Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bratwurst: Cook 'Em Right!

An excellent article by Bob Currer on how to properly cook a brat. It also gives mention to TDA's "First Bratwurst Of Summer". I'm looking out at the grill and thinking it might be time to attempt a mid-winter fire-up.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Oktoberfest Etiquette Tips

Tips for surviving the beerfest nearest you: Get beer wise with the Oktoberfest etiquette primer from

This will come in handy, I'm sure, for everybody headed to the two remaining Oktoberfests we'll be playing this year: Oktoberfest at The Village at Mammoth in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Saturday, Oct. 3; and Oktoberfest Northwest in Puyallup, Wash., on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 9 and 10.

Photo by Flickr user a4gpa

Related how-to's:

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Barbecued Oysters, Brats And Beer!

MMMMMM! It must be time for the Seaside Oktoberfest. This has become one of our favorite Oktoberfests and we were quick to add it to our 20th Anniversary Tour. Not only is the food great and the beer better, but the folks at the Seaside Elks are wonderful. It also doesn't hurt that it's located in beautiful Seaside, OR. I got a call today telling me that the phone has been ringing like crazy and they expect to have a big crowd this year. Looks like it's time to party in Seaside! We are playing 3 sets, so this is a chance to get a full dose of TDA. The fun begins this Saturday, Sept 19 at 12 noon. See you there!

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Toast To Those Darn Accordions

In the secluded studios of the TDA graphic arts department, a special commemorative pint glass is being prepared. Rumor has it that the TDA van will be making a diversion on its trip across the United States to pick them up at a secret location known only to a few select band members and the 100 or so employees that work there and their other customers and I guess anyone else who knows how to Google. Stay tuned for more info and how you might be able to procure one of these limited-edition glasses.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Beer Sommelier Makes Food Pairing Easy

At a loss as to which kind of beer to drink with your Memorial Day meal? Probably not. But if you are, the Beer Sommelier is happy to help. Just select your meal's main ingredient, then select the dish, and the website will bubble up a handy list of appropriate brews.

OK, now I'm thirsty.

P.S. If you choose to enjoy a beverage on this holiday, take a second to lift it to the sky and offer a toast to all those who have served (and are serving) in our nation's military.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Drew Carey Takes One For the Sounders

Our pal Drew Carey is a minority owner of the Sounders, Seattle's new expansion soccer team that is up in my neck of the woods. He recently had to dodge a beer thrown from a rabid Toronto fan during a game in Canada. The ever witty Carey emerged unscathed and got off a rejoinder to the Toronto fans. Speaking of beer, we've got our own Carey beer connection right here. Go Sounders!

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Video: Robot Fetches a Beer

Thirsty? Watch as these robotic bartenders pour, then deliver, a cold beer to their human overlord.

Current price for one of these metallic manservants: $400,000. But Tokyo University engineers hope to cut that to just $40,000 within 10 years.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

Beer Gear, From Can to Refrigerator Robot

One thing that is not missing here -- beer, beer, beer.'s gallery of
beer gear mashes total gadget geek-out with breweriana.

("Mashes" ... get it?)

The reason? Today marks the birthday of that most modest of summertime beer-drinking essentials, the styrofoam cooler.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Beer Week Comes to San Francisco

The event: SF Beer Week.

The dates: Feb. 6 to 15, 2009.

The deal: "America's original craft beer-drinking city" pops the top on seven days of high-end suds. SF Beer Week is already twittering away.

There's only one thing missing here: bratwurst.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Widmer's Oktoberfest this Saturday

TDA returns to the Widmer Brothers Brewery in Portland, Ore. this Saturday.

The free, 21+ Oktoberfest event starts at 3pm and is expected to draw over 3,000 people. Food will be traditional German grub and live music throughout the day will include TDA, Debra Arlyn, Tea for Julie, Keegan Smith and The Fam, and Colin Lake and Wellbottom.

Come out, enjoy the predicted 80
° day, and throw back a pint or two with TDA.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

9 Things (You Think) Your Beer Says About You

Just in time for the Labor Day weekend, a wacky list of "9 Things (You Think) Your Beer Says About You" bubbles up on

Pretty funny, but be warned -- there's some salty language!

