movie time at Keegan Ales
Sunday, December 16 2012
After another Coffee Sunday, Gretchen picked up Marigold from the Ulster County SPCA for another several days of fostering fun. This made Ramona very happy, and soon the two were playing like dinosaurs. Recently Ramona has added humping to the list of things she likes to do to Marigold, and, as when Eleanor humps Clarence the cat, the humpee doesn't seem to mind.
Weather had been predicted to be somewhat sketchy today, and though there was precipitation, it never accumulated or affected driving conditions. So at 5:00pm it was safe for us to attend a movie screening at Keegan Ales in Kingston, the funnest brewpub outside the McMenamins universe. The movie in question was called Dear Governor Cuomo, a documentary of a celebrity-fueled consciousness-raising against the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York State. It had been filmed by Jon, a guy from Stone Ridge whom both Gretchen and I have worked for in the past (he's also attended parties at our house). Jon has been in a relationship with the musician N@t@lie Merchant for the past several years, and evidently she is big in the anti-fracking movement and wanted this movie to be made. It should be noted that I have never been a fan of either N@t@lie's voice or the songs it appears in, but as causes go, one could definitely do worse than opposing the breaking up and poisoning of New York's subsurface in pursuit of what little burnable gas lurks there.
I hadn't seen Jon in years. But there he was, at the Keegan Ales bar, a little greyer and not in quite the tip top shape he was in back when he used to kayak in exotic places worldwide. I hadn't been in Keegan Ales in awhile either; indeed, last time I'd been there I'd yet to fully discover the breadth of available India Pale Ales and Keegan's Hurricane Kitty still counted among my favorite beers. Now, though, I consider it mediocre at best and only really value it because it's being made in Kingston, NY, and I've developed a non-trivial amount of adopted hometown pride. Today, though, I noticed something called "Super Kitty" on tap, and I knew instinctively (or perhaps from an earlier experience) that this was Keegan's attempt at an Imperial IPA. When offered a choice between a mediocre IPA and an Imperial IPA, I'll try the latter every time. Super Kitty is 12% alcohol and, as a public service, is only served in eight ounce glasses. It turns out that Super Kitty is a fairly strong contender in the somewhat-rarified extreme IPA space; it's about as good as Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA.
After a couple dozen peanuts, it was time to watch the movie, which was being shown back in the heart of the brewery itself, among the big stainless steel kettles and bottle labelers. As for the movie itself, it mostly consisted of musicians practicing or performing their anti-fracking songs or talking about why fracking is bad. It seems that Andrew Cuomo, our current governor, has not made any definitive statement one way or the other about fracking, and the hope of the movie was get him to make the right decision. Honestly, though, it's money that has the loudest voice in debates such as these, not music. And the forces behind frack baby frack have a lot more money than the people swaying back and forth while slapping tambourines against their thighs.
At some point as I was greedily eating my peanuts, a peanut skin went down the wrong way, and I started coughing. So I got up and left the brewery movie room and returned to the bar.
That was where I found Paul and Ingrid, who Gretchen said would be coming tonight. They'd actually seen part of the movie, but had left due to the scalding heat of the overhead heat radiators of the brewery floor. But it had been enough time, they said, for the movie to work its magic. They claimed they'd been teetering on the fence about whether or not fracking was a good idea, but "that one song early in the movie" convinced them, and now they were all about stopping fracking in New York State. Paul bought me my second beer, which was another from outside the normal Keegan canon. It was Black Eye "a black IPA," though I didn't much like it. (I've had two different black IPAs now and not been enthusiastic about either.)
Since there was no way I could eat enough peanuts to make me satisfied, I ordered a portobello mushroom sandwich from the Keegan Ales kitchen (which does not include a fryer, so there are no french fries). Eventually Paul, Ingrid, and I returned to the movie, but it was already finished and Jon was fielding questions from the audience. Sadly, nobody asked him what it is like to sleep with a rock star. Gretchen was disappointed in me for having missed so much of the movie; she said the music had been really great and the stuff about fracking sufficiently horrifying.
Later Paul, Ingrid, Gretch, and I sat with Jon for a final beer (and everyone except Gretch and I ordered bowls of rice & chicken from the kitchen). I ended my beer drinking for the night with a Hurricane Kitty, which seemed incipid to my refined beer palate.
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