Monthly Archives: January 2013

In Which I Explain My Copyright To New Media Professionals

I’ve had two abnormal spikes in traffic on this blog since it’s inception. The first came when an entry on parboiling ribs was picked up and heavily ridiculed on a competitive BBQer message board. The second came on Monday, for reasons I only now figured out.

Before I give the anecdote, here’s some important background information about me and this blog:

  • I am an intellectual property attorney, so I at least kind of know a little bit about copyright law.
  • I understand the Fair Use Doctrine of copyright law.
  • I have an exceptionally liberal copyright policy.
  • I consider myself an above-average critical reader.

Here’s the quick story, a lesson for would-be Search Engine Optimizers or aspiring “new media gurus”. Names have been redacted to spare the incompetent:

On a typical day this blog gets anywhere from 30-60 unique visitors. Half are looking for instructions on making a 55 gallon drum into a smoker, and another quarter want to par-boil ribs. The other quarter search for all kinds of crazy things or came here through Facebook or a WordPress subscription.

Monday, though, showed a huge spike in traffic (at least for me), with well over 100 people suddenly visiting my site in a few hours. In particular, one post (for a place or product… I don’t want to name names) was getting the vast majority of the traffic. I also had a back link from a site I’ve never heard of. (When someone posts a link to my site on some other website, and somebody clicks through to get here, I get a daily report of that “other website” as a referring link.)

I clicked that link and was taken to a “new media” company’s website. (Wikipedia considers New Media to be a broad term, but let’s just say this is a company that does internet-y stuff for clients.) There I saw the first 1/2 to 1/3 or so of my blog post, lifted and reposted with no attribution but a screen clip of the SimpsonBBQ title from the blog. No commentary, just a repost. In fact, the repost included hyperlinks, photos, etc. They even took my unique post’s URL and pasted it on the end of their own TDL. It was annoying and confusing.

Scrolling through the new media company’s website, I used my critical reading skills to determine that someone had barfed unintelligible SEO/internet buzzwords all over a commercial website, leaving me with no flippin’ idea what, if anything, this company does. More frustratingly, I couldn’t figure out why my post was on their site. (Ideal customer: “You can helps me with internets? I give you money now?”)

Barney the Simpson BBQ Copyright Bear was getting pissed off.

Roar! Who's stealing my content?

Roar! Who’s stealing my content?

I did what any sensible person with a restrained personality would do: Send the same message to the WhoIs administrative contact as well as through the “contact us” page on the offending website.

Hello –

It looks like you scraped one of my blog posts and placed it on your website.

My post: https://simpsonbbq.com/ [date]/[my unique URL]/

Your post: http:// [don’t understand copyrights] .com/[my unique URL]/

Reading your site, I have no idea what you do (and, yes, that’s after reading the “What We Do” page). Lots of SEO buzzwords and other nonsense, but nothing substantive.

My copyright license is quite liberal, but it does not permit such brazen use of my content. Please remove it.

Thanks, and have a great day.

– Dan

[my phone number]

See how kind and restrained I can be? (And yes, I know “scraped” isn’t the technically correct term. I was full of Schlafly AIPA at the time. Give me a break.)

I truthfully expected no response at all.

Within FIVE MINUTES, I received two emails. The administrative contact (incorrectly) said that I was credited, but he would remove my content from their site if I wanted. The other emailer seemed a little more panicked. She asked if I needed the post removed from Facebook and the [place or product]’s website. I didn’t even know about those last two.

I responded:

[Naive new media ace] –

This sounds like an honest mistake. I actually happen to be an intellectual property attorney, so here’s what I’m cool with: actual fair use.

Putting something on Facebook or the [place or product] site that says something like, “Here’s a blog post reviewing our [place or product]” and using an excerpt here and there, followed by a link to the site. That’s within what’s considered “fair use”. What I saw was just an unattributed copy with no comment, and that isn’t “fair use”.

I hope this helps.

