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Ithaca Brute

July 20th, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Ithaca Beer Company, Country: America, Grade: A regular, Style: Wild Ale

An oldie but a goodie, by popular request…

Miss Maine

“Sean, you’re going to probably say I’m crazy…but you know who I think the hottest woman here is…?”

Sean looked around.  We were at our close friend Joe’s wedding up in Portland.  A large guest list filled a large reception room at a large chain hotel.  There must have been several dozen tables with at least a good looking woman or two at each.

I continued.  “I think the hottest woman here is her.”  I nodded halfway across the room where an older yet truly sublime woman stood alone.  Flowing auburn hair, perfectly symmetrical features, a heaving yet firm bosom coming as close as possible to the appropriate/inappropriate chasm without breaching it negatively.

“Oh yeah, she’s gorgeous,” Sean concurred.

“How old do you think she is?”

We were 26-year-old dopes at the time.  Even 30-year-old gals were too aged and sophisticated for us and this woman was clearly older than any we’d ever encountered at Hoboken’s finest watering (hell)holes.

“35?  40?”  I guessed.  I had no clue.  I was certainly not fit to man a weight/astrological sign/age guessing booth at the county fair.

“I don’t know, it’s hard to say, but she is absolutely phenomenal.  One of the best looking women I’ve ever seen at a wedding.”

“Agreed.  Is she married?  What’s her deal?”

She’d been alone for most of the cocktail hour, but as it wound down, she was joined by four of the cutest young girls you’ve ever seen.  Ages approximately spanning from four to eight and clearly of her beautiful loins.  Yet not a man in sight.

“Is she divorced?  Widowed?  Maybe her husband just couldn’t show?”

“Who knows.  Why?  You planning on hitting on her?  Think you got the goods to tack the F onto the MIL?”


“Ha!  She is so far out of your league in every single category it’s not even funny.  She would laugh in your face and spit in your eye if you so much as approached her.”

He was right.  But I was still young, brash, optimistic, and drunk.  And, anyways, if you can’t hook up at a wedding you are an abject failure in life.  I told myself this.  Yes, I thought I might have a chance just yet.

By now the guests were seated, the most beautiful MILF in the world flanked by two daughters on each side of her.  I was the Best Man and took the dais to deliver my speech.  Predictably, I killed it.  Oh, you’ve surely seen a good speech or two before but this time I motherfucking killed it.  Like Eddie Murphy “Raw” killed it.  I had the tuxedoed and ballgowned guests slayed, rolling around on the tacky industrial carpeted floor.  Hell, I had been so damn good, my Q-ratings quickly soared so far through the roof that I usurped the luster of the bride and groom.  Something you never want to do.

Though few of us will ever be celebrities, we all have those times in our lives where something we have done, or had happen to us, turns us into a provisional celeb for so ever brief of time.  Maybe just a few minutes, or even a few hours, perhaps even the whole night.

Well my bravura Best Man speech turned me into wedding celebrity numero uno for the remainder of the evening.  Men wanted to shake my hand, old folks wanted to Mazel Tov me, women wanted to flirt with me.

Though not the one woman I wanted to.

But still, who was she?  I called over Joe.

“Psst.  Who is the middle-aged piece of ass in the turquoise gown?”

“No idea.  Never seen her before in my life.  Yeah, she’s cute.  Hey, Shelly…” he called over his wife of just an hour.  “Do you know who that lady is with the sparkling necklace?”

“Her?!  That’s Miss Maine.”

“Miss Maine?”

“Yeah, she finished like 3rd in the Miss America contest one year.”

“What year?”

Shelly was getting borderline perturbed by my questions.

“I don’t know.  Sometime in the seventies.  She was a classmate of my mom’s.  She’s like 50.”


I didn’t care, she was gorgeous.  Yet I still couldn’t figure out a way to reach her.

When she was seated, she was surrounded by her little girls who she was clearly deeply devoted to.  Any time she stood to grab another beverage, hit the cake table, use the ladies room, she was surrounded by her phalanx of daughters.  And on the dance floor, the four surrounded their mother like a force field, she amazingly able to skirt the line between dancing erotically and like the best mom in the world.  Or maybe I was just sexualizing her to the nth degree.

It was no use, I couldn’t get anywhere close to her.  I would never get a chance to have a private tete-a-tete with her.  And, shit, even if I did somehow seduce her, then what?  Why we’d have to get a babysitter to watch her four daughters as we headed back to my hotel room to make sweet, sweet love.  Sean was a helluva friend, but I didn’t think he’d play babysitter just to facilitate the culmination of my fetishisms.  No one should trust their kids with Sean any how.

Finally, I decided to say “no mas” and give up.  I started drinking heavily and set my sights on the second most attractive girl at the event.  A girl my age.  A girl clearly into me.  We would indeed hook up that very night, we would amazingly become boyfriend and girlfriend eventually.

At 11:59 PM as the reception was all but a wrap, my girlfriend-for-the-night and eventual girlfriend-for-two-years excused herself to use the restroom.  Giving me my first moment of solitude perhaps all night.

I stood on the edge of the dance floor having a nice moment to myself.  A goofy, drunken and euphoric grin on my face as I replayed the pleasantries of the evening behind me, speculated on the perversities of the wee hours ahead of me.

There was almost no one left in the hall.  A few couples having one final musicless dance, the cheesy mustachioed DJ packing up his equipment, a hotel employee or two vacuuming.

And then…

A light tap on my shoulder.

I turned around to find myself face to face with Miss Maine.  She was alone.  If she was a 10 out of 10 from the, at closest, ten feet I ever get to her all evening, she was amazingly even more beautiful from close range.  Luminescent eyes, not a wrinkle in sight, taut and elastic skin, and clearly not a buck of “work” done on her.

