCAR All Star Race in Charlotte. The sho-nuff, official, 20th Anniversary Schaefer Schelebration happened at the Coca-Cola 600. But the crew still had loads of fun the weekend before.

SHOFer Rookie invited his cousin to the weekend's race. Not only did he show - but he drove from New By-Cracky Hampshire to race. Annnnd, he brought 3 cases of Schaefer tall boys to boot - something not previously enjoyed by the SHOF or SROH.

And when a feller rolls up with three cases of bullets, you just know folks are going to enjoy themselves.

As the guys got ready to buckle down for race time, two new members were initiated into the Schaefer Ring of Honor.

Left to Right: Boston's RG3 (SROH), Philly (SHOF), Cuba (SHOF), Rookie (SHOF),
Rev. Randy (SHOF), Cousin Gary (SROH), Paducah (SHOF)

Last fall at Dover, Philly and TMC ended up trading a guy a Schaefer for a Sagres, a Portuguese beer. Coincidentally during the 2012 All Star Race tailgating ceremonies, a Portuguese guy happened by and enjoyed a Schaefer. No question about it - he went directly into the Schaefer Ring of Honor.

June - As one might expect, the enjoyment of Schaefer gets amped up as the calendar turns to June. Vacations, outdoor concerts, family get-togethers, yard work, etc. Here are just a couple of examples:

Two SHOFers, Philly and Rev. Randy, and Philly's Wonder Wife Lanie took in the Jimmy Buffet concert.

Wasting away in Schaeferitavaille
Searching for my keys and phone again
Some people claim that NASCAR's to blame
All I know's we still ain't hit the Glen

For 20 years, Schaefer has been the preferred domestic beer of the Schaefer Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor in these here 50 domestic states. But SROH member Chet took Schaefer to an international level as the 21st anniversary began.

When I received this photo, I was immediately struck by two things:
  • One, the magnificence of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • Two, how many times I've leaned like that in stumbling back to the car after a Charlotte night race.
Let's pause here for a moment. For almost four years, I've blogged frequently about the pleasures of Schaefer. On more than one occasion, I've articulated Schaefer unifies vs. divides. Also, Rev. Randy has waxed magnificently "Schaefer...Its not just for racing anymore." And, a core belief espoused by the Schaefer Hall of Fame is that one simply cannot drink a Schaefer without having a good time. Kind of like trying to lift your ring finger independently of the others - it cannot be done.

Admittedly, these opinions are unabashedly biased and have been shaped by two decades of having fun and enjoying the Schaef. But watch and listen to this unsolicited and independent review of Schaefer by Louisiana Beer Reviews on YouTube.

OK, back to it.

As always, the North Carolina Chapter brings it strong each summer. SHOFers Philly, Rookie, and Rev. Randy always enjoy a Schaefer-laden beach trip to the Carolina coast.

I attempted to represent as well along the Gulf of Mexico during a work trip to Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. Sadly, I was crushed to learn Schaefer is no longer distributed or sold there.

SHOFer Rookie scored the summer hat trick: beach, dogs and Schaefer. In a Rube Goldberg-esque photo moment, Rookie's Schaefer was guarded by his Irish Setter, Belle - who in turn was restrained by the bumper of the truck - which then provided shade for Belle's water bowl - and provided a visual block for Rookie's pink shovel and green crabbing net???

 The newest member of Rookie's family is his new pup appropriately named - yep, Schaefer.

As the calendar turned to July, the temps soared and so did the consumption of Schaefer.

Newly inducted SHOF member Bruton jumped in the air and clicked his heels when he stumbled upon Schaefer at the Publix in Ormond Beach - just a few clicks away from the Daytona International Speedway.

To my knowledge, Bruton was the lone representative of the SHOF/SROH at the Coke 400 at Daytona. A hearty SCHA-LOOT! to ya brother for your annual trip to the beach for fishing, racing and Schaefering. We all appreciate your infectious grin with all that is going on in your photo: Old Glory flying in the breeze ... Schaefer ... the Braves ... fireworks smoke ... SHOFer Cuba's company Core VIS, (contact them for your visual inspection needs in power generation, petrochemical, heavy industry, general manufacturing, and aviation markets to limit downtime, maximize safety, increase productivity and operational time) ... and um, uh, err, ahem, a khaki-covered butt cheek. Nice um timing pal.

Gentlemen! Drink. Your. Schaefer! *vroom, vroom* 
(read sound effect with mental image of 850 HP)

When Matt Kenseth's #17 Ford was passed by teammate Greg Biffle in his #16 Ford about half-way through the race, I toasted the lead change with my own 16.

