If your gear includes beer, then try this … | AspenTimes.com

If your gear includes beer, then try this …

Rick Carroll
Aspen Times Weekly

The last thing this world needs is another pretentious beer connoisseur. Leave it to the Beer of the Month Club to stomp that hope like a grape.

So call this the Beer Review, for that is what it is.

When my February Beer of the Month shipment arrived at work, my eyes popped and my mood noticeably brightened. The package contained three bottles of four different brews ” making a grand total of one dozen ” all snugly secured within some Styrofoam walls neatly packaged inside the box.

They were obscure beers, hailing from such homegrown outfits as the Maine-based Casco Bay Brewing Co., the Harpoon Brewery of Boston, Coopers Brewery Limited of Australia, and Grupo Cervezas Alhambra of Spain.

When the beers went to their rightful home ” my home ” the drinking directions that accompanied them were dismissed, just like those instructions that come with a build-it-yourself bookshelf. It’s called being manly.

Casco Bay Winter Ale, it was suggested, would be best consumed in an oversized wine glass, perhaps paired with some chocolate-coated figs. Instead, it was gulped right from the bottle and served with a heaping plate of leftover baked ziti, which was reheated to perfection in the microwave.

It was recommended that the Spanish beer ” Alhambra Negra (for you common folk, that means dark beer) ” would “go down nicely” with beef or lamb kebabs. It, too, was consumed not with the suggested partner, but again, leftover baked ziti, only an evening later. Needless to say, the taste of baked ziti really comes into it own on its fourth day. Or maybe it was the Spanish beer that awakened the Italian flavors.

Make no mistake, these brews were delicious, but there’s no reason to pile on praise using adjectives harvested from a Google search.

After all, the Beer of the Month is equipped with its own literature to describe the said beverages, applying such language as “good body,” “floral flourishes,” “creamy backbone,” “faint yeasty mustiness” and “a touch of sweetness kicking very late.”

Verbiage like that is enough to make some people blush, but it beats going to the liquor store. In fact, I’m eagerly anticipating my March shipment.

And the next batch of ziti? Well, not so much.



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