510053_344563-20140927-applefest_0The American Dream is dead. It is laying by the side of a winding stretch on the PCH, mangled, shattered and gasping for breath as it drowns in the blood that is beginning to fill its lungs. The American Dream has been pummeled, and every last one of us has taken a turn at it, wielding the sword by its back end and taking a swing. Skip the kangaroo court and the fucking finger pointing unless you’re looking in a mirror you flag wavers, because we’re all to blame. The American Dream got left behind, at the bottom of some Woodstock porta potty, steaming, rotting, and suffocated by the mounds of shit that got heaped on it. The flies are swarming. The sun is at high noon. And the second line continues dancing under the parasol of ignorant bliss.

It’s patriotic heresy, no doubt, to speak of such a death, but it’s pointless to discuss it in polite, soft whispers with some other partygoer you’ve managed to corner, while the host’s stereo speakers reverberate to the clichés of a Bon Jovi song. We’re not, after all, having some socially awkward chat about the new neighbors, using our hand to occult our mouths so our paranoid prejudices can’t be heard. This is Taps. This is two coins for the ferryman. This is bye-bye Miss American Pie. The levy is not only dry, it’s fucking cracked and blistered. This one needs to be heard from the proverbial mountaintop. Go tell it on the mountain. The American Dream is dead.

History is hard to know, because history is hired. Somewhere at some time, someone will decide to build a kingdom, be it religious, political, commercial or intellectual, and that kingdom will be built and breastfed by fear. It’s what we’re good at—building kingdoms of fear. We fear the wrath God, we fear the turban-wearing foreigner, we fear the angry black man, we fear fats and carbs and sugars, we fear the wall-jumping Mexican, we fear that rock ‘n’ roll devil music, we fear retiring with more lint than money in our pocket, and we fear anything other than the two-party system that this country wears like old, comfortable, shit-stained pajamas, but damned if the right doesn’t make us fear the socialist, gun-hating bastards and the left doesn’t make us fear the warmongering, gay-hating tightasses.

But even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation can come to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time (and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened). Take enough educational debt, unaffordable healthcare, dead soldiers, intrusive legislation and economic skullfuckery, and then tickle that teetering mound with bathroom stall debates and a complete dirth of decent music on the radio waves and you’d think you would see that generational flash. But the Ego fell asleep somewhere during the road trip, the Id and Super-Ego are now fighting for the wheel, and there is no line to be found anywhere on the horizon. This is the generation of selfie-obsessed navel gazing. It’s the generation that’s so busy trying to decide whose lives matter that it’s sacrificing its own.

So how surprised are we, really, that it’s come down to a “my dick is bigger than yours” fight for the presidency of this shattered freakshow of a nation? How much shock and awe can you possibly feign at money grabs like the ENRON scandal if you whined for government deregulation? And I am no better. I have no duty to obey a system that lacks any moral legitimacy, yet here I am typing on a Macbook that was bought in promotion of capitalism, sharing my words over an internet being monitored by the NSA, sipping a glass of sparkling wine that was made possible by illegal immigrant labor under inhumane conditions that are all but sanctioned by a government that turns a blind eye to such corporate ass grinding. Cheers. Every budding politician believes they are entering the arena for the good of the people. Lofty ideals. Positive change. Upward mobility. Dare I say, freedom. But politics is a bit like fucking— it’s only fun for amateurs. Old whores don’t do much giggling.

One look at the US birth rate right now (down to about 1/10th of what it was 50 years ago) and you can’t help but believe that it’s one huge, collective “fuck you”. Americans in their 20s and 30s are looking around at each other, wondering how many, if any, children they want to bring into the world when the best advice they’ll be able to give them is, “Hope for the best but plan for the worst, kiddo.” We’re borrowing from our grandchildren and leaving them a legacy akin to Barnum & Bailey, but without the safety nets. We were given David Bowie, but we’re gonna leave them Kanye. In the end, the love you take is nearly never equal to the love you make.

The line between martyrdom and stupidity depends on a certain kind of tension in any kingdom, but that line disappeared, and there’s no longer a point in kidding ourselves. The only decision to be made right now, is do you float or do you swim? If you can’t control the circumstances—if the train is off the rails—do you shut your eyes to avert them from the disaster and simply go play a couple of matches of Wii tennis? Do you live the narrow life, moving vertically rather than horizontally? Hunter S. Thompson wrote, “…a man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” But the options suck, Doc. It may indeed be a decision to float or swim, but it is a decision made in a septic tank being sucked out by a sewer drain that leads to a leach field. If you believe you are living in the American Dream, you most assuredly are asleep and should probably wake the fuck up. That is of course unless you’re living in Japan or Taiwan. They’re living the shit out of the American Dream.


10448673_1586831088252778_5053664245718699599_oWhile unfortunately this blog has gone by way of the history books for the sake of my attention span being devoted to an upcoming line of Gonzo hot sauces (stay tuned), every once in a while something waltzes into my line of sight, lingers in my crosshairs and all but dares me to satisfy the itch on my trigger finger. It is at that point that I check the wind, hold my breath and let loose like a firing squad without the guilt-sparing mercy of blanks. I generally reserve my guilt for the things I haven’t written, not for what I have.

