Riddle me this Batman

I’ve discovered an odd quirk in Google Maps. You younglings can experiment along with me at home if you want. Go to a laptop or desktop computer, bring up Google Maps in a web browser, find a location of your choice, and do a search for the term “brewery”. Every time I do this I manage to find good local breweries in the area (if there are any to be found). However, for some crazy reason, I also manage to find every US Post Office in the area as well. Works every time.

Google Maps search for “brewery”

An odd extension to the experiment reveals that if you do the same search on the Google Maps App for a mobile device, the post offices don’t show up.

Google Maps App search for “brewery”

The questions of the day for all you super sleuths out there are:

  1. Why does Google Maps report US Post Offices when you search for “breweries”?
  2. Why is there a difference in search results across the web browser and mobile app versions of Google Maps?

If anyone can figure it out and provide the right answers, I’ll send a beer coaster to the first person to put the answer in the comments of this post.

Slow down big boy

Traveling for work comes in waves for me. Between an unusually high volume of work travel to Texas, Arizona, and California, as well as a vacation that spanned much of New York State, I have been buying up a lot of beer.  It’s really been starting to pile up in the fridge.

Beer piling up in the fridge
More beer piling up in the fridge

Add to that my regular local stops to keep up with new and rare items.

Local new and rare beer finds

Put it all together and I have 49 beers waiting around for me to drink them!

Normally, this wouldn’t bother me. I would just drink it at my leisure and not worry about it. But, I’m traveling to West Virginia next week and should be bringing back even more! I have enough problems trying to store all the empty bottles. Finding places for all the full ones too is getting challenging. Almost makes we wish I drank more so I could clear them out. At least I know that travel will die down soon and I’ll have plenty of time to clear out some full bottles.

Sneaky Pete

So, the beer coasters are meant to support discussion with brewery staff and to have a stack of them left behind that they can pass on to customers. However, tonight I got roped into going to a German restaurant that didn’t really have the vibe I’ve been looking for.

Typical German restaurant

However, I saw a beer coaster holder that looked to be stocked a little light and I happened to have a coaster on me. So I left one all stealthy-like on the down low.

stealthy placement of beer coaster

They’re here!

I visit a lot of breweries, meet a lot of people that love beer, and tell them about the blog. But how can I spread the word after I leave these places?  Problem solved!

Usedhair’s Not Used Beer Coasters

I got beer coasters made up to leave in breweries and bars. If you visit some cool places in your area and would like to hand some out, let me know and I might send you a few.


The land that time forgot

Roscoe, NY is a small town that has at least some significance to most of my family. For my grandfather it was the town where he was born and the town where he is now buried. For my Mother’s generation the Roscoe Diner was where you stopped to eat on the way to or from New York City.

Sign for the Roscoe Diner
The Roscoe Diner

For Mrs. Usedhair and I it was this mysterious land that time forgot. As we would drive past Roscoe cell phone signal was non existent and if you put the radio on seek mode it would run around and around searching for about 10 minutes as you cruised down the road before it could manage to find anything at all.

On our vacation in the Southern Tier of New York we decided to drive out to Long Island for a few days. On the way there we noticed that Roscoe had cell phone signal, radio stations galore, and… A brewery!

Roscoe NY Beer Co. Sign

Now this is something I had to see.   On the trip back we made a point of stopping in. I assumed the sign visible from the highway meant that the brewery would be right by the road as well. So we pulled into downtown Roscoe looking to find it without bothering with the help of a map. What we found there had me quite worried.

Roscoe NY Beer Co. Outpost

Fortunately, this is merely an outpost that they use to serve the downtown area in the evenings and at events. We found the real brewery just up the road.  I was originally a bit confused by the apparent dual naming between Trout Town and Roscoe NY Beer Co.  But, they let me know that the name of the brewery is Roscoe NY Beer Co. and the Trout Town is a specific line of beers that they produce.  Makes sense.

Roscoe NY Beer Co. Brewery Sign
Roscoe NY Beer Co.

This place is awesome! They have amazing decorations, a great sense of humor and a “Self Serve Beer Wall” where you charge a card card looking thing and use it to get your beer when you want it.

Roscoe NY Beer Co. decor
Roscoe NY Beer Co. sense of humor
Self serve beer wall

Most important, they have a great selection of beer. In fact, the selection was so good that Mrs. Usedhair managed to find enough styles that she enjoys and got her first flight.

