7 Killer Craft Projects For When You're Drinking Craft Beer
As you know, I've been banished to Canada, the land of poutine and beaver pelts. Oh those pelts. Canada is also a land of tightly restrained alcohol sales and, for the most part in a province like Ontario, one can buy booze only in specifically regulated stores such as the cleverly named Beer Store or a Liquor Control Board of Ontario retail outlet. Or that's how it used to be. As of this year, beer has gone global, and you can even buy that shit at Canadian Walmart now, as if we needed another reason to piss ourselves in a Walmart. Stunned by this revelation, I opted to buy some local craft beers on my last trip to the Mart, during which I also bought tube socks and batteries. Why? You know why.
Set up with seven craft beers, I needed only to find the appropriate crafts to occupy my time while I drank, as is the custom of craft beer drinkers. On with it!
Beer & Craft 1: Naughty Neighbour American Pale Ale Plus Toilet Paper Ghosts
I have no idea what beer has to do with craft-making, but what do I care? At around $3 Canadian a can for a pint, I wasn't about to argue. Instead, I started drinking the can featuring the pin-up girl and set up to make my favorite childhood craft item, the toilet paper ghost.
For those not familiar, one makes a toilet paper ghost out of toilet paper. First, roll a meatball-sized wad of TP, then drape more TP over it like a sheet. Then garrote the little fucker with something that will hold the head in place, apply googly eyes, and hang from anything in your house to add festive scariness. It's fun and terrifying.
My American pale ale tasted a bit like socks steeped in juice that had coalesced at the bottom of a hot summer's garbage bin. It smells a little like vinegar and a little like the last thing you'll ever smell if you drink it. Is that why this is called "pale ale"? Because it rides in on Death's pale horse? I've had India pale ales that didn't taste like a fruit salad filtered out of a bear's ass, so maybe this can had gone off. Nonetheless, I finished my craft and was pretty stoked by the stark and shocking realism of my ghosts.
Beer & Craft 2: Barking Squirrel Plus Popsicle Stick Ninja Star
This was a staple of my youth, and so was the craft. Ha ha! But for real, I made these frequently as a child, and they were as impressive as they were cheap, which is to say moderately so. Held together with nothing more than physics and voodoo, the not-actually-a-star ninja star is not only a cool craft, it explodes on impact in a harmless pile of sticks, making it the only craft that sort of does something. It's spectacular.
I'd actually had this beer once at a restaurant before, so I was aware of where this was heading, and things were OK. Barking Squirrel isn't just an awesomely named beer, it's entirely drinkable, unlike that last splash of gutter swill. This resulted in me drinking it extra fast, because it's not bad at all.
Once finished, I set to work with my Popsicle sticks, which I had to buy at a store, because I have no actual Popsicles, and eating enough for this project seemed ever so daunting. Five simple maneuvers later, I was cursing at a pile of wood and starting again. Another five and the fucking thing fell off the table. But then, on the next try, I really gave it my all, and look at this little bitch!
Ready to strike hearts into the fear of any woodland ninja or member of PETA.
Beer & Craft 3: Mad Tom IPA Plus Macaroni Art
I got it specifically because it made me think of Jack The Ripper, and I was ready for Mad Tom to whisk me away with flavor to a time when cutting up hookers was a thing the English did to keep out of the rain.
Mad Tom has a bit of strength to him, with 6.4 percent alcohol and some hops that'll slap your mouth, but it's not bad at all. It's robust, is what it is. Plus I'm feeling mighty warm from the Barking Squirrel, so it's time to drink fast and bust out the construction paper for some macaroni arts.
I had a brief moment of hesitation as I reached for my bag of macaroni; just what does one make out of macaroni these days? And then inspiration hit. A few beads of glue later, and I had this master work.
Ha ha ha! Look at it! On the fridge it goes.
Oh my God, I'm keeping it forever. It brings the whole room together. Now we just need to decide on a name so future generations can find this article when they Google it. The Macaroni Baloney Pony? The Semolina Weena? Mac And Dick Cheese?
Beer & Craft 4: Hops And Bolts Plus A Sock Puppet
You know how dickish people will talk about the fruity and woody undertones of beer and wine and shit, like they know? Like any of those things ever came near the shit when it was being made? At best some dude dropped a Jolly Rancher in the mix and that's why you have citrus notes, but whatever. This beer tasted vaguely like if someone eating a Jolly Rancher had used my glass first and left residue on it. So not really like any fruit or hibiscus or whatever the fuck, but like sugar spit? I'm not saying it was bad; maybe the Jolly Rancher was a hot chick. Maybe I got lucky by the transitive properties of glassware -- who am I to question physics?
It's time for craft #4, and it's a beast. A sock puppet. This involves not only procuring a sock but affixing eyes to said sock so it bears the realistic visage of a cotton-faced man with a hand up his ass.
