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Wasn't Pride weekend the best? How great was it hearing of the Supreme Court decision hours before lining up at the security gate for Beer Dabbler Pride? If you're like me, the happiness enhanced your beer tolerance and gave your stomach more elasticity.

Let's take a look at my DPS for the night with these buffs, from the moment I stepped in and immediately lost my wife, to conducting for Kevin Welch while he played my intro song on his French horn, to my an impromptu pouring shift with Sarah Meyer at the Bauhaus tent, and out the door with a celebrity cabbie.

Share yours in the comments if you'd like. Here's my Beer Dabbler Pride:

2015-06-29 10.23.19

Showing Restraint (Somehow)
John Garland and The Beer Baroness each earned my vote for best dressed. Garland came fit for Miami Vice villainy, dressed to command hits and suck down cocktails on the deck of a yacht; and Tina Bina was unstoppable in a rainbow tutu, rainbow BEER socks, and a beer mug purse. I got through the night without kissing or lifting up anyone. My willpower is still on the charger after that night.

Matt Kenevan, Real American Hero
The Beer Dabbler's website specifically said not to bring children. More taprooms should be like this, but we continue enabling young parents who feel like parenthood shouldn't hinder party time. You could assume, then, my height of elation when Beer Dabbler MFIC Matt Kenevan had a man with a baby whisked from the premises. We need more Matt Kenevans. Real talk.

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Big Wood Morning Wood (with Blackeye Cold Press)
Big Wood's perky stout is a no-brainer as is, but adding Blackeye? The drink retained the flavor that makes Morning Wood such a money magnet, but the cold press infusion made its passage impossibly smooth over the palate. It was liquid silk, seriously, AND it got me pepped up for the cab ride.

Which reminds me ...

Riding Home in the Chey Cab!
The Metro-to-Plymouth trudge is never more lively than it is when you're in the state's most popular cab. My wife sat in the back with the snacks; I sat in the front with the iPod. We played Kesha, we played Kavinsky, and Chey at one point said she'd be "my bottom B." I can't remember the context of that conversation, but I do recall her saying she'd had far weirder conversations than any of what we said Friday night.

I wasn't relieved. I feel a genuine pressure to get back in that cab and see if I can take it too far.

2015-06-29 10.25.21

Frank's This, Frank's That
Day Block and Peeps Hotbox paired up to product a beer-battered asparagus that utterly killed it: sensational sauce, nice crunch, flawlessly-done breading -- just a pleasure, and it was infused with Frank's Red Ale. I'll take my Frank's any way you give it to me, pint or sprig. Bonus points to Da Block for letting us hang out in their tent while a heavy session of rain bore down.

Undead Frank's had paired up with Lupulin Brewing. I side-stepped their collaboration, though, and dove into cheese curds instead. For only $3, the portion size felt like a steal (in a good way). The marinara sauce had some kick and the curds came out smokin'.

If I had to rank the Pride Dabbler food, I'd rank Frank's cheese curds a close third and Frank's asparagus a close second to ...

2015-06-29 10.27.17

FOOD WINNER
Brooks High Cheese Curds
This was only the third time hitting the streets for Kickstarter darling Brooks High Beer Battered. Eat what you drink? Okay! Their cheese curds are like nothing before them: Squishy like a marshmallow, but not flimsy like the limp cheesy lumps you typically get. Every curd was substantial, none of those waste-of-time nub curds. There was the sauce's sweet introduction, a rush of escaping steam, and a bite full of cheese. Full. Of. Cheese. Brooks High is holding nothing back, I can tell you that much. Trust me, I'd have known -- I ordered three times from their truck.

BEER WINNER
Dangerous Man Peanut Butter Porter
Here, read the elements backwards: a porter, made with peanut butter, by Dangerous Man.

A PORTER. MADE WITH PEANUT BUTTER. BY DANGEROUS MAN.

A PORTER.

MADE WITH PEANUT BUTTER.

BY DANGEROUS MAN.

Bye.

 

Editor's Note: While I still recommend The Onion as the most trusted source for political news, it was in a wonky spot so I removed it. It's here now, though, so the recommendation stands. I also tightened some sentences for coherence.

