Welcome to the weekend — let’s catch a buzz!
As I was driving home I remembered that a new liquor store had just opened in my suburb of origin. Maybe this isn’t a big deal to you but my hometown has been completely dry up until this point. Historically, residents always had to go one town over to snag a Friday-sixer, making for just enough of an inconvenience to warrant complaints.
But now those days are over, right? Well, sort of.
See, the newly arrived beer-dealers are…how can I put this…snobs? No, that’s not quite right. Beacon Hill Wine & Gourmet, located in Melrose (which, if you’re familiar with the Boston-area, is hilarious in its own right) prides itself in carrying specialty beer & wine. Which is awesome. Unfortunately there is also an air of superiority within the establishment, as though I should be thankful to give them my money.
“But Pepsibones, why’re you complaining? Aren’t liquor stores with fine-selections of craft brews one of your favorite places to visit? Don’t you always bellyache that most beer is flavorless bullshit? What’s your problem?”
Well, my problem is that I always seem to be stuck in the middle. I’m an avid comic book enthusiast but I can’t stand the mouth-breathers who dress up at conventions; I love heavy metal but go to concerts to actually hear music, not pretend to know karate; I wear argyle sweaters but am satisfied as a heterosexual.
Maybe this suggests that I’m incapable of committing — but the number of full band discographies I own and penchant for meticulously researching superhero origins tells me otherwise. The true issue, if I had to guess, is the fact that I’m not a fan of assholes. Going into a specialty beer/wine store, (of course) I expect a good selection of potables. What I can do without are attempts to sell me four different types of cheese and the unfathomably pretentious tone used to address my simple questions. When I ask how business has been, I’d prefer if the merchant doesn’t roll his eyes and condescendingly declare, “Booming, of course.”
Nevertheless, I walked out of Beacon Hill Wine & Gourmet with nine fewer dollars in my wallet and six more beers to go into the fridge. Not unusually, I based my Friday beverage purchase entirely on product packaging. In this instance, I picked out Dead Guy Ale because it features a cool-looking skeleton. Admittedly, I may still be suffering from a bit of a Halloween-hangover, looking for a seasonal hair of the dog.
So does Dead Guy Ale from the Rogue Brewery hit the spot? Sure. For a drink apparently marketed towards zombies, the flavor is quite lively (see what I did there?). Once again I seem to have unwittingly stumbled upon an all-around decent brew. The first taste of Dead Guy Ale was bitter, but not overwhelmingly so; this impression was further smoothed out by a slightly fruit, almost tart aftertaste. Again, this is a straight-up beer we’re dealing with so don’t expect a Kyle’s Killer Lemonade — but there is an essence of something that grew on a tree.
After drinking the first Dead Guy Ale right out of the bottle, I decided to pour the second into a glass. While I don’t usually care too much what a beer looks like, I have to say that this concoction is pretty. If Heaven exists, I’d like to think that everything is bathed in a light similar this beer’s amber hue.
Wanting a second opinion, I decided to go to the Rogue Brewery’s website. This is what I was told:
Style: German Maibock Food Pairing: Pork, Hot & Spicy
In the style of a German Maibock, using our proprietary Pacman ale yeast. Deep honey in color with a malty aroma and a rich hearty flavor.
Malts: Northwest Harrington, Klages, Maier Munich and Carastan.
Hops: Perle and Saaz.
Yeast & Water: Rogue’s Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water
16 º PLATO
16 º Lovibond
I won’t lie, I have no fucking clue what most of that means. Apparently sixteen percent of Plato’s time was dedicated to drinking Dead Guy Ale and seventy-eight local Alcoholics Anonymous members enjoy it.
I didn’t want to write this review without getting someone else’s input. So I called Frank Miller’s Batman into the room and invited him to take a few swigs.
With complete confidence, Frank Miller’s Batman declared that “Dead Guy Ale is good goddamn brew. And if ya have a problem with that, I’ll light you on fire.”
It is with the genuine fear of being murdered by an action figure that I give Dead Guy Ale a commendable B+.