You'll find that everything is more hilarious with googly eyes. I'm tempted to affix some to my sack and walk around the neighborhood on my hands. I'd look like a wall-eyed fellow with a big nose and a robust beard, I have no doubt. Unfortunately, I can't walk on my hands, so this whole idea is bust. Must have been the alcohol that made me think I have such foolish powers.
The sock puppet is everything I had hoped for and more. It reminded me of something, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what. Then it hit me.
Beer & Craft 5: Forbidden Dry Cider And Apple Head Doll
I discovered late in the game that one of my beers was actually a can of cider. I've never actually had cider before, because I figured why the hell would I want to? Well, now I know. This shit is alcoholic apple juice. It's the most delicious thing I've ever had. I shotgunned this bad boy like I'd just gotten back from a desert hike and lamented that I hadn't bought more. I could drink this stuff for breakfast, during work meetings -- there's no wrong time for cider.
The only appropriate craft to go with cider is a shrunken apple head doll. I briefly wondered if cider necessitated a craft at all. Was it craft cider? I don't know; I'd misplaced the empty can by that point. Still, no sense trying to work against the rules, just in case. A craft I would make.
To my dismay, it apparently takes several days to make a shrunken apple head doll. What kind of a shiftless fuckin' pilgrim do you think I am that I can wait days for an apple to desiccate? I have a job, man. I need a shrunken head tout de suite.
I opted for putting a face on a regular apple, and he immediately became hilarious. Look at him! For kicks, I introduced him to the macaroni wiener, and look what happened! Such a cock gobbler.
Here he is afterward. Uh oh!
To answer a question I was asked: Yes, this is my job.
Beer & Craft 6: Pompous Ass English Pale Ale And A Two-Liter Bird Feeder
Pompous Ass English Pale Ale is as mild as a baby drinking skim milk during a Renee Zellweger movie. You could fall asleep in the middle of a mouthful. Not that I'm saying that's a bad thing. It's a big improvement over some of the crotch gravy I've tried in my day. This is a fine sittin' and drinkin' beer. I'd rub one out on the can for it or whatever it is one does to show their appreciation in the normal world.
At this point, clearly my crafting should be giving something back to the little people, and who are the littlest people you know? Birds. It was time to make a bird feeder. That's industrious of me.
Here it is. I cut a hole in a bottle of Dr Pepper. But you can't tell.
Here it is with food in it.
Birds are probably going to love the hell out of this. I did. I ate that granola bar. Now the birds have nothing, because who owns bird food? Probably bird parents. I'm not one of them. I'm not on the hook for this brand of responsibility. You think I want bird kids? Have you seen little birds? Hideous. But then they grow into pretty delicious chickens, so it's a struggle for all of us, I guess.
Beer & Craft 7: Hops & Robbers Plus This Thing
Beer #7 is the beer to remember. Seven pints of beer separated by brief moments of crafting makes it harder to type an article, but not impossible. I could do laundry right now. I could make a bagel. This beer was also all about hops. All these beers are hops puns. I got news for you, craft beer guys: Everyone makes a fuckin' hops pun. Like one or two are funny, but then later it's like watching one of those off-brand comedy specials that's on local cable instead of the Comedy Network or HBO, and the comedians are all people you're pretty sure work at the local supermarket. One guy will come out and you'll be so hopeful that this is the next Patrice O'Neal or John Mulaney, but instead he'll eschew jokes in favor of swearing loudly about how he hates his ex. And his whole act is just awful stories pointed with Tourette's moments of loudly cursing, which he thinks is a punchline, and you'll wish you had more of this fuckin' hopsy brew to drown his ass in.
I don't know what craft to make for this one, and really, how would they know? Who's telling the craft beer people if I don't make a craft? Like, I could have not made any of these crafts and just drank the beer. I mean, not now, because I made it into an article, but say I wasn't a guy who does this for a living. I could have secretly made no crafts. Why did I sign up for this, anyway? It's needless, is what it is. I mean, that macaroni wiener is funny and all. Actually, I had a pretty good day. Maybe that's what the craft beer barons were trying to teach us all along. You and me, pal. We just got schooled.
This beer is described as a sessionable IPA, and the can literally says "extra delicious." That's a bold-ass stance to take. I guess no one is going to advertise "generally mediocre" or "mildly tolerable," now that I think about it. I'm learning a lot on this journey. Also, I have to piss like a demon.
Incidentally, the beer is OK, but I'm not sure I'd call it extra delicious. Like regular delicious, tops. Pompous Ass was more delicious, and they didn't even use the word "delicious" on the can. Probably because they're so pompous they felt they didn't need to.
Here's my fuckin' craft. It's gum with a googly eye and a screwdriver.
Check out some less-than-craft beers in 5 Tips For Pairing Cheap Beers With Personal Failures, and take a look at some heavy-hitting cocktails in Pop Culture Cocktails That'll Eff You Up In Real Life.
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