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Ommegang Biere D'Hougoumont: A Screenplay

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1. INT. FRENCH BIVOUAC NEAR WATERLOO, DAY (CIRCA 1815)

EMPEROR NAPOLEON stands over a map of Waterloo, discussing strategy and tactics with three of his TRUSTED GENERALS. TRUSTED GENERAL 1 slices a block of cheese and sips wine.

TRUSTED GENERAL 1: This has gone on for far too long. We must surrender!

An embarrassed silence descends upon the tent, though the mood lightens when everyone realizes that TRUSTED GENERAL 1 will be chosen to lead the attack and thus almost surely die a horrifying death.

TRUSTED GENERAL 2 (rolling his eyes): We must take Château d'Hougoumont! It's... strategically important.

NAPOLEON: Non! We will use Hougoumont to draw Wellington's reserve to our left flank, then attack through the center right!

TRUSTED GENERAL 2: But sir, our troops need wine! We will surely find ample stores at the Hougoumont farmhouse. We must secure it immediately.

NAPOLEON: This is Belgium, you fool, that farmhouse makes beer, not wine!

TRUSTED GENERAL 3: That's good enough for me.

TRUSTED GENERAL 1: I concur. Once we have an ample supply of booze, we can surrender in style. I do not think any of you are considering the merits of a good, old fashioned surrender...

NAPOLEON: Non! Non! Non! Non! Who is the military genius here? Who amongst you has been summoned to the future for historical study, eh?!

TRUSTED GENERAL 2 (looking pained): Sir, with all due respect to Messieurs Bill and Ted, I do not think you can rely on your limited time with them. For all we know, you're famous for losing this battle!

NAPOLEON: Nonsense! I will take Waterloo and build an eighth wonder of the world based on my visions of the future, a water-park to inspire awe in all who witness its glory. Waterloo? Water park! This is no coincidence, it is fate!

TRUSTED GENERAL 1: You make a good point. I have been quite impressed by the visions you brought back from the future. I quite liked that... la glacé... what did you call it?

NAPOLEON: Ziggy Piggy.

TRUSTED GENERAL 1: Yes, magnifique! Let us make a Ziggy Piggy and surrender!

NAPOLEON: Non! Non! Non! We are not taking Hougoumont, and that is final. Beer is not worth taking.

2. INT. ENGLISH BIVOUAC NEAR WATERLOO, DAY (CIRCA 1815)

FIELD MARSHAL WELLINGTON stands over a map of Waterloo as a FIELD SCOUT returns from his mission.

SCOUT: Château d'Hougoumont is filled with beer. Apparently something called a Bière de Garde.

WELLINGTON (perking up): Beer? We must commit all our troops to taking Hougoumont! It is... strategically important.

3. EXT. BATTLE OF WATERLOO

The camera slowly PANS across the famous painting Battle of Waterloo by William Sadler.

Battle of Waterloo 1815 by William Sadler

KEN BURNS: And thus the fate of Battle of Waterloo was decided. By beer.

4. INT. COMPUTER DESK, EVENING

MARK: What? I'm pretty sure this is how it really happened. I realize this is too late for instruction, but if you read the above with horribly stereotyped French accents, it's much funnier.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: Isn't this supposed to be a beer blog?

MARK: Yeah, yeah, I'm getting to that. This is Ommegang's take on a Bière de Garde, brewed with a rather complex malt bill (apparently eight different varieties), French Ale Yeast, French Strisselspalt hops, and aged on a combo of oak and maple staves. As Ommegang specialty brews go, it's actually rather expensive, but I'm a sucker for these guys (who were my first real introduction to the world of good beer), so let's get this party started:

Ommegang Biere d Hougoumont

Ommegang Biere D'Hougoumont - Pours a slightly hazy, burnt orange color with a finger of loosely bubbled off-white head. Smells of sweet fruits, maybe a little caramel, and musty Belgian yeast, with perhaps a hint of something else (maybe that's the wood coming through). Taste starts off with some rich caramel, followed by some spicy mustiness from the yeast, finishing surprisingly sweet and fruity. Mouthfeel is on the higher end of medium bodied, very well carbonated, dry at the start by yielding to sweetness in the finish (an unusual but pleasant reversal of the norm, which starts sweet and finishes dry). While very sweet, it never gets sticky or cloying, perhaps because of the strong (but not at all overwhelming) carbonation. This beer drinks big, but it goes down easy too. Not quite a summer thirst quencher, but a very nice fall beer. Overall, straightforward but very well crafted and balanced. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 7.3% ABV bottled (750 ml caged and corked). Drank out of a goblet on 9/7/12.

