Alpine Nelson Rye

June 1, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: Alpine, Country: America, Grade: A plus, Style: IPA.

7.1% ABV from a growler

A Tough Nut to Crack, an Easy Slut to Sack

I flipped open my cell, scrolled to her number in my Contacts, put my thumb on the “Send” button, and…paused.  I realized I had no idea what I was doing.  Shit, I hadn’t done something like this in years.

For awhile I’ve thought I had pretty decent “game.”  Now I’m no Giacomo Casanova or anything, but I’ve always been a deep studier, a student, an autodidact, and a tinkerer and after a decade-plus of noticing my many failures and successes in the world of women, I thought I had developed some pretty decent skills.  In fact, I’d felt for the past few years that I’d made these skills, these dos and don’ts, such an ingrained part of my persona that I could just successfully exist around women on autopilot, which is a great thing when you’re often loaded.  I’d gotten pretty damn good at soliciting reciprocal intrigue from strange women that I was attracted to, at culling contact info from them, landing dates and outings, which typically lead to in flagranteness.  Each of those steps a chance to flounder, to have the process aborted on me, yet I was still putting up both great contact and power numbers.  We’re talking a .350 AVG, maybe a .450 OBP, and a slugging percentage that would make Jimmie Foxx blush.

That is until I met Miriam.

My god was she gorgeous.  Just silly attractive.  About as good-looking as a girl could be without you thinking she must surely be an actress or a model, though, then again, when you actually meet actresses and/or models you’re often like, “That’s it?!”  But I digress.  I was in a piece-of-shit Murray Hill sportsbar killing some time one night when I heard violent shouting to my right:

“Goddammit Ilgauskas, could you defend the fucking the pick-and-roll?!  Big Baby is torching you!”

“Would a little hustle be too much to ask, Delonte?!”

“Yep, me too, Lebron, I’d be shaking my head in dismay too if I was playing with these bozos.”

The shouting was female.  I turned and saw her.  5’2″, 110 pounds, flowing golden locks, emerald green doe eyes, high cheek bones beset on a flawlessly symmetrical face, the flattest stomach I’ve ever seen peekabooing from just under the bottom of her tank top as she pumped her fist in the air after Anderson Varejao took a charge.  Who was this divine creature?

“Big Cavs fan, huh?”

She didn’t even respond to me, as if she was ignoring me completely.  But she wasn’t, because the second the game went to TV timeout, she turned to me with the sweetest smile on her face, the softest voice, kindly explaining that, no, she wasn’t a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, not in the least, she was just a sports fan.  An addict.  Who was this dream girl?  I was intimated.  Good lord.  Both by her attractiveness and sports acumen.  Now, I’m no chump in the sports knowledge department, not in the least, but when a 10-out-of-10 beauty turns to you and matter of factly says, “Am I crazy or is Mo Williams overplaying Rondo to the left?,” there’s not much you can do besides go, “Uh… so would you like a drink or sumpin’?”

Not that I usually ever buy drinks for girls because I am an insensitive cheapskate and I’m not a sap and I am a guy that always usually knows what to say and offering to buy a drink is the last refuge of the sap and guy with no clue and, shit, now I was a sap with no clue what to do.

Unfortunately, she didn’t drink.  Didn’t drink?!  Who doesn’t drink?  I mean she drank liquid, water and Gatorade and ginger ale, she was in no danger of dehydrating don’t fret, she simply didn’t drink al-kee-hawl.  She wasn’t religious or a recovering alcoholic, just very much into fitness and energy and health and she didn’t find that alcohol fit anywhere into that lifestyle.  My plea that alcohol makes sure your blood is thin and pumping, didn’t even convince her.  So I awkwardly sat there trying to flirt with this teetotaling, gorgeous, sports savant, no clue what to do…but get loaded myself.  I drank so quickly and nervously that I don’t really recall much of how that night ended, but I guess she liked me somewhat because before I left she coolly handed me her card and said, “Call me.”

Call her?

Shit, I hadn’t called a girl in years.  My modus operandi for the longest time had been to get girl’s e-mail addresses.  A lot of people make fun of me for that, but it’s so much simpler.  Besides the fact that I hate talking on the phone, I also don’t like dealing with things in a time sensitive manner.  Nothing better than shooting off an e-mail in the morning and giving the gal all the time she wants to respond for the rest of the day.

I first realized I had a power with words back in 11th grade.  I knew I was a good writer, even then, but I didn’t know the effect my words could have.  That was until the last day of class that year when during a yearbook signing period I quickly scratched out a message to a girl I had an unrequited crush on.  Now, I hadn’t written anything romantic or perhaps even creepy, if that’s what you’re wondering, I had just slopped down a nice “good to know you” message.  The kind of message I would slop down for any one, guy or girl, that I honestly felt it was good to know.

