Here at Your Friday Drinking Instructions, we take great pride in bringing you the most accurate, hard-hitting journalism found anywhere on the web. Just go ahead and check out any of our amazing past successes.
But like Michigan Football, Maize n Brew is about redemption and umpteenth chances. That's why the powers that be at SB Nation and Michigan's wonderful athletic department granted Your Friday Drinking Instructions the privilege of descending the murky blue depths of fall camp and boarding the maize submarine that seems to have everyone all up in a tizzy - but only on the condition that we forego our annual exercise in futility that is the YFD season preview. Seems like a fair trade to us - stop being wrong in exchange for a one-on-one with the holiest of holies?
Yup, I got to interview Jim Harbaugh. Here's what Coach had to say:
YFD: Coach, thanks for the time today. How are you?
Attacking this day with Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) January 15, 2015
YFD: You've been known to juggle dozens of things at once, which a college football coach has to do to be successful in today's environment. What's going on under that block M hat of yours right now?
My fav football nicknames 1 Iron Mike 2 Sweetness 3 Night Train 4 Galloping Ghost 5 Johnny U 6 Concrete Charlie 7 Deacon 8 Iron Head. Yours?— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) March 23, 2015
YFD: Gotta be honest, Coach, I don't know if I can think of any.
"Anything less than a man's best effort cheats himself! Demeans him! Spoils him! Ruins him! Cheapens him! Emerson— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) January 16, 2015
YFD: Shit. OK. Let's just move on. Talk about the transition to Michigan from the NFL. How's Ann Arbor treating you?
Life at Michigan is Great! Great with a capital "G!"— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) January 14, 2015
YFD: What's the reception from local and national media been like? You excited to have GameDay come back to Ann Arbor this year?
Just heard Lou Holtz is no longer at ESPN Ridiculous! Saturday's won't be the same, Love Lou Holtz! Chris Fowler not on Game Day, Flummoxed— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) May 3, 2015
YFD: You're on Twitter, and I know you hear all the time about your move back home. Talk about the flood of advice you must've gotten.
Ppl say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing, give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin When I say I'm OK they look at me kind of strange— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) June 9, 2015
YFD: John Bacon's new book has some revelations about the process of bringing you home. Talk about the day on the boat where you talked about living in a college town - that day made him think it was real.
No fear for water! See a little nervousness at dentist pic.twitter.com/jhXZV2lemh— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) May 31, 2015
YFD: Know you've got a busy schedule and with Utah around the corner, I'm sure you're kicking it into high gear. How'd you spend your last day before Game Week?
Hanging out with Mom & Dad at the Residence Inn. Jack & Jackie H, 53 years of Marriage! Who's Got It Better than Us? pic.twitter.com/GcPRuKOYD0— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) March 2, 2015
YFD: Great to see you were able to spend some time with your family. As a kid, spending your days in the shadow of Bo and obviously learning from your dad constantly, what were you most looking forward to growing up?
What I would've given at the age of 11, to ride on the Zamboni #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/AIznoKT56d— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 28, 2015
YFD: Oh. Ok. Um, switching gears, you made some serious waves this offseason with your Summer Swarm Tour. Did any one camp strike you as one you'd like to go back to next year? Talk about the talent you saw out there.
Traveling our great country, I have found our country's greatness lies within good, proud people who possess faith, hope n love for family— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) January 31, 2015
YFD: What's the biggest question you think the team answered this offseason?
Where were you 35 years ago, when you heard the Epic "Do you believe in Miracles" call? Was that 35yrs ago? "Say it ain't so Joe"— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 21, 2015
YFD: On to the current team - what have you seen out of fall camp that's impressed you so far? How was yesterday's practice?
And Again, another very good day for us, Set the bar for what the expectations are for the program. Competition in every phase.— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 5, 2015
YFD: You've preached improvement from day one. Can you single out one player, coach, or position group that you've seen improve - and why?