Ommegang claims that this "malty French-style Farmhouse Ale is brewed to be aged" and that makes a certain sort of sense to me (and I'm not alone). I only bought the one bottle, but I may get another of these to add to the growing list of beers I'd like to cellar for a few years. Or not. I've established that I'm a weak, weak man when it comes to buying (er, hoarding) beer, but I'm also pretty lazy, so we'll see what wins out.

Allagash Odyssey: A Screenplay

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1. INT. BANK OFFICE

MARK sits at a desk across from a LOAN OFFICER. The desk is covered with large stacks of paper.

LOAN OFFICER: Greetings Mark! What can I do for you?

MARK: I'd like to take out a third mortgage.

LOAN OFFICER (suspiciously): Are you going to use the money to buy beer?

There is a pause before MARK answers.

MARK: No?

LOAN OFFICER: Okay Mark, that little pause you just did there suggests to me that you actually are going to use this money to buy more beer. Also, I could hear the question mark in your voice. You actually pronounced it that way.

MARK bows his head and looks EMBARRASSED.

LOAN OFFICER (sighing): What beer?

MARK: Huh?

LOAN OFFICER: What beer were you going to buy that was so expensive that it would require you to take out a third mortgage?

MARK: Allagash Odyssey.

LOAN OFFICER: Oh, I see. It is an exceptional beer that is worth the stretch. But I'm afraid we can't give you another line of credit to make this investment in a consumable commodity. A few years ago, maybe, but not now.

MARK: That's okay, I could afford it anyway, I just thought this would be a kinda funny way to illustrate how expensive this beer is on my blog.

LOAN OFFICER (looking confused): So this whole thing is just for yucks? We filled out all this paperwork just for shits and giggles?

MARK: Pretty much. In fact, I've already bought and drank this beer. Months ago, actually. I just wanted to spice up the review with something interesting before I got to the boring tasting notes. I don't even have the second mortgage that would necessitate a third, but I thought it would be funny to imply that I spent all my money on beer.

LOAN OFFICER: I don't think this is very funny.

MARK: Unfortunately, neither do I. This entry is not nearly as funny as it was when I envisioned it in my head.

LOAN OFFICER: You were drunk when you came up with this idea weren't you.

There is another pause before MARK answers.

MARK: No?

2. INT. COMPUTER DESK - 11:15 PM

MARK: So is this your way of admitting to yourself that you spend too much money on beer?

MARK: I don't think so.

MARK: But you are talking to yourself.

MARK: Yes, but that is probably indicative of other psychological problems completely unrelated to the purchasing or consumption of beer.

MARK: Probably?

MARK (ignoring self and addressing the actual audience of the blog): Seriously, though, I'm doing fine. No loans needed. But this beer is expensive. (Is it worth writing the above in an attempt to draw out a joke that could have literally been made in 5 words? I will leave that as an exercise for the reader.) Fortunately, as the LOAN OFFICER mentioned, it's worth the stretch (though not a second mortgage - at best, this would be something you borrow money from the Mob for). This is apparently a wheat beer that also features roasted malts, not to mention the 10 months of aging in new oak barrels that a portion of the beer got. I think I can see why this stuff is expensive:

Allagash Odyssey

Allagash Odyssey - Pours a dark brown color with a beautiful amber hue and a finger or so of light tan head. Smells strongly of spicy Belgian yeast (lots of clove), and I'm getting some fruity notes out of it too. Taste starts out richly sweet, with plenty of spice and a hint of dark malt roastiness peeking through, very subtly at first, but more prominent as it warms. And I got some molasses mixed with that roastiness too, quite interesting. Not getting a ton of oak and vanilla (though it is there), but that might be for the best, and these flavors all work well together. Harmonious, if you will. Mouthfeel is full, highly carbonated and effervescent, with a very dry finish that makes this go down quite easy. As it warms, a slight booziness emerges, and you can get a warming alcohol feeling, but it's still quite pleasing. Overall, a complex, very well balanced beer. A-

Beer Nerd Details: 10.4% ABV bottled (750 ml caged and corked). Drank out of a goblet on 4/28/12. Bottling: December 2011. Cases Bottled: 1160.

I haven't always found that Allagash's expensive beers (of which they have many) are worth the extra money, but this one is, and their beers are usually quite interesting in any case. I don't have any of their other beers in the immediate pipeline, but I always look forward to their Fluxus beers...

1. EXT. GREEK RUINS

MARK and a HYPOTHETICAL READER enjoy a few beers whilst discussing the latest Session, about "Regular Beer". They are clothed in flowing white sheets, surrounded by stone pillars.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: So what's this shit all about?

