This post is about neither Austin nor Zion.

Even though I haven’t yet taken the time to write about either of them.

I am done with my travels, and have managed to emerge mostly unscathed from both the brutal canyons of downtown Austin, and the dusty scratchy landscape of the Utah desert. I’ve been fighting down the plague for the last couple days, however, so my stores have been a might bit sapped. Yesterday I couldn’t muster the energy to avoid traffic while crossing the road. It nearly cost me my life. And by my life, I mean my lunch. And by lunch, I mean the receipt for my lunch.

Anyway, despite an unrelenting desire to write some utter crap this evening, I need to make sure that this doesn’t degenerate into an all-night authoring marathon. If that happens I will surely die. I need sleep. Thus I have set an egg timer for twenty minutes, to blind me with its rancor should I find myself typing beyond deadline. It’s just like having a boss, only one that is shiny, white and plastic. And unlike most things that are shiny, white and plastic, this boss was not invented by Steve Jobs.

In celebration of spring I find myself drinking a New Belgium seasonal brew, their Springboard Ale. It is the color of a fine green tea. Since one of my goals this year is to brew my own beer, I have been forcing myself to purchase only beer that comes in real bottles… a twist-off bottle just won’t do for bottling and storing my own brews.

Seeing as how I drink mostly micro-brews I’ve never really had any trouble finding the beer that I want to drink in regular non-twist-off bottles, but lately I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Micro-brews, apparently in the interest of offering additional levels of beer-drinking convenience to their audience, have been increasingly turning towards twist-off bottles. Hood River’s very-own Full Sail Brewery has started doing this.

Now, I appreciate their concern. I don’t want to be separated from my beer any more than the next guy, and as a pragmatist, I’m all for eliminating barriers and simplifying processes for just about anything. But damn if this doesn’t just cheapen the whole micro-brew experience. The whole point of a bottle is that the beer is difficult to access!

It’s like that crane game at the bowling alley, except that you win a prize every time so long as you aren’t unconscious or hopelessly stupid. Seriously. You can’t shotgun a bottle of beer, and damn if I think that people should be able to open bottles with hands alone (World’s Strongest Men being the only exception). How else would your average Eagle Scout be able to show his preparedness by presenting a bottle opener on the keys to his Geo? By unwillingly pulling his underwear over his head? Come on, give the kid a break! He goes to a private school!

I mean, they’ve started putting bottle openers in the bottoms of sandals! Kate found me an awesome belt buckle with a bottle opener built into it! Even when a particular setting completely lacks all these awesome innovations, an unopened bottle presents all sorts of creative opportunities. You can open a bottle with a lighter, a counter top, a barbed wire fence… in a pinch, even the joint piece between your windsurf sail and board can be used as a bottle opener!

Seriously, micro brewers. Do you want to deny your drinkers what may be their only chance for creative expression?