Rev. Randy and family also hit Daytona in July for some much needed time away (after all, he'd just been to the beach a month earlier). His timing fell just a bit later than the Coke 400, but he had his choice of seats to enjoy a cold one and soak in the aura of the speedway.

And a trip to Daytona probably isn't complete without pausing a moment to pay one's respects to The Man In Black.

The Rev even showed off his culinary skills by pairing a Schaef with homemade mini-pizzas.

Speaking of food, SHOFer Bruton never disappoints with his food and Schaefer pairings - except that he is never in the right location at the right moment to share with others.

Hot wings and fries - fantastic. Or so we've been told.

And then a batch of battered and fried, freshly caught fish - complete with hush puppies of course.

Also in July, SHOF Philly and The Rev. gathered for an evening of cut-throat ... friendly ... competitive poker. Joining them was Some Other Guy who vanquished the two SHOFers to become Chip Bully Champ for the night. SOG first appeared on Bench Racing in a photo from the fall 2011 Charlotte race.

As July neared its end, the big story in NASCAR was the failed drug test by A.J. Allmendinger. After being temporarily suspended based on a failed A sample, the Dinger Posse (careful how you say that) rolled into Nashville to oversee the testing of his B sample. TMC went to Aegis Labs to lend moral support for A.J. and to offer him a Schaefer. No downside, right? Enjoy one to celebrate - or down one as you face the question of "what now?". Unfortunately, no one took me up on the offer - so I enjoyed the Schaef myself. Their loss - my gain. Burp

After bidding adieu to A.J. at the lab, TMC headed to the airport for a flight to Kansas City, MO. In some advance recon, I learned Schaefer is still widely sold in upstate Missouri. But in the KC market? Fuhgetaboutit. A buy-out and consolidation of beer distributors in the area wrongly squeezed out Schaefer. But not to fear. TMC is a SHOFer and made provisions for just such a situation. The SHOF still represented during a drive-by visit to Kansas Speedway.

And remember folks - its never a good idea to drink and drive. Unless of course, you have control of the Official Pace Car of Kansas Speedway. Just be sure to have it in you cup holder instead of on top the light bar.
Speaking of racing in July, a quick history lesson. In the 1982 Mountain Dew 500 at Pocono, Tim Richmond and Dale Earnhardt tangled in turn 1. Earnhardt hit the wall hard and went for a wild tumble and slide. He was able to extricate himself from the upside down car and hobbled with the assistance of Richmond to the ambulance. But take a close look at the signage on the wall where Earnhardt's car came to rest. Dat's right: Schaefer!

August - As the final month of summer unfolded, TMC wanted to ensure the Dog Days of Schummer were well represented by the SHOF. I trekked to Philadelphia, PA for a few days. For Schaefer novices, Pennsylvania was the second major home to F&M Schaefer Brewing after it moved from Brooklyn, NY.

With a bit of advance scouting and cooperative assistance from the area distributor, I was able to pre-arrange a purchase of a Schaefer 30-box from Franklin Beverage. Upon arrival at the airport, I told the third-world cab driver my hotel name - but that a side stop at Franklin Beverage was required. Sure enough, the folks there expected me and had a cold 30-box waiting for me in their chiller.

Folks, if you find yourself in the City of Brotherly Love - the home of the Liberty Bell - the Cradle of Independence - connect with Franklin Beverage before you arrive. They communicate well and will help you schatisfy your Schaefer needs.

With Schaefer in my lap and a smile on my face, I told the cabbie to proceed to the hotel. I loved rolling up to the front door of the hotel with my suitcase, rolling computer bag and a 30-box of beer. What's up my man, I am HERE baby. Here is a fiver, just get me to my room.

The last night in the city, three of us took in a Phillies game. I thought I had my game plan to snag a photo-op similar to the one I had in Denver. My Schaefer can was parked snugly at 12:00 in my waistband. I got the pat down of my pockets as expected, and I chatted up the Rent-a-Barney security guy a bit. I was all but clear, but as he drew back his left hand from the pat down he just nicked the can. He grinned and asked "what's that?" I tried to tell him it was my belt buckle. He just laughed and said "aww man, gimme that can o' beer boy." Sadly the jig was up, and I was reduced to drinking house beer such as Miller Lite and Bud Light Lime.

We nabbed fantastic seats near home plate and enjoyed a pleasant evening at the ballpark. But as the game was about to begin, I thought to myself "Dadgumit, I bet that dang Phanatic character is sharing my Schaefer with the ump."

Nevertheless, I returned home with 29 more Schaefer cans than I started. So the Best of Philly was made a good bit better with my trip.

As the night time temps now begin to fall, football dominates the weekends, and leaves return to a palette of colors, I trust the SHOF and SROH will continue to represent well throughout the autumn season.