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Watching a good bowl game with a dark Frank Zappa beer

Last night I put myself in the full Barcalounger position -- maximum recline -- to watch the battle of journalism school giants, Missouri v. Northwestern, in football's Alamo Bowl.

It was a spirited contest, proving I guess that schools that turn out scribblers (I got a journalism degree from Northwestern, my dad got one from MU) can also play good football.

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The brew that I sipped while watching the game, pulling the lounge chair up to take a swig, was Ruben & the Jets, a dark chocolate stout from Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma, Calif. The brewery issued the beer in honor of the 40th annivesary of the release of the Ruben & The Jets album by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Zappa, of course , was a Baltimore native and Dec. 21 was declared Frank Zappa Day in this town.

The brew poured very dark, almost black. It had nice chocolate notes, but overall was much milder than I expected. Some folks report tasting pepper notes, but I missed them. It was 8.6 per cent ABV.

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Overall it was a pleasant companion to a good game. It was about midnight when Mizzou pulled out the victory in overtime and the last sip was swallowed. It was a nice way to spend a December evening.

Anyone else have Frank Zappa's beer?

Anybody ever meet Zappa?

What beer do you recommend to sip while ringing in the New Year's Eve?

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