I thought nothing of that message until later that night when the girl called me–she never called me!–to tell me that her and her mother had been rereading over my message all night, it had moved them so much, to tears even, and she just wanted to thank me for my beautiful note.  From that point on, I realized how I could affect people with my writing, and I began wielding my pen like an epee.

And now I was being handicapped, one of my greatest skills taken away from me!  I hadn’t called a girl to ask her on a date since like 2002.  How did one even go about doing such a thing?!  I was actually getting nervous!  I don’t get nervous for anything any more.  Shit, what to do?  I went to Facebook to look at her page.  Maybe she wasn’t as good looking as I recall.  Perhaps she was not truly that interesting.  Maybe she listed her religious affiliation as Wiccan.  But she didn’t even have a page!  The hell?  What twentysomething chick doesn’t have a Facebook profile?  Well, at least I knew she didn’t have any children, cause no new mother nowadays can possibly avoid posting zillion of pictures and inane status updates about their miserable rugrats.

Should I just text her?  Naw, that would be cowardly.  And, I later found out, impossible.  She didn’t even have a cell phone.  I called the number she gave me, a landline, and fought through the nerves to arrange a date.  She had only one rule:  we had to go to a bar with plenty of TVs, and good ones, she wasn’t going to miss that night’s Nuggets/Lakers game.

Meeting up with her that evening, she was just as gorgeous as I recall.  I pounded Sierra Nevada Celebration Ales while she drank cranberry juice.  I quizzed her on her seeming lack of technology, her Luddite values.  She didn’t have a Facebook page because she thought it was childish, a time suck.  I couldn’t disagree with that.  She didn’t have a cell phone because she didn’t like to be reached at any time, any place.  She also thought it was rude to have your ears and eyes glued to a device while out with other people.  Again, couldn’t disagree with that.  As for e-mail, she only checked it once a week, so sending her messages was borderline pointless.

I soon realized, I had no fucking clue what to do.  I’d followed a very simple pattern with the previous zillion women I’ve dated:  get e-mail address, send pithy and humorous message the next day or so, meet at bar around happy hour, get loaded going drink-for-drink with a girl I outweighed by fifty pounds at least, be funny, be interesting, and by midnight or later I was usually in bed with said female.  I had a system, a damn good system, but now I was flummoxed.  Especially, when at 9 PM, Miriam told me she had to get to bed.  As in, go to bed alone.  Seems she wakes up every morning at 4 AM to work out in order to be at her job by 7 AM.

Who was I dealing with?!

She quickly kissed me on the lips and sprinted from the place, leaving me there to reassess what went wrong.  Our chemistry had been solid enough, sure, but I never felt like we were making a full connection, she seemingly more interested in Carmelo Anthony’s shooting that night than in my hilarious anecdotes.

I typically wouldn’t even continue going after a girl like Miriam after such a modest failure of a first date, but she was too goddamn hot.  Maybe she was just shy, nervous herself.  And did I always have to take the easy way out?  The easy sluts to sack or the tough nut to crack?  I needed to try to pick up my game, swim in the deep end without any floaties on my biceps.  You can only get better at things if you challenge yourself, right?

Forced to call her again for a second date, I would have to show up and be as charismatic as I’ve ever been, and be aggressive and sexy and manly.  I’d have to work quick, cause I’d only have til her witching hour of 9, but I could make it work.  I’d barely drink as well, flip the tables on her.  Yes!  Maybe she was only so intimidating, so cocksure, because she was a sober beauty dealing with drunken buffoons like me, each pint we drank knocking five points off our IQs until Miriam was dealing with a borderline retard.  But I would flounder again this time, too self-conscious at my behavior, my lack of drinking, her placid and sober demeanor.  After we again chastely kissed goodbye at 9:00 on the dot, I knew it was over.

Walking home up Ninth Avenue, I came to the realization that I must have no game.  Sure, I’m good at meeting women, good at getting them to meet me out, and good at–I guess–taking semi-advantage of them while we’re both equally drunk.  And, once a women’s slept with you once, the hard part is over.  Even if she doesn’t like you once you’re already one of her “numbers,” a tally on her sexual abacus, she figues you guys might as well forge some sort of relationship out of this fact, whether you become as much as boyfriend and girlfriend or just sometime besotted bedmates.

In fact, it could be said that chemically, once you’ve slept with a woman that first drunken night, the bond has been formed for the immediate future as Oxytocin is released into the women’s nervous system during distension of the cervix and hopefully for her sake orgasm, causing her to have a mysteriously uncontrollable and intense need to bond with you.  Even for a night.

