Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cancel the Search Party FatCat Has Been Located!

Where the hell did FatCat go?  Don’t panic, cancel the missing person’s reports, FatCat is back!  We took a family vacation to Jamaica and have returned unscathed.  Before leaving I did some research about the beer choices in Jamaica and the outlook seemed rather bleak.  There are two breweries on the island, Desnoes and Geddes brews what appears would be the majority of the beer (Heineken, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, Red Stripe/Light/Bold, Dragon Stout), and Big City Brewing Co. which brew three stouts.  It seemed odd to me that stouts would be the only other style available besides pale lagers.  Jamaica’s climate is very hot and humid so a thick sweet stout would not be my top choice for refreshment.  However being the stout junkie that I am, the opportunity to try stouts which I will never get to try again excited me. 

The good news, this was an all-inclusive resort with unlimited drinks.  The bad news, they served all of their drinks in plastic kid glasses that probably held less than 6oz.  The only thing missing was the little sippy lid and a bib.  They think they can deter FatCat from consuming mass quantities of alcohol with children’s cups?  Amateurs.  A couple days into the trip I purchased my very own bamboo mug which held probably 16oz.  So I drank my fair share of free Red Stripe out of my bamboo mug.  The bamboo mug definitely had an earthy/woody character giving the otherwise bland lager some depth.  However by the time you reached the bottom of the mug the character became somewhat overbearing.  Bamboo mug 1, sippy cup 0.  Bad news part II…the only beer available was Red Stripe.  Now don’t get me wrong, Red Stripe is not a terrible beer but is a beer that is a bit too sweet for my taste as a pale lager.  The sweetness becomes overwhelming after a “few” beers and usually sends me looking for an alternative beverage.  A member of my travel party headed to the gift shop and purchased a $15.00 sixer of Heineken.  The Heineken is not a favorite of mine but did provide a drier alternative to the Red Stripe.  Safe to say I consumed various concoctions of rum to make up for the absence of beer selection. 

The other beers available at the gift shop were Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Dragon Stout.  I declined to purchase the Guinness due to the price and the fact I can drive to any store in the KC metro area and purchase it.  The Dragon Stout is one of the Jamaican stouts I was in search of so I was fortunate it was available in the resort gift shop.  I will be reviewing the Dragon Stout shortly.  Unfortunately I was unable to locate any of the other stouts on the island.  Red Stripe, Heineken, and Guinness dominated every store I visited.  With Dragon Stout in hand the vacation was not a total disappointment in terms of beer purchases. 

Our vacation was wonderful and we had a great time.  We went on the zip line excursion which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  For those of you who don’t know what zip lining is: you get strapped into a harness, find high ground, hook onto some sort of cable spanning from one high place to another, you pray the cable and harness will hold your weight, you then lift your legs and hurdle through the air until you reach the opposite platform somewhere high up in a tree.  I am terrified of heights so I was apprehensive to say the least before the trip.  Of course the Mrs was gung ho and you can’t look like a sissy in front of your lady.  After it was over I considered it one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.  Now the Mrs wants to go higher and faster…God help me.

After enduring a week of Red Stripe in sippy cups, arriving home I had no choice but to purchase a giant German mug with a 1 liter can of Oktoberfest beer to balance the universe.

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