Friday, February 01, 2013
Beer, A Second Round
Jon, looking erudite as he mulls over Hello Kitty Psycho Killer...or maybe she was just a chair that he grew fond of and started to hallucinate that she was a Real Girl. If none of this makes sense, congratulations! You're normal. Keep reading...
This is the second entry in an occasional series of beer-tasting notes, also from the sunny locale of Pub Italia. Read the first here.
(Jess' first beer.) According to their website, Kichesippi Brewery does do a monthly cask, but what they described on their page was not what Pub Italia was serving. According to our waitress, however, this Cask was a mix of 1855 and the Natural Blond. It was a bit strange-tasting. It was warmer than beer normally is, and didn't have quite the zing it could or should have had. Jon said it's the guy you go out a date with, where you can't figure out if the Transformers shirt that he is wearing is being worn ironically or not. You need to go on a second date to figure it out, and it turns out that the answer is a resounding no, not ironic. Ouch. Jess and I both think this beer met a lot of good criteria, it checked off a lot of boxes re: what you are looking for in a relationship, but overall: "Meh." There's just something missing. Upon further reflection, Jon declared it to be unique, but in a bad way. We might start out being friends for a bit (after that second date when you decide that is not going anywhere), but then realize we are having the same conversations over and over. Jess offered that it's like you meet his parents (aka 1855 and Natural Blond) and they are really cool and awesome, leaving you to wonder how on earth these two great people managed to create someone so boring.
St Ambroise Oatmeal Stout by McAuslan Brewery
My beer. Full disclosure: I've had this beer before, though not for a very long time, and I'm not sure if I've ever actually drank a whole pint to myself (rather than just tasting others' pints). I ordered it because I'd had a very busy day full of much errand-running, and I only had 20 minutes at home before I had to leave to go to Pub Italia, and so I had oatmeal for dinner. Still somewhat peckish, I figured oatmeal for beer could count as a second serving of supper.
Anyway, I quite liked this. When I tried it before, I wasn't into stouts, and found it too heavy. But it's not (for a stout). It's very smooth. But then, after listening to it drip past our taste buds for a while, we wondered: It's almost too smooth. In fact, it might be the smooth talker who intrigues you at first, but eventually wears off, or far worse, the smooth talker you end up staying with because it's better than being single, and it keeps talking you back. A very dangerous beer to get involved with, obviously.
Flying Monkeys Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale
Ahh, Flying Monkeys. The first time I bought one of their beers was a 6-pack of Hoptical Illusion from the LCBO, entirely because I liked the psychedelic packaging and the funky name. There also may have been a dare from a sibling involved. Anyway. Netherworld - Jon's beer, his theme being "animals" this week - was new for me. Jess found it to be too bitter for her, but said she'd definitely hook it up with a friend (and not just an acquaintance). I liked it, and would visit it when I'm in town, but we would never have a relationship together - just too different. Jon was slightly fascinated by this beer, labelling it the emo goth whom you date for a while, possibly even quite a long while, even though you sort of think that whole fashion and lifestyle scene is ridiculous, just because, well, you can, because for some weird reason, Emo Goth Girl likes you, too.
Cochonnette (Vapeur Brewery)
Jon's second beer, of course, pictured above. (A cochon being a pig. Apparently, a cochonnette is a bit lewder. I'll let you Google it. Don't do so in the presence of young children, or your grandmother.) Jon and Jess thought this beer was okay, though Jess admitted she would just want it once. Jon didn't know what to make of this one: Sort of like the guy in the Transformers shirt but darker. It's in a bottle, it's then poured into a giant goblet, and it's a really sweet beer. It's like the girl who says she likes Hello Kitty but that she kills hobos in her spare time. Two very opposite things - one loveable, one really really not - that just should never be together. This beer, for Jon and Jess was the fling you have over Spring Break; a summer romance would be far too long. As for me, my reaction was definite: This is not even a beer. This beer is not a relationship, not a date, not even a man. This beer is a lamp-post or a fire hydrant. It doesn't even merit me looking at it - it's not even a decorative lamp-post. I took one sip and asked Jon if he was sure it was even beer he was drinking. A second sip confirmed I hated this beer. I'm not even sure I hate my worst enemy as much as I hated this beer.*
Rogue Dead Guy
My second beer. There were no other oatmeal beers - at least none that the waitress could think of off the top of her head (and I didn't see anything in the Beer Bible - so I tried this at random. I also partly picked it since I had tried a beer called Dead Elephant at Pub Italia last summer, and it amused me (in a horribly morbid way) that there was another Dead Something beer (by a completely different brewery). I quite liked it. Jess did not have a strong reaction any which way. Jon said it was lovely, in that way that it's the beer you want once you've been married and then divorced, and you just want to settle down with someone nice, with no more drama ever again. I don't have a problem with that. I do suspect that part of the reason why I liked the Dead Guy so much** is because it did, in fact, immediately follow the traumatizing experience that was the Cochonnette.
A nice Belgian beer, which Jess ordered. For her, it's not the beer you stay with forever, but the one you have a fun fling with, and then wish each other super-well, actually meaning it, and move on. Jon is not so enamoured: for him, it's the beer that if he had common sense, he'd date, but since he doesn't, he won't, even though he probably should. It's not that he can't have a beer like that, but rather, that he can't seem to want a beer like that. I have no such qualms: It's nice, simple, clean, and no drama. Sometimes that's all you want in a beer. OK, maybe I'm still suffering trauma from the Cochonnette. *sigh*
Old Speckled Hen
Jon's third beer. Having gotten over the train wreck that was Julie Meets the Cochonnette, I am coming out of my dating shell once again and getting bold. I'd go out with this beer once or twice. We'd have a fine first date, and I'd probably agree to a second. But I'm not sure there's much more for me there. It's fine, and will do in a pinch, but I want more than just comfort. Jon, on the other hand, is more generous. While all 3 of us agree that it's not quite what we want in a long-term beer, Jon says that if this beer made a lot of money, he'd be willing to let it be his sugar daddy. I'm not sure that's a ringing endorsement, but there you have it.
Jon's fourth beer. Yes, there's an animal - a goat - "long live the goat". It's the first beer you date. You later see it at parties of at least 30 people, where it's easy enough to tell it that it looks great, but you can then move on without getting trapped into a lengthy tête-à-tête. It's the beer of the insincere smile. It's the beer you go on your first date; you know, the one when your mom drives the two of you to the movie theatre and then picks you up again after a couple of hours. Jess says that any later than mid-teens, and she would not even give this beer her phone number. Jon says he'll take offensive over boring anyday. I am already halfway in the tank by this point (I was really tired!), and even I just want to leave this beer and go home alone.
I didn't take notes in situ, but I will tell you soon about the night I drank 12, yes twelve, different beers.
* Pure hyperbole: I don't hate anyone, really, and I certainly don't have any enemies...at least, none that I know of.
** OK, when I put it that way, that just sounds wrong. Definitely have no interest in necrophilia. Blech.