I love geography and maps, especially maps. I could spend all day looking at them – animated weather maps, atlases, even transit systems maps. I really cannot understate my enjoyment, really. And I only know one other person – a certain beer fueled, empty-Tecate-can-hurling individual who shall remain nameless – who enjoys maps as much as me.
I make this point about my love of geography for an important reason: because sometimes I can be wrong about subjects for which I love. In one recent debacle, I was wrong about two things I love at the same time: geography and beer.
Let me set the scene: on a recent night out for drinks, I stated that my beer of choice that evening, the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter* (made by the Great Lakes Brewing Company) was made in Michigan – not, as the menu stated, in Ohio. My argument was simple: I was right and the menu was wrong. My company however, believed otherwise. And try as I might to vehemently argue my point – I grew up in the Midwest, so who better to know then me? – I was ultimately proven wrong by that old stand-by, the internet. (But let’s not open up that can of worms, again.)
No, it turns out Great Lakes Brewing Company is located in Cleveland, Ohio, the city some have affectionately termed “The Mistake on the Lake.” It turns out, I later realized the following morning, I had confused Great Lakes Brewing with Bell’s Brewery, located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This isn’t the first time I’ve mixed up the two, but I continue to argue. Because isn’t that what drinking with friends is for?
So here I confess that I was, in fact, wrong (a rare occurrence, to be sure). Consider this my mea culpa. I’ll end by quoting a wise man, one Michael G. Scott, who said: “It takes a big man to admit his mistakes, and I am that big man.”
* The beer’s name is significant to the Midwest and Great Lakes region. The Edmund Fitzgerald, a large freighter ship, sunk in Lake Superior during a storm on November 10, 1975, killing all 29 crewmembers aboard. The tragedy was memorialized, most notably, by singer Gordon Lightfoot in his 1976 song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” It remains as, in my opinion, one of the saddest songs ever recorded.
And yes, this blog has footnotes; because that’s how The Hip Flask rolls.