First: your homework is to click this link and look at Geekologie’s tremendously awesome Beer Chart.
Now let us speak of beer.
I’m not the kind of guy who keeps a lot of beer in his fridge. Got a stocked liquor cabinet. Got a metric shitload of wine. I have all my crack pipes and a whole cabinet of artisinal crack in multi-colored phials, but beer? I just don’t keep a lot of beer on hand. Part of it is because the way Pennsylvania sells beer: go to a beer distributor and you have to buy like, a wheelbarrow full of the stuff. You can’t go to a grocery store and buy it, because Penny-penny-vania has not-so-much Draconian liquor laws as Byzantine, even Lovecraftian ones — ones whose tangled bureaucracy is so incomprehensible it destroys the mind during any attempt to conceive of it.
See? Right now, trying to imagine it, I pissed my pants and carved an ancient sigil onto the back of my hand. These are troubled times. Ia ia, liquor board, fthagn.
The other part of it is, I like beer with meals — for me, beer is even better at pairing with food than wine. Beer is multifarious: a many-headed hoppy hydra, as that beer chart at the fore of the post reveals. You can get so much complexity out of beer (as its flavor changes slightly with bites of different food).
During each season, I have different preferences — in terms of beer, my palate shifts according to the time-of-year. Summer demands a more refreshing beer. Winter begs for something syrupy, some potent stout or porter that tastes like road tar and demon’s blood. Spring likes a complex, spicy beer, something potentially herbal, almost medicinal.
Autumn’s coming, and with that season comes a hunger for all beer, all the time. Any beer goes well during the season. Autumn gets all the weather — the heat of summer moves into the warm and cool of spring, finally transitioning into the cold snap of winter, and during this time, I love me some goddamn beer.
(Oh, and newsflash: during this season, you do not need to drink pumpkin beer.)
So. You tell me.
What are you drinking?
Right now, I’m a sucker for an IPA, and I’m always in the mood for an oatmeal stout or chocolate porter. We have a local brewery — Weyerbacher — that does an incredible product. (Plus, they give beer awesome names: Blasphemy, Heresy, Slam Dunkel, Insanity, Decadence, Verboten. Actually, the Naming of Beer is a fantastic tradition — beer has names as bizarre and irreverent as those of racehorses or show dogs.) Pennsylvania actually has an alarming number of breweries within its borders, like Yuengling, Troegs, Triumph, Victory. Odd, then, that the liquor laws are so strange given the state’s beer-maker history.
What varieties do you drink? What brands? Ale versus lager? What beer goes well with what food? (Burgers? Foie gras? Seafood? Mexican? Thai?)
Give me some recommendations. Engage in beer-soaked pissing matches. Fight it out. Break bottles over one another’s head.
Also? Anybody who tells me to “try Coors Light” also has to eat a handful of driveway gravel.