Beer and Society: My Beer Story

This post is my final project for an excellent class I took at Central New Mexico (CNM) Community College called Beer and Society.  For the people in the class who have to read this post (sorry!), you can skip past this next part and rejoin after I describe the class for anyone else.  For those not in the class, read on!

  Class peeps, feel free to skip to END DETOUR below!

The name Beer and Society hints to exactly what the curriculum is.  Each class is a series of two-pronged lessons where we first learn from history professor Dr. Brandon Morgan about the origin of a beer, its birthplace, which local ingredients were used and why those ingredients were chosen, as well as any social or political ramifications that helped shape why that beer was made at the time and place it was.  Great stuff!

Then we taste!

(sorry for the amateurish vertical video)

The Advanced Cicerone, Dr. Asa Stone, then takes the helm and works with us to understand what we should be looking for in the beer we’re sampling, from its appearance to aroma, taste and mouthfeel, all the while looking for hints of the ingredients and backstory that we just learned about from Dr. Morgan.

Did I mention there are culturally appropriate food pairings?  Cause there are.

German schnitzel and a dynamite red cabbage sauerkraut!

Week 2 was a schnitzel (prepared by a CNM chef) that was paired with an array of German and Czech beers as the class explored the Early Modern Era and a handful of styles including the German Pils, the Festbier, the Dopplebock, Weissbier and others.

Needless to say, the Beer and Society class is super cool and I enthusiastically recommend it to anyone in the Albuquerque area.

And the end of my little CNM advertisement 🙂

Back to the matter at hand, my beer story.  The previous week’s class, I think, was my favorite out of all the great classes, specifically the discussion on food and beer pairing that followed a scrumptious plate of Beef Wellington (which was accompanied by tasters of Stone IPA and New Belgium Fat Tire).  Someone in class mentioned they would have paired the IPA with a green chile cheeseburger and it took me back to the 2018 New Mexico IPA Challenge, where I contemplated why New Mexicans love hop-forward IPAs so much, and pondered the synergistic intensites of New Mexico green chile and aggressive New Mexico IPAs. 

I’m taking a kind of circuitous route to get to my point, but after thinking about spending the last few NMIPA challenges with friends, my brother and my girlfriend, I realized that my beer story is this:  beer is no longer just a thing I drink while doing other things.  It’s become, in many cases, the central focus for a lot of events I plan my life around.

It went from being just a lamp on a table at a party to the host of the damn thing.

Beer as a character in my life has grown in importance the more I got to appreciate it, same as my heart has grown fuller for people I’ve come to know more closely.  Conversely, some lesser characters fade away in life, same as those (dirt cheap) 12-packs of  Shaefer in college, but beer as a character in my life has gradually been basking under a larger and brighter spotlight.

For example, while we’ve all gone out to fill a growler, a friend and I turned a simple growler run into a capital “G”, capital “R”, Growler Run, a yearly motorcycle trip that’s taken us countless thousands of miles across 20 states in the US, up to and across Canada and down to the tip of Baja, Mexico in search of a local growler fill to take back to our campsite.  The motorcycle trips would have happened regardless, but they’re built and centered around a thing we love in our lives – beer – but with a desire to experience a slightly different version of it made by different hands in a different place altogether.

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Aside from running to another country with one of my best friends to fill a growler, my brother, Dan, and our good friend and neighbor, Jeff, have graduated from having beers while hanging out, to hanging out while trying to make our own beers.  We’ve only finished three different batches to date, but as our appreciation for beer has increased over the years, so, too, has our desire to understand it (and make it taste a little better, while we’re at it). 

It’s like I casually swiped right on beer years ago, and now realize beer has a toothbrush in the glass on the bathroom sink.  

So what then, now that I’m shacking up with beer for good, it seems?

Well, beer school, naturally.

I bounced around a good many colleges after high school, getting (part of) an education so I could play some baseball, but I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Now, I’m 44, a Unix engineer for a massive telecom company, and I still don’t necessarily know what I want to be when I grow up.  But instead of taking classes in this scripting language or that cloud computing technology, I’m taking classes at CNM to learn how to make freaking beer.

