I firmly believe that it’s important to challenge your own likes and dislikes, because, once you’ve stuck by them for a while, they become an actual part of you, and not a quirk of your personality. For example, I have allowed my love of beer to define me. Beer has become my “Thing.” I’ve tried to figure out how that happened, but it doesn’t really matter: I am The Girl Who Likes Beer, A Lot.
I am especially vigilant in challenging this Like. I challenge it pretty much every night. But these challenges have split my definition into further subset labels like “Hop Head” and “Sour Puss” (which isn’t actually a label, but it should be), and “Despiser of Fruity Beers.” It’s this last label I decided to challenge recently, employing the help of three poets, which as you might remember, is the only way to have tasting.
I picked up a mixed sixer of beers that were somehow fruit-related several weeks ago. Then, about 10 minutes before we were scheduled to start, I began frantically researching them. From there I created a lineup of beers that I hoped ranged from tamest to most taste bud-withering.
Our first beer to taste was called Heavy Melon from New Belgium Brewing, a watermelon-lime ale that came in at 5% abv, which is around where all of them were. After just the first whiff I was sure this whole endeavor was a terrible mistake. To me it smelled like someone vomited on dirty socks and I wasn’t a fan of the taste, either. Poet 1 opined it should be in a can so it could be shotgunned. (For a poet, he has curious frat boy proclivities.) Meanwhile Poet 3 suggested it was a get-your-girl-drunk beer, which essentially cements the conclusion that Heavy Melon belongs best in a frat house during rush week.
Next we tried DuClaw Brewing’s Morgazm, a grapefruit-zested blonde ale. It wasn’t the most fantastic beer we’d ever had, but compared to the last, it was straight ambrosia.
We followed that up with a session IPA from North High Brewing called Grapefruit Walleye, which tasted much better than its name might suggest. This does not stop P1 from tossing out, “I can really taste the walleye.” P3 admits that the fish name makes her think of a glory hole for fish, which makes me, the Not A Poet, choke on my walleye. A lengthy discussion on sea cucumbers ensues, led by P2. Turns out I made rather scanty notes on how the beer actually tasted, but I know it reminded us of the Grapefruit Sculpin, and that it wasn’t too bad.
Passion Fruit Kicker was up next, a wheat ale with passion fruit from Green Flash Brewing. P1 had had just enough beer to pull out the word mouthfeel. “There’s exhilaration on the back tongue. I’m not getting amped on it exactly.”
“More like damped,” says P3, and then she laughs and then she snorts and then she directs a quiet aside to the ceiling, “my unborn twin is talking through me today…”
P1 opines he’d like it better without the fruit but, when pushed, admits this would be the same for all of the beers so far.
The penultimate beer was the Orange Blossom Gose from Platform Beer. Right out of the can I was excited with its strong aroma of toast. Like, the smell of toast you catch a whiff of from somewhere in your apartment building, lingering in the hallway since that morning, that still makes you really want toast, bad. When we tasted the beer eyebrows were raised at how salty it was. So wonderfully salty! The back end carried the orange. Little was said as we all sat wishing we had more cans of that one.
The final beer was another watermelon-flavored ale, this a Berliner Weiss from Rivertown Brewery that I picked up pretty much only because it was named Nice Melons. To me it tasted of watermelon bubblegum. P2 offered that this would be a good mixing beer for a beertail of some sort; P1 suggested we pour out the beer and put gin in the bottle instead.
And thus ended this challenge of my dislike for fruity beers. The results point toward a general continuation of my dislike, with occasional exceptions for toasty, salty brews.