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Bell’s The Oracle

October 22nd, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | 3 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Bell's, Brewer: Founders, Country: America, Grade: A-/B+, Style: IPA, Style: Pale Ale

?% ABV bottled

The 3XL Underwear Date

I never am late but I was running late for this latest first date, if I can evoke the white rabbit a bit.  This was back in the early-2000s when preparation for a big weekend date involved polishing off a six-pack of Yuengling while watching the tail end of the afternoon’s college football games, opening my eyes and regaining some energy by drinking a can of Sparks while I showered, and finishing it off with a nice cocktail as I got dressed.  Not exactly a recipe for running on a tight schedule nor for impressing these women I was supposedly wooing.  Then again, they were often more drunk than me.

On this particularly night, out of the shower, I quickly prepared myself a gin and tonic to enjoy as I garbed myself.  I reached for one of the fresh unopened packs of boxer briefs I had just purchased.  Ripped the pack open, grabbed a pair, and quickly pulled them up and…they fell back down to my feet. They were fucking huge.  I glanced at the label.  3XL.  Shit.  I grabbed another pack.  3XL.  And the third and final pack.  3XL.  Fuck!

Earlier in the day I had been downtown near price-choppin’ clusterfuck par excellence Century 21 when I had fortuitously recalled that all my underwear were dirty and I had a date that very night.  I could, of course, just have hurried home and done laundry, but eh.  I rushed into the mess of a department store, plowed over some slovenly Slavic tourists like Adrian Peterson hitting the hole, and grabbed a stack of $5 three-packs of Hanes unmentionables.  (Undergarments are the most egregiously priced of all clothing and thus, as a miserly Jew, I always make sure to buy them at Century 21 where they sell for like 75% discount.)

Alas, in my haste, I had stupidly forgotten to check the size of the boxer-briefs, partially assuming I suppose that one size fits most, but, what with Century 21 being a tourist mecca, of course the default sizes were for the typically girthy Nebraskan or South Dakotan rather than being an M or L like most New York stores would stock.  I should have known better.  But there was no time to damn my luck at the moment, I had to come up with a plan for my date.

Going commando was out of the question.  It was a sweltering 98 degrees out and going sans-knickers in the city of the Knickerbockers would be a surefire recipe for having a most swamp-like crotch before I’d even arrived at the bar.  There was my old standby of teeny tiny soccer shorts as a proxy for undies, but that had gotten me into major trouble the last time I’d done such a thing and I didn’t want that evening’s date shrouded with such an anti-talisman.  Perhaps a “cleaner” pair of dirty underwear?  No, that was too disgusting even for me.  Alas, I had no choice but to wear the 3XLs.

I don’t exactly wear drainpipe jeans now and I certainly didn’t back then, but I’ve always favored a slim fit as I hate the jostling from non-sleek clothing.  Suffice to say, it was near impossible to pull my denims up over this brand-new blousey girdle.  It entailed a lot of constant tucking and shimmying and smoothing before I was finally able to get my jeans up.  And even then, the waistband of the offensive boxer-briefs was exploding from my dungarees, like a mushroom cloud, forcing me to fold them over my belt line and into wearing a thick, longish shirt so as to hide the craziness.  If I ever forgot and accidentally did a big yawning stretch, revealing my littleclothes, my date would surely think me Mormon.

I go to some upscale-for-a-dopey-24-year-old bar and I meet up with Stacy or was it Laura or possibly Alisha? but I’m unable to focus.  Unable to be my funny, charming, roguish self since I’m so concerned about my 3XL underwear, so uncomfortable with the saggy cloth surrounding my loins.  I’m can barely think of anything else, I can barely pay attention to my date, I’m writing my own prophesy as I almost don’t want my date to be a success for if it is a success of course we will go back to her place and start getting all inflagrante delicto and next thing I know she’ll be laughing at me and mocking me for my apparent sick fetish of wearing gigantic Pampers.

