Tom Kiely thinks it’s going to be just another Tuesday of slinging craft beer when he steps out of his Toyota Corolla XRS to beat the pavement in the sleepy, seaside town of Pacific Beach. Little does he know that his very life will depend on his keen sense of danger, his skills with a hand-made tap handle and an empty keg of beer.
The rumors have been spreading for weeks in the San Diego craft beer industry that the deaths stacking up all lead back to one company; Budweiser. Big beer is big business, and after some time of the beer Goliath swatting away the craft beer gnats, maybe they decide to take additional steps to silence the dissenters. Wiretaps, strange men lurking in the shadows, this story could go all the way up to the top! Where does this trail of bad beers end??? First, let’s take a look at where it all begins…
The first victim is Steve Garcia from Chula Vista’s 3 Punk Ales. He is found murdered in a gutter in South Bay, with a bloody “B” scrawled on his forehead. The bodies begin piling up, as reps from three other craft breweries go missing and then later are found with the tell-tale, bloody “B.”
While Tom Kiely is concerned about his fallen beer-brethren, he also knows he has a job to do and that is to sell beer. He knows that if he can’t get Thorn Street Brewery beer out to the masses, big beer will win. He also knows that he has a giant target on his logoed t-shirt because he senses that he is next on the hit list. Mostly because someone private messages him through his Grinder account that he is next on the hit list, but also his gut tells him and a man of Tom Kiely’s character always listens to his gut…his big hairy gut.
But why would Budweiser be out to get Tom Kiely from Thorn Street Brewery? To clear tap handles of course. The rumors begin circulating when a new Budweiser rep, H.J. Peiswatter, starts telling local establishments that TSB is responsible for their recent ABC bust, up in Orange County. This rumor starts from a TSB blog that covered the bust, which takes its info from an ABC press release. The fact that the ABC investigation has been going on for more than a year before it is reported on by TSB or that there are no connections between TSB and bars in the L.A. area is lost on them, as are consumers’ tastes. But coincidentally, or perhaps not, that’s when the bodies start piling up. Is this new Bud rep really a beer salesman? Or perhaps he is something more sinister. With his freshly shorn face, khaki slacks, flip phone, and glass eye, he certainly stands out immediately from the other beer sales reps in San Diego.
Lucky for H.J. Peiswatter, he is on the right track. Tom Kiely, in fact, is a snitch and it all starts back in the Boston burbs. During his youth, Tom Kiely is heavily influenced by skittles, Pepsi, and his father. Starting out as a hairy young man who only gets hairier, Tom Kiely has a history of making friends with shady characters. In fact, one time his father, seeing the direction that his son is heading, tries to warn Tom about a young buck he befriends, saying, “He’d sell you down the river for a tube of pimple cream!!” Little does his father know, it will be Tom who sells this very same friend out for a bottle of Proactiv; because that shit is expensive.
This leads to a lifetime of snitching for Tom Kiely. From ratting out kids who walk on the grass when the signs says, “Please Stay On Walkways” to informing the Baha Men who let the dogs out, Tom Kiely rises to fame on his penchant for whistle-blowing and his fierce Boston accent which only seems to get stronger the further he moves from Boston. But is it Tom that snitches on Budweiser to the ABC? Even for Tom, it would be a stretch to snitch on L.A. bars because if there is one reason Tom snitches, it’s for personal gain and there is no personal gain in snitching on L.A. bars.
Back to the dark and temperate Tuesday night with Tom Kiely. He has just finished selling three kegs of Relay IPA to an unnamed bar in PB and is whistling an ominous tune while walking back to his trusty Toyota Corolla XRS or as he affectionately calls it, Tom Cruiser. Just then, he hears a voice coming from the shadows. “Snitches get stitches.”
Tom Kiely’s luxurious chest hair raises immediately. After years of getting jumped for being a rat, he has a sixth sense about these things. Out of the shadows walks a clean-cut, H.J. Peiswatter, staring ominously and wearing a“Budweiser Rules” shirt. Tom Kiely immediately knows he’s in trouble and he hurls the empty keg he is carrying (because TSB picks up their empty kegs in a timely manner) at H.J. Peiswatter and runs. The Bud rep takes up the chase and the two men run haphazardly through the alleyways of PB for about a block before Tom becomes too winded to continue.
The only thing left in Tom’s possession is a beautifully, hand-crafted, wooden tap handle bearing the words “Rock the Pale Ale.” With a laser-like focus, he squares himself up against the nearly-hairless Bud rep and launches the tap handle at him.
The tap handle smacks H.J. Peiswatter in the middle of his gleaming forehead and he says, “Ow! That hurts!” Tom Kiely rests his gaze on H.J. Peiswatter’s glass eye and says,
“Just as you hurt the local brewing community when you engage in pay to play schemes.”
H.J. Peiswatter pauses for a minute, looking confused, and says, “You know, Tom Kiely, I never looked at it that way before. You’re right, and I’m sorry.”
“I forgive you.” Tom Kiely says. Both gentlemen shake hands and walk away and the hero, a winded, tired, and lightly shat himself, Tom, gives a small fist-pump in the air like the ending of a John Hughes movie. What happened to the dead beer reps? It turns out that they were targeted by a pro-wine cult from Temecula and the “Bs” stood for “buttery,” but that’s a story for another day.
P.S. Don’t be a Hugh Jass Peiswatter!
Happy April Fools