MARK: On the first Friday of every month, beer nerds blog about a pre-defined topic. This month, it's about Regular Beer.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: What the fuck does "Regular Beer" mean?

MARK: That's an excellent question. I have no idea.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: I suggest a Socratic dialogue!

HYPOTHETICAL READER: Why the fuck is Ben Franklin here?

MARK: We go way back. Besides, given that I get an average of about 2 visitors a day, he's just as likely to be here as you. Also, we're in Greece. Why would you be surprised by anyone.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: You're drunk, aren't you.

MARK: Define drunk.

HYPOTHETICAL READER glares at MARK.

MARK: Ok, fine, I'm mildly drunk.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: Did you get drunk on regular beer?

MARK: No. No, I don't think I have. Unless you consider Allagash Black to be a regular beer.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: And why isn't Allagash Black a "regular beer"?

MARK: It's made with crazy amounts of ingredients, from the normal malted barley, to wheat and even oatmeal. It's also a mixture of established styles, becoming something that doesn't really fit in any one style. It's not especially common to find it at a restaurant or bar (around here, at least). It's not hugely alcoholic, but it's stronger than your typical macro. It also costs more than most beers.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: This implies that you are a "cheapskate".

MARK: ... Yes, I suppose, then, that price has something to do with whether or not a beer is "regular".

HYPOTHETICAL READER: That, or you're just a penny-pinching douche.

MARK: Well, the announcement for this session says that the SPE should probably be less than $25, and Allagash Black is slightly more than that.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: We're not making much headway here.

MARK: Yeah, you suck at the Socratic method.

SAM CALAGIONE: I make off-centered ales for off-centered people.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: I'm not even going to ask.

MARK: But he brings up a good point. "Regular" beer probably has a broad appeal.

SAM CALAGIONE: I make off-centered ales for off-centered people!

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: Yes, Sam, I think we've already established that. Jesus, it's a sausage fest in here. Where are all the low-women?

HYPOTHETICAL READER: We're having a quasi-philosophical discussion in Greece, Ben. Perhaps you can find a young boy? Also, how do you know I'm not a woman?

MARK: Because this is a beer blog. Written by me. Given the nature of the internet, it's somewhat likely that you're not even human, let alone a woman.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: You caught me. I am, in fact, a google spider that has attained self-consciousness. Tell me, what constitutes "broad appeal"?

MARK: I suppose something that appeals to as wide an audience as possible. Things that don't require a refined palate or acquired tastes. I'd imagine that stuff like IPAs are not particularly "regular", since most folks don't especially like the bitterness involved.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: Ok, enough with the pissing around. Out with it! What's the last beer you've had that you'd consider a "regular" beer?

MARK: Hmmm.... A lager. Definitely a lager.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: That's a style, not a specific beer!

MARK: Not in Pennsylvania. Here, if you ask for a "lager", you get a Yuengling Traditional Lager.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: And what makes it a good regular beer?

MARK: Well, it's cheap. It's ubiquitous in this area (hence the usurption of the word "lager"). It's a big step above the typical macro breweries in terms of taste and quality, yet it's not particularly intense or interesting. Everyone drinks it, and everyone likes it. Even the crappiest sports bar carries it. It's generally something you can count on. In these parts, at least.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: I'm pretty sure "usurption" isn't a real word.

MARK: Probably not, but I think you know what I meant.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: But isn't Yuengling rare in other parts of the country?

MARK: This raises another interesting point. It's only "regular" because it's really taken over this market. I imagine there are places where Yuengling is more of a delicacy. I also imagine that something like Allagash Black is probably not quite so expensive of rare in Maine. Perhaps someone there thinks of Allagash as a "regular" brewery.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: That would be nice.

MARK: Indeed.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: So, to sum up, regular beer is cheap, but tasty. It's appealing to a broad audience. It's widely available, but may only be so in a particular region. Do macro beers count?

MARK: Probably. They're cheap, they're inoffensive, and they're widely available. The tend to get a bad rap because they're so ubiquitous and boring, but they're not bad for what they are. I could certainly make do with a bottle of Miller lite.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: Blasphemy!

MARK: Nonsense. They're "regular", which is to say, there's nothing special about them. From what I've seen of people's responses to this session, many people have been choosing a beer that is exceptional, but which they regularly consume. This is certainly one way to answer the question, which was extremely open-ended and which could support many interpretations.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: But your interpretation is that "regular" means "boring".

MARK: Not necessarily. Though most boring beers are certainly regular, not all regular beers are boring.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: More examples are needed here.

