Vessel of Choice

The Choice Remains the Same

Let’s not mince words: if we saw Al Czervik’s yacht bearing down on us we’d call the harbor master too.

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But the question before us today isn’t the size of one’s boatit’s the preference of one’s vessel. Is it a bottle, or is it a can? And before you answer the question bottle fans, bite your lip. You may be in for a surprise. Paper or plastic? Yacht or dinghy? Screw tops or cork? Bottles or cans? The vessel of choice is in the air on this edition of High Octane Growler.

Cast of Characters

Along with Growler host Tommy Hough, we’re again joined by the team from Return of the Growler, including Ken Wright, Minister of Evangelism and Indoctrination at the Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, who answers “why are guys into bitterness,” and notes that one gender has far greater access to tasting sensations than the otherand it doesn’t involve a Y chromosome.

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We’re also joined by surfer and San Diego TV and radio personality Jodina Scazzola, who has an unusual story about an attitude-laden hostess she encountered on a recent, rainy North County pub crawl involing the too-often misunderstood libation lager. Jodina also chimes in on cilantro allergies, complaints she received while pouring beer and the durable appeal of white zinfandel.

Comedian Dana Rubin shares an unusual story about coming face-to-face with an exhumed corpse (that’s right folks, he’s the comedian) in a manner which is more Carl Sagan and less Alfredo Garcia, and talks about a heroic encounter with a pint of Ballast Point Sculpin IPA at a bar in his hometown of Boston.

Head: Not Just a Cool Monkees Movie

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Speaking of pouring beer, the conversation moves from a discussion over vessels like a bottle, can or growler, to taking the mystery out of what is generally referred to as “head.”

That is, the curious cloud of CO2 that appears at the top of beers and other carbonated beverages. And since this is High Octane Growler, the maturity level is debatable, but the science is accurate, as Ken explains too much head is never a bad thing.

And we’ll leave it at that. You want more? You’ll have to listen.

So let’s get some beers, eh?

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Beers Enjoyed

Stone Brewing Co. Ruination IPA
Escondido, California
Imperial / Double IPA
8.2% ABV
IBU 100

Alesmith Yulesmith Summer 2015 IPA
San Diego, California
Imperial / Double IPA
8.5% ABV
IBU 105

Mother Earth Brew Co. Kismet IPA
Vista, California
American IPA
7.2% ABV
IBU 78

Music Notes



We start with a snippet from “Dread Lion” by The Upsetters, the catch-all name for Lee “Scratch” Perry’s myriad of projects during his 1970s heyday at the now-burned down Black Ark Studios in Kingston. From the 1976 Super Ape album, the song’s dubby mysticism makes for an “irie” opening, and reminds Tommy of Roo at his former Oregon Wild workplace, in part because of “the roots” chant at the beginning of the song.

The Heavy and their hipster workout “How You Like Me Now” provide the middle interlude, from their 2009 album The House That Dirt Built. Long before this was adopted by the Horrible Bosses franchise, this was a favorite on Tommy’s afternoon show at FM 94/9. The song is built, in part, on a sample swiped from the 1969 Dyke and the Blazers song “Let a Woman Be a Woman.”

link_wray_essential_earlyWe (almost) close with a Steve Albini-produced fistful of guitar feakout from the almighty weird Jesus Lizard, and the track “Dancing Naked Ladies” from their 1992 album Liar. This Austin band later released the split “Puss” / “Oh, the Guilt” single with Nirvana in early 1993, by which time Nirvana was similarly working on their Steve Albini-produced album In Utero.

We opted to close with something naughty, so of course we went with “Rumble” by Link Wray and His Ray Men from 1958, which became one of the first rock and roll songs to be banned from the radio, in part because of the “rumbles” the song would inspire at Link Wray gigs. The song is notable for its abundance of attitude, adventurous use of distortion, and was one of the first songs to utilize power chords – though the A, A, D / A, A, E progression invites plenty of nasty open chording options as well.

High Octane Growler official photographs by Jay Reilly Photography.

Thanks as always to broadcast brother Mike Hansen for the killer High Octane Growler imaging.


Who let this guy loose in the catacombs of Stone?


Reggie and his brown eyes.

Don’t despair, there will be more High Octane Growlers.