Original image: top-builds.com

Original image: top-builds.com

I read it on the Internet so it's got to be true: Since 2007, the Minnesota Timberwolves -- if you haven't heard of them, they're the NBA affiliate of the Minnesota Lynx -- have earned been awarded the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh picks in the NBA draft lottery. They were awarded these picks by being, and I say this with a straight face, the most pathetic franchise in all of professional sports. Tonight, they finally pick first.

Before that happens, before we become the team with the last three years' worth of number-one picks, I thought I'd visit the ghosts of draft lotto past.

2007: Corey Brewer is drafted seventh.
Corey Brewer is an eight-year NBA star: just ask him, he'll tell you. Yet, he's been on six teams in eight years (including the Timberwolves twice, and more on this in a moment). Eight year NBA stars generally max out at two over that span. His highest self-mentioned accolade? He was ninth in voting for NBA's Most Improved Player award in 2009.

We second-homed another former Timberwolf this season. Perhaps you remember Kevin Garnett? Yeah, the one who left Minnesota yelling to the whole wide world how happy he was and how he didn't want to waste his career here and acting like he'd been surprise-paroled after 20 years at San Quentin. Yet, here he is. Back with us. Aaron Brown wrote it best in this article: We'll take you back. The third paragraph slays it.

2008: Orange Juice Mayonnaise is drafted third.
My buddy "Nunchuks" Hautamaki and I had a brief back-and-forth about this, and I taunted him to no end about how we were going to take this guy. We did, but didn't keep him for long: We traded him to Memphis for Kevin Love, who played just well enough in his time here to be wanted by LeBron James -- badly enough for James to swing a swap that landed us Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.

This is beyond a blind squirrel finding a nut. This is a blind squirrel feeling his way across I-94 during rush hour, getting through unscathed, and tripping over a nut that a bird had just dropped out of the sky. Birds don't usually carry nuts? Yeah, that's the joke here.

2009: Ricky Rubio is drafted fifth.
Oh, we were excited about this one. We slobbered over those YouTube clips of otherworldly passes in Spain, and he's so YOUNG. Just IMAGINE what he'll be like in a few years!

I didn't watch those clips in great detail (i.e. at all), but someone had to have noticed he wasn't a great shooter. Someone had to have suspected he might be talked about in today's NBA as arguably the worst shooter in the league. Hell, articles as recent as last year peg him as being on track to be the worst ever. We love him, though. Look at those passes! Look at that cute little face, and how committed he is to Minnesota!

I'm sorry, but Rubio is a bust. I don't want someone on my team who's talked about as being the worst in the league at something, especially shooting. Isn't that how you get points? "But Frank, point guard isn't about shooting!" I don't know, Stephen Curry can shoot and it seems to be working out well for the Warriors.

Oh, speaking of which!

2009: Jonny Flynn is drafted sixth.
Brace yourselves, I'm about to defend the Timberwolves. Listen, nobody knows 100-percent if a drafted player is going to be good. Nobody thinks, "This punk is gonna stink up our court to High Heaven!" then drafts him. Gregg Easterbrook said it best: You're drafting a lottery ticket (no pun intended).

That said, would I have taken Curry over Flynn? Yes, but only because I hate the way Jonny is spelled.

2010: Wesley Johnson is drafted fourth.
2011: Derrick Williams is drafted second.
I once raffled off a mini-basketball signed by Derrick Williams. I went to a Wolves game with a friend, whose last name is Johnson, who bought a Wes Johnson jersey because. That's all I know about these two.

2012: The NBA must not have held a first round this year. All Minnesota picked up was some dude named Robbie Hummel. Isn't Robbie Hummel the name of a toy company? That Derrick Williams ball did feel like like it was well-made.

2013: Trey Burke was drafted and immediately traded to Utah.

2014: Oh, fuck me. Zach LaVine was taken 13th to reinforce our presence on YouTube.

Tonight, for the first time, everyone in the draft will be available to us when we make our first pick. We could take anyone. God help us all.

 

 

HOTLine Mast

It was around 9:15 p.m. The main room at the Nicollet Island Pavilion was a shell of the hotspot it had been for two hours previous. I was in a familiar state, sated to the point of sedation. I lurched around the room, half-lost, the way a zombie might if he wasn't hungry for brains anymore. I stopped at one station, produced a little red ticket, and dropped it into a cup. That's when Lizzie B. met me.

She's one of the event's coordinators, and for her this event is a great time ... but it's a great time that also involves taking some 30,000 steps in high heels. Yet, she was more energetic at this juncture than I am after five or six cups of coffee. We hug. Great event.