Alas, the thing I did at college has become thing I now go to college for.

~~~

For those not familiar or wanting more info, the Brewing and Beverage Management program at CNM offers industry certifications as well as an associates degree program.  Info can be found here.

ALSO! If you’d like to write for Barley Prose, send an email to Ceetar at admin@barleyprose.com.

Drinking Away A Lousy Situation

Lousy situations call for stronger beers. You can’t combat dealing with lice with a sessionable lager–break out the good stuff.

So far it looks like we only had the initial signs of an issue, and we’ve all been doused with medication and we washed clothes and towels and all that. Still, after that sort of panic and frantic washing, you can’t get away with sipping a gose, you need something with some heft.

Bring on Terrapin’s Wake-n-Bake.  Specifically Raspberry Truffle W-n-B, an imperial stout with coffee, oatmeal, cacao, and raspberry. Smooooooth. Delicious. There was almost no alcohol or stout burn to this, though it was sweet and thick and lovely.  You could tell it was strong, but it was so full flavored that it was all balanced nicely. What a great stout, what a great way to unwind.

Day 2, everything seems fine but we still have to comb and check and are wary about everything.  It’s still fresh on our mind. My hair still itches out of anxiety. Tequila. Tequila is definitely the way to go.  

I opened up my bottle of Founders Mas Agave, an imperial gose brewed with agave, lime and sea salt. Margarita, clearly. It certainly smelled like it. I’d had a bottle of a similar beer from The Alementary a few months ago called Escape From Oaxaca which was less sweet, and more tequila-flavored than this, but this one was still fun to drink. In fact, it may have been easier to drink, even if I preferred the taste of the other one.

It’s sweet, from the agave, so if sweet isn’t your thing probably avoid both these beers. Apparently my ‘comfort beer’ tastes veer into the trope of single lady downing ice cream after a breakup. Something I think tequila would also be appropriate for, though I have been known to say tequila gose (haha) with everything.

Anyhow, this beer tasted like a margarita, but a sweeter one. One heavy on the lime juice and sweetener. I personally would’ve enjoyed more barrel aging on it, more tequila taste. This was 10% and went down easy. The salt balances the sweetness nicely, keeps it from being cloying, much like it might do in a similar margarita, but really the tequila should be the showpiece in a cocktail, or a cocktail-themed beer.

Drinking beer does not kill lice, but it sure does make a lousy situation more manageable. Until next time, because #kids, cheers!

A Beer Journey Across America, Chapter 1

What if you found yourself a thousand miles from home, with nothing but the kindness of strangers, and the beer they bestowed upon you, to comfort you in your hour of need?

Would you hold up?

Would you gird up your loins and take deep breaths and soak up the majesty of this fine land? Would you be sufficiently able to appreciate and respect the unforseen, the unplanned, the heretofore unknown path and revel in the newness and uncertainty of it?

Or would you wilt and suffer in it?

This intrepid blogger, quite involuntarily, had to walk this path and determine this through the only way that an individual truly can. He had to live it. He had to walk this road and determine, upon emergence at the terminus of the path, whether he was better or worse for wear.

This, friends, is my story.

I spent this past week on travel, for work, in beautiful Dallas, Texas. It was “July in Texas” warm, which is to say, it was hotter than butts stuffed up inside of other butts, the way that mozzarella gets sometimes stuffed inside of a pizza crust. But, as they say, a “dry heat.”

The week included meetings, and Uber rides, and Mexican and Thai food, and even an MLB game.

A game in which I partook of a local Texas Amber and another local IPA. They were both delicious, by delicious, meaning, they were cold and caused me to feel less sober than I did at the onset of each one. Because ultimately, that’s the thing, right there.

Our journey home is where things took a turn.

This trip, meant to be from Dallas, to a connecting flight in Boston, and then on to Syracuse, did not go as planned. An audible was called. Thunderstorms, and the kindly guidance of friends in the airline industry, suggested and then imposed the revised itinerary of a detour through Chicago.

It did not go as planned.

Luckily, we made friends. And not just the pleasant, pass the time making idle chit chat type of friends, but “friends with benefits.”

