I caught the tail end of an article on NPR so I don't know who this quote is from, but it cracked me up.

"Mellow??  You want to be mellow then go turn yourself into a f***ing piece of cheese.  But the problem with being a piece of cheese is that someone will spread you on a cracker."

The hell with mellow.

Stand for something.

Your friend,

Jim Caruso




Former death row inmate Anthony Graves was just freed after 18 years in a Texas prison.  The District Attorney of Burleson County, Texas said that Mr. Graves was unequivocally an innocent man.  It was a wrongful conviction based on perjured testimony and there was not a shred of evidence against Mr. Graves.

However, were it not for 8 years of investigative journalism led by Professor Nicole Casarez and her students at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Mr. Graves would still be on death row.

According to Pamela Colloff, Sr. Editor of the Texas Monthly, "[Professor] Nicole Casarez and her journalism students spent eight years investigating this case and turned up some remarkable facts. They went back. They reinvestigated the case. They found new people to talk about what had happened. They pored over this incredible lengthy and complicated court record. And what Nicole and her students put together was a very damning picture of miscarriage of justice."

Ms. Colloff added that Mr. Graves was 26 when he was arrested and he's leaving prison at age 45.  He gets no money from the state of Texas, he has nothing to his name, and he didn't know how to use his attorney's cell phone when he called his mom to let her know that he was being released.

But, Mr. Graves is a free man thanks to journalists like Professor Casarez and her students.

Investigative journalism and a free press are the best safeguards to protect the rights of citizens and the best defense against tyranny.

Those were pretty much Anita Thompson's words to me when I first met her and the energizing conversations continue.

Viva journalism!

And, THANK YOU dear friend Anita and Claire Donnelly for the unbelievably amazing and awesome GONZO!!

Gonzo Pendant 


Your friend,

Jim Caruso



People of all ages, worldviews, and political persuasions continue to be in awe of Hunter S. Thompson's intellectual genius.  William F. Buckley, Jr., the preeminent voice of American conservatism, was one such admirer.  WFB described Generation of Swine as "indisputably a hugely important sociological phenomenon" and WFB's quote on the back cover of The Gonzo Papers Anthology is one of my favorites.  According to WFB, "Hunter S. Thompson elicits the same kind of admiration one would feel for a streaker at Queen Victoria's funeral."

We had a party here at the brewery for our wholesaler partners and friends from Premium Distributors of Maryland and Washington DC and many energizing conversations centered on Hunter S. Thompson and politics.

Gonzo Imperial Porter was on tap, of course, but Gonzo also found its way into the food offerings.

The grand finale dessert after world-class barbecue from our friends and supporters at The Black Hog was a scoop of Edy's Chocolate Fudge Crunch ice cream in (Stranahan's) Whiskey Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter topped with whipped cream and chocolate chips.  Indescribable.  Truly incredible.

Gonzo Imperial Porter 
We love you, Ralph Steadman!

Your friend,

Jim Caruso










The old laziness used to be that I would not feel like carrying two 80-pound packs of roofing shingles (one on each shoulder) three stories up a ladder that sagged under the combined weight of the shingles and me in 90-degree heat.

The old laziness was wanting to avoid the pain of loading and unloading 165-pound kegs of beer.

You get the idea.  The old laziness was avoiding physically hard, painful work.

The world today, however, is more about innovation, resourcefulness, and new ideas than it is about physical labor. 

Today's laziness is about avoiding mentally hard work.  The kind of work that can be emotionally challenging.

That is good news because even if I wanted to I couldn't carry 160 pounds of roofing shingles or 165-pound beer kegs around all day.  But I can discipline myself to get over the fear of having new ideas and sharing them with the world knowing that I'll often be criticized.

Thank you friend and author, Seth Godin, for being the inspiration for this blog post and in countless other ways over the years. 

Your friend,

Jim Caruso



"If you listen to somebody else," says Clint Eastwood, "they could talk you out of anything."

Matt Damon claims that he does his best work when he doesn't "fuck it up by thinking too much."

"Oh, screw it, let's do it," sums it up for Richard Branson.

All art is on the EDGE.  If you don't have the courage to trust yourself and possibly be criticized, your art won't happen.

Your friend,

Jim Caruso




EVERY day.

If you do, you'll go farther in life than you ever imagined.

Happy Halloween!

And, thanks to Tabitha for being the inspiration for this post.

Kriek on!

Your friend,

Jim Caruso



The only real education is self-education. 

Train yourself to observe, to see the world as it is, and to think and make decisions.  And to read and to study.  The resources available to any one of us are unlimited.

College as we know it is about to experience a meltdown more dramatic than the dot-com bust.

One of the most prestigious universities in the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, now offers 2,000 courses FREE online through their OpenCourseWare program.  That



While there are a few creative geniuses as a result of their DNA (Einstein, J.S. Bach, Michelangelo, and others of their ilk), all of us ordinary people were born creative enough.

Some people had the good fortune to be reared in artistic environments that encouraged and nurtured that creativity.

Most of us, however, without that encouragement, had their creativity crushed by the school system early on.  Unless, that is, they were one of the fortunate few who attended a progressive school such as the one that George Stranahan founded and that just celebrated its 40th anniversary.  Then, after being taught compliance by the school system, many went on to the corporate world where any remaining creativity was extinguished by policy and procedure manuals and the norm that everyone dressed alike, used the same jargon, and closely imitated the boss because that



If you




Knowledge and experience are valuable, but not rare commodities. 

Hard work is essential, but not sufficient.

Creativity is where all the value is.


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