“The Missing Glass"

For Christmas when I was eleven I was presented with
six volumes of the original Hardy Boys mysteries and for
a couple of years thereafter (before I discovered Mickey
Spillane) I eagerly anticipated each subsequent
publishing of the boys’ latest zealous efforts to bring a
varied assortment of car thieves, counterfeiters,
smugglers, spies and sinister Chinamen to justice. As I
grew older their exploits were mostly forgotten, but a
recent occurrence caused me to recall the sleuths of my

June 22nd dawned bright and sunny with no threat of
rain or humidity and not too hot. So happily, I and
several other Cask Commissioners of Draught Board 15
beer club set out to accompany Gaslight Brewmaster    
D.J. Soboti to the New Jersey Craft Brewer’s Guild
Festival aboard the USS New Jersey in Camden. We
were to assist in loading the cars, setting up the booth,
dispensing beer, breaking down and reloading and
unloading in exchange for free admission, invitation to
the pre public admission VIP session and frequent
opportunities to sample the brews from the other guild
members. It promised to be a beautiful day and a
memorable beer event.

In spite of the miserable traffic on the turnpike, we
arrived in plenty of time to get everything ready for the
1:00 pm opening and enjoy the VIP session. DB15 CiC
Vince Capano was especially grateful because the tasty
lunch provided for the “VIPs” included not only the usual
ham, roast beef, turkey and tuna but also “veggie” fare.
Being a vegetarian, Vince is partial to lettuce sandwiches.

Everything was going smoothly. With six of us present
it was easy to allocate time behind the taps so that all of
us could partake of the other brewers’ libations. The
Beer Hotline was even deployed. Several times I received
hotline calls from Vince reporting, for example, that a
small firkin of some special one time only ale had just
been tapped at the Harvest Moon booth and I’d better
hurry  to get some before it was all gone.

It was about a half hour after the public was admitted
that the present day mystery was discovered. Vince and
I arrived simultaneously back at the Gaslight booth to
take our turns pouring beer. Answering a request from
a festival attendee for a taste of the excellent Abbey
Normal Dubbel Ale, Vince set down his tasting glass and
filled the order. Second, third and fourth requests from
other patrons came in quick succession and during a
brief lull he reached for his glass to pour one for himself.
It was then that he discovered the glass was missing!

Frantically, he looked to the right and left of the coil
box, then in front of and behind it. He checked the
deck, the table behind us and even cast an accusatory
glance at me, questioning if perhaps the glass I held in
my hand was, in fact, his. At first he felt desperation,
wondering how he was going to taste any more beer
without his New Jersey Craft Brewers Guild 2013
Festival Official tasting glass. But then came a sigh of
relief. Being a resourceful and practiced beer drinker,
Vince had prepared in advance for just such a calamity.
He had the foresight to attend the festival clad not only
in his Beer Nexus staff shirt, but also in a pair of “cargo”
shorts featuring two huge flap pockets on each leg.

With a self satisfied smile and tapping the side of his
head like a “heel” pro wrestler who had just perpetrated
a wily, evil maneuver, Vince reached down into the lower
right hand pocket of the cargo shorts and retrieved his
2012 Official Tasting Glass, which he had packed, just in
case. Thus, the problem of no more beer was instantly
solved, although there were still no clues as to the
whereabouts of the missing glass.

Our tour of duty behind the taps ended and we set out
with different objectives on our next round of the
booths, me to find sessionable beers and Vince to seek
out “Big” ones. I cautioned him to hold on tightly to his
glass, since the cargo shorts most likely didn’t include a
second spare.

Again we arrived back at Gaslight table only a few
minutes apart and again, Vince set down his (2012)
glass, or so he thought, and yet again, after filling
others’ glasses, he sought to wet his own whistle, only
to find out his glass had disappeared once more! This
certainly seemed like a case for The Hardy Boys, but of
course they’re only fictional. Since this time the right
hand pocket of the cargo shorts was devoid of a
replacement glass and since The Hardy Boys were not
available, we had to come up with some other way to
solve the mystery before the end of the festival.

I’m not fond of sharing glasses and I really couldn’t let
Vince go beerless, so I earnestly began to ponder the
situation in order to figure out a solution. Taking a
prodigious gulp of Solstice Ale to stimulate my deductive
abilities, I studied the area to look for previously
undetected clues and suddenly discovered one! I asked
Vince to assume the position of attention and face me.
It then became obvious that there was a sort of
lopsided look to Vince’s cargo shorts, with the left side
projecting outward several inches more than the right. I
pointed this out to him and asked him to examine the
contents of the left pocket. Upon doing so, both the
2012 and 2013 official tasting glasses were discovered.

Wanting to be sure to locate his glass at a moment’s
notice, he had carefully placed them in his left pocket
and forgotten them. The mystery was solved! Vince was
able to complete his day of beer tasting, the right hand
pocket of the cargo shorts was replenished with a spare
glass and I was exonerated as a suspect.

The Hardy Boys couldn’t have done any better!

Another two
glasses up
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Dan Hodge!
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