Welcome back to Drinking for Good, a weekly rundown of how much beer (and whatnot) I drank the previous Sunday through Saturday; I’m pledging a buck a drink to the ACLU, and so are our Special Guest Drinkers and their sponsors. Want in on the charitable dissipation? ACLbrew@vinepair.com.
Hello, freedom fighters, I managed to bring last week’s alcohol consumption back down into the familiar territory of “way more than the doctor ordered, but not a wholly unreasonable amount for an anxious beer blogger.” I know that seems irresponsible, given that we’re drinking for charity here, but we still managed to raise some decent dough for the ACLU this go-round thanks to the contributions of my hilarious buddy Sarah Dufrau, also known as @dufrau. Let’s get my weekly booze confession out of the way ASAP so we can move on to her far more entertaining version.
Sunday, February 19
I started the week’s drinking at the top by splitting a 750ml of Allagash Interlude at home with Emily. Interlude is a Belgian-style ale brewed with saison yeast and brettanomyces and aged in red wine barrels, and it is my best friend. The lady at Supercuts keeps saying I need to come in every three weeks, and I tried to follow her orders for a couple months, but guess what, Helen? I don’t need that kind of hassle. I’m going to cut back to every six weeks and spend the savings on a bottle of Interlude at the halfway point. Seventeen bottles of Interlude a year are going to set me back a few hundred bucks, though, so it’s a good thing I followed this one with a pair of $4 Narragansett tallboys at the Plough and Stars, where Em and I saw a fun new band called Paper Citizen. Then I capped off a relatively civilized Sunday evening with A Little Crazy, Revolution’s Belgian-style pale ale dry-hopped with Citra and Cascade, followed by a pint Notch Infinite Jest. That’s a fiver.
Monday, February 20
President’s Day kinda stung this year, huh? Yet I some-heroic-how managed to hold off on the booze until a leisurely 5 p.m. pint of Infinite Jest at People’s Republik, where I quite rudely and happily pretended not to know the dozen friends and acquaintances scattered about the bar while I drank my hoppy wheat ale and read at a table by the window. Then I met Em for dinner at Park, a perfectly good gastropub-or-whatever type of joint in Harvard Square. We ate food, probably, and I drank a Rittenhouse Manhattan and a Night Shift Morph IPA; this edition of the rotating IPA had Citra, Simcoe, Ella, and Topaz hops, and I expected to like it more. Night Shift is a great brewery, but this one didn’t do it for me. After dinner, we went to see Craig Finn open for the Japandroids at Royale, where I had a PBR and a Harpoon IPA. There’s another five.
Tuesday, Feburary 21
I didn’t drink Tuesday, which gave me time to reflect on the fact that I may be losing my taste for cheap adjunct lagers. Monday night’s PBR didn’t really satisfy the same way it has in the recent past, and last week I was disappointed by Busch Light. Uh oh.
Wednesday, February 22
Nothing to see here, either.
Thursday, February 23
I was fixing to keep it dry Thursday, too, since I was coming off a really soggy stretch that threatened to bankrupt me in at least three different directions. But that plan conflicted with the natural law that when it’s 70 degrees out in Boston in February and Charlie’s Kitchen opens up their beer garden, you have a delicious plastic cup of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale after work. The next three drinks weren’t legally mandated, but they felt right at the time: Firestone Walker Easy Jack, a Manhattan variant featuring fig-infused bourbon, and a Founders Frootwood, a barrel-aged cherry delight that’s an early contender for Beer of the Year. There’s four.
Friday, February 24
Emily and I split a bottle of Stillwater Oude Bae, a refreshingly tart Flanders-style oud bruin brewed with Pinot Noir grapes. It tasted like raspberries and currants and wood and vanilla and a tiny bit of smoky cherry. Nice beer! Then I had a pair of 16-ounce Boulevard Tank 7 drafts at the Somerville Theatre while we watched the superb James Baldwin documentary, “I Am Not Your Negro.” After that it was a Stoneface IPA and a TrillBOMB! at Five Horses Tavern while we watched the Celtics blow a late lead to the Raptors. The Stoneface wasn’t as good as I remember it from the summer, but the TrillBOMB! was everything you’d expect from a super-stout collaboration between Trillium and Prairie Artisan Ales. It’s brewed with cacao, coffee, Ancho chilis, and vanilla; that many special-guest ingredients can sometimes confuse my poor tongue, but this combination worked perfectly. There goes another $5 for the cause.