(Bloggers’ note: Non sexual benefits.)

Our new friends, Syracuse residents like ourselves, on business travel also, suggested we share an Uber downtown, as we all called the same “take the train” audible in the absence of concrete air travel plans. “Come,” they said, “live with us, in forests of azure,” to paraphrase the Lizard King himself. In this case, this non travel detour included a couple of key highlights. One being delicious local Chicago pizza (not “Deep Dish Pizzer,” a la the Bill Swerski Super Fans show), and another being local Chicago beers.

This, my friends, is the Revolution Brewing “Eugene Robust Porter.” I cannot tell you what the brewmasters may have intended, not without internet, but I can tell you that it’s a classic porter style beer, dark and rich and yet smooth and satisfying. Like watching a lumberjack bleed out into the snow while humming a CSNY song.

Somehow, my 14 hour detour of a train ride home included these two things.

And yet, wait. The story gets better.

“Come with us,” my new friends implored. “Take advantage of the hospitality of our employer, we have a fully stocked bar.” These fantastic sassy Chicago/Syracuse gals happened to work for an organization that feels (rightfully, mayhaps) that the best way to ensure their employees’ happiness is to keep them fully stocked with not only beer, and wine, but a vending machine full of free dental supplies.

If I’m lyin, I’m dyin

We felt the need to “pre game” this 14 hour bus ride. On account of the fact that, well, we didn’t have a ton else to do, and the price was right. So we dipped into the “office stash.”

I drank them, they deserved it

The beer on the right is a Ballast Point “sculpin IPA.” I have knocked back my fair share of these. Grapefruit, tangerine, and others. They all go down nice, like a free beer should.

The beer on the left is a 10% kick ass “double IPA.” My travelling companion, not being the drunk-tional beer blogger sort, found this one to be a bit strong for his liking. I gave it a proper home.

This next one was another “Revolution” brewery beer. I do not have a specific recollection of it, having knocked most of it back in the very brief interval of waiting for my third Uber of the day (from my new besties’ work to the train station).

Also a beer. I drank it. NEXT

We headed off to the train station.

Looks nice. Like your mom, if she were a building

But not before getting a couple of brewskis for the long ride home (seriously, how great is my new friends’ work fridge? I might have to update my resume when I get home).

This is not my life. It’s a parable

Part 2 to be posted shortly, and, by shortly, I mean, over the next 13 hours of train travel and sneaky IPA drinking. Plus, we have leftover pizza left to consume. So much left to tell!

Enter Night Pilsner, a Review: It was all Yellow.

We have settled comfortably into July, and sizzling days giving way to warm summer nights has become the norm here in New Mexico.  In my hand, I hold a can of the Enter Night Pilsner by Stone, which I suspect might be a nice, crisp pilsner perfect to combat the current searing temps. Let me tell you a little about this one…

/holds up can

/reads label

It’s on. It’s time to get started. To crank things up. To get loud.

That thumping you feel in your chest isn’t your imagination. It’s your heart. It’s life. It’s the rockin’ tunes. It’s your inspiration wanting to break out. It ain’t gonna sit there waiting, so mutherf**king grab it.

Is this the intro to an MLM seminar?  Or a lost Fyre Festival ad?? What is happening?

/reads on

This is a Collaboration in the truest sense between two entities that were born on the fringes. We’ve navigated life from a different perspective. We imagined things differently from what they were, and set about using our art to change the world according to our vision. We started being misunderstood by many, and loved by few. Today that’s the same…but that ‘few’ has become ‘more.’ A LOT more. That’s you, my friend, and we’re stoked you’re with us on this journey.

The day is winding down. It’s time to get started. No more waiting. It’s time to get LOUD. It’s time to Enter Night. 

I still have zero idea what I’m about to drink, but that is one hell of an ITBMCBB*.

Let me check the ol’ Stone website:

In collaboration with Metallica, this beer represents the cataclysmic collision of two uncompromising supernatural forces. It’ s a crisp and refreshing Pilsner that, much like the band, transcends genres, shatters preconceptions and challenges convention.

Ah, I get it now.  First opinion:  Much like Metallica in 2k19, that description is trying way too hard to be bad-ass.