I was speechless, only able to raise my eyebrows to implicitly say, “Yes?”

“I absolutely loved your speech.  I’ve been keeping my eye on you all night and I just wanted to say, whatever girl snatches you up, is the luckiest girl in the world.”

She smiled, leaned in and kissed my cheek, then immediately exited from the banquet hall and my life.


7% ABV (Batch #: E!010)

Picked up a bottle of Brute and several other new classics this weekend at Philly’s splendid Foodery store.  Brute, from Ithaca’s Excelsior! line, would end up being one of the most exciting beers I had in an over-indulgent great beer weekend.  Fermented in oak with three champagne yeasts, this wild ale acted as a splendid Saturday morning breakfast beer–quote Cash:  “The beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had one more for dessert.”–sparkly, carbonated, and effervescent with a nice sweet citron taste making this almost like a beer mimosa.  Of course it had a subtle sourness and maybe lacks a little complexity but this still remains one of the most balanced yet flavorful wild ales I’ve ever had.  Really enjoyed it.



October 31st, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 13 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Ithaca Beer Company, Country: America, Grade: B plus, Style: Red Ale

6.5% ABV bottled

She sipped her cheap blush wine and nuzzled closer to me. She clearly wanted to ask me a question but was nervous. Spit it out, I wanted to say. She finally spat. “Tell me about your last girlfriend…”

A loaded question if I’ve ever heard one, but I’m a bit of a psychological savant and have answered these enough in the past to know the “correct” answer. I took a sip of my Cascazilla, a “monstrously” hopped red ale that pours maroon, smells like an IPA, and tastes like one too. Pretty tasty, and quite drinkable.


“Well…my last girlfriend had major intimacy issues, lived under the shroud of her smothering mother who happened to hate me, couldn’t see and enjoy the practically perfect present for the always-unpredictable future, was clinically lazy, had a fear of commitment which she hid by claiming that I actually did, possessed a pathetically cyclical history of kamikazeing her serial relationships with the same personal errors, and, most egregiously of all, was not a champion of my dreams.”

Perhaps I’d gone overboard.

That was true but those were the only really bad things about her, stuff that could have easily been fixed. But that was irrelevant at this point in time. When a new girl you’re wooing lacks confidence, you tell her only bad things about your ex. One that is confident though, you can’t go far enough in telling her the good things, giving her lofty goals that she will then forever try to live up to and exceed.*

“She was smart as a whip, the sweetest person I’ve ever known, always laughed at my shit, even moreso put up with my bullshit, could drink like a longshoreman, liked to party more than me, fantastic and always forthcoming in between the sheets, enjoyed bar games, was incredibly creative, was my raucous ‘partner in crime,’ and had a comfortable bed…”

Tonight was our first “test” date. Er, actually, it had somehow become a “test” date when she started grilling me. The third date is usual a little early to get the third degree, but whatever, I was too drunk to mind. The only reason I hate being questioned, “tested,” is because it makes for boring conversation. I’d rather just drink, watch a movie, or make fun of other people not as genetically gifted as me.

Why must women always shanghai their chances by getting another woman’s essence into a partner’s head? What a stupid thing to do. You wouldn’t physically derail a man’s interest in you by showing him pornography–unless you were: awesome!–so why mentally derail him by forcing me to have remembrances of things past? And, indeed, now it was no surprise that I was thinking about her.

I was still miffed how it had ended. Completely arbitrarily and unnecessarily. Quite frankly, I was still shocked she hadn’t contacted me once in the however many months since we had broken up. On D-Day plus One I would have bet the heavily-subsidized farm that she would have phoned, e-mailed, texted, and/or carrier pigeoned me by now. Maybe that’s my narcissism acting up. Or, I guess she just didn’t love me as much as I thought she did.

I returned to the present.

“I’d always champion your dreams, Aaron.”

She said it, but I wasn’t so sure. Heck, I wasn’t so sure, yet, if she was even smart enough to know that the word “champion” could mean something other than the sweaty guy that gets to kiss a pretty trophy and display a giant novelty check after winning a sporting event.

Well, if my “new” girl was going to test me, I was going to test her. I don’t particularly care about a woman’s past unless it involves chronic STD contraction or ravenous intravenous drug usage, so I simply follow a trick Quentin Tarantino taught me.** I make each new girl of interest watch my favorite movie of all time — “Annie Hall.”

I’m surely not that daft, but I did used to agree with the line from the great “High Fidelity”: “What really matters is what you like, not what you’re like.”

Then why did every girl I’d ever liked, at worst, loathe “Annie Hall,” and, at best, feel apathetically bored by it?

It’s too irreverent. Too weird. Too old. Too out-of-touch. Too slow. And Woody gives me the creeps, they’d say. I’d heard all the complaints.

Finally, on Tuesday night, I’d come to realize, it didn’t fucking matter whether a girl likes “Annie Hall,” or good beer, or college basketball. All the mattered was if I liked to be with her. And I thought I might like this girl. I paused “Annie Hall,” grabbed her hand, and escorted her to her bedroom. Afterward, when she went to the bathroom, coming back she retrieved the DVD and her laptop from the living room and brought them back to bed. She had actually been loooooooving “Annie Hall” and couldn’t wait to see how it was going to end.


*As a secondary purpose, these revelations also allow you to tell a new girl exactly what you expect in a relationship, a template for what you will and won’t tolerate.

**QT: “When I’m getting serious about a girl, I show her ‘Rio Bravo’ and she better fucking like it.”

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