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Friday, September 23, 2005

Drinking Beer With My Daughter

I have a baby at home. She is a beautiful, bouncing, blonde, baby girl. She'll be one year old very soon. This whole father thing is very new to me and I am learning as I go along. The other day, I was staring off into space, as I usually do and wondered, "what will it be like to eventually share a beer with my daughter?" I was thinking about the idea of a proud father sharing a pint with his son. Not having a boy, and being an equal opportunity parent, I imagined the same scenario with my daughter. Don't tell my wife this, and please correct me if I am wrong, but, I feel as if that first legal pint at the local pub while watching a game or having pleasant conversation is a milestone that I should be looking forward to.

I have a couple of memories of my Father and I drinking a few beers together during my college years. I have this feeling that it was something he looked forward to. A father & son bonding, the sharing of something special that we could both enjoy together. It has been years since college, and my father and I continue to bond in this "special" way, too often and too much, according to my mother. But I would like to think, that the first time was special for Dad. I would bet he really enjoyed it when I made my way to the bar and bought him a beer (Probably, with his money. Now it seems, I am the one who purchases all the beer). My dad actually has decent taste in beer. One year, I tried to trick him and poured a canned Light beer into a pint glass, telling him it was a rare imported beer from Germany. He took one sip and said, "tastes like piss."

I am looking forward to teaching my daughter some of the important things I learned in my life. Not the least being, that beer is a special drink to be respected and enjoyed, that not all beers are created equally and too many beers are not a good thing. But more importantly, a pint or two can bring a little girl a little closer to her dad.

Now the reviews:

Don de Dieu, from Canada's Unibroue: One more wheat beer made it under the wire before summer ended and fall began. This 750ml corked champagne bottle was loaded with a classic wheat beer. Good smell, thick head, great aftertaste. All About Beer Magazine gave this beer top honors in its category. The only problem, if this is a problem, is that the beer was 9% alcohol. Summer wheat beers in my fridge are typically light in alcohol. This baby was a killer. Halfway through the two pint bottle, you're drunk already. At least I was. Very good beer. Deserves its ranking.

King Lager, from Victoria, Australia: Finally, a real Australian Beer made it to South Jersey. King Lager had a sweet taste to it. Went down very smooth. The coolest thing about it was it poured a thick head, just like a homebrew head. It looked like an Ice Cream float in the mug. The head stayed for the duration too. This was a decent beer and would make a great addition in the cooler at the beach.

Long Trail IPA, from Vermont: This IPA poured a nice light, amber color, with a very thin, typical ale head. Mild, hoppy smell. The taste was light, crisp and very refreshing. The hops were present in a very pleasant drinkable manner, not over powering at all. Long Trail IPA is a great "drinking beer." You could easily stick with this beer over an afternoon of football and be extremely happy. A picture of the bottle should be in the dictionary next to the term "session beer."

Yards ESA, Extra Special Ale, from Philadelphia: In contrast to the above, the hops are out and playing around in this beer. Moderately, strong, hoppy taste. ESA is bottle conditioned to the point of actually being alive. Every bottle of the six pack I purchased, poured a thick head, that never went away. The beer was so alive, I had to wait for it to settle before I could finish pouring in the bottle. They don't call this beer special without a reason. ESA was just the beer I was looking for to go with a nice Thai dinner. Very enjoyable beer.

Gonzo Imperial Porter, Flying Dog Brewery from Colorado: This beer was a special edition beer in memory of the prolific writer Hunter S. Thompson. The owners of the brewery were friends with Gonzo. Someone, ok, me, needs to start writing letters to the brewers. This beer cannot stay a seasonal or special only selection. When I tell you, it was the best damn porter I ever put in my mouth, I am not lying. It may be the best damn beer I ever put in my mouth. Incredible. It actually defies description. I shared this beer with a few friends, without saying anything about how I liked it. I saw first sips, blank stares, second sips, then the words "wow" come out of mouths. I need more of this. Now.

Since their Porter was so good and I really like Octoberfest beer, when I saw Flying Dog Brewery's Dogtoberfest, I grabbed a six pack. Deep, dark, red with a thin ale-ish head, this beer beer was lightly carbonated and smooth like a cask conditioned mild ale. Very tasty. I enjoyed this beer and felt it is exactly what an Octoberfest Beer should be like. A beer you could enjoy all day at an Octoberfest celebration with not too many ill effects the next morning. Clang some mugs filled with Flying Dog together and celebrate the seaon.

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