What’s more effing metal than partnering with one of the largest craft brewers to create a bright, floral pilsner?

Photo credit: Beerwulf

If I were to describe the beer, not with all the Hit Parader platitudes, but as if I were simply evaluating, you know, the beer, I’d characterize it as a safe and conventional pils, with a straw-colored appearance, a soft, floral aroma, and a muted and gentle bitterness.  Which is to say there’s nothing edgy or genre-bending or perception-shattering about it. In fact, it’s eminently accessible, flirting with prosaic.

TL:DR: it’s fine.  The beer is fine.

A more apropos band tie-in would have been Coldplay, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily.  A lot of people like Coldplay because, like this beer, they’re easy enough to drink down and completely inoffensive, if not a bit unimaginative. I own no Coldplay records, but shit, I can get with “Clocks”.  

So, I say try it or don’t.  You may like it, you definitely won’t hate it, and a small few of you will curiously, ravenously love it.  

Kolsch and Saison: Dreaming of Summer Beer

Pondering some less popular styles and how good they are to drink in the summer heat.

When I think marketed Summer beers, I think wheat and lemon and basically Sam Adams Summer Ale, which is described thus:

This hazy golden unfiltered brew combines crisp wheat with the bright citrus of lemon peel and the subtle spice of Grains of Paradise.

That’s fine. Flowing fields of wheat, bright yellow citrus, grains. That certainly is a summer image, but that’s not really what I’m looking for. That’s Summer Beer 101. I’ve never been a huge wheat beer fan, I prefer wheat on my plate and barley in my glass.

Saison. Often partially misrepresented as ‘farmhouse ale’, Saison is a great beer to represent the season. It’s a broad style, it’s typically low alcohol, it’s well carbonated, it’s got flavor but they’re not particularly out there flavors so it should appeal to a broad range of drinkers. Typically there is fruit flavors from the hops, which gives the impression of sweetness in an otherwise dryer style that’s easy to drink in the heat.

I’d bring saison to every barbecue and gathering this summer if I could find enough interesting quality and quantity in cans and bottles, but not enough brewers are making it in Northern New Jersey. I’m picking up a six pack of one from The Alementary today though, I’m excited about that.

Kölsch is another style that’s well suited to summer. This one is even more friendly to a wide variety of drinkers. It’s a fairly light lagered ale, with a lot of bready notes. Light fruit maybe, light hop spice. It’s delicate, but it’s also a good canvas for creative American brewing.  Smoked Peach, Coffee, or any of your favorite fruits or fruity hops that you want to really accent go really well here.

Keep an eye out for some of these more delicate styles. Bring a Kölsch to try at your next family gathering. Next time you have friends over for some burgers, toss a few cans of saison into the cooler. You won’t regret stocking a few Helles lagers this summer. There is an insane amount of gose out there these days, but that salty, slightly sour, style is another solid option to quaff in between hot dogs.

Two Ton Brewing just tweeted this:

Ginger-Lime Kolsch – 7% ABV ‘The Style-Ale’ bursting with ginger and key lime flavors that make this the perfect summer beverage.

I’d drink that.

Two Beers, One Lunch: RIP Sears

Two beers, one lunch. It’s fast becoming a theme around these parts. Kilgore Stout has enjoyed many, and it’s my term to regale you with the tale of my meal.

My favorite spot to grab a pint when I need one for lunch during the week is The Dog and Cask in Rochelle Park, New Jersey. It’s located on route 17, directly across from what used to be a Sears warehouse, and is now a pile of rubble.  It is what you might describe as a gastropub, though I’m not sure we still use that term. It’s got pretty good food, generally in the standard American Grill form–burgers and fries and the like. Good appetizers. Not too many menu items, but ones that were well thought out.

This was a Sears warehouse

And of course, beer. The Dog & Cask pushes local New Jersey beer pretty heavily, something I appreciate as I’m located in the north part of the state, in a county that seemingly frowns on breweries opening.  Most of them are farther away than I typically get to, and it’s nice to be able to try some of these beers fresh and on tap.

My typical approach to the two beers, one lunch format is to order the first beer to drink and enjoy on its own, and then order a second to drink with the meal. I started with the Carton Brewing Mexican Coffee. This is a pro move and I can’t recommend you try it at home. Well, I CAN recommend you try it at _HOME_, but for a lunch hour where you want to be productive afterwards, starting with a 12% imperial cream stout is not recommended.