– Dan

I must have confused the high hell out of her with the magical phrase “fair use” because she simply deleted the shared link post on Facebook for the [place or product], and from the [place or product]’s company website. I didn’t get a response to that or a subsequent email. Calling out that I was an intellectual property attorney is what probably sealed the deal for her as far as taking everything down and not responding to me anymore.

A Quick Primer on Fair Use:

There are two kinds of copyrights. (Before I get into this too far, this is NOT legal advice. If you seek legal advice from a BBQ blog, you’re either exceptionally far below average intelligence or a new media kingpin.) I’m paraphrasing and dumbing things down for the pork-and-beer readership.

The first is a common law copyright that comes into being the moment an author puts a creative work into a fixed medium. What’s that? Artwork, music, photographs, literature, etc. The author owns the work and may assign or sell it as he or she sees fit. This is overly complex, but it’s a BBQ and beer blog.

The second is the federal copyright registration, whereby authors of creative works in a fixed medium may register their work with the federal government and put the rest of us on notice of their rights. The real benefit, in my opinion, to this system for the copyright registrant is statutory damages.

If someone steals your common law copyrighted work, then you have to prove damages either as loss of income for you or improper gain for them or something like that… I don’t file copyright lawsuits.

But, if someone steals your federally-registered work, you have statutory damages that can wildly exceed the lost profits. Why do you think someone who pirates a few dozen $0.99 songs gets hit with thousands and thousands of dollars of damages in an infringement suit? Statutory damages! Lots of money per copy adds up fast, even if you make nothing off of pirating the music.

There is an exception, however, to copyright infringement: Fair use. There are basic rules, but in the end it’s completely subjective. Certain things are considered fair use, such as “criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research”, and that’s right out of 17 U.S.C. 107 (federal law). There are factors that will determine whether or not any of those is a fair use, including whether it’s commercial or not, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount of the work copied, and the effect of the copying on the market value of the work.

So, looking to my case, the copying was maaaaaaaybe a news reporting in that they reposted it with other articles on their site that included some press releases (which is another issue… they copied works of other publishers. I’m a schmoe with a hobby blog, not a huge newspaper conglomerate.) In the end, I don’t think it falls into any of those categories. The use was purely commercial and a significant portion of the article was copied. I was in my rights to gripe, as explained above.

Interestingly, when I was ripped apart by the BBQ bloggers for parboiling ribs, that WAS fair use! I licensed my non-people photos to the world royalty-free, their reposting was limited in scope and for the purpose of criticism and comment, and it was purely non-commercial. Bravo, BBQ purists/haters!

Back to the conclusion of my story:

What I later learned was that my father (god bless his little heart) went to the [place or product]’s website, clicked on the “contact us” page, and submitted my blog post review. He just wanted to share my review of their [place or product] and meant no harm. There’s no way he could have known that the fillable contact form doesn’t go to the company owners, but instead it goes to the internet wizards who fumbled the ball by reposting my blog entry to their own new media superstar company website.

Share my blog on Facebook – great. Put a quick blurb and backlink to the blog on your place or product website – huzzah! Hell, ridicule me on a BBQ message board – have a great time! Just don’t copy and paste my content onto your unintelligible new media site.

Condescending Protips for New Media Gurus:

  1. Know the difference between Fair Use and Copyright Infringement.
  2. Consult an intellectual property attorney or, at a very minimum, some kind of corporate attorney with IP experience sometime before you begin to work with other people’s content.
  3. Say what the hell you actually do on your website. Below is the most specific thing I could find on the new media guru site.
  4. These buzzwords suck, say nothing, and were probably originally written by a subliterate gravel-knuckled mouth-breathing barely-sentient smoldering garbage fire of a human. They have been and can be rearranged in any way to make a paragraph that conveys no information or idea and is meant to confuse the internet-illiterate: ideal nexus; alternative media; measurable results; reach the subconscious minds; HTML email blasts; out-of-the box marketing; cost-effective methodology; latest technologies available; cost-effective marketing plan; website optimization; social media; SEO; etc.
  5. This is great, and I wrote it in under two minutes: We will take your input and build you a kickass website, and then manage that website so you can focus on running your business. We will try to write that website in such a way that search engines find it particularly relevant when a potential customer is searching for [whatever you do/sell]. We will also set up a Facebook page and Twitter account for you, and manage those as well. We know you’re busy running [place or product] company, so we will take care of your online image at a reasonable price. If there’s ever a customer concern, we’ll forward those to you and work with you to get your customers satisfied. Also, don’t worry about us violating copyrights, because we have a basic understanding of copyright law and fair use.