So I decide to drink heavily, which kinda eliminates my anxiety but which also makes me need to keep pissing which is another conundrum all to itself for once in the restroom I fear that if I pull too much of my pants and 3XLers too far down, then I’ll never able to get everything back in place again.  Meaning, I had to employ the most dreaded of all devices, the underwear piss hole.  I’m still have post-traumatic stress over that.

Amazingly, after countless cocktails I’m loosening up and Stacy or was it Laura or possibly Alisha? is becoming charmed by my slightly fidgety neurotic besotted behavior, and maybe she’s a little drunk too, or wanting to use me as a slumpbuster, so she invites me back to her pad.  And, despite my fears from before, I accept.

I had drunk so heavily at dinner that I thought I’d be unable to get my lumber out of the bat rack but, amazingly, once Stacy or was it Laura or possibly Alisha? started kissing me, all the biological things that are supposed to happen started happening.

I’m usually aggressive in bed but here, in this situation, I was being quite slow and tender, caressing and fondling Stacy or was it Laura or possibly Alisha? with her clothes completely on because, despite my stoned state, I know once I take her clothes off, she will take my clothes off and see my most unfortunate parachute of granny’s panties.  This incredibly slow progression toward love-making thus makes me appear to be a man interested in an incredible amount of foreplay, which makes Stacy or was it Laura or possibly Alisha? like me all the more as most men her age–including me when I was wearing boxer-briefs that fit–were probably a little too wham bam, thank you madame.

Eventually, Stacy or was it Laura or possibly Alisha? reached a fever pitch of foreplay ecstasy and there was only one final frontier left to explore.  She excused herself to the bathroom to do whatever it is girls do when they excuse themselves to the bathroom right before coitus.

(My top three guesses:

1.  Last second depilatory work
2.  Vigorous gargling
3.  Quick Google search of my credentials)

This was finally my chance and I sprung to action!  I quickly pulled down my jeans and whipped of my dreaded 3XL panties which had somehow become stretched out to 4XL or perhaps even 5XL underoos in the last five hours as these babies were expanding faster than the universe.  I took the Hanes and tossed them under Stacy or was it Laura or possibly Alisha?’s bed and then quickly pulled back on my jeans.

Stacy or was it Laura or possibly Alisha? returned from the bathroom seconds later, placing some condoms on her nightstand.  She then attacked me, taking my fate in her own hands.  Although now I was at ease.  She pulled back down my Lucky’s and a pleased look came across her face.

“Commando…?  Mmmmm…sexy!”

Sexy is right.  I was finally free from my prison of skivvies and eager to celebrate my midsection’s liberation.  I pulled a perfect Cael Sanderson reverse and threw her to the mat, positioning myself on top of her.  She may have seemed a bit confused by my sudden personality change, but she was greatly enjoying it.

So was I.  I had done it!  I had triumphed over these Herculean jockeys determined to defeat me!

I reached for the nightstand and a prophylactic.  Expertly opened the package and put its contents on my manhood.

But something felt off.  Way off.

I looked down to see the condom hanging on my dick like a latex poncho.  Sagging and droopy, unweildy and unusable.  What the hell?

I grab the discarded packet off the floor.

Durex XXL.

Stacy or was it Laura or possibly Alisha? noticed the look of fret on my face, the tears now welling up in my eyes.

“Oh sorry,” she said, “I stole those from my roomie.  You should see her boyfriend.”

The Oracle

This limited, Michigan-only release from the legendary local brewers, was procurred for me by my good buddy the Drunken Polack.  With a meteoric rise onto the BA Top 100 putting it alongside Bell’s two other IPAs, Two-Hearted and the legendary Hopslam, I was certain The Oracle would be epic.  But all I can report is…eh.  I was great underwhelmed I’m sorry to say.  And you know that has to be the truth because I am nothing if not a grade inflater!  I found Oracle to have the nose of a malty barleywine, yet, oddly enough, one of the more dry and bitter tastes of any DIPA around.  But not in a good way.  I would hail Smuttynose’s “Finest Kind” to be the uber-bitter IPA The Oracle should aspire to be, but it’s simply just not quite as good.  A bit of a lacking-in-flavor grapefruit mess.  Oh well…at least you folks that will struggle to locate this beer don’t have to be too bummed out about that fact.  If you’re like me, I almost get excited when someone reviews a highly-rare, highly-sought-after beer that I shall never taste and then semi-slams it.

