Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Calling the Tapster

(Heineken-Krups BeerTender, $400 coming to William-Sonoma)

     Sometimes, I don't need anything fancy to wear. Sometimes, I just need a cold beer. As much as I love the Germans and their love for beer of all temperatures, I don't think I could abide by anything in my house other than cold beer. And no, I don't count calories. So no, I drink beer whenever I damn well please. Enter, this beauty of a machine culled from (obviously) the brightest minds that Heineken and Krups could bring together in one room.

     A 5-liter capacity and LCD temperature read-out means that I can have my beer exactly the way I like: cold and copious. Blame my renewal of love of beer on Anthony Bourdain (whose life I obviously wish to steal and/or emulate). Now, $400 is plenty to shill out for what is, in essence, a glorified refrigerator that can really do nothing more than dispense liquid. But—aha—the operative word here is "glorified". Of course it's ridiculous. What about beer, aside from its centuries of history and tradition, isn't ridiculous about beer? It's delicious, intoxicating, and perhaps the most important thing you can possibly have with cheese. (Before you start bitching at me that the proper thing to drink with cheese is wine, I suggest you go out, find yourself a nice chocolate stout—Guinness being the most easily accessible—and have yourself some nice hard cheeses with it. Then try to tell to my face that beer and cheese don't belong together.)

     Honestly, a cold beer, a good book, and maybe some latkes from Saul's. What else could I possibly desire on this whole, wide world?

(From left to right, the Kingsgate, Aquamac, and Fairmount, $1,468, $538, and $880, respectively @ Aquascutum)
     Who am I kidding? Of course I can't do without fancy things to wear. Aquascutum's been perfecting the trench since they...well...perfected the trench. The company's name, Latin for "water shield", comes from the patented waterproof textile that founder John Emary developed in 1853. With roots in both warfare (these puppies protected many an honorable Allied soldier from the harsh winters on campaign) and tailoring, Aquascutum pretty much explains why folks who lived through World War II are such bad-asses.

     Now, these don't come cheap and I am certainly in no position to just pick up one. The Kingsgate and Fairmount are both classic trenches, but the Aquamac is one ruggedly classic mackintosh. But if you're looking for something stylish, has some heritage to it, and practical, don't just impulsively reach for Burberry. Although I do admit that Christopher Bailey's done a fantastic job turning the brand around and retooling it into one cool-as-fuck brand, there's just a certain je ne sais quoi about these coats.

     And come on. Michael Caine has worn Aquascutum. Michael Caine. You don't get much more bad-ass than that.

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