I’ve been away.
Only for five days, but still. It wears on one. Usually here I’d have grand tales of my adventures, but in an attempt to simplify our itinerary I didn’t push for any beer stops this time. I mostly ate jelly beans.
On the way home I thought about what to write about. I decided to go for a “beer at the end of the road” sort of theme, but then Twitter alerted me to it being “National Beer Day”, and so there we had it.
But still I have rules
See, at first you’d think today celebrated the real of Prohibition. And it does, sort of: the beginning of the end, at least. But instead of outright allowing all alcohol, the Cullen–Harrison Act — which went into effect on this day in 1933 — permitted the sale of beer under 3.2% alcohol by weight.
So: I would drink a beer, but it had to be under 3.2% alcohol by weight, or 4% alcohol by volume. This turned out to mostly limit me to various versions of “session IPAs”, which is to say “pale ales”, but while I like the style nothing really reached out and said “me! me!”
After debating my options for so long that I very nearly missed BreadHive’s window hours I picked up Butternuts’ Pork Slap Pale Ale. Sure I’ve had it before, and even written about it, and it had 0.1% more alcohol by volume than I wanted, but further dithering would have cost me my weekly sourdough. Don’t come between me and my carbs.
I taste the ginger more than I remember, which either means my palate has refined or drinking it at near-room-temperature makes a significant difference. I choose the one where I’m better.
I don’t like it quite as much as I used to, but the carbonation seems harsher, the bubbles bigger. I’m probably drinking it too warm. Or my son shook it too much in the car.
I had a long trip. A fun one, but it started with a four and a half hour wait for a tow truck, an unplanned stop at a hotel which only yielded four hours of sleep, a locked bathroom preventing showers and, just for fun, a bit of vomit. Then three days in a house with four kids 5 and under. I deserved a second beer.
While the Pork Slap adhered to the 3.2 standard, I decided to also drink something that gleefully ignored it, flaunting how far we’ve come. Not that alcohol strength means quality or superiority. I just wanted something stiff. Stout.
I saw Spider Bite’s Boris the Spider on the shelf. Spider Bite! We’ve collaborated with them. And they made a Who reference. How could I say no to their imperial stout?
The first thing that springs into my mind: “quintessential”. Dark chocolate overwhelms, with coffee and hints of fruit, but a dull, bitter cocoa persists throughout.
Oh yes. This will do nicely. To sit and sip and watch Community and eat too much Chinese food because I am home.
Happy National Beer Day, everyone.