At 3:59 p.m. on a former farm 20 miles (32 km) into the woods of rural Massachusetts, 150 people, most between the ages of 21 and 40, and from at least a half dozen U.S. states, queue in the dirt swept by winter winds behind a large, green aluminium shed no more than a decade old. Its door opens for the day at 4 p.m., but only for four hours. By 5 p.m., the queue outside the opened door will be 350-people long. This is the Tree House Brewing Company of Monson, Massachusetts. Hundreds have traveled to this unlikely location because Tree House is arguably the best artisinal brewer in the United States. In BeerAdvocatecom‘s ranking by thousands of people of the top 250 beers brewed in the U.S., three of the top five ( indeed, seven of the top U.S. 20) are from this shed, including the top beer. Tree House doesn’t distribute its products to pubs, restaurants, or stores. Its beer can only be gotten here. Yet none of its beer can be drunk here because the brewery doesn’t have a pub license. The first few hundred people waiting in queue will be allowed to buy a limited number of cans of beers (I bought two six-packs for $43), although those towards the back of the queue might be too late. An hour after the door opens, one of three of that day’s fresh-brewed varieties has sold out. By 6 p.m., a second is out. And by 8 p.m., no matter what, the door closes for another day.
I’m in an eastern Asian mood today. Many things have reminded me of it. For instance, Thailand is renown for its Public Services advertisements on television. Here is a recent example, a full movie told in only three minutes: Click here to read Adweek’s story about why and how it was produced. The same producers two years earlier created a possibly even better Public Services short, about compassion: The story behind that one is here. ∅ Kudos to Chinese pharmaceuticals billionaire Li Jinyuan who took 6,400 of his employees on a nine-day vacation in France. They arrived aboard 84 commercial flights and occupied 140 hotels. the cost was €15 million ($18 million). ∅ Who exactly won? Forty years after Communist North Vietnam took over capitalist South Vietnam, an international poll reports that Vietnam is now the world’s most capitalist country. China was ranked fourth. ∅ When traveling to such places, or anywhere in the world, I’d always thought that the best passport to have was Swiss, because nobody blocks the politically neutral Swiss. However, CNN reports that the best passport to have is actually U.S. or U.K., followed by France, South Korea, or Germany, or Sweden, or Italy, or Denmark, Singapore, Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, or Netherlands, and only then Swiss. Those groupings are based upon how many countries the passport holder is allowed to enter either without a visa or by relatively easily obtaining a visa upon arrival at the border. One hundred forty-seven countries permit that for U.S. or U.K. passport holders. ∅ Speaking of travel, it was interesting to see the the CEO of the Starwood Hotel Group concede that his company’s Sheraton brand has become tired and in need of change. ∅ You might say that I’m sensitive to submarines. Although my naval officer father served aboard surface ships during World War II and the Korean Conflict, I grew up around New London, Connecticut, headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s submarine fleet. Seeing nuclear submarines silently leave that port (which was actually across the river in the town of Groton) was a routine sight. By far the most advanced submarines in the world are the Seawolf-class submarines constructed just after the end of the Cold War. These ships indeed are parts of a trio of U.S. ‘superweapons’ that no other nation possess. The other two in the trio are the super-accurate LGM-30G Minuteman III missiles (each capable of delivering within 30-minutes a thermonuclear warhead, […]
Meet 49-year old Ahmet Merabet, a Muslim policeman from the 11th Arrondissement of Paris, who on Wednesday (7 January 2015) gave his life defending the right of free speech. He and 49-year-old policemen Franck Brinsolaro, a French Christian, where guarding the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo when three Islamicist terrorists attacked with assault weapons, killing Merabet and Brinsolaro then 12 members of the newspaper’s editorial staff. It was Merabet’s death that was pictured in a spectator’s mobile phone video.
When photographing a black volcanic rock in bright sunlight, it extremely difficult to get details in the shadowy areas. It’s when a state-of-the-art, handheld light meter is worth its weight in digital cameras. Good postcard shot.