The Wisdom: Beer

Being of an age now where I can Dispense Wisdom and nobody can give me crap about it, I have decided to begin with a subject I've studied for some years now.

I have spent more than a little time sampling beers of various sorts, and there are quite a few of which I'm extremely fond. There are many I loved in my youth, particularly when I was in Manchester downing pint upon pint of the #42 brew at the Lass O'Gowrie, and others to which I've devoted a number of more recent evenings, including the currently-on-hiatus-thanks-to-Hurrican-Katrina Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager. Still, at the moment I'd have to say my three favorite brews are domestics that I've tried in the last five years. Maybe it's just the timing, but in any case, here they are, in order of discovery:

1) Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre. First offered to me several years back at the Georgetown headquarters of Robert M. Lloyd, with whom I made more than one trip to the Lass, this sweet, malty, complex brew is 8% ABV and will get the attention of both your taste buds and your brain. Highly recommended for those who think beer should have flavor.

2) Bell's Oarsman Ale. A happy accident, this. I was in Richmond at the Village, where I opted to try a flight of several different beers, but the waitress found out that one of the brews I'd ordered was tapped out--literally. Without asking me, she substituted a four-ounce glass of the Oarsman instead, and I fell in love almost immediately. It's probably the most refreshing beer I know, thanks mainly to its tart finish--a fantastic way to leave your palate cleansed--but it tastes good before the end, too.

3) Ommegang Rare Vos. My most recent discovery, handed to me by a former student who was bartending at the Shebeen in Charlottesville on the night of my most recent birthday. A lovely orangey ale, brewed in Cooperstown, NY, this baby has a serious nose--one of the rare beers I can enjoy both for its smell and its flavor. The latter is complex and strong--6.5% ABV--but not overpowering. It's sweet but not syrupy, perfumed but not saccharine, with a touch of citrus on top of a satisfying hoppiness. I want more.

So--go forth and check these out, if you're legally entitled to do so and feel a bit thirsty.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on March 8, 2013 12:06 AM.

Portrait of the Artist as a Not-Quite-So-Young Man was the previous entry in this blog.

PC @ L Part One: RVA is the next entry in this blog.

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