The beer is recommended though. Highly. The original form of this beer is Carton Regular Coffee, which is meant to mimic coffee with ‘milk and 2 sugars’. This is apparently a Jersey-ism, though one I’m not familiar with having moved here when I was 25. I drink my coffee black anyway. Mexican Coffee is that same style of beer, only with coffee syrup and aged in tequila barrels. This one’s more meant to mimic an after-dinner drink. Or, in my case, a pre-lunch drink. Oops.

It nails it though. It’s strong obviously, and two sips in my shoulders and neck are aching, which is something that happens to me occasionally. I take it as a gentle reminder that I’m tense and need to relax, and I take another sip. It’s got that creamy lactose taste, and mouthfeel, to it at first. Quiet notes of tequila and Kahlua, and they linger and build as I drink. It’s that first taste of tequila, the one you get before the burn. There’s no burn beyond the richness of the alcohol, it’s a sweet coffee taste. The coffee sticks around, like when you drink a good latte and it feels like the foam is sticking to all corners of your mouth and hitting every taste bud. It’s that sweet coffee taste that comes through on the nose, hint of tequila and Kahlua but mostly just delicious coffee and sweetness. By the time my burger arrives and I finish the beer as my fries cool, the tequila has really built up to a very noticeable level and I’m digging it. It has me thinking of sticky tables after a good dinner at a Mexican restaurant, with salt and margarita splashed all over the table.

The burger arrives. Did I mention I ordered a burger? I usually order a burger at this joint, as they’re pretty delicious. This one is the Burning Love Burger, fried onions, jalapenos, guacamole, etc. It probably would’ve gone well with the Mexican Coffee, but to pair with it I go with a pretty standard NE IPA from Bolero Snort called Seeing Doubull. All their beers are cow puns, which is awesome.  The burger is, as I alluded to, excellent. It’s juicy and got all that crunch from the onions, and the jalapenos give a little flavor to cut through all the fat. The fries are well salted, which would’ve gone well with the tequila from the first beer, but that’s gone, deliciously warming my stomach with alcohol.

Burning Love Burger w/ Bolero Snort Doubull

The Seeing Doubull goes well, as the hop burn and crisp flavor cuts into the burger flavors in a pleasant way. It’s using a newer hop variety called Strata. I get all sorts of tropical notes, particularly pink grapefruit. It’s very drinkable, soft mouthfeel and all, and I continue to enjoy it after I finish the burger and still have a few ounces left.

I finish my beer, tip my server/bartender, and drive back to work to sit at a desk until five before I can enjoy a nightcap and some pizza at home. At least it’s Friday.

Game Of Thrones Beer Review: Mother Of Dragons

I need to get this post up before we run out of dragons!

As far as I can tell, Daenerys Stormborn is not the mother of Stuffy, the flightless stuffed dragon from Doc McStuffins

 Inspired by Daenerys Targaryen, this blend of a smoked porter and a Belgian kriek represents the smoke and fire that Daenerys has unleashed on her opponents during her ascent to conquer and rule the seven kingdoms.  The beer will be available nationwide on September 28.

So it was only 7 months or so old when I had it, which shouldn’t have adversely affected it much. I didn’t get the heat from it I was expecting, and I was worried age had played a factor.

I still enjoyed the beer.  I do like smoked beers, I like porters, I like Kriek, so there was really no doubt I would enjoy this one. It’s just more Kriek than smoke. The cherry is present on the nose, with sweet dark malt underneath, and just a hint of that smoke.

There’s some red tinges to this

It tastes great. It was mouth watering cherry flavor, and not in that overly medicinal way. Needs more char. I need to feel like I’m drinking this in the ashes of something the dragons just burned down, but there’s merely a whisper. Dracarys, gimme more heat. This probably could’ve done with a bit of cinnamon or chili to complement the dragon theme.

ITBMCBB* this beer should be as follows.

