The Beer of My Dreams

High Ball Stepper

High Ball Stepper

Obsessions are only unhealthy when they keep you from your daily tasks. Truly I had the best of intentions to write a treatise parallel to Jason’s last post about local foods, exploring beer’s place on the spectrum of America’s beverages. I meant to discuss craft beer’s struggle against elitism versus regular ol’ beer’s place as the working man’s brew. The snob who one-ups me versus the the guy in line with a tall boy who scoffs at my nine-dollar four-pack. But I got hung up on the Jack White part. Lately Jack has been a constant companion of mine, specifically the Jack on the cover of his new album, Lazaretto.

Recently I had a conversation with a friend and her teenaged daughter about how men could be sexy without being particularly good looking. We used Jack as our prime example. The teenager wrinkled her nose. My friend winked at me and I went to that special place in my head where Jack and I have a beer together and he is so inspired that he writes a song about me right there.

dubheWait, this isn’t about beer at all! But what beer could I have possibly drunk with this modern master, you ask? What beer am I obsessed with enough that it would appear in my fantasies? As I’ve previously mentioned, the most appropriate beer to sip with Mr. White is a black IPA. Not out of irony, but necessity. I imagine his calloused fingers around a bottle of Uinta’s Dubhe, long, guitar-plucking nails clicking on the bright label, a small smile on his bowtie lips. What better beer to share than one named after a star?

What other sexy beers are out there to obsess about? On this steamy summer day, this list will have you racing for a cold one. Continue reading

Recipe for Ladies’ Beer Club

Beer Club Apparel by Kate: eyes down here, fellas!

Beer Club Apparel by Kate: eyes down here, fellas!

Ingredients: Ladies (three or more), Beer, Snacks

Step 1) Get a beer. Get it in a good beer bar. And preferably one where they know you by name. The bar my friend Kate and I go to is one door down from my bookstore. This makes it both very convenient and very dangerous. They usually have a good selection of bottled craft beers as well as some exotic cocktails including the Gin Basil (which is also very dangerous). After my first beer, the delightful Baba from Uinta, I begin to feel a certain largesse and order this beautiful, basil-flecked martini, shaken exactly 100 times before strained into my glass. “Llalan, can I get you another Gin Basil?”

Step 2) Stick with ordering beer and discuss the purpose of your beer club. We start a list. We’re good at lists.

  • Drink good beer
  • Try new beer
  • Discuss said beer
  • Do all of the above in the company of good women
  • Tighten our relationships with said good women

Every club worth its weight in Gin Basils has a mission statement that makes it sound important, so here we go: We strive to explore the world of beer and spread the culture of beer within the context of an open and friendly environment of women only, to preserve the historical context of the beverage and minimize the incidents of mansplaining. Continue reading

Top 10 Beers of 2013

I can’t remember a damned thing if I don’t put it on a list: where to be, what to do, and what to drink while do it. Even then I forget where I’ve set my drink halfway though. As such, I am a fan of the proliferation of end-of-the-year lists around New Year’s, and offer you one of my own: Llalan’s Top 10 Beers of 2013.

10. Celebration Ale. I do the Dance of Joy every November when this beer is released. It was on last year’s list as well, and this beer will likely be on every end-of-the-year list as long as Sierra Nevada continues to produce it. It is one of the few nutmeg- and cinnamon-less winter seasonals out there. You can bet there is always some in my fridge during the holidays. Don’t bet on me sharing it, though.

9. Burton Baton. Because Dogfish Head’s 60-minute IPA is another perennial (and inspirational) favorite in my home, I want to feature one of their other, lesser-known brews. The delicious concoction (also mentioned this Thanksgiving) is actually a combination of an imperial IPA and an English-style old ale, aged together in an oak tank. Like nothing I’ve ever had and like everything I’ve always wanted.

8. Lucky 13. Lagunitas first brewed this beer in 2008 to celebrate 13 years of brewing and brought it back last year to celebrate 20 years of putting out fantastic beers. It’s a big red that has that delicious something peculiar to Lagunitas. In the end, we’re the lucky ones.

7. Righteous Ale. I am a huge fan of rye beer; insert bitter joke here: ______. The Sixpoint take on rye beer is definitely one of my favorites, in part because it does not coat your mouth with that potent and unpleasant aftertaste most ryes have. It is unique in its adaptability to the weather, in that it will warm you in the winter and quench you in the summer. Continue reading