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I really like your current picture on the Notes from the Publisher bit. You look great with your hair and beard dyed black and tan like that, and you've never been more handsome. But who's the mopey-looking guy to your left?
That, my friend, is my handler. You should get one -- or two. -- Ed.
Here's the check to renew my subscription. Don't make fun of my pink checks; my wife ordered them. Yes, sometimes she makes me hold her purse. Have a good one.
We never make fun of a man's beer OR his purse. -- Ed.
After reading Bob Barnes's column on Vegas in your last issue, I was really looking forward to my weekend at the Rio. But, Vegas let me down again. The sign on the door of JW's said "Closed for remodeling." I guess not enough people in Vegas appreciate real beer. I checked out a couple of the other microbreweries in town and was amazed at how many of their patrons were drinking that yellow fizzy stuff. Anyway, I thought you might want to pass on the bad news about JW's.
Bob Barnes is on the case. The people (tourists) in Vegas may prefer the fizzy yellow stuff, but be assured that good beer is to be found. -- Ed.
Dear Don Erickson,
First off, I love your column. In each new issue, I desperately seek viable proof that there is indeed good beer in the nation's second-largest city. With each issue, my soul is once again crushed. I'm forced to ask the eternal question: Why does beer in L.A. suck so bad? Don't get me wrong, the world was a much darker place while the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel was moving; the Sheraton Four Points by LAX is nice, and My Father's Office is fine and dandy sometimes. BJ's is fine, but why should we have to travel a treacherous distance over inhospitable freeways just to enjoy a decent pint? I could get better beer at the Texaco station when I lived in Seattle. The Elysian Brewing Co. was a scant two blocks away. It's maddening. So with each column, the inclusion of Paso Robles, Salinas, Oxnard and Costa Mesa as being part of the L.A. scene is just damn depressing. That's a long ride home.
Los Angeles, Calif.
Check out Don's latest column in this issue on just this topic. Then go on a Beer Safari! -- Ed.
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