A-/B+

BONUS REVIEW!!!!!

Founder Harvest Ale

6.5% ABV bottled

While we’re on the subject of hoppy beers, I got to make mention of by far the most enjoyable one I’ve had in the last weeks.  Oddly enough, BA lists this as a pale ale, but you know I hate to quibble about stylistic persnicketyness.  I’d generally liked all of Founders hoppy IPA-type beers I’d had in the past, but this was the first one that absolutely floored me.  One of the most fragrant beers I’ve ever had, with quite possibly even a more fresh piney smell than Pliny the Elder.  The taste is not quite as good as the otherwordly smell, but this is still some amazing shit.  Citrus, pine, and so much juicy hoppiness.  Wet-hopped beers are all the rage at the moment, even someone woke up the NYT to write an article about the phenomenon, and I finished off the sole four-pack I had of Harvest with a quickness.  Unfortunately, I can’t get Founders in NYC, but if I could, I would be absolutely plowing through bottles of this like some frat boy participating in a power hour until this fall season’s limited run was completely drank up.  It’s that good.  Not to be missed.

A

Bell’s HopSlam Ale

February 2nd, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | 13 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Bell's, Country: America, Grade: A regular, Style: IPA

10% ABV

“He was a man who used vices to drain poisons out of his body rather than to saturate it.”  Mario Puzo, The Last Don

Yesterday I woke up alone at 4:00 in the afternoon.  I still had all my possessions on me.  I hadn’t lost my cell phone, my wallet, even my dignity.  This was quite astonishing as the night before had been my 30th birthday party and, you see, I am quite famous for losing all of the aforementioned–most notably the latter–on my big day.  Why, most of my birthday party stories are too sordid, perverse, and transgressive for even me to tell.  Don’t get me wrong, if I told some of these tales they would instantly catapult to the top of my “best of” section but I guess even I have limits.

I started Saturday afternoon with a few while still at home, eager to try a fresh bottle of HopSlam that Dirtyspeed over at Friday Night Beer had recently sent me.   Currently the 26th “best” beer on planet earth, I found it deserves all the acclaim it gets as it is truly sublime.  A state-of-the-art DIPA with added honey notes that really allows it to stand apart from most of the other great DIPAs on the market.  A terrific bitter hoppiness yet still sweet due to the honey giving it barley wine characteristics somewhat.  Smooth and creamy, boozy enough but damn drinkable, and with a nice mouthfeel, I absolutely loved this beer and immediately wished I had more.  It’s fairly limited so if you have any friends in the states that stock Bell’s, implore them to send you some.

My party was held at Blind Tiger Ale House, considered by many to be the best beer bar in America.  We had a great time but nothing particularly “blog-worthy” occurred which I think may have disappointed some who expected utter lunacy.  That’s fine, though, you can’t force craziness.  You can’t force fun.  You can only go out, have some drinks, be happy, and be social.  And we were, and I had a great time. From what I recall.

I suppose the most interesting thing at my party was that diverse friends of mine got to collude with each other.  I run in many different circles that rarely mix so for one of the few–if not first–times various friends got to meet each other.  And the topic most discussed was, “Is ____ Vice Blog story real?”

So Freddie was asked if my 2nd worst hook-up story was really Kosher.  Sadly it is.  He confirmed the BBW tale as well.

People inquired of Stanton if Jimmy was truly a real person.  Surely–surely!–he can’t be.  Oh, but he is, Stanton confirmed.  He likewise detailed how fucked-up Queens is.

