Tuesday, February 1, 2011


No, I am not planning on sacrificing my life for the Emperor, bringing my family honor and glory. I fully intend to shame them at every turn. I like to stick with my strengths. The title for this entry is due to the last bunch of posts. After going through them I realized that the blog had lost its direction and had strayed from its purpose. That awful poem was the final straw; time to start anew and get this thing back on track. So why kamikaze? Have I changed my favorite poison? No.

The story of the kamikaze I retell here is not the one we all know from World War II, but from far earlier...the 13th century to be exact. This was during the time of the samurai and the Mongols who attempted to conquer Japan by invading with massive fleets. On two occasions they were thwarted by typhoons that the Japanese attributed to Raijin, one of the protective deities of the island nation. These typhoons were called the "divine wind" or kamikaze. I therefore invoke the kamikaze to thwart the invasion of disorder to this blog and to bring about a fresh start.

The description of this blog is "A ronin's journey through the Jersey beer scene. By attempting to give lessons on beer tasting and glassware I stepped off that path and the poem crashed the whole thing through the guardrail into a very large tree. I had lost the way, strayed from brewshido.

In an attempt to recover and place my feet back on the path of brewshido I decided that I needed more direction and a battle plan to conquer all that the Garden State has to offer. I am determined to...
...explore all of the state's breweries and their offerings
...visit the brewpubs and sample their wares
...seek out great bars and restaurants that cater to Beer Geek Nation
...root out the best beer stores and test their experts
...and even attend a beer fest/event as I can.

These activities will be the basis of the blog from here on out, but what of the battle plan? Sun Tzu's Art of War provides many strategies, but I believe that a derivative of "divide and conquer" will work best. One cannot hope to seek victory by not employing some patience, so I outline the plan here:
  • BREWPUBS: Visit one every other month until all 15 have submitted.
  • BREWERIES: Completely explore the beers of one NJ brewery the first month of each new season with the hopes of a brewery tour. I will ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of all 6.
  • BARS/RESTAURANTS: The second month of each season will see me digging in at a lauded watering hole or highly rated dining establishment. An army marches on its stomach after all. There is no end in sight for this campaign.
  • BEER STORES: During the third month of each season I will hunt down the beer stores in the state that claim to deliver the goods. This will also be a long, drawn-out effort.
  • BEER EVENTS: I will attempt to attend as many beer events in the Garden State as I can, keeping time and finance allowances in mind with the understanding that there are some great events that occur across either the Delaware or Hudson.
Each of the five campaigns mentioned above will have a posting format that will best allow me to report back the benefit or drawback of each subject.

I will not be alone in this endeavor and expect that my fellow warriors will assist in these campaigns as their time and provisions allow.

These are my generals:
  • THE GEISHA - My trusted and esteemed companion. Her strengths include a burgeoning beer palate and a taste for some foods that I will not eat, but deserve to be rated.
  • THE SENPAI - My first and most promising student. His ability to discern certain flavors and match beer with foods makes him formidable.
  • THE DUCK - His experience with the West Coast and its love of hops brings a different opinion and broader experience to the table.
  • THE CONTROL - A drinker of NASCAR beer who can still appreciate a good craft brew, but has less exposure and therefore less bias. His opinions will be honest and undiluted, unlike the beers he favors.
These are the lieutenants:
  • DAISY - The Duck's companion whose culinary experience will prove an asset for establishments that serve food.
  • THE CAN - A compatriot who brings yet another range of cultural experiences to our already impressive arsenal.
  • THE BOTTLE - The Can's companion. She is not a beer drinker and will bring more food expertise to the rank and file.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

The first step of this revitalized journey will occur in March. Watch the right-hand side panels for upcoming Beer Samurai sorties.

NEXT TIME: Flying Fish