Thrilled that Greg Jackson's plane landed in Ann Arbor! He is a proven leader that will get the best out of our secondary!— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) January 15, 2015
YFD: I have to ask - Broome's got this thing where he makes us all get him gifts from the people we interview. Can you make that happen? We could even surprise him!
It's a good thing he doesn't have a glass jaw cause he hasn't learned to keep his guard up. pic.twitter.com/T7wno2R3Hy— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) May 23, 2015
YFD: Yeah, but he has to approve this article. Help a brother out?
Will send an item for Magnificent Memories— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) March 9, 2015
YFD: Thanks, Coach. You going to join us for Pac and Biggie Week this year, Coach? Any thoughts?
Thought for the day - As Oliver Luck once told me "History doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme"...Mark Twain quote— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) March 21, 2015
YFD: At least tell me you've got some suggestions for YFD this year.
I"m not a food critic, merely a blunt instrument who only knows football. In my opinion this restaurant is the Best! pic.twitter.com/oIdvpemrIn— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) July 15, 2015
YFD: I'm pumped for football, but one thing that sucks about August is seasonal creep. You know how they have pumpkin beer out in, like, July? It isn't right. My favorite summer beer is a nice, crisp Oberon, and I can drink it any time I want.
I can't disagree ... I can only agree. Mine too @NICKIMINAJ ! pic.twitter.com/IYw8eQUHcz— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) August 2, 2015
YFD: Well, this has been weird. I'm probably going to have to answer some tough questions about this interview.
In my experience of participating in interviews, I've found it takes 2 to produce a clunker! I'll take 50% responsibility 4 this clunker.— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) July 1, 2015
YFD: That makes me feel about 50% better. Thanks for your time today, Coach. Go Blue!
Have a Great day! A Great week! A Great month! and a Great year! and Go Blue!— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) January 10, 2015
*Unfortunately, some technical issues occurred during our call, but Coach suggested we hop over to Twitter to finish the chat.
And without further ado, here's your Beers of the Week:
For Your East Coast Bias: The Duck-Rabbit Schwarzbier
Duck-Rabbit, out of Farmville, NC, has some really good stuff. They're known for their darker stuff - their milk stout and their Baltic porter are both excellent and will likely feature on future YFDs. But they'll knock you on your ass. Earlier this summer I drank some random oaky porter on the beach and ended up sleeping through dinner because, turns out, the bastard was 12% or something insane. It is still summer and this is summer beer time. There's a time and a place for your pumpkin peach ales and your imperial somethingorothers, but it isn't now.
Schwartzbier is a roasted lager. You generally use a darker, roasted malt to get a darker color and a little bit of a bite at the end of a sip, but it's still got the characteristic lightness of a lager. Duck-Rabbit does exactly that. When they tell you a beer is X, it's X. They name their beers by style, and by golly, that's how they turn out. Schwarzbiers aren't for everyone - but they're a great end-of-summer brew. This one clocks in around 6 percent so it's jusssst quaffable enough for your Labor Day grills.
For your Local Yokeldom: Half Acre Lead Feather
I've waxed rhapsodically about Half Acre in this space before. They're the kickest-ass Chicago brewery, and they brew in cans, which is the correct vessel in which to sell beer. It's like a keg you put into your face. Half Acre's great, and you can't go wrong with it. But for those of you looking to try something beyond their standard pale (looking at you, 312), give Lead Feather a shot.
It's another "black" ale - which you should not confuse with a porter. Think of it as a malty IPA. It isn't dark in body, just in color. It's got that roasty, hoppy flavor to it that you'd expect from a west coast black IPA. And, bonus points, it's a year-round beer, so if this summer evening for you isn't doing it, save 'em for a month from now when the Midwest weather inevitably causes you to ponder hugging your family for warmth, only to turn away when you realize you don't have a family.
Until next time, Cheers, Michigan Faithful!