Joe's Rants and Raves

  • Jun 18 - 04:33 PM: The Story of the Collection of the New Pub Car : Joe McBane

    A while ago at the pub we started to question the worth of traditional print media as a way of getting our message out. We all know how well newspapers have been doing of late. This led us to the idea of purchasing a pub car. It needed to be something that was very noticeable but not obnoxious. A Hummer with jacked suspension was not going to work if you get my drift.

    We searched for a while on Craigslist and Ebay before scoring a '56 Austin Princess Limousine. It's an English car that looks like a classic Rolls. Big sweeping curves to go along with that famous English reliability under the bonnet (hood). The only catch to the deal was that we would have to pull it back from New Hampshire. No worries we thought. It will be a fun adventure - right?

    We used a '91 diesel GMC as our vehicle of choice. We didn't really have a choice to be honest. So the day came and me and Chef Paul set off without AC or stereo. Just Paul's singing. I was driving and Paul was the navigator. Everything was going well until we crossed over into Vermont. That's when we got the call. We had already made arrangements for the Princess to be prepped up for the journey back so I didn't have a good feeling about why the seller would be calling me. The seller explained that everything was fine with the car except that the boot (trunk) cap was missing. She explained that they had taken it off to work on that section of the car and while working on it and put it into another car. Not a problem we think, but then she gives the news that the car that they put it in has been sold with our boot cap still in it. Well we're in Vermont at this point so we are pretty much involved by now. We are given a phone number for 'Steve' who is in possession of the missing part and told that he will be happy to meet us. Great.

    After a slight renegotiation on the price we call Steve. Steve tells us that he is 1½ hours away. I'm not sure how Steve drives exactly but there was no way to get there in less than 2½ hours. In the event we managed to get lost and it took closer to 4 hours. Paul was not super familiar with the iphone GPS we were using to find our way plus AT&T's slogan in New Hampshire is surely 'few bars in even fewer places'. More of that though later. As we were getting close to the rendezvous with Steve point we called to see where he would like meet us. The top of Temple Mountain was apparently the best spot. We're now thinking that this is just bizarre but hey, what can we do. Steve tells us that he is in a silver Ford pick up and will leave the lights on. Turns out Steve's pick up is grey with a red back. It is also so foggy on top of the mountain that leaving the lights on is certainly not a distinguishing mark. 99% of drivers are sensible enough to have their lights on. Somehow eagle eyed Paul spots him and we come screeching to a halt. We get our part and Steve asks if we would like to come back to his house to see his cars. Against all normal thinking we agree without hesitation. It just seems appropriate for our situation. We made serial killer jokes all the way to Steve's house. Steve lived deep in the woods and had a plethora of vintage cars in various states of repair. Some where awesome. We thanked Steve and set off on our merry way. The first major hurdle had been overcome. Just for the record Steve was a very nice guy.

    The next stage of our now epic journey was to head north up through the state. It should have taken 1½ hours. It didn't. It actually took a chunk longer. We couldn't figure out why we kept going astray. I finally stopped and inspected the phone which is something that I probably should have done much earlier. Turns out Paul had been searching for public transport routes. OMG!!! How did neither of us figure this out? OMG!!!

    We got to the U-Haul place just before they closed and picked up the tow dolly to put the Princess on. We were a little liberal with the facts when describing the type of car that we would be towing. An '84 Rabbit. We weren't sure quite how excited they would have been to hear about our 6000lb classic. A small white lie we thought. Turns out the place where we were picking up the Princess was across the street from the U-Haul shop. We were a little anxious and then later amazed that they didn't stop over check out our new ride. We hooked up the car and I passed the truck keys to Paul. I wished him good luck and felt fortunate that I had done all of the earlier driving. The length from the front of the truck to the back of the car was about 45'! We set off to our destination for the evening which was about an hour away and we were starving. We had had a bagel and a packet of Funyuns to sustain us through the day.

    Everything was going well until the straps that were holding the car to the dolly fell off. This was to be a reoccurring theme for the whole of our journey home. We got out for the first of many times to reattach the car. Cars from yester-year were apparently not made with front wheel locking functions which made for a challenging white knuckle tow. The roads in New Hampshire are really a fair bit different to say the I90. Narrow, twisty, up and down with minimal maintenance. Vermont wasn't much better. On the way we passed by a drive way sign that was advertising a store called Jan's Junk. We did not check out the extent of Jan's Junk. We finally made it to 7 Barrel Brewery in Enfield NH. Steaks, Jameson and pints ensued. What a day. Paul found out later that night that I have some sort of snoring issue. Can't say I've ever heard it myself.

    Dragging that car up the mountains required every ounce of power that the truck had. We knew it was working hard when the roar of the engine was so loud that we had to shout to be heard. That and billowing black clouds of smoke flying out of the exhaust. To its credit it did make it though.

    900 miles later we made it back home. Just in time for the launch party of McBane's Strawberry Wit. The car is now at the upholstery shop and we hope to have it on the road in a couple of months.

    To check out pictures of the trip visit the photo page of the site.

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  • Jun 08 - 02:34 PM: McBane's Strawberry Wit Launch : Joe McBane

    So the new McBane's beer is nearly with us. We will be launching it this Wednesday at 5.30pm. Everyone from the brewery who had a hand in the beer will be there for the evening.

    Having had a sneak peek I can let you know that beer has really come out well. Don't expect loads of sweet fruit dominance. It is definitely more in the vein of refined European fruit beers. A nice layer of taste.

    I am driving back from New Hampshire that day with an Austin Princess limo attached to the back of the truck so I will be ready for a beer by 5.30.

    Btw more details to follow on the Austin...

    See you Wednesday. $3 pints.

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  • May 29 - 12:09 PM: Mc Bane's Strawberry Wit : Joe McBane

    Myself, Chris Schutheis and Kim Reed went down to Custom Brewcrafters last Thursday for the brewing of the next McBane's series beer.

    The brew went great. We seemed to hit all the right times and temperatures and we had a blast getting involved with the process. We will have the beer in house in a couple of weeks. As with anything like this the proof is in the pudding.

    Check out pictures of our brew day in the photos section of the site.

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