Several participants in the Hooker Lottery showed, almost six years exactly after that stunning event.

And even my friend King Otto–who was secretly filming the festivities using a nerdy spy pen–got to update his rarely-updated blog which makes fun of me*.

I had a great boozy time and my friends even reminded me of some other funny stories from our past that I should and will write up very soon.

I was still so hungover by Super Bowl time that I sat home by myself watching the game and drinking diet soda.  Perhaps the first sober Super Bowl I’ve had since John Elway was playing.

A

*Ladies, he’s single.  E-mail me your headshots if you’re interested and I’ll pass them onto the King.

Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury Ale

November 21st, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 5 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Bell's, Country: America, Grade: A-/B+, Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

7.7% ABV bottled

“Get up, Aaron! Get up!”

I was being shaken awake courtesy of a whispered yell from a female voice I did not recognize. I could barely open my eyes, a wicked hangover permeating my skull. I squinted trying to read the alarm clock. 6:00 AM.

I rose my head from the pillow. I was naked under the covers. Standing beside me, shaking me, was a girl freshly showered, hairdo done, makeup made up, and in a nice but woefully unfashionable dress. She was either going to a funeral, a wedding, or Reagan’s first term presidential inauguration. Around me, on the floor of the swank hotel room were six other young women, sleeping wherever they could.

“It’s 6 AM…” I’d forgotten her name, “What’s the problem?”

“Don’tchoo remember what I told you last night?”

Of course I didn’t. I was visiting friends in Boston and we’d gone out drinking near Fenway. There were six of us and we played a game with the waitress called “Bring-us-two-pitchers-of-beer-every-five-minutes.” We were tired of flagging her down and asking. She was seemingly impressed by our machismo and Beerculean drinking abilities and told us if we could keep that up for an entire hour she’d give us a free pitcher. Only days later did I realize, “Huh…she pretty much just convinced us to drink $200 of shitty beer in sixty minutes in order to get a free $10 pitcher.” Smart girl. Er, dumb boys.

Blotto by 10:00 we headed to a dance club slash lounge for God knows what reason. Oh, wait, I remember. It’s because in Boston the only girls in taverns, pubs, and normal watering holes are hooded-sweatshirted fatties that can easily drink you under the table despite the fact that they’re spending twenty minutes out of every hour outside smoking and purchasing sidewalk sausage.

I typically avoid dance clubs at all costs because dancing is stupid and my seduction skills need a little bit of quiet so I can actually speak, but when in Rome….

At the dance club I was bored with the long lines to get an overpriced and watered down cocktail and by the terrible club music. Then, I noticed one of my favorite drinking sites: a tiarred women leading a group of girls in matching t-shirts into the bar and onto the dance floor. Yes, it was a bachelorette party.

I always feel sorry for bachelorette parties. It’s like, if your ceremonial final night as a single woman is in the same bar where I’m drinking, well that’s just pathetic. If she only knew what her soon-to-be-better-half was doing at the same moment. Come to think of it, he was probably just sitting in a piece of shit Chinatown strip club, doing Kamikaze shots, and trying to muster the courage to tip a dancer’s snatch with his teeth while his douchebag Southie friends cheer him on. OK, that’s not so cool either.

My always supplicating friend had just been approached by two of the more raucous and boisterous members of the bachelorette party (read: two fatties) who had revealed that during the night of drinking they were simultaneously taking part in a scavenger hunt of sorts and could they have his underpants in order to check another box off their list? As he pathetically retreated to the bathroom for underpants removal, I studied the girls in the group, all loud, all drunk, all ugly, except one. She was decent looking, downright hot for Boston, and stood off to the side sipping on her Cape Codder with a look of mild disdain, mild shyness.

I approached her, “You part of this group?” I said, overly stressing “this” to denote that I had little respect for them. She confirmed that she was though revealed that she was a high school friend of the would-be bride while the rest of the girls were college friends. Thus, she knew none of them and had been excluded all evening from their reindeer games. I told her big deal, those girls were annoying and ugly any how. She agreed and I whisked her away from the group and to a side bar.