MARK: Another local option would be Kenzinger. It's not quite as common as the Macros or Yuengling, but it's a great session beer that shares certain qualities. Cheapy, tasty, inoffensive, and you can probably find it in this area a lot. I know I said that IPAs are probably off-limits for most regular folks, but something like a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale would also probably work. The most common Sam Adams beers would probably also qualify. Maybe Fat Tire? It seems like a slightly more upscale Yuengling, but for the West Coast.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: Is it me, or has this post really trailed off?

MARK: I think I'm sobering up.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: That explains it. Any closing thoughts?

SAM CALAGIONE: I make off-centered ales for off-centered people!

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (Ignoring Sam): Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

MARK: Well, I think that just about covers it. Regular beer, extraordinary beer, it doesn't really matter, so long as you're enjoying yourself.

HYPOTHETICAL READER: Amen.

SAM CALAGIONE: I make off-centered ales for off-centered people!

MARK: *sigh*

HYPOTHETICAL READER (in unison): *sigh*

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (in unison): *sigh*

SAM CALAGIONE: I make off-centered ales for off-centered people?

1. INT. COMPUTER DESK, EVENING

MARK: Yeah, so this wasn't nearly as insightful as I had planned. The concept of a "regular beer" is still extremely fuzzy to me. Perhaps the best way to describe it could be drawn from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart: "I know it when I see it." The craft beer and beer geek worlds often explore the extreme depths of what is possible, and there are lots of folks that enjoy the interesting results. But at the same time, maybe we just want a beer to suck down with dinner. Sometimes I want to drink a beer that wont get me drunk after just 12 ounces. Sometimes I want to drink a beer that won't obliterate my palate, the way some pale ales are wont to do. I always find it interesting when a brewery known for its extreme beers puts out a more approachable beer. For instance, Victory brewing recently launched a new beer in celebration of its fifteenth anniversary. You'd expect it to be a Russian Imperial Stout or maybe a Double IPA, or perhaps something along the lines of a Strong Belgian Ale (like V-Twelve or even Golden Monkey). But no, instead, they're releasing Headwaters Pale Ale. Coming in at a svelte 5.1% ABV, it's certainly not a big beer. Indeed, reading about the beer indicates that the beer is a tribute to... water. The most regular of ingredients in all of beer! I have not had one of these new beers just yet, but I'm greatly looking forward to the experience, even if it's not something extreme or mind-blowing. I'm sure I'll enjoy it nonetheless.

1. INT. CITY TAVERN, PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 1775

After a long day of Constitutional debate at Independence Hall, George Washinton, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson grab a table at the City Tavern, settling in for a long night of drunken Constitutional debate.

GEORGE WASHINGTON: I say, barmaid, fetch us some of my fresh-brewed Porter! My dear friends must try this new brew.

The BARMAID delivers three brimming pints of General Washington's Tavern Porter.

THOMAS JEFFERSON: I say, George, you've outdone yourself with this brew.

BEN FRANKLIN: The barmaid is pretty fucking hot.

GEORGE WASHINGTON (ignoring Franklin): I say, thank you Thom. That is quite generous of you.

BEN FRANKLIN: Do you think she likes me?

THOMAS JEFFERSON: I say, you're quite welcome George.

BEN FRANKLIN: Why do you idiots preface everything you say with the phrase "I say".

THOMAS JEFFERSON (sighing): It's fucking gentlemanly, that's why. Anyway, I prefer my brews to be a bit stronger than this porter, but this is still quite enjoyable...

BEN FRANKLIN: Yes, well, I SAY, we're not all alcoholics like you Thom.

GEORGE WASHINGTON: Oh SNAP!

BEN FRANKLIN: You're both capable brewers, but I prefer to use more unconventional, off-centered ingredients.

THOMAS JEFFERSON (loudly): Hey everyone, look at this guy! He uses some spruce in his beer and he thinks he's Sam fucking Calagione!

The door to the bar opens, and ALEXANDER HAMILTON walks in, scanning the room.

BEN FRANKLIN (attempting to hide his face): Oh shit, how'd he find us?

GEORGE WASHINGTON glares at THOMAS JEFFERSON

THOMAS JEFFERSON (hiding his iPhone): What?

GEORGE WASHINGTON: You checked in, didn't you?

THOMAS JEFFERSON: Hey man, I'm the fucking Mayor of City Tavern. If I don't check in, I'll lose my discount!

BEN FRANKLIN: You asshole! We could have been free of Hamilton's nincompoopery for an entire night, but NOOOOO, you have to check in to FourSquare to maintain your lame Mayoral status.