How great? I can tell you how great. It's estimated No Kid Hungry raised $60,000 that night -- that's 600,000 meals great, and 30 percent more than projected. My napkin scribble suggests that a child would need 1,100 meals to eat three times a day for a year, and that more than 500 children could eat for an entire year on this evening's proceeds alone.

If I was Lizzie B. I'd have also been a ball of lightning at the end of a night like that. I was me, though, and let's see what my food-anchor was made of:

Libertine

HOUR 1
Lizzie B. declared earlier that day, "We will NOT waste food at an event for hungry kids!" I walked into the pavilion with Eye of the Tiger on loop in my head. Within seconds, I'd found a table stocked with miniature weenies, courtesy Libertine. I nodded in quiet contemplation. DUNT! DUNT, DUNT, DUNT!

It was spicy, it was a little bit sweet, the greens were crunchy, the bun was soft, and it got all over my face. DUNT, DUNT, DUNNNNN! I had four of these weenies; not once did I grab a napkin with it. Nothing says "I'm here on a press pass" like a hand full of mouth-wipe residue. I spotted Jason DeRusha at the end of the night, but he's on TV and thus probably did use napkins.

Speaking of the Bees Knees, Spoon and Stable's mixologist nailed it with this cocktail. It probably costs $25 at the restaurant, but it was nice to try it once. Their food offering had unpodded peas -- my enemies -- so I passed on that.

Another highlight was a dessert cup from Zelo filled with bananas, chocolate, and espresso. A gentleman gave me the strat for catching each flavor in each bite, but dude: If you just scoop out all of its contents at once, you definitely experience them all.

V44

The low-light of the first hour (above) came from, of all people, Victory 44. They have one of the best cheeseburgers in the land, but this thing? What's the little chip for? What's that loaf made out of? I don't want a puzzle, I want to eat food!

HOUR 2
Eater Minneapolis Overlord Lindsay Abraham and I have this thing we do sometimes when neither of us have a plus-one. We hang out together until she finds real people and runs off with them, and I run off with more food. This happened shortly after 8 p.m., and I spent a lot of time between Hola Arepa and Brasa (below, left and right, respectively).

The two faced each other from across an aisle, like opposing armies behind barricades, plates armed with nearly identical ingredients. Brasa had the upper hand, though, going with a spicy rev-the-engine kick over Hola's chill-out-with-a-Cayman coolness.

This was no time to relax. WE'RE NOT WASTING FOOD TONIGHT! Bonus points to Brasa for serving a one-biter.

To their credit, Hola was fronted by head chef and food-crush Christina Nguyen. I'd love to have her on my show one day, but what would I even say?

Me: "Just let me know if I start to get weird."
Her: "Oh ... kaaay."
Me: (Eyes widen) "I LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH--"
Her: (Leaves)

Hour Two's low-light was Foxy Falafel's chicken taco. How do you screw up a chicken taco? You leave bones in, that's how. I get that chickens have bones -- that's not the argument here -- but it's not like you're plunking a breast into a nine-inch tortilla. The bone I pulled out was bigger than the bits of meat it was hiding in. Come on now.

Hola Brasa

HOUR 3
I'd like to thank our mixologists for the evening: Frank thinks everything is funny now.

By 9 p.m., most of the venues had run out of food. Bogart's Doughnuts were still pumping out their, you know, doughnuts; and Fulton had beer left over. That was a divine pairing, but the winner of the final hour was a Wisconsin-based cheese company. It wasn't even a formal tasting with them. I would just casually walk over and take an obscene amount of samples on my way to other samples. I'd guess I spent half the night walking around munching cheese.

I'd say the cheese table finished third, with Brasa finishing second.

I put my ticket into Libertine's cup. Overall, they tied for second with something called Rival House: I don't recall seeing their station, nor had I heard of this restaurant. That said, they're probably a dojo and their dish was probably a jiujitsu demonstration. How I missed it, no clue.

Spoon and Stable's Enemy Plate secured victory, ostensibly because Gavin Kaysen was there and too many people were scared of being seen voting for somebody else. The real winners, though, were No Kid Hungry. Six hundred thousand meals is unbelievable. Thirty thousand steps in heels ought to be an Olympic event. My car had a ticket tucked in its wiper blade when I left at the end of the night, and I wasn't even mad. Okay, maybe a little.

The end.