I am a diseased man. It’s the truth, and I’ve learned to live with it. The fact of the matter is that I have been diagnosed with Raynaud’s Syndrome, a condition whose effects are somewhere in between AIDS and Motaba. As a consequence of this extremely super-serious medical condition, I have less-than-ideal circulation in my hands and feet.
In other words: I can’t feel my fucking hands in winter.
Don’t worry, I’m fine. To combat this terrible affliction, I (wear gloves and) look to sources of inspiration. For awhile I really admired Michael J. Fox, whose struggles with post-temporal-shifting have been highly publicized. Then I started looking up to Michael Jackson, a man who continued to do good in the world despite being bombarded by baseless accusations of child endangerment. But today, in the liquor store, I came across a new person to whom I can devote my allegiance.
Scanning the cooler for a sixer of something new, I was pulled in by a label of what appeared to be a cartoon fisherman rowing a boat. “Hrm, Frosty Knuckle Ale,” I pondered, “that sounds interesting.” I picked up the brews and began looking for more information. To my delight, a short narrative was included:
In January 1883, while fishing deep in the North Atlantic on a schooner out of Gloucester, MA, Howard Blackburn and a dory mate were separated from their schooner. Adrift in the wintry conditions, Blackburn knew his hands would freeze, so he held them to his oars to allow him to continue to row toward the mainland. Five days later without food, water or sleep, Blackburn made it to the coast of Newfoundland. After losing his fingers to frostbite, Blackburn returned to Gloucester to a hero’s welcome. Unable to work in the fishing industry any longer, Blackburn opened a saloon and became popular with townspeople and seafarers alike.
Inspired by and brewed with the same courage, character and determination of Blackburn, we introduce Frosty Knuckle Ale, a tribute to seafarers, barkeeps, and local characters who always have a story to tell. Drink up and Enjoy!
Standing there in the beer section, I couldn’t help but be impressed. I bitch and moan after five minutes of shoveling, and Howard Blackburn purposely froze his hands to oars so that he could spend five days rowing himself to safety. Feel free to write Blackburn’s name on any Free Pass for the Rest of Life list you may be keeping.
I didn’t give a fuck what the beer was actually all about; I was utterly defenseless to this marketing ploy. The Frosty Knuckle Brewing Company had me sold and there was nothing I could do to change that. But I figured that since the company is based out of Ipswich, Massachusetts, even if it sucked I was giving my money to local vendors.
Fortunately, Frosty Knuckle Ale doesn’t suck. In fact, it’s a pretty good brew. Pouring it into a glass and giving it the hold up to a lightbulb and pretend that I really know what I’m looking for test, I took note of its clear amber complexion. There wasn’t much of a head at all, and when I tried to take a whiff of the beer I found myself struggling to find much of anything at all.
Gulping the beer down, however, proved to be both easy and enjoyable. Frosty Knuckle Ale has a very well-balanced, even flavor. It is fairly light and goes down as easily as iced tea, but contains a bit of a kick. Not much, and I might not even notice it if I weren’t looking for something, but it’s there. This ever-so-slight tang makes this brew refreshingly refreshing (how’s that for a shitty pun?).
Although I’m holding off tonight, I can see myself drinking Frosty Knuckle Ale while watching a sporting event — it is light enough to allow for extended consumption, but flavorful enough to keep me entertained. I can just imagine taking a swig of the beverage in between bites of buffalo wings and nachos, cooling my burning mouth and making my smile beam just a little brighter.
Damn. I’m seriously so in lust with pub-grub right now. I would kill a man for an appetizer sampler.
On its own, Frosty Knuckle Ale is a pretty good brew. In the right situation, it could very well be excellent. In the future, I may amend this grade after pairing the beer with some food. But for now, I am going to award a solid, 85% – B.