Beers I have been drinking (that’s what they’re for, right?).

Recent beverages of choice which have passed my lips are an eclectic group indeed. They are listed below, in no particular order (who keeps track?) and with minimal comment.

At this very moment, after taking a break from rewriting a rewrite of a story that needed to be rewritten for which, I discovered upon awakening yesterday,  I had lost none of the actual interviews or research but at least half a day of putting it all together into some sort of workable outline because saved versions of the document were not saved, something that definitely sucks (my computer, old and cranky–which I can relate to–is dying before my eyes and I have too much that needs must be done to take the time to figure out any realistic way of dealing with that),  I am enjoying Victory Ranch R Double IPA, about which I know nothing other than it is damned tasty and may put me out for the night because it has got itself some alcohol, it does. I picked this up during a visit to the Downingtown pub on Thursday, during which I also sampled the incredibly spot on Eclat Cocoa Lager (pure chocolate in a glass with hops, really, seriously, wow!) and also Alla Spina Novella Ale,  A  Belgian-style blonde, 7%, about which I also know nothing, but which I think I need more of.

A week ago at this time,  I was on my second bottle of the new, bolder (that’s what the news release said) George Killian’s Irish Red, also while writing. I’d been sent four bottles  by Tenth and Blake, the craft beer division of MillerCoors and, on trying the first one the previous evening, I concluded that it  was more than nice enough for mainstream, but, you know, not exciting. That second bottle, I realized, was just fine when judged as a beer to wet my whistle (what the hell does that mean, anyway?). It was pleasant and unobtrusive and asked nothing more of me than to take what pleasure I might from it. A tad sweet for my taste, it was, and it surely suffered from comparison to Sly Fox Seamus Irish Red, which is very good this year and a growler of which I’d had earlier in the week, but it was more than sufficient once I cast aside my underlying beer geek judgement system (something I pledge, here and now, to do more often).

Last night I opened Bear Republic / Fat Head’s / Stone TBA, the first Stone collaboration of 2012 (I’ve noted previously that my friends at Stone make sure that I get to try pretty much every beer they release, a practice I definitely agree with and wish more breweries embraced). My first reaction was “Wow! Feisty for a Brown!” but reading the info sheet that accompanied the bottle revealed that this is a long-standing and hopped-up version of the style which is popular in Texas ( “TBA” stands for Texas Brown Ale); it originated in the early ’80s in California. Quite enjoyable, enough so that I will add it to my limited list of things from Texas I appreciate , which mostly consists of the songs of  musicians Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker,Guy Clark and Billy Joe Shaver. Also Austin. Definitely not on the list, George W. Bush, Rick Perry and Lackland Air Force Base where I spent a meager but annoying eight weeks of basic training for the Air Force National Guard way back in the day.

Finally, the fine folks at Narragansett Brewing sent me a couple of 16oz cans of the recently revived Narragansett Cream Ale. Delicious, delightful and 5% abv. It was probably my favorite beer of the bunch. I take this as yet another sign that I need to embrace a broader appreciation span; this will be difficult with so many taverns and bars choosing to offer tap lists of over-the-top beers from one end to the other, but nobody ever said this gig was going to be easy.

Tomorrow I will be entangled in  another rewritten rewrite thing. I may switch to whiskey. Probably in the morning.

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