Beer hunters


I am not a huge beer-drinker. I like it once in a while; I like it when Partner and I have Mexican food, because I like saying words like “Tecate!” and “Dos Equis!”, and I have convinced myself that Mexican beers are light and crisp and appropriate with Mexican food. I also like it when we have Chinese food, but again, I do enjoy saying “Tsingtao!”, even though the waiter always corrects my pronunciation.



My work friend Apollonia was on a beerquest the other day. “It’s this French beer called Adelscott,” she said. “It’s supposed to be wonderful.”



“Did you dream this?” I said. “Or is this on the level?”



She cuffed me. “It’s real.”



Okay. Once I know a thing exists, I have to seek it out. Apollonia knows this, monster that she is, and she knew I’d go skulking around to find this stuff, if only to find it before she did.



There’s an elite little liquor store squeezed right between my local snotty health club and my local snotty grocery store. So, after my treadmill session recently, I went traipsing into the liquor store to explore the world of beer.



They had everything. They had American microbrews, and European bizarreries like lambic beer (made by putting the beer in a wading pool in the basement of a Belgian monastery and opening the windows to let the yeast spores in) and Weissbier (made with wheat instead of barley). I couldn’t remember what Apollonia had said – Scotteldrott? Adeltrott? – but I figured I’d know it when I saw it.



I didn’t, of course, but I found the most cunning little bottle of something called Christoffel Nobel, brewed in the Netherlands (see photo above).



I bought a bottle, for $4.99 plus tax, and presented it to Apollonia. She was delighted, even though it wasn’t exactly what she was looking for.



We shared it at lunch one day. Interesting. Creamy, dark, bitter. We were having pizza (an incredibly rich pizza, with pepperoni and caramelized onions, from Catanzaro’s in Cranston, Rhode Island), and the Christoffel was perfect with the flavor of the sauce and the cheese and the pepperoni. Sometimes a strong bitter no-nonsense beer is just what you want.



Now – what? Do I have to go back to that liquor store and sample all 700 of the other brands they sell?



I don’t have the time or the patience.



But it would be fun.



And, as Apollonia pointed out after we finished lunch the other day, the bottles make really lovely vases.



%d bloggers like this: