by Marty Nopper, Tastemaker in Residence

OK…so I have been told by many of you (alright, just me) that you expect me to produce an article discussing the delectable libations I encounter on my monthly escapades to far-away places (like, say, Columbus, OH or Mobile, AL). Tonight, during a trip to a local Kroger, however, I was reminded that all the stuff happening all over the world and, of course on Facebook, regarding the NFL, the healthcare and tax reform bills, the unrest in Egypt and all the other seemingly divisive topics that need open discussion and, are important…but, I needed a break.

While buying a 6 pack of Bells Two Hearted Ale (I'll get to that in a minute...wait, maybe I should have gotten Pabst as I now see a Blue Ribbon. Damn...shiny object), I found an unusual top on one of the said beers in the pack that I hadn't spied before. It was different from the others and carried a message: Pints for Prostates. I was intrigued as I hadn't seen this one before.

Few people know this but Prostate Cancer is a very personal subject with me as I am a Prostate Cancer survivor. Hearing that you have cancer provides a different perspective on your life moving forward. Getting this particular 6 pack was very lucky because it gave me a chance at a mental retrospection of the last year of my life over the next 30 minutes or so. It reminded me of my personal journey and the emotional roller coaster it produced. You sit and think about the possibility of dying and all the beers that you haven't drunk yet (:yes, I went there-yes, he went there). It brought back a lot of feelings and gave me a face-smacking reminder of how lucky I am (alright, that was Jennifer because I forgot the chicken breast but remembered beer). I'm 1 year out and 1 year clean but the journey continues every day...

Anyway, I went home to research this 'crown' and found that a 47-year-old man, Rick Lyke, discovered he had Prostate Cancer one day after a friend encouraged him to go see a doctor after he was diagnosed. Ricks story is below and I encourage you to click on the link: Pints for prostates: One man's beer battle against cancer.

Now, this isn't a feel sad for Marty piece, I couldn't be happier, but more about the importance of screening and early detection. We all know someone who has been impacted by this potentially fatal disease which can grow at a snail’s pace and lie undetected for many years or may be very aggressive and there's not much to do after the bad news is given. There is a lot of conflicting data about treatment and who should be screened but if you have a history and/or are over 50, the odds say yes (heck, why not go when you’re 40?). I'm only here to encourage you to get tested as every decision should be individualized. Don't let a $50 co-pay keep you from seeing your Primary Care physician to get your PSA done, it’s as simple as watering the flowers. (BTW, don't most women aver the age of 50 get mammograms every year???).

Do not let the myths about Prostate Cancer keep you from going! In fact, here are 6 myths about Prostate Cancer: PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO #4...:)

You may be saying, Marty, that's cool! Great news and I'm glad you're doing better. We'll have some pops this weekend, but how did that damn bottle cap get on your beer? First of all, in the industry it’s called a ‘crown’, not a bottle cap and, patience, grasshopper whilst I sit here drinking this 42 degree libation form Comstock, MI. I did a little research and it seems old Rick Lyke got over 40 craft breweries to commit to making men talk about their feelings. Over beer! "Pints for Prostates Crowns for a Cure is distributing 400,000 bottle caps – known in the beverage trade as crowns – to craft brewers around the country to use on beer they package during November and December. The crowns feature the Pints for Prostates logo on the outside and under the cap is the message, “Reaching men through the universal language of beer. Pint for Prostrates

Great organization for bringing Prostate Cancer into the discussion, especially because the cavemen we are don't realize that we aren't invincible and people out there actually will miss some of us when we're gone.

 DON'T BE THAT GUY- GET TESTED...PLEASE! Your loved ones may thank you.

Now, about Bells Two Hearted Ale. You know I'm all in with an American Pale Ale as there haven't been too many I have turned down. Named after the Two Hearted River in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP), Two Hearted Pale Ale is brewed with 100% Centennial Hops and, according to the label, is, "bursting with hop aromas ranging from pine to grapefruit and perfectly balanced with a malt backbone, say what?". Now for the best part..."this beer is well suited for adventures everywhere". Serious? Have you drank it? I don't know about all that, but at 7% ABV, I 'm sure it will take you on an adventure but not the ones they think! This bru is prettie taty...get ya sum! ANyway, as I finish my furst (maYbe fou\orth?), I don't know about eny pine nuts or grapes...but I know I want anuthr...enjoi nd drunk resopslby?