Utopia Sounds Great…

I came across this short film while looking at #vanlife tweets and following some links. I also found Cobra Rock Boot Company, which I plan to visit on a road trip next June.

“Tokyo Texas” Levis Concept Design Film. from Dana Shaw on Vimeo.

My favorite quotes from this short film:

Utopia sounds great, but I would fucking hate it.

I do not tether my boat.

Things that don’t change, die. That’s just a part of life.

while I tend to agree with the cowboy in this film, about utopia, I do think the intersection of technology and freedom is amazing. But I don’t seek utopia. I seek freedom, and all that comes with it.

I hope to be taking part in the van life very soon. Stay tuned!

Chimay Dinner

Last Thursday night I attended a special Chimay dinner at The Tasting Room in Houston. It was one of the dinners listed on the Texas Beerfest website and I knew it was the one I wanted to attend.

The Tasting Room
Back Room at The Tasting Room

The back room at the restaurant was very nice – a large table, surrounded by a towering wine library. The best part of the room is that it is soundproofed. Once the heavy doors were closed, it was as quiet as a library in there, which was wonderful as we listened to Bobo the Brand Ambassador narrate a wonderful history of the Trappist monks and their fine beers.

You can ready more about Trappist beers on the Chimay website and on Wikipedia, but here’s a quick history:

  • There are only seven Trappist beers in the world.
  • To be considered a Trappist beer, it must be brewed by Trappist Monks inside the walls of the monestary.
  • 90% of revenue is used to serve the community.
  • With ten Trappist monestaries in the United States, we’re likely to have the first American Trappist beer sometime in the next decade.
  • The monks mostly drink the Red Label, which they refer to as liquid bread. It is hearty enough to live on.
Chimay White
Chimay White

We started the evening with the Chimay White, a Tripel. It was refreshing and a nice pairing with the first course of our meal, which consisted of mussels and soda bread.

Mussels and Soda Bread
Mussels and Soda Bread

Next up was the Red Label, a Dubbel, paired with a wonderful plate of fried green tomatoes with a creamy crawfish topping. I’m not a huge fan of fried green tomatoes, but these crawfish were wonderful, and it was a very nice combination. I’ll be trying this one at home.

Chimay Red
Chimay Red

Finally, the blue label special reserve with braised pork belly and butter polenta. Wow. The pork fell apart when touched with a fork, and tasted amazing. If you ever visit the Tasting Room, and this is on the menu, go for it! Of course, the Chimay Blue is my favorite, and it was very well matched with the pork belly.

Chimay Blue
Chimay Blue

The dinner was scheduled from 7-9pm, but we didn’t leave until 11. There were two buckets of Chimay bottles along the window to be split amongst twelve of us. When we finished that stock, more were ordered from the back. We literally cleaned them out of the Blue Label while enjoying more tales from Bobo and his history of beer.

Me and Bobo
Me and Bobo the Brand Ambassador

I received some wonderful insight into the world of quality beer and the way it is distributed here in the States. I also learned about several other beers I’m anxious to try, recommended by both guests and our gracious host. Bobo was a quite funny and very knowledgeable, and I look forward to seeing him again soon, in Austin or back here in Houston.

Thanks again to Texas Beerfest for spreading the word. I had a wonderful evening.

Chimay Treasures
Chimay Treasures

Oh, and as a bonus, I also came away with these treasures:

  • Two 8 oz Chimay glasses
  • One 12 oz Chimay glass
  • One Chimay beer tin.


Beer Notes: Current Favorite

Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower is my current beverage of choice. Clean and crisp. Smooth going down, and not too bitter. Cool bottle caps too. 🙂

Saint Arnold Fancy LawnmowerAle Hath No Fury


A true German-style Kölsch. Originally brewed in Cologne, this beer is light yet has a sweet malty body that is balanced by a complex, citrus hop character. Multiple additions of German Hallertauer hops are used to achieve this delicate flavor. We use a special Kölsch yeast, an ale yeast that ferments at lager temperatures, to yield the slightly fruity, clean flavor of this beer. Fancy Lawnmower Beer is a world class brew yet light enough to be enjoyed by Texans after strenuous activities, like mowing the lawn.

Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer is best consumed at 35-45° Fahrenheit.

Recommended pairings: Blackened fish, salads, & grilled veggies.