Rose: Why do men chase women? Johnny: Well, there's a Bible story... God... God took a rib from Adam and made Eve. Now maybe men chase women to get the rib back. When God took the rib, he left a big hole there, where there used to be something. And the women have that. Now maybe, just maybe, a man isn't complete as a man without a woman. Rose: [frustrated] But why would a man need more than one woman? Johnny: I don't know. Maybe because he fears death. [Rose looks up, eyes wide, suspicions confirmed] Rose: That's it! That's the reason! Johnny: I don't know! Rose: No! That's it! Thank you! Thank you for answering my question!
What does this fantastic scene from Moonstruck have to do with running? Or beers? Or any damn thing?
Let me explain, or, as Inigo Montoya said, “no, there is too much, let me sum up.”
Men run because they fear death.
I should speak for myself here, and not my entire gender.
I don’t fear death. I recognize that it’s part of the circle of life. I saw the Lion King. You have to have someone die before they can hold the new cub up and sing “Nants ingonyama bagithi baba!” (actual Zulu lyrics, I looked them up) and so on. I get all that.
What I fear, instead, is a gradual, slow death, incapacitated by inactivity, lifeless, slumped over in a chair or a bed in some assisted living center, awake but not really awake. Overweight, and achey, and struggling to haul my big old ass up off the couch or up a flight of steps. I’ve seen too many other old folks go out that way.
I run because it restores a sense of vitality to my life. I run because it’s a way to remind myself that despite my advancing years, I can stare mortality in the face, let the Reaper know that even though he will eventually catch me, that I’m laced up and ready to make him WORK to catch me.
So, having said that, let’s take a foot tour through one of the many fine neighborhoods in my town.
Wednesdays are run club nights – my run club runs a (mostly) closed-to-traffic stretch of trails and city sidewalks marked off and known as the Creekwalk each Wednesday after work. The full route is 5.5 miles, though some of it was closed for construction. I modified the route today to shorten it up to a 5k (3.1 mile) route, as I have a marathon in a few days and didn’t want to overextend myself. This is a nice meandering path around a few different parts of downtown Syracuse, including a loop around our interactive museum, the MOST.
Of the 26 minutes I was running, I had about a ten minute stretch to start where the sky was dry, though gradually “purpling,” and then a 15 minute downpour, followed by (of course) a let up just as my run ended. Because that’s how these things go. Likely, my pace picked up due to the heavy rain, as I was inclined to get my miles in and move on to the second portion of my trifecta.
Historically, the run club has started and ended our Wednesday runs at a cafe, chosen primarily due to its proximity to the Creekwalk and ample parking.
While pleasant in a general sense, and containing some outdoor seating, I don’t need coffee at 5:30 PM. That’s a late hour for caffeine. I generally have something more refreshing in mind that late in the day, especially after a 30 minute run.
So, wouldn’t we be a happy-as-heck run club to find out that a brand new pub/tavern was opening up right along our route?
The Preserve opened its doors officially earlier this month. Our run club prez made arrangements with the place so they would set aside a table for us.
This place is really very pleasant and upscale. I ran first and then headed in for a beer, and immediately felt like Rodney Dangerfield’s character from Caddyshack.
Cloth napkins? Faux fireplaces? People wearing pants? I felt like some kind of fancy person. Come on now.
They had a long, comfortable looking bar — so populated with people that I had to elbow my way in to look at the taps.
The bartender was pleasant in both appearance and disposition and she did that thing that girls do that makes me crazy. She poured me a beer. I love her!
I had two beers today, the first of which was a nice, if not particularly memorable, IPA. The second beer, however, was a revelation.
This bad boy, right here, the Good Nature Brewing American Brown Ale.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I am long partial to the brown ales. The first post that I wrote for this blog, in fact, was a review of another brown ale.
Today’s beer was brought to me (via the Reserve) from the Good Nature Brewing Company, based out of nearby Hamilton, New York. Their American Brown Ale (6.2% ABV, IBU 47) is described on the brewer’s web site, ITBMCBB*, as “rich with prominent chocolate & toffee notes. Dark & robust but smooth.”
I couldn’t agree more.
This thing had all kinds of depth of flavor. I’m partial to most craft beers’ version of a brown ale, but this was hands down the best of all that I have had. Sweet, and rich, and wonderful.
Perhaps I don’t have a sophisticated palette. If you challenged me to find the notes, or hints, in this beer, I’d just look at you like you were growing extra heads, or make a joke about your mama’s mouth feel, or some other dumbass snarky wisecrack.
This is where I grow frustrated by my own lack of innate poetic talent. (Yes, I do understand that prose, by definition, is a style of writing devoid of poetic flair, and that this is barleyprose.com, and, yet, I still strive to be more of a wordsmith here in this space, hence my desire to blog in the first place).
I’m going to work on a random beer superlatives phrase generator, that will pull from a few different sets of phrases to auto-magically build me poetic and beautiful descriptions of all the delicious beers I’m enjoying these days. So, for now, imagine that the blanks are replaced by words and phrases suggested in parentheses. Use technology to accomplish what my tired weeknight brain can’t do on its own.
“This beer tastes like what it would taste like if a _________ (real life occupation) made love to a _________ (creature from any ancient society’s mythology or folklore) in the middle of a ________ (uncommon vehicle or domicile), and then together raised a baby with their shared feelings of ________ (semi-appropriate emotion), and, finally, that baby cried _________ (positive adjective) tears of __________ (cold liquid) into a pint glass.”
This idea has real potential!
Until that tool is ready, go out and visit the Preserve, if you’re in town, or head out to Hamilton and grab a nut (brown ale!).