NB: Any comments that speculate about the identity of the new media company and/or the [product or place] company will not be approved. Those that are auto-approved will be deleted. I’m not looking to Name and Shame.

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BBQ Joint Review: Hendrick’s BBQ

Since my law firm CFO ledger says that my father had some legal fees due, I figured he could settle up his account with a lunch out – his treat. We put on our Friday BBQ best…

The Simpsons Dapper

The Simpsons Dapper

… and crossed the river into St. Charles to visit Hendrick’s BBQ.

Apparently it’s owned by the same people who run Cathedral Square Brewery. Try their Belgian-Style Abbey Ale. If they BBQ like they brew, then we’re in for a treat.

We were tipped off about this place by a recent column written by Evan Benn for the STL Post-Dispatch online, one that listed five local BBQ joints worth a visit. That’s basically a checklist for me.

According to the article, I needed to get the (1) brisket, (2) cheesy grits, and (3) peppery slaw. Yeah, no problem.

As we walked up from the parking lot to the door, we saw an A-frame sign that let us know about the “soup of the day”.

Looks like my kind of restaurant... from the damn curb!

Looks like my kind of restaurant… from the damn curb!

Oh, yes… looks like we’ve come to the right place.

Busiest Friday lunch ever? 20+ minute wait for tables? Would we like to have a beer at the bar? No problem!

Back in the day, when I was a small child and money was tight, we went as a family to Po Folks country restaurant on Manchester near Hanley in south central St. Louis County. It’s not there anymore, but you could get your kid a chicken leg basket dinner for $1 and it included a soft drink in a mason jar (mine was always orange soda). This takes me back:

Unconventionally-served beer

Unconventionally-served beer

Pop ordered some kind of rye IPA and liked it just fine. I was in the mood for something lighter and asked for a wheat ale. The bartender, who was semi-distracted with familiarizing himself with the ever-growing wall of whiskey (er… soup?) behind the bar handed me a Civil Life German Wheat. Holy cow that’s a good beer.

As we sipped our beers and waited for a seat, we admired the decor. Everything here seems very deliberate, thoughtful… almost intentionally shabbily chic junkyard. Here’s a mason jar light fixture:

This is nothing. You should see the mussel basket lights.

This is nothing. You should see the mussel basket lights.

The bar tap handles look a little dangerous… possibly designed by Tim Burton.

You have to wonder if their Workers' Compensation liability carrier has seen this.

You have to wonder if their Workers’ Compensation liability carrier has seen this.

Yes, those are butcher knives, cleavers, etc. as bar handles. No drinking while working!

While we drank our beers and refills, amazing blues music poured over the speakers. What an enviable atmosphere.

Finally, after two beers apiece and 30 minutes, we were escorted to seats. The waiter (helpfully) reminded us that this was their busiest day ever, likely related to the aforementioned article. Food was running at a 40! minute delay. We ordered quickly.

Appetizers: Fried green tomatoes, Onion rings, & Pork Cracklin’ (whatever that is… hell, it’s $2). Oh, and refill these Civil Live beers, please.

2/3 of our apps

2/3 of our apps

I’ve never had fried green tomatoes. Without knowing what they are, in the picture above it looks like fried polenta. They were firm and flavorful. The main impression from this dish is that I should begin to experiment with making these on my own. The onion rings were solid, and I swear they used a chicken fried steak batter. The sauce was a nice complement.

Now… Pork Cracklin’

ww... www.....what?

ww… www…..what?