P.S. Please note that Widmer Brothers' tasty beer -- which we will undoubtedly be sampling in Portland, Ore., when we play the brewery's fourth-annual Oktoberfest on Sept. 6 -- is not on the list. What does drinking a Widmer say about you? It just says you're cool (and possibly that you're listening to accordion music).

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Short History of Hangovers

Pour a tall one and enjoy a classic article on the international phenomenon known as the hangover. "A Few Too Many" is a great piece of writing from The New Yorker, complete with colorful anecdotes, science and a some suspect hangover remedies.

Submit your own morning-after miracles over at Wired magazine's culture blog, the Underwire: "What's Your Magic Hangover Cure?"

(And might I be so bold as to recommend that you listen to "Hungover in Clover" as you contemplate this subject?)


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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Bowling King Dethroned

Say it isn't so! First the breweries left town, now it looks like the United States Bowling Congress is threatening to leave Milwaukee and move it's headquarters to Texas.
That's just not right. Of course, that doesn't mean folks will stop bowling (or drinking beer) in Milwaukee, but it is another chink in the grand history of this great midwest blue collar town. Who knows when the next pin will drop? Perhaps only The Bowling King! Whatever happens, we can rest assured that there will always be Koz's Mini Bowl to fall back on!

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Beer Can Table: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Modern Mechanix is showing off a cool picture of a table made of beer cans. The frothy furniture was assembled out of 420 soldered-together beer cans by Chicagoan Bernard Dier.

The photo ran in Science and Mechanics magazine in 1936, when people apparently had a lot more fun.

(Via Boing Boing)

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Robots Serve Drinks at Roboexotica

Robots? Booze? How can you not click on "Boozebots Get Their Shot at Roboexotica"?

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Squeeze and Vino: I Guess It Works

I'm getting a little fascinated by the accordion/wine convergence. First it's accordions as the backdrop for a Canadian grape-stomp competition. Now comes word that accordion music fills the air at an Oktoberfest held at Lynfred Winery in Roselle, Illinois. The Daily Herald reports that the event also features barrel races and grape-spitting and -stomping contests.

Now that's news to me. I always thought Oktoberfests -- like the Columbia County Oktoberfest we're playing tonight in Oregon -- were all about the beer.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Fun's on Tap at Columbia County Oktoberfest

My heavens -- The Oregonian boasts a beer blog called The Beer Here, and blogger John Foyston taps the info keg on the Columbia County Oktoberfest we're playing next weekend.

It's a fun festival with plenty of sausage, beer and sauerkraut (not to mention some delicious barbecue, if past years are any indication). The Oktoberfest takes place at the Columbia County Event Complex in St. Helens, Oregon, about 30 miles north of Portland. If you're anywhere in the area, come on out!

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Have Beer, Will Travel

An idea whose time has come: Deschutes Brewery's Neighborhood Hops, a "traveling beer festival" designed to bring excellent beer, food and music to Seattle enclaves. Reproduce, please. (Can you hear me, Speakeasy?)

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

TDA Bubbles With Enthusiasm About Widmer Oktoberfest

Speaking of beer, Those Darn Accordions plays the third-annual Widmer Brothers Oktoberfest in Portland, Ore., this Saturday. Other bands include Curtis Salgado, Dr. Theopolis and Widmer's own Colin Lake and Wellbottom.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the giant lemon drop (as described on the brewery's website): "Test your catching skills at the world's biggest 'Lemon Your Widmer' Event, in which lemon wedges will be dropped from the brewery roof to Oktoberfest-goers 40 feet below ... all while enjoying delicious Widmer Brothers beers!"

You'd have to be a real sourpuss not to get a kick out of that.

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Man Builds 'Ultimate Beer-Brewing Machine'

Its creator calls it simply The Device, but the wondrous task it performs is anything but simple: The self-contained machine makes and serves beer.