Remember fellas, in big groups of women there’s always at least one that pretty much hates the rest of the group. Find that woman and use that fact as a fulcrum to pull her away from the group and into your arms.

So for the next few hours we got drunker and drunker and more and more insulting toward the rest of the bachelorette party. By closing time, it was evident we were going to hook up. And, as I had lost my friends I had no choice but to go home with her.

Women are quite different from men. My friends upon departure most likely saw me in the corner, huddled up with each other for about five seconds (”Should we tell him we’re going?” “Leave him alone.” “Fuck it.”), before leaving me. And that’s fine. Men know that other men want to seize the night and may the morning be damned. We’ll all deal with finding a way home when we need to deal with it. Women on the other hand will all but drag their friends away, both hating the thought of their friend scoring while they are going home empty-handed…and, well that’s about it. All women are like the Gore Vidal quote: “Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.”

Women will literally remove their friends from a guy’s face and arms, refusing to allowing her to make her own decision like a grown-up. I usually just sit back and watch, trying to intervene only exacerbates the friends’ furor. While acting aloof only makes your pick-up desire you more.

Should a women finally convince her friends to let her be, to let her go home with the guy, at the least they will give her all sorts of warnings and instructions, “Call me when you get to his place so I know you’re safe,” “Text me every hour so I know you’re well,” “Here’s ten condoms,” “Here’s an on-the-spot STD test be sure and gets a cheek swab for later analysis,” “Here’s a google map I’ve printed out and safety-pinned into your underwear so you can find your way home afterwards,” “Here’s some emergency cash in five different currencies…”

But guys aren’t like that. And though that’s usually a good thing, it wasn’t this time.

As Laura shook me awake and began dressing me as I struggled to orientate myself, she re-explained the circumstance. She was from Albany–this now made a lot of sense in light of her bad bangs of a hairdo, her accent, and her promiscuity–and had to be back in town to attend her sister’s baby shower brunch–and this made sense in light of her garb–by 10:00 AM.

We went to the hotel parking garage to retrieve her car, my head ringing, and she confirmed that I knew how to get back to my friend’s place so she could drop me off en route out of town. “I sure do, ” I told her, though I didn’t even know my “friend”’s full name, much less where he lived. You see, I am a rare man that is terrible with directions. I can never remember street names, I can never orientate myself north/south, east/west, I never take the correct highways, I’m just an absolute train wreck when it comes to directions. And that’s why I’m usually taking trains and never driving and why I live in New York City. You’d have to be a retard to get lost in Manhattan, what with its beautifully designed grid and near exclusively numbered streets. I rarely even venture below Houston lest I get lost on some “name” street. When I do, I’m forced to hail a cab to bail me out of my jam and drive me back to numbered street civilization.

But this time I wasn’t lying. Though I didn’t know the street where my friend lived, I was pretty sure I knew from memory how to get back there. The drive from his apartment post-pre-gaming to the bar had seemed so simple. We backed out of the driveway, a right turn there, a left turn onto that major street, drive past that big building, and park. Surely I could reverse the directions and get us home–despite being simultaneously drunk and hungover, a most horrific state of existence–I was certain of it.

We left the garage and there was that turn, ah yes, and that turn, everything seems swell, and, here we go, I recall that long road, and, I’m positive the turn will be on the right in any second now, Laura, where is it, OK, now it should be coming up…

But that turn never came. I had surely forgotten something. We were lost. It was 6:30 AM and we were lost. I was tired, I was drunk, I was hungover, we were lost, and Laura was quietly seething. At least I thought she was. She was indeed very shy.

We aimlessly drove around the “area” where I thought he lived for the next half-hour. Everything looked so familiar yet so unfamiliar.

“Let’s go get breakfast.  I could go for some hash browns.”

She glared at me.

“Well what town does he live in?” she asked.

“Town? He lives in Boston.”

