Flat Earth Convention Ale

September 17, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: Flat Earth, Country: America, Grade: B plus, Style: Belgian Pale Ale.

5.4% ABV from a bomber

There’s two schools of thought on how to walk the streets of New York. You can be like Barry Sanders, juking and jiving your way around slow-moving tourists, sidewalk-hosing bodega owners, and fatsos in Rascals, cutting right to left, behind newspaper bins, using bus stops and fire hydrants as your blockers as your try to quickly traverse the street. This certainly works but it is tiring and certainly not cool. No one looks at someone jitterbugging down the streets and thinks, “Now that is one sexy motherfucker.” I mean, how bad would the opening to “Saturday Night Fever” have been if famous homosexual John Travolta had implemented the Barry Sanders walk through Brooklyn? Something tells me the movie wouldn’t have been quite the cultural touchstone it became.

A second school of thought is to navigate the street like G.O.A.T. Jim Brown, picking an opening and with head down and shoulders even lower, busting through the crowds and sending any one in your path flying. This too is an effective process for Manhattan walking but results in people thinking you the high school bully who never grew up, still pacing through the halls knocking nerdy freshman out of the way. Plus, with all the crazies in the city, this method has a high potential for fisticuffs erupting.

Now I am one of the finest walkers in the entire city and I think that is because I shirk the common schools of thought and use a third school, a hybrid of the other two, hoofing it down the sidewalks ala Walter Payton. When I need to juke, I juke, but never too much. And when I need to lower my shoulder or use a oh-did-I-just-bump-you forearm to clear the way, I can do that too. And just like Sweetness, I never go out of bounds (the street).

It seems like hybrids of opposing schools of thoughts are always the best way to go. My feelings on politicians are well discussed and even if I do decide ever to vote again, I can’t imagine it being for either a Republican or a Democrat, it would have to be for someone with a bouillabaisse of values. It simply doesn’t make sense to be too far extreme in any direction in regards to…well almost anything.

Now that is not always the case with beers. I love overwhelmingly hoppy IPAs and overly alcoholic barley wines as much as the next guy, but I also like those oddball beers you can’t really pigeonhole. Such was the case with Flat Earth’s Convention Ale, a Minnesota brew specially made to celebrate the area’s hosting of the GOP Rah-Rah-a-thon. Said to have “a conservative amount of hops and a liberal amount of special malts” the brewery itself calls it a red ale, while Beer Advocate labels it a Belgian pale, Rate Beer gives it the always-ambiguous “summer” beer label, and I found it to be something completely different. But more on that in a sec.

I didn’t realize this til after I had opened the beer, but this brew has had strange problems whereas quite a few of the bottles have spontaneously exploded, sending shards of glass everywhere. In fact, the beer has actually been recalled, and with only 9 total reviews on Beer Advocate at the moment, it would seem to be an increasingly rare pop.

Luckily for your Vice Blogger, the bottle was enjoyed without a hitch. A light straw yellow almost-macro pour with a very, very bubbly head. It had a mild smell and I was begin to wonder if this simply was a fancified macro.

It wasn’t. it was very carbonated and bubbly in taste, Belgian yeast and moderate hop bitterness (38 IBUs). Quite a bit sour, almost like a weaker version of a wild ale. I realize by definite it cannot be a wild ale, but that’s exactly what it tastes of, like a poor man’s Cuvee de Castleton. A chalky finish and low ABV are its demerits.

Whatever it is, boy is Convention Ale one oddball beer. Very interesting, almost like a champagne. It took me a while to figure out if I loved it, liked it, or hated it, but I sure kept drinking it, was damn glad to try it, and utterly sad to finish my sole bottle.

B+


4 Responses to “Flat Earth Convention Ale”

  1. amm002 says:

    Didn’t realize I was sending a potential bomb in the mail. Glad you liked it, I sadly didn’t get a chance to try for myself.

  2. KingOttoIII says:

    Going out of bounds is needed. Especially in hi volume areas. That like saying you can only cross the street at cross walks. I also am a fan of grates on sidewalks. People avoid walking on them leaving a path. Especially women since they have heels on.

    BTW Greg says he is the best walker, not you. He also claims to have never tripped, slipped, or stumbled while walking.

  3. Aaron Goldfarb says:

    I only go out of bounds in places like Times Square. Tourists are too scared to walk in the middle of the street. And, yes, of course I jay walk. And I totally agree with you on grates. Also those flaps that restaurants have to get to the basement.

    Funny story: sophomore year at Cuse I was bragging that I had never once slipped on ice. Literally that second God struck me down and I slipped on my ass. I stood up and was laughing my ass off, started walking again and FELL AGAIN. Two slips in about 40 seconds.

    Greg (sic) needs to leave comments more.

  4. Taco Town Dave says:

    This is how I have to walk here in Grand Prairie

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFzfRUQG_2k

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