The Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers…

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the two pints of beer.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly, and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed again that it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the rest of the space. He asked once more if the jar was full, and his students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two pint glasses of beer from under the table and poured the contents of both into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the grains of sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your family, children, health, friends and your favorite passions; things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, would still make your life full.”

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else – the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.”

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children, take time to get medical checkups, take your partner out to dinner and play another 18 holes. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the leaky tap. Take care of the golf balls first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities, because the rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem to be, that there’s always room for a couple of beers with a friend.”

– Author Unknown


Oh decisions, decisions…

Ryan Team Post 082213As the World of Craft Beer becomes more and more accessible to the average beer lover, it seems to be harder to actually make a choice on what to drink when faced with the many options that today’s brewpubs and craft beer stores have to offer.  Many bars are now featuring rotating taps which allows their patrons to try something different every time the walk through the doors.  And with as many microbreweries that are in existence, there are so many different versions of every style of beer to taste.  Even if you only like a certain style of brew, you can stick with that and sample many different concoctions, all skillfully crafted for your drinking pleasure.

All that being said, most of the microbrew enthusiasts that I know still have that one “go to” beer that they can always count on.  You know what I’m talking about.  That beer that you can find in the exact same spot in the cooler of your local beer shop, or on tap at the local watering hole, that you can enjoy on any occasion during any season.  Really, the beer that you go to when simply nothing else will do…

We wanna know what your “go to” beer is.  Please leave a comment with the name of your special brew!


Serious BBQ and Craft Beer at The County Grill in Newport News, VA

My new home away from home in Newport News, VA

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You ever just stumble into something too good to be true?  Well, that happened to me last week when I was in Newport NewsVA to visit my 93-year-old grandmother.  After flying cross-country all day, I checked into my hotel at 9:30 pm tired, thirsty and famished (I love ya Southwest, but man cannot thrive on peanuts and water alone).

I figured I’d be eating out of a vending machine that night, but asked the gal at the front desk if she knew where I could grab a bite that late on a Tuesday night.  Without hesitation, she told me I needed to head over to The County Grill,  “Some of the best BBQ in the state, hell, in the country”.  “Okay”, I said,”But I really need a place that has good beer too”. “That’s the place for you Mr. Calef”, she confirmed.  “Best beer selection for a hundred miles”.  I was sold and drove a mere 3 blocks to my destination.

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Scotty dealing some fine beers on a Monday night.

I bellied up to the bar and surveyed the beer list which was indeed impressive with such rarities as Hoppin’ Frog’s B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher, a 9.4% Russian Imperial Stout, and Smaltz’s Rejewvenator,  a Belgian Dubbel-German Doppelbock hybrid, brewed with dates and figs.  Started off local, with a nicely crafted American Porter from the St. George B.C. and moved directly into Stone’s Enjoy Before 5-17-13, a 9.4% imperial IPA (I needed to wind down a bit after the long day.  It did the trick). I was now primed for the BBQ and ran with what they’re known for, their pulled pork sandwich…It did not disappoint.

Guiding me through the extensive beer list was Scotty Batten, their well loved and very knowledgeable bartender.  Over the night I shared who I was and it turned out that he’s a current member of our Domestic-International Variety Beer Club.  Gotta love that.

All in all a memorable night…Enough so that I dragged my sister Annie and cousins back the following night.