I’m the guy that’s always trying new things out, looking for something better in this world. When I’m out of town I’m searching for obscure little holes-in-the-wall to dine at. When it comes to movies I want to find the most obscure foreign ones to watch. And, of course, I’m on a constant Ponce de Leon-like canvassing of the globe for new and exciting beers to try. My lifestyle is one reason I live in New York — because I know I will always have a bevy of new restaurants, bars, and other establishments to take a gamble on. It’s my insatiable thirst for finding the Elysian Fields of everything.
However, most people aren’t like this and even I will admit that there are positives and negatives to living both my way of life and its antithesis. If you just like to consume the mass-produced things of culture you will generally be happy. Stuff like “Iron Man,” Chili’s, and Budweiser is good enough I suppose, and certainly not “challenging.” At the least, you know summer blockbusters, chain restaurant food, and macro beers are NOT going to be mindblowing heinous (except for Corona I guess. Oh, and Stella. And most light beers suck too. Ah, but I digress). But, when you go out on a limb and try something obscure you could find a homerun, but sometimes you can also find a total dud, and the scale is more tilted toward the latter I’ve come to find. Being complex and “going for it” is the only way to reach greatness and create masterpieces, but it’s also the only way to sink to abject failure. I’m willing to go for it though.
Thus, after a scorching round of golf on Saturday, we headed to the liquor store where my friends Graig and King Otto went for several six packs of Bud Light. I grabbed a sixer of Southampton’s Double White. “Do you like that beer?” Nope. I’d never had it before quite frankly. My friends were correct to question me on the whimsical acquisition. Like always, there was a terrific chance that after a single sip of beer number one I would regret my purchase (see: The Great Leinenkugel Debacle of Last Weekend). So why try it? Some insight to my thinking: well…firstly it was the only beer in stock that I’d never had before, exempting ciders, girlie malted beverages, and near beers). Plus, I’d heard good things about the brewer. I’m not exactly a huge fan of many white ales but I’m a sucker for New York state beers and any time you see “double” (or better yet “triple” or “quadruple” or maybe some day “quintiple”) on the label you know you’re going to have a brew with some pop. I like pop. My six Southampton Double White Ales equal 42% of total ABV while my friends’ six Bud Lights total 25.2% ABV. Wow, that’s pretty stark when the numbers are laid out in front of you. Now I’m starting to realize why I’m always the friend getting in trouble, making scenes, and losing my cell phones and dignity when we go tie one on. When you are drinking quality beer and matching your friends and their pisswater round for round, you are on a nitro-infused racecar headed for asshole-dom while they’re cruising along in the pace car.
Of course, I was mocked for the rest of the day as being a beer snob for simply not being normal and grabbing a mass-produced American beer, but, eh, what can you do about it? Maybe I should mock my friends for drinking weaker beer than me. I was really torn on this beer. It has a nice smell and is incredibly spicy. One of the spiciest beers I can ever recall having. Thinking back on it now I almost feel like I really enjoyed the beer, but the fact of the matter is that I didn’t find it a complete success. Some sips I was loving it, others I wasn’t. It’s very carbonated but still goes down well. I didn’t know the ABV as I drank it and was guessing it around 6% so it has that going for it. I wouldn’t say this was a great beer, but for a light summer beer around the BBQ it ain’t half bad. And it’s certainly unique. It’s very flavorful and packs a punch. I would maybe try this again. My friends will definitely try their Bud Lights again. And again. And again, and again…ad nauseum. Which fittingly enough is Latin meaning “to the point of nausea.”