Constructed by Popular Science staff photographer John Carnett, "the ultimate all-in-one beer brewing machine" is a pretty amazing invention. In the video clip, Carnett walks through the brewing process that transforms plain old Philadelphia water into the magical beverage that made Milwaukee famous. It's something to behold, although at $4,315 to build, it's a lot cheaper (and easier) to nab a six pack at your corner store.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Mac's Turns 21, Gets a New Birthday Suit

I'm usually conservative about beer packaging -- love the vintage look of the old-time breweries' packaging, which never fails to make me think things were better way back when. But MacTarnahan's Brewing Company has done a pretty good job updating its labeling, just in time for the brewery's 21st birthday. The old stuff was cool, but the new stuff ain't bad, either. And that's coming from a guy who once dressed up as a bottle of Mac's Amber Ale for a Halloween gig in Portland.

Maybe the brewery will bring back Uncle Otto's Rocktoberfest, one of the coolest music-and-beer fests TDA has ever played. Happy birthday, Mac's!

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Beer and Squeeze in Cincinnati

Mecklenburg Gardens, a German joint in my old college stomping grounds, sounds like a blast from the past. The biergarten's menu has been upgraded, and "Cincinnati accordion legend Jack Frost" plays on Wednesday nights, according to The Enquirer. I'll have to get my people in Cincy to confirm this encouraging news.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thirsty for a Carlton?

Strangely, I am, and I've never even had one of the Aussie beers. Maybe it's because I watched this really cool ad for Carlton Draught.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Get Guinness in Vintage-Label Cans

Now Guinness stout is not just good for you -- it's eye candy, packaged with vintage labels used by bottlers in the good old days. Get 'em while they're cool.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Beer Taster Sues Over Dream Job

Some guys have all the luck. A Brazilian guys lands the ultimate 9-to-5 -- as a beer taster -- then gets a $49,000 payout when he sues his employer. Ingrate!

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Off to the Best Beer Fest in the Land

After a fun and productive day of recording, poor Paul will not -- repeat will not -- be driving north to the Boonville Beer Fest. Some other people will, though, and they'll be enjoying "The bahlest steinber hornin', chiggrul gormin', tidrick in the heelch of the Boont Region!" (That's basically Boontling for "awesome beer blast.")

Maybe those lucky people will see Barkley, the Legendary Boonville Beer.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More on Speisekammer's 'Springfest'

I already told you about this Alameda bash, at which the Mad Maggies will perform. Here's a little more from Maggie:
"Relax on the patio beer garden, drink excellent German beer, eat grilled specialties while we crazy musicians serenade you from 2 to 4:30 or so."
It all happens this Sunday, April 29, starting at 1 p.m. at Speisekammer Restaurant, 2424 Lincoln Ave., Alameda, Calif. This promises to be a good time, so if you're in the mood for quality food and drink -- along with a healthy dose of accordion music -- come on out to the East Bay's island city.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Sheryl Crow: Loo-natic or Visionary?

All she wants to do is have some fun -- and tell everybody how to wipe their bums. Sheryl Crow's loo-dicrous toilet-paper-reduction plan is pretty wacky, but her liquor-by-the-day tour rider makes quite a lot of sense.

So, which is she? Genius or dimwit? You be the judge.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Barbecue, Beer and Music

That's a great trio. You can enjoy all three (plus the music of The Mad Maggies) next Sunday, April 29, at Speisekammer Restaurant in Alameda, Calif.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Summerfest Makes Rolling Stone's List

Summerfest -- former summer home of Those Darn Accordions -- makes Rolling Stone's list of best "Spring/Summer 2007 Music Festivals." The grading methods of the grizzled chronicle of rock 'n' roll fall under heavy suspicion, however, if only because of the magazine's description of Big Gig eats: "Lots of options: Fish and chips ($6), Gyros $5.50, salads ($5), chicken wings ($3), etc. Bottled water is $2.50. Grade: B."

That's "news you can use" from the magazine that used to publish Hunter S. Thompson.

