Build a Better Offseason: Recommendations for the Week of April 8

This Week's Recommendations Lead Off With New Belgium's Rampant Imperial IPA

This Week’s Recommendations Lead Off With New Belgium’s Rampant Imperial IPA

College football’s offseason is about three months old already, but that means there’s still nearly five months until the 2013 season. It’s an eternity for any college football fan, and while many of us indulge in watching other sports, it just can’t compare to Fall Saturdays.

With that in mind, we bring you the latest installment of our weekly feature, “Build a Better Offseason.” Every seven days or so, we’ll provide recommendations on what to do with all your free time now that you’re not all-consumed by college football, specifically focusing on beers, books, movies and other, non-college football sporting events. There’s also “this week in shame,” which you can view at the bottom of each piece.

Beer

Rampant Imperial IPA, by New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, CO (Imperial/Double IPA, 8.5% ABV)

While watching the Syracuse-Michigan game at the Long Beach Yard House on Saturday, I was obviously disappointed. However, drinking this beer at least brightened my spirits a bit. It pours as a light IPA and drinks like one too, but you can surely taste quite a bit of hops with each gulp — plus that rewarding, stinging kick that stems from having a slightly higher alcohol content. Rampant is one of New Belgium’s most recent varieties, so it’s possible that its distribution area could grow over time. But right now, it’s mostly available in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming, with limited availability (draft or bottle) on the entire Pacific Coast, Midwest, plus parts of the Southeast.

Book

Primary Colors,” by Joe Klein (1996)

This thinly-veiled commentary on the Clinton presidency was originally attributed to an anonymous author; no doubt adding to the intrigue. But what really hooked readers into Klein’s “Primary Colors” was how incredibly accurate his portrayals of our country’s key political figures were (while still maintaining the fun air of “fiction”). This, of course, in turn fueled speculation and accusations that an insider (such as Klein) was the author, which he eventually revealed later that year. Beyond the back story though, it’s a great (and easy) read that gives you a full view of the time period’s various policy-making parts, while supplying some laughs along the way, too.

Movie

Beerfest (2006)

Yes, it is a Broken Lizard film, so right off the bat, you’ll find all the usual suspects and tropes of such a product. But nonetheless, getting past all that, this movie is a love note to beer, drinking games and (perversely) the German culture. Without giving too much away, the Wolfhouse brothers (Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske) end up at a diehard’s alternative to the touristy Oktoberfest, called Beerfest. After being thoroughly embarrassed by the competition’s competitive drinkers, they create an American team to compete in the following year’s contest. Obviously, hilarity ensues all along the way, especially from the inappropriate Gam Gam (Cloris Leachman) and Barry Badrinath (Jay Chandrasekar). When I first saw this movie freshman year of college, my friends and I tried to make it a drinking game: a shot of beer for every time someone on-screen drank. I would not recommend this to anyone.

Sports

Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks — Sunday, April 14 at 3:30 p.m. ET (MSG)

I’ll preface this with the fact that I won’t even be able to watch this game — a crime against my Sunday if I’ve ever seen one. With the Pacers and Knicks still battling it out for the second seed in the East, this game could very well be the difference-maker as the teams are just a couple weeks removed from the playoffs. If you haven’t been paying attention, Indiana’s won eight of 11 (as of today), while New York is currently riding a 12-game winning streak. Also of note: the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony has been playing some of his best basketball possibly ever over the past week, scoring 50, 40, 41 and 36 points respectively in his last four games. In what may be a preview of the second round of the playoffs, this will be a tightly contested contest.

This Week in Shame

Like most guys in a committed relationship, I’ve unwillingly seen my fair share of horrendous reality television (usually propagated by Bravo or ABC), and every so often become interested in what goes on within the program. This is a safe space to point out those programs while providing a quick FAQ for those unacquainted already.

Fashion Police – Friday, April 12 at 10 p.m. ET (E!)

I don’t know why I get a lot of entertainment out of this show. Maybe it’s because I’m a hater at heart, or because I dislike so many members of the entertainment community so much that it’s great to see them torn down a bit (so, yup, it’s definitely because I’m a hater). But this show has made several strange things possible for me. A) I actually find Joan Rivers funny now; something I never thought would happen. B) I have more of an opinion on fashion that I guess I’d ever thought. And C) You’d be surprised how many times I’m watching this live on a Friday night (not alone, mind you).

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