Mrs. Usedhair’s first flight

All that was left at that point was to get bottles to take home. They do have regular bottles, but they only sell them at places “in town”. So, off we went to find some, worried that we would have to get a six pack of each just to get two bottles. Lucky for us we stopped at the Roscoe Diner for lunch first and saw this on the placemats.

Order Trout Town Beer

So, I ordered one of each with lunch and managed to get 2 bottles for the collection.

Trout Town (Roscoe NY Beer Co.) bottles

And, I was really happy to see Roscoe, NY catch up so well with the rest of the world. Time finally remembered Roscoe.

I’m famous-ish!

Back when Mrs. UsedHair and I went to the DeLand Craft Beer Festival. I met up with some guys that do a podcast called At The Bar Podcast where they mostly taste different beers, and talk about general issues in professional and home brewing.  It turns out that they record their show at a World of Beer almost next door to where I work.  Combine that with all the beer I bring back from across the country (ripe and ready for tasting) when I’m on travel and you have yourselves a great crossover episode waiting to happen.  So I brought them some of the beer that I brought home from Texas and we had ourselves a tasting party that they put on their podcast!

You can find the episode “Texas Beers w/ Jessie from Used Hair’s Used Bottles (Ep. 14)” on iTunes or Stitcher.  If you have other ways of finding podcasts, feel free to use them.  I’m sure they’re not too hard to find.

You can also find their video podcasts (mine was audio only) on YouTube and their home page on Facebook.

Challenge accepted

When I go to a new brewery, I like to get a flight of beers (sampling of several beers) to get a good feel for the brewing style. I’ve seen flights that range from 4-8 glasses filled with 2-6 ounces each of different beers. Combined, you usually end up with about a pint of beer.

I’m visiting friends and family in my home town area of the Southern Tier of New York State and there are definitely a lot of new breweries that sprang up in my absence. Some friends took me to a brewery called The Farmhouse Brewery in Owego, NY and I asked for a flight of beer. Between the master brewer, Marty, and my friends they talked me into trying the “Taste of the Farmhouse” flight that has one of every beer and cider on tap.

Taste of the Farmhouse deal

At some places that would be a regular flight. But The Farmhouse has 15 beers and ciders on tap.

15 beer and cider flight
Beer and cider listing at Farmhouse Brewery

Don’t get me wrong. $15 for a 15 count flight is a hell of a good deal. But, man, that’s a lot of beer and a lot of variety. At 2 ounces each we’re talking about 30 ounces of beer. That’s really only about the same as having 2 pints (not a crazy thing to expect for a night out at a bar). But, many of those beers have a hefty alcohol content and shifting styles that often can overwhelm your pallet.

Well, I managed to make it through the super flight and enjoyed all of them. Then (because it’s all about the bottles in the long run) I got a growler to take home with me. I’m just glad someone else was driving.

Mission accomplished

Shelving Day Part 3

With a little help from my friends indeed. I was so frustrated by my last attempt at putting up shelving that a friend (who actually knows how to do stuff like this) offered to bring over his hammer drill and watch over me as I drill in potentially dangerous areas of my wall. Oddly enough the real danger wasn’t in where I was drilling, but rather how I was drilling. As it turns out, using a hammer drill on a wall with several hundred beer bottles results in bottles dancing all over the place and threatening to leap to their deaths. This slowed things down a bit as I had to find a temporary place for all the bottles that were already on the shelves.

One thing I actually planned out well was that the display really needed something besides beer bottles to break up the vast sea of sameness. Thus, I built a tiki idol into the shelving. I think it will really add to the look.

Tiki idol in shelving

We managed to fill every available inch of wall space with large, and sometimes very small, shelving.

Adding tiny shelves

With only one trip to the hardware store to get more brackets and no bleeding, this almost didn’t really count as a project. But, I’m going to count it due to the effort we had to put into haphazardly routing out a divot in one shelf to avoid an old defunct cable outlet in the wall.

Hacked routing

So, mission shelving is now complete!

Shelving installed

As an added bonus, here is a link to a 360 degree panoramic image of the display, half empty, as it currently stands. The next bit of fun will be filling it all up. I still have way more bottles than shelves.

360 Panoramic of Half Empty Shelving