I went home, dejected and popped the top on a growler of Alpine Nelson which the great Jesse the Hutt had procured for me.  Macro straw clear with a head like a root beer float yet otherwise minimal carbonation.   Likewise minimal bitterness and smooth sweet rye taste accented by prominent hints of citrus and mango.  Dangerously drinkable, I quickly took down half the growler on that first night and spent the whole next day thinking about the second half I still had to enjoy.  Shockingly, my second day of the Nelson growler was even better and truly put this number over the top.  It had become even sweeter and almost completely lacking in carbonation now it had the mouthfeel as if it was off cask.  Simply one of the best single IPAs I’ve ever had, right up there with Pliny the Elder, Masala Mama, and Sixty Minute.  You absolutely have to find this beer if you can.

This weekend I went back to hanging out with the kind of sweetheart of a girl that will completely communicate with me via text and e-mail, the kind of girl that has a Facebook page, that will drink hard with me til 5 in the morning, slowly getting drunker and drunker, more and more into me.  Predictably, I of course, found amatory success with that time-tested formula and we had a swell night.

Yes, I may not truly have any game, but at least I’m goddamn good at meeting attractive and technological savvy drunkards that are allowed to sleep in.  I’ll stick with them for the foreseeable future.


10 Responses to “Alpine Nelson Rye”

  1. KingOttoIII says:

    I disagree. A girl who knows too much about sports is a turn off. They should be cheerleady about sports. Not manly.

    While the fitness thing is annoying, it may have been a perfect fit for you. She leaves at 9pm and you are free for a night a mischief with the guys. You wake up and she is gone for work already. She would only have a 3 hour window that you would have to spend time with her.

  2. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with that. As long as they are legitimately into sports and not trying to impress guys or have a big dick contest about it, I have no problem with a girl having any passions. It’s not necessarily “manly” to like sports. That’s 1940s thinking.

    Yeah, maybe, if I could have picked her up in that 3 hour window.

  3. KingOttoIII says:

    But in theory if your GF/Wife is really into sports there is no buffer. You cant say “I am going out to watch MNF with the guys” because she will want to go too. Relationship Aaron would be killing Independent Aaron, and an Aaron divided against itself cannot stand.

  4. Well I can say and do whatever I want because I’m not a character on “Home Improvement.” And I likewise wouldn’t have a gf/wife I hate like unfortunately most men seem to have.

  5. BDH says:

    I’ve got a friend who just turned 40 and has the best game of anyone I’ve ever met. All ages, ethnicities, professional situations, etc., he can make it happen with relative ease.

    He swears his rap is 10 times better than anyone in our generation because, rather than relying on text messaging, facebook, email, he had to learn his skill by doing things like making plans in advance and calling girls on the kitchen phone with his parents in the next room.

  6. I’d have to agree with your friend. We are PEDed-up little boys using $1000 titanium drivers with heads as big as a basketball and with an almost as big of sweet spot while your friend is like Bobby Jones, using a poorly forged wood stick and swinging at uneven rocks. He was forced to develop good technique that serves him well no matter where he is. We can just skirt by on technology and the lascivious mores of our era.

  7. Nat says:

    After reading some of your exploits, I think your game is better than you think. Not sure I agree that age has much to do with game, even though part of your analogy is correct. I’m in my early 40s and learned to golf with an old Wilson wood driver that is about a third the size of today’s monsters. (If I was lucky enough to hit that driver’s sweet spot I could smack the ball 300 yards. But Oh, the slices I could hit.) Anyway to Nelson… Jesse the Hut is a good man getting you the Nelson growler. One of the best IPAs I have ever had. It had almost a narcotic effect on me, as I just sat with a loopy smile on my face, and stayed and in a good, mellow mood (not drunk) all evening. It’s unfortunate it is so elusive, even here in San Diego.

  8. Nat, I take it you’ve had a fair amount of Alpine beers? What’s your (D)IPA rankings from them? After LOVING Nelson, I’m curious how their others stack up (Jesse’s already given me his rankings).

  9. Nat says:

    I have not had too many since Alpine does not have a distributor and it is located about 45 minutes east of where I live. I’ve had enough to put Nelson at the top:

    1. Nelson
    2. Exponential Hoppiness (in moderation because this beer begs to be drank and will kick your ass)
    3. Duet
    4. Pure Hoppines (very close to Duet)
    5. Bad Boy

    This is a very hard list and the difference between Exponential Hoppiness and Bad Boy is small.

  10. I lost Jesse’s list and maybe if he sees this he can reprint it, but I think he had it Duet and Nelson flip-flopping between #1 and #2 depending on how he felt on any given day with Exponential next. They all sound incredible though. I really want to try Exponential next. I like to have my ass kicked. I need discipline in my life.

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