I was a 23-year-old yutz back then and Laura had to explain that pretty much no one actually lives in Boston. It was a city of only about half-a-million. Most everyone in the metro area lives in small towns surrounding Boston proper. After the quick geography lesson, I had to admit I didn’t know what town my friend lived in.

“Can we call you friend?” she used the royal we like a condescending grammar school teacher.

“I don’t have his number.”

She was incredulous. “You don’t have your friend’s number?”

“He’s a friend of a friend.”

She was looking angrier as she pulled into a gas station and parked at a pay phone booth. “There’s a phone book, go look him up.”

“I don’t know his name.”

“You don’t know his name?!”

“Everyone just calls him by a nickname.”

She wasn’t as mad as I would be in dealing with such buffoonery. “Well do you know any one in town you can call?”

Yes, I did, but that guy was a world-class alcoholic and he wasn’t picking his phone up after some fifty calls. He was probably sleeping it off in an alley somewhere.

At this point, I was absolutely certain that Laura was just going to drop me off in the middle of an Arby’s parking lot and speed away. Luckily, women can be so much nicer than men. I would have surely dropped her ass off on the side of the road if I had somewhere important to be.

And then my cell phone died and I could no longer even call my one friend.

We drove around in concentric and ever-larger circles for the next four hours before finally I saw something I recognized and led us back to my friend’s home.

It was 11:00 AM. Laura had already missed the baby shower.  She had said about three words to me in the previous three hours. It was kinda remarkable.  A quiet woman can be quite frightening.

As we sat in the driveway of my friend’s house, I didn’t know how to end things. A kiss on the cheek was quite inappropriate after the morning’s events. A handshake was too formal, as if we’d just played a round of golf. So I was simply honest:

“You really are the sweetest girl I’ve ever met,” I said as I got out of the car, slammed her door, and never looked back.

She peeled rubber out of the driveway, loud enough that my besotted friends finally awoke.

“Why are you hanging on the porch, Aaron?” they wondered, Laura’s car long gone by now.

I just smiled and went inside to sleep.

I still think about Laura. That was truly one of the nicest things things a stranger has ever done for me.

Something about the name Hell Hath No Fury reminded me of the Laura events.  Maybe because I had some selfishly scorned her.  My friend had gotten me a bottle of the ale as we don’t get Bell’s beers in New York.  I was excited to try it but it has one of the worst labels I have ever seen.  It’s almost so bad it’s good, like the cover to a goofy Hallmark card some lame adult is so proud they got you.  (”Isn’t it great?!”  “Yeah, real impressed you spent two minutes instead of thirty seconds sifting through the trite cards on display.”)

Luckily, the beer is quite good.  Roasted with the typical line-up of dark fruits:  plum, cherries, and raisins.  I really enjoyed it and though only 7.7% it seemed to pack a bit of a punch.  A nice tingly mouthfeel and went down smooth.  I would definitely look forward to having it again.

I’m almost positive Laura hasn’t forgotten me.

A-/B+

Bell’s Oberon Ale

June 30th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 1 Comment | Filed in Brewer: Bell's, Country: America, Grade: C plus, Style: Wheat (Hefeweizen)

5.8% ABV on draught

Before going to the Nats game, my friends and I hit some Capital Hill bars, wanting to throw back a few quality pops before going to the stadium. The first watering hole didn’t have that great of selection but they did have a free taco bar because I guess they like giving their patrons the shits. Correction, the bar actually had mini-tacos. They were like fucking taco sliders! Awesome. Every food tastes better when it is miniaturized and allows a man to feel like Goliath. I won’t say they tasted great and they kinda creeped me out in the same way the free buffet at a strip club would, but they still hit the spot.