Fried cubes of pork belly. If there’s a simple-yet-genius pork-related innovation I’ve seen since starting this blog, the Pork Cracklin’ is that. As I chowed, my father (literally) regaled me with a story about his open heart surgery.

On to lunch… let’s see… what’s the first thing on the lunch menu:

Meat & 3. Simple, subtle.

Meat & 3. Simple, subtle.

Sounds great. Brisket, cheesy grits, slaw, and baked beans. Dad had that but sub collard greens for baked beans. Can we get a refill?

Thanks. Shadows creeping in. How .long have we been here?

Thanks. Shadows creeping in. How .long have we been here?

Our entrees eventually arrived, on metal trays that were just a colored paraffin layer short of high school biology.

Will this be worth all the fuss?

Will this be worth all the fuss?

Bonus: Ramekin of hot blueberry cobbler. Not a Bonus: Four slices of brisket? Yes, it’s a lunch portion, and yes I am full of appetizers and beer, but I expected more meat. Regardless, here’s my impressions.

Baked beans: Sweet, absolutely perfect balance of sugar and onion (not easy to do), with superb bean tenderness. Great bacon flavors. Just about the best classic baked beans I’ve ever had. Bravo.

Collard greens (one bite stolen from my dad after he oohed and aahed them): Shit, I love collard greens and didn’t know it. Amazing bacon flavor, great bite to the greens. Like a less tart spinach that got blasted in pork flavors.

Blueberry cobbler: Nice touch to the plate, not too sweet. The blueberries have a nice bite, but aren’t tart. Somewhat mealy cobbler topping, but it mixed well with the compote/filling. It was a perfect amount and accent to the plate.

Slaw: Peppery as advertised, and I got major hints of something… onion salt? Dad swore up and down that chopped green onion was in there, but I didn’t see any. The sauce was thin, and I really enjoyed the slaw. Thanks for not having a heavy hand with the celery seed.

Cheesy grits: My first impression was that they were a little too cheesy, but I still ate the whole thing. In the end, it was quite delicious. The beans are the side dish star without question, though.

My zeal for brisket brought me here. How was it?

Brisket, king of BBQ beef

Brisket, king of BBQ beef

You immediately notice the very nice and distinguished smoke ring, deep in color and surrounding each slice’s edge. The meat has a very light sear on the outside, and a part of the fat cap was left on the meat during smoking. I usually serve my brisket carved with no further seasoning, leaving that to the diner. Hendrick’s added some coarse cracked pepper-based seasoning.

Smoke line

A blurry smoke line close-up. Thanks, iPhone

Really an impressive smoke line. Even, colorful. I wonder what wood they use.

From a moisture standpoint, this was exquisitely moist and tender. Not overly tender, as I have done in the past, but pretty much perfect. I haven’t been able to get this level of tenderness and moisture into my brisket yet, but I’m working on it. This is one of the best I’ve ever had. Absolutely no sauce was needed, though we did try a little STL and Hot.

But… the one thing that bothered me about the brisket was the very powerful coarse black pepper sprinkling that they put on the finished meat. I really wanted to taste the smoke, but it was overpowered by the pepper. I got great beef flavors, but not smoke, and that’s a damn shame because you can see from looking at the meat that incredible amounts of time and care went into getting it that color, consistency, texture, etc.

So we finished our meals, and the waiter asked about dessert. None for me… until my father quite aggressively peer-pressured me into pie.

Yes, apple pie a la mode

Yes, apple pie a la mode

Yes, it was delicious. No, I didn’t get anything done the rest of the day.

So we spent about 2.5 hours and a bunch of tax-deductable money on BBQ, beer, and pie. Not a horrible way to spend your Friday. Would I go back? Hell yes, in a second. Maybe next time I get the pulled pork. Affordable, delicious, worth the wait, great beer selection… how could you not return here?

