Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Day Seventyone: Front Porch Beer
For a long time now my favorite beer has been Labatt Blue. Darn good beer. Prior to that It was Old Vienna. When the store near me ran out of Old Vienna I would buy Labatt Blue. Over a period of some time there seemed to be less and less OV on the shelf and more and more Labatt's. Almost without realizing it I stopped buying OV, and I now no longer see it in any stores. That's fine. I love Labatt's. In fact, for years I figured if Labatt ceased production I probably wouldn't drink beer again. Well, that's not very realistic is it? Anyhow, my celebrity brother moved back to NY after many years in the South. He likes to try out different beers. Gradually through my exposure to him, I started getting interested in other beers too. My goodness, there are a lot of beers out there and darn good ones too. Well, a couple of weeks ago I was visiting family in Cleveland, Ohio area. They turned me on to the beer pictured above: Burning River Beer, a handcrafted pale ale made by the Great Lakes Brewing Co. It's named after the Cuyahoga River that caught fire in 1969. This brew has a strong flavor, reminiscent of Guiness. Some beers are working beers. That is, you keep one close by to sip on while working on the car, or splitting your fire wood. Burning River, however, is what I call a real front porch beer! In other words, you open a beer like this and you should get away from the TV, from facebook, from any distractions. It's a worldly beer so go sit out on the front porch and savor it in the outdoor ambiance. Out there the birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing in the lilac bushes, and the neighbors lawn mower is humming in the distance down the street. Cars may pass by, and the sound of kids in the playground behind the school come whispering in now and then on the Summer breeze. I am describing what typically I hear from my front porch in Chaumont, NY. Your porch may be in a more urban setting where the sounds in the area are of kids kicking a can in the street, a distant firetruck siren, and the muffled flapping from a cloud of pigeons on the wing. Maybe your porch is an old farmhouse where the cows moo, the chickens cluck and the sputter of the neighbors tractor fades in and away as he plows the North Forty acres. My God, you go out into your own front porch atmosphere and these are your SOOTHING sounds. They are the sounds of life in YOUR neighborhood. What better place could there be to drink a front porch beer. Burning River beer: It may be brewed in Cleveland, but it's perfect for a front porch anywhere.