July 30, 2007
A Not Quite Balanced Dinner

After a flight from Sacramento to Minneapolis the other day, I blogged here favorably about the box of snacks Northwest Airlines has available for passengers for $5. On the return flight Saturday evening, however, Northwest didn't have any of the boxes. "They ran out in Minneapolis," explained a flight attendant. That's all she knew of the situation. I wanted her to say my praise for the snacks was more far-reaching than even I suspected. I suspect that the truth of the matter was that Northwest officials concluded the plane couldn't accommodate the weight of the box lunches because so many passengers were carrying aboard copies of the hefty new "Harry Potter" book. At least they didn't lighten up on the fuel.

Nor did Northwest empty its ice chest of the August Schell FireBrick Amber Lager ($5 the can). I like it when airlines have the foresight and pride to stock local products, especially when they are as finely made as this malty, lightly bitter brew. According to the can, Schells have been brewing beer in New Ulm, Minn., for five generations. They've been at it since 1860, making Schell the second oldest family-owned brewery in the nation. No room on the can to say who has been at it longer, apparently. I wasn't reading "Harry Potter," but the FireBrick went fittingly as I finished Ken Bruen's quick and funny "Vixen."

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