Mother of Dragons pours a deep ruby-tinted mahogany with a creamy tan head. Aromas of chocolate covered cherries intertwine with subtle smoke and roasted malt. The flavor is rich with tart cherry up front leading to a center palate of semi-sweet chocolate then resolving to subtle smoke and mild sweetness. The mouthfeel is luxuriously creamy and full, and the finish is semi-dry with lingering notes of smoke and cherry sweetness. Mother of Dragons is 6.5% ABV and pairs well with smoked gouda and charcuterie, braised meats, and rich desserts like flourless chocolate cake and cherry cheese cake.

So I guess the subtle nature of the smoke is intentional, but they missed the mark imo. Those pairing make sense though. Does mozzarella and pepperoni in pizza form count among them? I’d say so, even if I wasn’t particularly taking note of how they complemented each other as I consumed them.

Overall this beer was pretty good, and I enjoyed it, but I wanted more from it. You might say the same about these last few episodes of the show as well.

Life Advice with Dr. Carl Juengling

Welcome to the Barley Prose blog!

I’m the newest blog columnist, Dr. Carl Juengling, and I’m here to help.   I know you’ve carried great burdens with you all of your life and I want to get to the root of things and help you move forward and find contentment, and even perhaps happiness, in your lives.

Having said that, let’s get right to the reader-submitted questions.

Question 1, from James, in Roanoke, VA, who asks: “Dr. Carl, why can’t I find a partner?  I want more than anything to be able to find a woman with whom I feel a spark, so that I can achieve my long held dream of being a loving husband and father.”

James, thanks for writing in!  I’d suggest, honestly, that what you need is the Strawberry Peach Milkshake IPA currently on tap at the Full Boar!

You can’t achieve mental health if you’re thirsty

Clearly, your inability to find a life partner is probably due to a high amount of stress, and anxiety, and restlessness that manifests itself in your personality.  While some mental health professionals might suggest breathing exercises, or quiet introspection, or a deep delve into your formative years, I’m going to go out on a limb and offer up the option that you’re just not a happy or fun enough person to attract a mate.  And, of course, I can’t think of anything more conducive to happy fun than this delicious concoction pictured above.

I don’t mean to dismiss your problems out of hand, but, ITBMCBB*, this beer is “brewed with strawberries and peaches and madagscar vanilla beans and milk sugars, cascase and newport hops in the boil and then double dry hopped with Amarillo and Idaho 7.”  I mean, with that kind of byline, how is this not the magic ticket towards meaningful interpersonal growth?  You tell me!

Let’s get to another reader submission.  Francine, from Altoona, PA, writes, “Dr. Carl, can you please help me understand why my father has never approved of my life choices?  I feel like I’m living my best life but I can tell when he looks at me and talks to me that he’s wishing I was more like my older sister Beatrice.”

Francine, let me set your mind at ease.  You’ve got to walk your own road here.  You can’t get hung up on what your father thinks you might need most.  You’re an adult now, over age 21, and honestly, your best bet towards winning your father’s love and respect would be to go enjoy a Strawberry Peach Milkshake IPA.

Same beer, different lighting

I can tell you, having had both a 16 and an 8 ounce serving of this, that this IPA is sweet, and fruity, and goes down as easy as anything.  While I’ve knocked back a number of milk stouts, this is the first beer that I’ve had that I’d recognize as having a milky smoothness to it.  I could drink these all summer, to be honest.  Perhaps you’d be best served if you and your dad were to drive up to the Full Boar and belly up to the bar for a couple of these strawberry delights, and really get into the source of the conflicts between you.  You don’t have to be Beatrice, you know.  You’re Francine, dammit, and you should be OK with that.

Thanks for submitting those questions, loyal readers, keep them coming!

A Game of Thrones Beer Review: For the Throne

I want to believe the best in people, in things, in the world around me.  I’m an optimistic man.  That’s my nature, really, has been for a long time.

Based on that, I wanted desperately for two of my favorite things to come together in a synergistic holistic fashion and be great together.  Those two things being a craft beer and Game of Thrones.

But sometimes I have to face the reality of the world.  Not everything can be great.

I’ve enjoyed season 8 of GoT so far, and the build up to the series finale.  I’ll be sad when it’s all said and done, but I hold out hope that some magical day, George R.R. Martin will finish the series and I’ll have new GoT content to absorb.