I “paired” my taco sliders with Bell’s Oberon Ale, the only beer on tap I hadn’t had before. I don’t know much about the Bell’s Brewery as we don’t have much distribution of the brews in New York. I certainly wouldn’t call DC a better beer city than New York, nor a better drinking town, but they probably get a more diverse selection of beers from across this country. Each state’s “best” brewery seems to be well represented in the District. I would assume this to be because each state is well-represented by humans in the area, each of whom want to feel like they’re back home by drinking the brews they were weened on. My DC friends tell me that Michiganders consider Bell’s God’s gift to beer-drinkers. And, I must admit, the only previous Bell’s I’d had, their Two-Hearted Ale, was pretty solid. My friends further revealed that Michiganders seem to consider the Oberon the pinnacle of the brewery’s line. They told me that if talk beer with someone from The Wolverine State, The Great Lakes State, The Automotive State, or the Water-Winter Wonderland (why does Michigan have so many fucking nicknames?!) they would yak my ear off about Oberon and punch me were I to criticize it.

Well, get your knuckle sandwiches ready, Michigan. I didn’t love the Oberon, despite the fact that because I’m a huge nerd that plays bar trivia I know that the beer is named after the outermost of the major moons of Uranus which is actually named after a fairy character in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Of course, it was served with fruit, one of my beer pet peeves. I found it lacked smell and was overly light in taste. Citrusy, but not much else. A little spice and a little hops perhaps. I’m actually shocked the ABV is so high. It’s better than macro shit like Blue Moon or Shock Top (though slightly different styles of course), but not much better, and it’s certainly worse than a Sam Adams Summer wheat. It goes down well though and I wouldn’t actually mind day-drinking outside with a few on some weekend. But inside, at a bar, give me something with a little more taste and bite.

C+

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale

June 7th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Bell's, Country: America, Grade: A-/B+, Style: IPA

7% ABV

It’s funny, everyone always knew that I knew beer. I’m not kissing my ass or anything, I’ve just always been “the guy” amongst my group of friends that knew beer. And, you know what? No one fucking cared. Yeah, sure, every so often people would make a crack about the oddball beer I was enjoying. Or shudder in fear at the extremely dark and no-doubt potent stout I was slugging. Or mockingly wonder if I would dare lower my standards and enjoy a Miller Lite from their fridge. But, other than that, it was about as significant to my buddies as was my knowledge of, say, evolutionary psychology or Woody Allen movies. I.E. NO ONE FUCKING CARED.

Then, one drunk night, I got myself a free blog, didn’t change my drinking habits one iota, started taking crude cameraphone pictures of every beer I drank, and began quickly scribbling out swear word-filled missives about these brews, often spending less than a quarter of the post actually discussing the quaff in question. And, you know what? Now all of the sudden my friends were treating me as if I was some popularly elected president of beer consumption. No, even moreso, as if I was some highly anointed grand poobah of fermented adult beverages. Soon enough, I was getting pelted with texts every single night:

“dude, at bar with good beer selection, give me a rec…”

“yo, what’s the best ipa around???”

“hey, do u know a good stout?”

All of the sudden my friends actually cared about my knowledge! This same knowledge about beer that I’d alway had and that I’d always been more than willing to share. Shit, that I’d always been more than willing to inflict on them whether they liked it or not. Now, due to this, I’m starting to wonder if I should just start a blog about everything I want to be celebrated for. Hmmmm…look for Aaron’s “How to Pleeeeeeeeease a Lady” blog coming out in July!

This brings me back to Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. A friend of mine who is knowledgeable enough about beer but who doesn’t have a blog, thus making him less of a sage than me, told me a few weeks ago that this was his favorite beer. I’d never seen it in New York City but made it my mission to find it. I’m not the greatest guy in the world but if one of my friends tells me something is his favorite beer/book/movie/prostitute, I make sure to seek these things out. I eventually located the Two Hearted and was quite excited to try it.

It’s solid. Very interesting with a unique flavor. Very pleasant on the tongue. Little like a Dogfish Head Sixty Minute which everyone knows I’m quite fond of. Was a bit surprised with high how the ABV was cause this sucker went down smooooooove.

You should definitely try it.

A-/B+