|Vince Capano is a two time winner of the prestigious Quill and Tankard
writing award for humor from the North American Guild of Beer Writers.
Vince's column is now a regular feature of beernexus.com
Check back often for the next installment of
Vince's Adventures in Beerland
Sinatra and Beer by Vince Capano
While management might frown on my using this column as a
forum for my grievances, as a famed cartoon character was
known to say in pre e-coli spinach days, "That's All I Can Stands,
I Can't Stands No More". So please forgive me a few
paragraphs of righteous indignation.
I was enjoying a pint of Gaslight's renown Three Ring IPA when
it began. The juke box. To be fair I can't blame this travesty on
a mechanical device. Total fault rests on the heads of the bozos
who played over one solid hour of (insert any crazy but currently
popular band name) noise that terrorized ears, heart, and mind.
Even giving them the benefit of the doubt this array of "music"
made the sound of bagpipes seem like a grand symphony.
Needless to say I didn't know their names of any of the singers
but I certainly knew who they were not. It wasn't the Beatles, or
Elvis . And it definitely was not Sinatra. To say it was garbage is
an insult to professional sanitation men everywhere. To be
honest I have to admit that I once did see a few of the current
music stars on MTV while channel surfing one forlorn evening. It
only took a few seconds for me to figure out why the front man
of the group closed his eyes while playing a particularly
incomprehensible piece on his guitar. Clearly it was so he
wouldn't be able to see the agony of the audience. I shouted for
someone to put some sheet music in front of the guy since that
would have immediately stopped him from playing. Since no
sheet music or hook was forthcoming a quick press of the remote
solved my problem that night but now I was stuck. I couldn't just
get up in leave the bar for no matter how bad the music was, the
beer was better. I ordered another pint and tried to block out
the sounds to concentrate on the menu.
As usual, the Gaslight menu was filled with culinary delights.
Just below each dinner's description the brewer had included a
beer and wine recommendation. What if, I wondered, each
music selection on the juke box came with a beverage
recommendation. Hemlock would fit 90% of the choices. It then
struck me that in a perfect world every juke box would only have
songs by Sinatra and next to each a beer selection.
I could see the line up now. Frank kicks things off with "I've Got
You Under My Skin" and an American pale ale with a crisp,
snappy finish (think Sierra Nevada or even an Sam Adams Boston
Ale) is recommended. As Mr. S intones "I'd sacrifice anything
come what might for the sake of having you near" you pull that
pint closer and lovingly nod that you know exactly what he
Next up is Sinatra rendition of I Get A Kick Out of You. It may
not roll, but it sure does rock. When The Chairman gets to the
line "I get a kick every time I see/You standing there before me."
you just know he has to be talking about looking at the beautiful
bottle of IPA that the juke box menu recommends. We're talking
American IPA here. Sierra Nevada Celebration or Stone IPA,
please. Stuff with high hops, a big herbal and / or citric
character, and a bitterness to help you hit all the high notes with
The next play for your pay brings a tune with the classic line
"Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away If you can use some
exotic booze/There's a bar in far Bombay / Come fly with me,
let's fly, let's fly away". Hey, exotic booze can only mean some
gueze -a ripe blend of old and new Belgian lambics. By blending
young and old lambics, a secondary fermentation is triggered.
The result is one distinctive, sparkling beer, sold in corked
bottles like champagne. It packs a fruity, sour, dry taste. Sinatra
might have been a Jack Daniels man but he still would have
appreciated this. A bottle of Lindeman's Gueuze, Mr. Bartender if
And as the evening wears on you know you'll reach a point when
you just have to hear Frank sing "It's quarter to three, there's no
one in the place except you and me / So, set 'em up, Joe, I got a
little story you ought to know." Of course that the beer he wants
set up is Scotch Ale. Scotch Ales go through a long boil in the
kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep
copper to brown in colored brew. They're lightly sweet,
fuller-bodied, and have the touch needed at a quarter to three -
higher alcohol. It's a perfect nightcap for that long, long, road.
Now that's a juke box for me.
Oh, and for those who watched the movie Sideways and in an
effort to be super cool switched over from craft beer to wine,
fear not. Frank can tell you what to say when you come to your
senses and return to your beer roots. Hit number K-2 on the juke
box, order a pint of the recommended Anchor Steam, that unique
American lager boasting of fruitiness and hops, look deep into
the glass, wipe that tear from your eye, and follow Old Blue Eyes
as he sings the classic I'm A Fool To Want You....
Take me back, I love you
Pity me, I need you
I know it's wrong, it must be wrong
But right or wrong I can't get along
Well that's this month's column. I need a beer to celebrate
getting this out of my system. Maybe I'll try something
different. I know. I'll have a mixed pint - 1/2 Victory Pils and
1/2 of Sam Adams Octoberfest. Sure it might not sound good to
you but it might be fun. Besides, I saw that explained in the
Sinatra Juke Box ........ I'll do it My Way.
|Sinatra and Beer
Suggestions that match a Sinatra song and a beer are welcome and might appear in a follow up article.
Dan Hodge suggests Summer Wind"(hefeweizen), "South of the Border" (Corona) and "Autumn in
New York" (Octoberfest). Great!!
Dan started it- now let's see what all the Sinatra fans out there can come up with. Send your
titles/lyrics/beers to firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll pass them on to me.