Out of the mainstream

Date: February 12, 2010
Location: Saraveza
Mike Merrill (MM)
Josh Berezin (JB)

94/1000: Russian River Consecration
JB: What are we drinking?
MM: Russian River Consecration.
JB: One of the rotating taps here?
MM: And they wouldn’t give me a pint, only 8 ounces of it.
JB: So it’s potent stuff. What drew you to it?
MM: I ran into Mike from the beer store. He asked me if I liked sour beers, and I said yes. And he recommended it highly.
JB: They’re pretty out of the mainstream, and you really do like them. So I guess we know, to some degree, what to expect here.
MM: Go ahead and try it.
JB: It doesn’t give anything up in its smell but then you drink it and it’s sour and chewy. It really shocked my palate.
MM: It’s such an unusual flavor for beer, and it’s only because of that tasting at Belmont Station that I know that I like them.
JB: At that tasting, I got the impression you would drink sour beers all the time, if they were available.
MM: I think I would.

JB: But what place do they hold in the beverage world for you?
MM: Well, it’s kind of like wine.
JB: I see that point, actually. It’s not something you knock back. So how’s it different from other sour beers?
MM: It’s been so long since I’ve had one, that I don’t really know.
JB: There’s a maltiness to it, which surprised me. And caramel.
MM: And like, a grape. Artificial grape flavor. I feel like I would get a purple moustache off it.
JB: It’s so sticky. You get a thin version of it on the roof of your mouth.
MM: It makes sense that they don’t give you a pint of this. I wouldn’t want a pint of wine, either.
JB: How much was this?
MM: I think it was six dollars. About comparable to a glass of wine.
JB: I’m interested in fancy beers replacing wine in a restaurant setting. You really don’t see that. But it’s clearly possible. There’s enough variety, specialization, and quality in beers.
95/1000: Amnesia Sleigh-Jerker Winter Warmer
MM: What does it have to sound so porno?
JB: I can’t even say it.

MM: So what kind of beer is this? I thought it was going to be more like a porter.
JB: Usually those winter beers are a little sweeter… Dopplebocks, that kind of thing.
MM: Maltier, as opposed to hoppier?
JB: They’re never very hoppy.
MM: Well, this sleigh-jerker is certainly quaffable.
JB: It’s so smooth, I’m not entirely sure I’m drinking it. It does have some aftertaste that reminds me that I just drank something. But that’s probably cause it’s kind of sticky.
[Note: The laptop’s battery went dead at this point, so we were forced to enjoy the remainder of the beer without commentary. We hope that despite our technical difficulty, we still managed to convey some key aspects of the experience of drinking this beer.]

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