In the interim, well, there’s For the Throne.

For the Throne. To the sink.

 

Produced by Ommegang brewery in Cooperstown, just a few short hours down the road from me, I was hoping to give this beer a glowing review and offer it up as the perfect compliment to the home stretch of my favorite television show (I watch very little television besides Mets games).

But I can’t do that. Why?

Because this beer tastes like Renly Baratheon’s asshole.

I wish it weren’t so, but it is.

It’s touted as a “strong golden ale is co-fermented with Pinot Grigio and Viognier grape juices, then bottle conditioned with Champagne yeast.” It should sound like an odd amalgam of ingredients and process and it tasted that way to me. Too funky to be fruity, it wasn’t a beer or wine or champagne. It was just a yellowish alcoholic mess, like Barney from the Simpsons.

What, specifically, does it taste like? (Note, these jokes will ring hollow to those non followers of GoT).

It tastes like the underboob sweat of Robert Baratheon.

It tastes, well, I’d imagine, like what it would taste like if you wrung out Master Aemon’s diapers into a beer bottle.

It tastes, perhaps, like the gunk that got stuck in Cersei’s hair when she did the walk of shame.

It tastes, I think, the way I would think a hot pie tastes, if the hot pie was just a crust surrounding horse diarrhea.

It tastes like the goop underneath Ser Jorah’s grayscales when Samwell cleaned him up.

It tastes like the last thing Joffrey tasted before he bellyflopped and died at his own wedding reception.

It tastes, to me, like the bottom of the chest that Varys held his castrator in for all that time.

Maybe others might disagree, think it’s a great and unique and interesting flavored product. But I’m taking the black before I take another sip of this sucker.

Shimmering Shandy in the Southwest

We’ve found ourselves in a time where no happy hour can truly be happy without a photo to prove it. No libations can grace our lips—no meal can meet our mouths—until documentation occurs.

Enter the era of visually pleasing vices. From rainbow bagels to charcoal ice cream, people will purchase anything if they can post it to Instagram first. But… is it actually good? I haven’t tried a unicorn latte or a black burger or whatever else people are consuming for cool points, but that was before my all-time favorite brewery jumped on the glitter beer train.

Meet Re Re’s Shandy

As the unofficial ambassador of Bosque Brewing Co., I use any excuse to make it over to my favorite neighborhood public house to see what’s new on the beer wall. After a few friends and I wrapped up our oral arguments at the law school, I asked if they wanted to celebrate with a beer and lunch. They knew where I intended to go before I could say “celebrate.”

We picked a table, grabbed some seats and started perusing. The beer wall didn’t have any new additions (since I had been there the day before), but a blank spot was getting filled in. A new beer had arrived. Hillary came up to the end of the table to grab our orders and before I could even ask, she said, “Oh, you’ll want the Lemon Shandy. It’s shiny.”

Sold, Hillary.

Swirling, magical and indeed shiny, I couldn’t help but take a picture as soon as it arrived. Perhaps I’m a product of my generation, but this was the best-looking pint ever put before me. I couldn’t catch the nature of its beauty except with Instagram’s Boomerang, as the 14 people who watch my story can confirm.

Glitter Beer, Beer Blog, Brewery

After the swirls settled, I realized… I have to drink this thing. What will it taste like? What happened to Harry Potter after he drank this? Is this how you get mercury poisoning?

The questions were answered with a single sip. Re Re’s Shandy was not here just to be photographed, but to welcome summer 2k19 in style. At 5.7% and only 10 IBUs, this little lemon number is a perfect addition to the patio sittin’ I have planned for these next few weeks. It was brewed as a part of Bosque’s Co-Op Series, which involves a Bosque staff member getting to show off their creativity in the kettles. The brewery team zested and juiced whole lemons to start, then added lemon puree and lemonade syrup. Crystal hops were added for bittering, bringing out notes of citrus pith. The last enchanting step was mixing silver lustre in the brite tank to make this beer “shimmer and glimmer like golden rays of sun shining on the Bosque.” Thank you, Untappd description, for the scientific poetry behind this shandy.

Sadly, my tongue did not shine after two pints. But I would certainly drink this luminous liquid again, even if I don’t post it to social media. Now to find a black burger to pair with it…