Dreams Do Come True

You’re undoubtedly familiar with this item:

Many McCalories

Many McCalories

I’m not much of a McDonald’s fan, unless we’re in a pinch on a long road trip and low on options. Despite the utterly non-realistic and highly deceptive name McRib, I strongly doubt any actual pork rib meat makes it into this sandwich. Let’s remediate that atrocity.

Start with some baby back pork ribs, smoked for four hours with apple wood. Pre-smoke, I added a bunch of brown sugar, pepper, garlic salt, paprika, etc. rub and removed the concave membrane.

REAL rib meat, sandwich-bound

REAL rib meat, sandwich-bound

After four hours of smoke, the ribs were set for a three hour tenderizing foil wrap, enveloped in some PBR and Pappy’s BBQ sauce.

Well on the way to glory!

Well on the way to glory!

Finally, I let the unwrapped ribs rest for about 10 minutes. I flipped it over onto the convex side and gently popped the rib bones out of the very tended pork rib slab.

The boneless sheet of rib meat went on to a sourdough hoagie that had been loaded on both halves with Gates BBQ sauce. I diced half a sweet onion, and layered on some lengthwise-cut dill pickles.

If this doesn't win the Nobel Pork Prize, I don't know what will.

If this doesn’t win the Nobel Pork Prize, I don’t know what will.

Fold. Cut. Consume.

(gasp!)

(gasp!)

It was exceptionally messy and delicious.

I plan some variations in the future. Perhaps I’ll toast the bread, add some cheese, and maybe a few scoops of slaw on top of the pickles. Who can say. I’ll let my conscience decide.

Messily devour

Messily devour

I should have made more than one sandwich – it went fast.

No, it’s not a McRib. It’s infinitely better. If you’re down with shoulder, heart, and tripe reprocessed into meaty loaves that are shipped to McDonald’s and re-heated by some teenager who flunked the Taco Bell entrance exam, doused in over-sweet sauce from a plastic jug on a mass-produced bun… power to you.

If, instead, you want real rib meat on your sandwich… , not a McRib but a RealRib, then give this a try. Worth the effort for sure.

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Moo Moo on the BBQ

Bluebell the Cow… remember her?

Moo?

Moo?

Bluebell was kind enough in her passing to leave me a special cut of beef called the Brisket. Thanks!

Brisket is merely one of many delicious Hunks O’ Cow

Besides the two rib steaks we tried on a cedar planked fish night, the brisket is my first real beef treat from Bluebell. It’s a favorite of mine, and I’m super excited to sample some local grass fed beef.

Bluebell beginning her journey to my tummy

Bluebell beginning her journey to my tummy

I started the brisket not with my usual mustard-based paste, but with something a little milder that will let me taste the grassiness and richness of the beef. The rub was simple: brown sugar, garlic salt, italian seasonings, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, and paprika.

The brisket began fat side down to try and drip off a few extra fatty bits, though the rural butcher did a really good job of trimming the fat. If I wanted, to baste it instead, perhaps the fat would begin on the upside.

After four-ish hours of smoking indirectly in the Weber 22″ kettle with a bunch of cherry wood chunks, the brisket was ready for its foil wrap.

Smoky goodness!

Smoky goodness!

My son actually wants the family to open a BBQ restaurant, and for us to call it Moo Moo on the BBQ. That’s certainly not happening, but he gave me a clever title. The simple wonders of the mind of a 6 year old.

Foil, do your magic

Foil, do your magic

Within the foil, all over the brisket, is some mild Kansas City style BBQ sauce and a little dash of PBR for steaming and tenderizing. It needed about three more hours, with some 180 degree rotations for good measure, and a probe thermometer inserted.

Though the meat was technically “done” a couple hours into the smoking when it reached 150-ish, the foil wrap brought the meat to a steady 190-ish for the final hour or so.

For good measure, since I am making big brisket sandwiches, I smoked a pound of bacon.

Nearly 2/3 made it inside!

Nearly 2/3 made it inside!