Saturday, February 25
My drinking week wound down with a bottle of Sierra Nevada’s new Tropical Torpedo IPA (I like it!), a glass of cruddy Pinot Noir with Thai dinner, a Smuttynose Porter at an Irish sports bar, Founders Red’s Rye IPA while watching a Brooklyn-Irish folk singer at Toad, and a pleasantly surprising Malden Pale Ale back home in bed. Five more, to bring the week’s total to a nice, round, non-lethal 24.
Let’s see what Sarah got up to!
Hello, Will’s readers, pleased to meet you. I am a little terrified and sad about the entire world these days, and so is just about everybody I know. Things are real bad! So If I’m gonna be drinking a little more than usual, and I definitely am for the foreseeable future, might as well make them count for something other than making me drowsy enough to sleep at night. The ACLU is doing some good work; I hope my contributions can buy them some beers, or, like pencils, or a three-hole punch or whatever else lawyers eat.
3 Sierra Nevada Golden IPAs on account of there were five of them in the fridge and I won the rights to the tiebreaker because I had Monday off and could therefore afford to be drunker than my five-days-a-week-working rival. I don’t remember much about the beer, but I can tell you that it looked and tasted yellow.
I had been stuck at home sick for the past five days and I finally got bored and went to the bar I always go to. There, I drank 3 Bear Republic Racer 5s, because they were only $5 and I like them.
I actually went to work on Tuesday, and I was still a little sick, and I was also a little tired from staying at the bar for one more beer than I usually allow myself on a work night. My beer guy came home with a four-pack of Night Shift Morph, because he’s a pretty good beer guy. I drank one and fell asleep.
Feeling a little ashamed of my one beer performance the night before, and a little lively thanks to some doomsday 60-degree-in-Boston-in-February weather, I decided to make a night of it at Cambridge Brewing Company. I ate a pizza and drank four beers. I had an Atom Heart Mother, a gruit that was pretty good considering I don’t love that style. Next up, a Dunkel Jesse and the Rippers, which I definitely liked even though I hated ordering it. Punch You In the IPA was next and was also pretty good, and I finished up with a Beantown Brown Ale, which has coffee in it and tastes an awful lot like most beers that have coffee in them, which is to say it might have just been coffee.
Thursday was taco night. I ate two tacos and drank two Jack’s Abby Hoponious Unions, which is the best beer this taco place had on tap besides maybe the rotating Maine Beer Co., but that would have cost $12 a pint and that is way past the point of diminishing returns. Hoponious Union is a Very Good Beer. I regret nothing.
Another nice day out. And on a Friday this time! To celebrate global warming, I invited actual friends to the bar I always go to, and they agreed, even though that bar is much less close to their apartment than it is to mine. I started off with a Sour in the Rye from The Bruery, because I will order anything from them that I see on a menu. Super tart with kind of a secret sweetness that reminded me a little of a good banana daiquiri. Good as heck, but more than one would have burned out my palate (science), so I switched up to Racer 5s, which were still $5. I had two of them. Then I had an Avery Maharaja because why not? At that point it was the time of the night where the smart people go home, so I stayed and had a Narragansett tallboy.
Saturday was my first attempt at DMing a Dungeons and Dragons game. I feel more confident when I have something big to drink out of, so I started off the campaign with a bomber of Crispin Honey Crisp cider. I’m calling that two beers even though it is technically apple juice. I nursed that for most of the game, which I daresay was a success, then had a Mystic Table Beer courtesy of my Half-Drow Ranger friend. Our Barbarian had to leave to meet his fiance for dinner, so naturally we all tagged along so as not to split the party. At the bar I had a Wicked Weed Bedeviled and an Avery Old Jubilation, which were pretty good and pretty darn good respectively, before trying the beertail of the day, the Irish Fizz. It was house IPA, Jameson Caskmates whiskey, and creme de banana. It tasted like college.
By my count that puts me at 24 for the week.
We tied! That’s $48 for the ACLU. Good work, Dufrau. Thank you.