Apparently Rolling Stone's entrepid reporters couldn't find the fantastic grub that makes Summerfest so deliciously rockin' ... special stuff like Mader's grilled brats and kraut balls, Sprecher's Black Bavarian, Culver's ButterBurgers and, yes, even the bloomin' onions from that barbecue joint with the name I can't recall. For that matter, the Cousins Subs stand is better than the overpriced garbage peddled at most festivals.

This little waddle down memory lane is making me hungry. Too bad the mid-gate Piggly-Wiggly stage -- where we played the entire Summerfest run during the good old days, when TDA was treated almost like some sort of wheezing artist in residence at the festival -- is gone, and no suitable venue has popped up to harbor our whimsical accordion music.

Maybe it's time for a write-in campaign -- seems like Those Darn Accordions should play Summerfest's 40th anniversary. (But then I'm clearly biased.) Would anybody brave the Summerfest throngs to hear a little squeezebox rock? Or am I flogging a dead horse here? Hmmm ... Black Bavarian ... brats ... kraut balls ... and more people having a better time than at any beer-fueled event I've ever seen.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Al Bunde: 'Ambassador of Beer'

Our pal Al Bunde, (apparently formerly) of the (apparently defunct) Riverwest Accordion Club, makes the St. Patty's Day report in the West Bend Daily News:
"People were also smiling at Al Bunde, brewmaster at Riverside Brewery and Restaurant in West Bend, as he trudged up the hill with his accordion on his back and a hogshead of beer at his side. 'The cops wouldn’t let me in,' said Bunde, who had parked north of the parade route and had to hike uphill.

What the police couldn’t know is that Bunde was a member of the now-defunct Riverwest Accordion Club and was dubbed 'The Ambassador of Beer.' Wouldn’t he have political immunity or something?"
Al was bending our ears pretty good about his exciting work at the new brewery/restaurant in West Bend last time we played Milwaukee's fabulous Shank Hall. Riverside Brewery is on the must-visit list next time we're in Wisconsin.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Anderson Valley's Beer-Cap Laffs

In a nod to a more whimsical and amusing brewing past, Anderson Valley Brewing Company puts little sayings and rebuses on the backs of at least some of its bottle caps. I love the practice, which makes popping a top a little more magical.

The little circular print jobs are called "crown ticklers," according to a cool website that shows the answers to hundreds of bubbly puzzles that have appeared on caps for Ranier, Lucky and the like over the years.

I'm glad to see that Anderson Valley -- possibly the world's finest brewery -- is continuing the tradition, although most of AVBC's crown ticklers are goofy slogans ("Honest, Officer, that's hops you smell!") or Boontling riffs that might seem baffling if you're not hip to the weird (and almost dead) regional dialect that sprang up in Anderson Valley in the 1800s. They do throw in some rebuses, though, just to shark a kimmie for a hoot.

Finally, if you're anywhere near California in May (and you like beer), you should make your way to Anderson Valley for the 11th annual Boonville Beer Fest. Best beer fest in the land. Bahl Hornin'!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

February Is Strong Beer Month in Frisco

Here's a reason to visit San Francisco in the rainy season: Strong Beer Month, a celebration of -- you guessed it -- strong beer. It's all brewed up by Magnolia Pub and Brewery in the Haight and the 21st Amendment brewpub in SOMA.

The names of the beers are enticing:

At Magnolia Pub and Brewery:

* Tweezer Tripel
* Old Thunderpussy Barleywine
* Smokestack Lightning Imperial Stout
* Promised Land Imperial IPA
* Weekapaug Monster
* Old Perplexity

At 21st Amendment:

* Golden Doom
* Double Tripel
* Blind Lust
* Diesel Imperial Smoked Porter
* Double Trouble IPA
* Lower de Boom Barleywine

Drink one of each concoction in the "Dirty Dozen" and you get a free commemorative glass. It's not Summerfest, but the whole things smacks of Wisconsin-style fun -- frankly, I can't believe I'm just hearing about it now, when the short month is almost half over.

Excuse me, I've got some glassware to earn!

P.S. Is it a coincidence that the Toronado Pub holds its Barley Wine Festival this month? I think not.

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