Bacon finished, I prepared to assemble my brisket sandwiches. I have some whole wheat buns, provolone cheese, pickles, the aforementioned bacon, and some spicy BBQ sauce I bought from Ace Hardware that morning when I had to buy a toilet auger (don’t ask; total child-related nightmare).

First, the brisket had to rest for at least ten minutes. The muscle had to relax, and all the excited beef juices needed to remain in the tissue when I cut the meat, instead of spilling all over the cutting board.

Voila!

Voila!

I’ll state with a little hubris that I am getting pretty good at making brisket on the grill, and this might be my best one yet. Yes, you could credit the cow and/or cattle farmer. And, yes, this would probably pale in comparison to some actual competitive and/or professional brisket, but give me this little victory.

It was delicious, for the record. Thanks, Bluebell (and mom, for the XMas gift)!

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Meet My New Friend: Bluebell The Cow

I’d like to introduce you to my dear friend Bluebell the Cow.

Moo?

Moo?

Bluebell is a grass fed cow from a farm in northeast central Missouri, somewhere a little west of the Silex, MO area.

Or, she was until a couple weeks ago, when she met our mutual friend and intermediary, Mr. Butcher.

Steaks and roasts

Steaks and roasts

See, my wonderful and thoughtful Mother came up with the brilliant notion to give me, my wife, my sister, and my brother-in-law a quarter of a cow (that being Ms. Bluebell) for Christmas.

Ground beef

Ground beef

Practical, delicious, generous.

Is this macabre? Maybe, but it’s important to know where food comes from. Beef comes from cows. I just happen to know the origin and name of this particular cow/beef.

I try to impress on my kids that wasting food is bad for many reasons, but wasting meat is particularly bad. Some animal had to die for you to get that meat. Don’t make that death for naught. Eat your protein.

Bluebell will be honored throughout the coming weeks and perhaps months as we sample the bounty that this bovine had to give us.

Marinade Injected Pork Shoulder

Experimentation is at the heart of this blog, or at least as close to the heart as beer and meat. I’ve never used a marinade injector before, but I’ve heard good things.

I’m now officially a hypodermic needle user.

Don't share this needle

Don’t share this needle

Lots of BBQ blogs espouse their own special marinades. Most include lots of liquid, with saltiness, sweetness, some kind of liquor or beer or wine, and often some pureed spices and perhaps fruitiness (like juice).

I went simple: PBR and some honey apple BBQ glaze my wife bought for me on impulse. I made a 50/50 mixture and liberally injected the shoulder all over from all angles – down to the bone, through the fat, along the sides, through the top… everywhere. I also consumed the rest of that PBR, then several others.

As I injected, bulbous sections of pork protruded. Each puncture wound oozed marinade, some more than others. In all, I injected the hell out of this meat. This butt got stabbed more times than a [insert horribly tasteless joke here].

Onto that went a simple rub of brown sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, seasoned salt, & Italian seasonings.

Will we see the wonders of a marinade injection?

Will we see the wonders of a marinade injection?

And the whole thing went on a Weber 22.5″ kettle over indirect heat with cherry wood chunks. I put a thermometer probe through an onion near the meat to get an idea of the grill temperature. Even a conservative amount of coals gave me a hot grill, at or near 300 degrees. That’s a full 100 degrees higher than my typical drum smoker runs.

The answer to "What, what, in the butt?" is apparently: Syringe full of sauce and beer

The answer to “What, what, in the butt?” is apparently: Syringe full of sauce and beer, and a thermometer probe

About 3-4 hours later (who can say with any specificity – it was an 18 pack of PBR), the shoulder was foil wrapped with some BBQ sauce and a sprinkle of some more beer.

Percolating pork

Percolating pork

What a wonderful smell comes from a wrapped pork shoulder. Lots of bubbling, cracking going on in there.

Finally, a few more hours later, perhaps after 7 total, I pulled the meat off the grill and opened it to let it rest.

The fruits of my labor

The fruits of my labor

The end result, as usual, looks wonderful. Great smell & color. I’m excited.