Despite having high levels of testosterone, a penchant for blue language and a deep-seated love of football, I am, last time I checked, a woman. A beer-dork-in-the-nicest-way-possible sort of woman, but a woman nonetheless. And if you do your job right as a PR newbie, that demographic should perhaps—and I’m just putting this out there—be a red flag when you are shilling an upcoming product called a ManCan. “Just pick it up. Hold it in your hand. It’s rugged. It’s steel. It’s manly. It’s a can. It’s a ManCan!” Oh. Oh. The fun that can be had with that bit of marketing horseshit. “Just pick it up. Hold it in your hand. It’s rugged. It’s steel. It’s for chicks. It’s shaped like a stick. It’s a ChickStick!” (Otherwise known as a dildo. Please do not handle near water. May cause unexpected verbal outbursts and seizure-like motions. If dependency develops, seek medical help immediately…not.) Newsflash: I have cans…and they’re nicer than yours.

Had you asked me yesterday what ManCans were, I would have figured it was the latest slang for man boobs. But hey, I’m a little slow on modern lingo at this age. Apparently the up-and-coming ManCan is a stainless steel “keg-style vessel, built to be indestructible, hold CO2 pressure and protect beer from the damaging effects of light.” A glorified mini-me of a keg. The new generation of beer balls for all intents and purposes. But smaller, and more portable…like a dildo. The smaller one holds about a 6-pack and the larger one holds nearly double. It’s a decent idea with an idiotic name that chooses to alienate approximately 52% of its US market (yes, we outnumber the men as of right now). And at a time when craft beer is trending in a way that is busting ceilings, and women are becoming ever more a part of that trend, an idiotic name will cost you.

large_modal_image_uploads_2Fe66811a964eff674ef0fa1281247e99b_2FWOCanIf you’re hunting for the attention of the media and crowd sourcing for funding on kickstarter.com, your first thought should be money, not gender. If that becomes an afterthought, you know what that starts to look like? A fucking afterthought. Scene 2, enter the WoManCan. That would be when you partner with Pink Boots Society (a well-meaning organization created with the intention of helping women in the beer industry, which I can’t help but roll my eyes at as well—if you are good at what you do, you’ll succeed. Your vagina is not holding you back.). What you have to love most about the afterbirth called the WoManCan is the bastardized logo on it, that lets every woman know that she is, in fact, an afterbirth in this company’s eyes. Somewhere, in a damp, funk-riddled basement, there was a “marketing team” that had that oh-shit, slap-on-the-forehead moment, and being fully aware that they lacked both the funds and creativity to rethink their branding, decided to just add some pink script to their logo, call it a day, and go toss back a frothy one.

I’d love nothing more than to be test riding this puppy right now. I’d love nothing more than to be convincing all my friends to buy one. And I’d love nothing more than to whip it out with the pride of a braggart at my next party. In fact, that’s pretty much the bar I set for dildos as well. But there is no way in hell you will ever see this beer-loving WoMan within shooting range of one of these cans because…because…well, because they just don’t know how to hit the spot.


“Freedom, you’ve gotta give for what you take…”

by Katie Pizzuto April 28, 2015
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I remember sliding onto the operating table and the anesthesiologist bitching about something to a nurse, but then the world faded out to black softly, just like it does on the big screen. Probably one of the few things Hollywood manages to portray with any kind of reality. After it was over, I was in […]

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“I’m not dead yet…”

by Katie Pizzuto April 6, 2015
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Things that are often described as difficult, high risk, and overly sensitive are nearly always worth both the wait and the trouble–yeah, damn right that includes me. So, I tend to have a weak spot for a really well-made pinot noir because I know that both the grower and the winemaker didn’t take the easy […]

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“But glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity…”

by Katie Pizzuto November 5, 2014
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Those that have been watching the growth of the craft beer/microbrewery movement this last decade with a diligent eye know that Big Brewing has done its best to steal back at least a portion of what it’s lost to the little guys—mostly by screwing with the less-than-diligent consumer. The A-B family of brands now includes […]

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“No! Don’t sign it! Give me time to think. I mean hold on a second boy, ’cause that’s magic ink…”

by Katie Pizzuto July 23, 2014
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I’ve just had the pleasure of spending the last couple of weeks with Randall Grahm. Nobody knew. In fact, Randall didn’t even know. Hell, if I’m being honest, I didn’t know until I had drained the last bottle. Though this could quite possibly be the post that finally lands me a one-way cab ride to […]

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WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: “Every picture tells a story, don’t it…”

by Katie Pizzuto May 7, 2014
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“I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation, I’ve never been afraid of any deviation…”

by Katie Pizzuto April 24, 2014
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Making a wine with native yeast (instead of commercial yeast) fermentation takes a brass set of balls. Well, either that or a little madness. But I’ve always felt that a little madness keeps the big madness away…and it also keeps you on your toes. It’s one part speculation, one part faith, and two parts beer […]

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“Owww we want the funk, give up the funk…”

by Katie Pizzuto February 27, 2014
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Brooklyn Brewery makes me wish I lived in Brooklyn, and other than my friend Joe Carroll’s trio of gastro-bliss joints (Spuyten Duyvil, Fette Sau and St. Anselm) I didn’t really think anything could make me want to live in Brooklyn—I heard a tree grows there, but it continues to elude me. Every beer they’ve ever […]

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“That lady’s stacked, and that’s a fact, ain’t holding nothing back…”

by Katie Pizzuto February 1, 2014
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You have to admire a man in his 30s who shows up to his winemaker’s dinner in suspenders and wool slacks. Don’t ask my why— I don’t make the rules—but it’s really damned cool. Add to that a mop of untamable wavy hair and an attitude towards the American cork-dork blogosphere that clearly has yet […]

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