“Beers I have loved”
Beer, glorious beer. How I love thee. The pint in the picture up there quickens my heart; I can feel the beads of condensation as I touch the glass. I bet it is at proper serving temp too, so that all the intimate secrets hidden within it are roaming free and easy, just waiting on y to savor the labor o the brewer. I’d love to have that beer.
Here are a few of my favorite beers ever:
Best surprise beer: A buddy and I and our oldest sons were standing knee deep in the Cape Fear River after a 2 mile hike across state and private lands. It was hot, and we were joking abut how we should have brought a cooler. About an hour later three guys in a canoe come by, stop and portage their canoe over the falls, and give us a beer before moving on. Best surprise ever.
Best surprise beer, runner up: After working all day in the dry arid hay fields picking up hay and then loading it into the barn, a Miller High Life pony bottle passed to me without a word by my Dad. It was teeth crackingly cold, and I sipped it and made it last. It was delicious, both to drink and to share that moment with my Dad
Fastest beer I ever drank without a funnel – Had just left the 1998 fall Busch Series race in Charlotte with a couple of friends. The husband has his wife pull into a Food Lion and we get a 12 pack of Natural Light. Upon getting in the car he passes me one, which I slammed. I mean I killed it. I gently passed the can back BEFORE WIFE EVER PULLS OUT OF THE PARKING SPOT and say “ Here’s the problem – the don’t put enough in these cans…” Wife was NOT amused. Husband laughed for minutes. ( And fed me another beer, too. )
Fastest beers I ever drank with a funnel – In the small town outside the slightly bigger small town I grew up in there is a University. There were years ago (maybe still, I don’t know ) an “illicit” fraternity known as the Mad Dogs. I was hanging out at one of their houses one night playing darts, and missed the board completely. Guess what hous rule they had? Miss the board, funnel a beer. It went down hill from there….
Wish I could do it again beer : At the outer banks as a young couple, Sweetum’s and I go to a restaurant and get Newcastle Brown Ale for the first time. It was amazing, but interestingly, like cocaine, I have never had one that equaled the first time. I still drink Newcastle, and I brew browns too, but I wish I could go back to that day, sit in that chair, and drink from that keg one more time.
Beer I regret and don’t regret the most –July 4th 1994. Yes, I got on the road. Yes I had been drinking. Yes I was underage. And Yes, I went through a traffic stop. Luckily the officer knew both 1) where I was coming from 2) whom I was going to see and where I was going and 3) That I was not over the limit. He did lecture me, he scared the shit out of me actually, he did threaten to come check and see that I was where I claimed to be going, but let me slide. Scared me enough for a lifetime. Now, more than one, hey, you drive, or I’m staying here. But I ain’t driving nowhere. Taught me a lifetime’s lesson sitting in the back of that car, blowing into that alco-sensor.
Beer I wish I could have back to drink again – The last one I had with my best friend Randy before he died. I’d draw it out for hours, days if I could. All I’m going to say about that.
Most extroverted beer I ever drank – ok, it was Neer Beer, so technically, I don’t know if it counts. I took a can to school and drank it with my lunch when I was a sophomore, right in the middle of the lunch room. It was stupid – a hey look at me thing – that went totally un noticed outside of my table.
Best Budweiser I ever had – Atlanta, October 1994 at the race. I was employed by Ford Motor, and went to the races with pit passes and infield credentials. Budweiser gave us free little disposable coolers and filled them with beer. It was so good under that Atlanta sun, crisp, and clean. I’m no huge Bud fan, but they saved the good stuff for us that day.
Beer mass produced once but gone now beer that I miss : The “Red” Miller. It was out in 1994-1995. Had a red label with an eagle. I loved it. Apparently though I was the only one. It disappeared after about 18 months.
Best Malt Liquor in the world – Champlae. And you cannot get it here in the south. Still looking for a connection in Chicago or Maryland who can hook me up on a semi regular basis.
Best beer I have brewed thus far- I think my Imperial Pale Ale, which was a kit from Brewer’s Best. It is just dammit tasty.
And lastly, the beer I look forward to th most – The next one. But just like tomorrow never gets here, the next one does not either, because while I may love and savor the one at hand, I know, somewhere out there, is one just a little bit colder. Or warmer. Or hoppier. Or maltier. And that my friends, is a great thing to know.
Cheers – I think I’m going to go grab me one right now.