What I notice in trying to shred the shoulder was that the meat was separating in chunks rather than typical shreds. I figure what happened was all the injected moisture boiled and steamed and percolated within the meat, which not only tenderized, moistened, and flavored the flesh itself, but also broke down fat and connective tissue. This lets the meat break into hunks of succulent sweet pork, instead of shreddings.

Chunks of shredded pork

Chunks of shredded pork

It was delectable! I’m thrilled with how it turned out, and I’m definitely making this again. Flavor injection is part of the BBQ regular rotation. Yes, I’m now a habitual needle user.

Leftovers? BBQ pork pizza the next day.

Enjoy the same meat twice

Enjoy the same meat twice

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Simpson BBQ is on Twitter

In case you care to follow me, I am on Twitter @dtsjr.

I first joined a few years ago to follow sportswriters for fantasy baseball and football info, but have recently been more engaged in some comedic and/or lawyerly interests. Plus, I post some BBQ news from time to time.

By following me, you can see such bonus photographic gems as these, things that don’t make it onto this blog:

Want to see my chili dog and PBR lunch? Follow me on Twitter.

Want to see my chili dog and PBR lunch? Follow me on Twitter.

Want to see some insane chicken wings I made? Follow me on Twitter.

Want to see some insane chicken wings I made? Follow me on Twitter.

Want to see toys I covet for myself? Follow me on Twitter.

Want to see toys I covet for myself? Follow me on Twitter.

These and other pathetic inanities can be yours if you are interested, and they’re all there on the Twitter app or website. Follow me, because I’m sure as shit not becoming your Facebook friend, and I don’t even know what Google+ is about.

Drink These Beers: Bat Creek Brewery

Over the holidays, I made a bunch of impulse beer purchases. One of my favorites was the Pike County Pale Ale from Bat Creek Brewery in Bowling Green, MO. When I have one good beer from a new (to me) brewery, I go back for more. Today I sample a couple more beers from Bat Creek Brewery.

First, I return to Pike County Pale Ale, the beer that introduced me to this new brewer.

Finally a legal PCP we can all enjoy!

Finally a legal PCP we can all enjoy!

PCP has a robust color that matches it’s serious malt and hop flavor. Balance is really the best way to describe this beer. So many pale ales seem to embrace hops a little too much and turn into APAs or IPAs. Not Pike County, which gives a nice bitter hop bite to pair with the rich maltiness. It smells hoppier than it tastes, and it tastes damn good. A nice frothiness accompanies with each sip.

That first bottle wasn’t a fluke. This is a really good beer.

Next in line is Midwest Farmer’s Daughter Blonde Ale. Knowing no actual Midwest Farmers’ Daughters, I suppose that this is as close as I can get to sampling that old movie cliche.

How else would you keep warm on a snowy winter's day? Find yourself a midwest farmer's daughter, of course!

How else would you keep warm on a snowy winter’s day? Find yourself a midwest farmer’s daughter, of course!

It has an inviting smell and an understated effervescence. In fact, there’s nearly no head and next to no bubbling coming up through the beer body. I pick up a nice wheat flavor with minimal hop notes. Very rich over your tongue. I’m beginning to appreciate the restraint of this brewery, which in turn makes wonderful beers. Can we go three-for-three?

My final sampling is Heartland Wheat, which I have to say is one of the most unique beers I’ve ever tasted.

Citrus-free

Citrus-free

What a beautiful color. No cloudiness, wonderful yellow, subtle carbonation. I can’t put my finger on it, but the flavors are very nice. Hell, I just drank three 22 oz. beers in short order, give me a break.

This is not an unfiltered beer, though the flavors are strong and pleasant. A rich malty wheat flavor overwhelms. I really enjoy this beer. Many wheat beers need a lemon, but this one requires no citrus assistance.

Bat Creek makes other beers, but I only bought three. I have to say that this is one of the more impressive initial triumvirates of beer that I’ve sampled in recent memory.

So, whichever of their many beers you might come across, my suggestion for Bat Creek Brewery’s beverages is: Drink These Beers

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