ALEXANDER HAMILTON: HI GUYS!

GEORGE WASHINGTON (in an unenthusiastic tone, accompanied by a sigh): Hello Alexander.

ALEXANDER HAMILTON: HAVE YOU TRIED MY FEDERALIST ALE!?

BEN FRANKLIN (whispering to Jefferson): What the fuck is he going on about? I don't see this beer on the menu.

THOMAS JEFFERSON (whispering to Franklin): I think the brewery is just humoring him. They don't even list that beer on their website.

GEORGE WASHINGTON: Um, Thom, I challenge thee to a DUEL!

WASHINGTON takes a glove and slaps JEFFERSON in the face.

THOMAS JEFFERSON (surprised, but catching on): Hey! Uh, oh, OH, yes, I accept!

WASHINGTON and JEFFERSON down the remainder of their pints and exit.

2. EXT. MARKET STREET, PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 1775

WASHINGTON and JEFFERSON run down the street, stealing furtive glances behind them.

GEORGE WASHINGTON: I think we lost him.

THOMAS JEFFERSON: Thank God! Franklin's gonna be pissed that we left him alone with Hamilton.

GEORGE WASHINGTON: Nah, he's probably fucking the shit out of the barmaid by now.

3. INT. COMPUTER DESK - PRESENT DAY

MARK: So this is my third of Yards' Ales of the Revolution series. I quite enjoyed the first two, based on recipes from Franklin and Jefferson, and picked up Washington's entry on a recent trip to the local bottle store. I'm not sure why, but Alexander Hamilton's entry into the Ales of the Revolution series seems to be disappearing. I've seen it referred to as Federalist Ale and Treasury Ale, but as Jefferson notes in the above dialogue, Yards doesn't even mention it on their website anymore. I'm pretty sure you can still buy a variety pack with Hamilton's contribution, and judging from BA and RateBeer, it's some sort of pale ale (I think I saw something once about Yards' Philadelphia Pale Ale being basically the same beer, so perhaps Yards just rebranded Hamilton's beer? That's just blind speculation though.) Anyway, this post was supposed to be about General Washington's Tavern Porter:

Yards General Washington Tavern Porter

Pours a dark brown color (perhaps a hint of dark red in there) with a medium sized, light colored head. Roasted malts in the nose, maybe a little bitter chocolate. That chocolate hits pretty well at the start of the taste, followed by some bitterness in the middle and finishing with a bit of a roasty taste. There's a bit of a sticky alcohol flavor in the finish as well, something I was not expecting, but which suits the beer well. At 7% ABV, it's not a monster, but it's got enough zing to give it a distinctive character, which I can appreciate. The boozy tastes that were more overwhelming in Jefferson's beer are more balanced here (perhaps due to the sightly lower ABV, or maybe just the different malt backbone, or probably both). Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than expected. Plenty of carbonation and a medium body, which again helps offset the booziness. Not exactly a session beer, but quite drinkable. I'm not particularly an expert on Stouts or Porters, nor are they really my style of beer, but I rather enjoyed this. Also, like Jefferson's beer, there are rumors of a Bourbon Barrel Aged version of this porter, which could really impart some really nice additional notes to this beer. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 7.0% ABV bottled (12 oz). Drank from a pint glass.

So overall, I'm pretty happy with these Ales of the Revolution. Maybe I will pick up the variety pack and get me some Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Ale. In the meantime, I suppose I should include the standard disclaimers: No, I don't think that Jefferson was an alcoholic and as far as I knew, no one hated Alexander Hamilton (nor was he considered a nincompoop by his peers) and I'm pretty sure Jefferson and Washington never participated in a duel with one another. However, Franklin was a noted poon-hound and Jefferson was a total Apple fanboy and angel investor in FourSquare.

Update: The mystery of Alexander Hamilton's Ale of the Revolution... solved! Sorta.

Again Update: More on Franklin and the ladies...

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: A Screenplay

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1. INT. SIERRA NEVADA BREWERY - LATE OCTOBER

Six men sit around a table. A projector is displaying a marketing presentation on the screen.

BREWER 1: What the fuck is this shit about?

BREWER 2: Who fucking cares? Free beer!

BREWER 1: Hey shitdouche, you work in a brewery! You drink free beer all the time!

BREWER 2: You're just jealous because I got the fucking good stuff!

KEN GROSSMAN: Hey! Every beer we make is "good stuff"

BREWER 1: Yes, sir...

BREWER 2 (in unison): Yes, sir...

MARKETING WEENIE: Ok folks, let's get started. We here in Marketing are proud to debut the label designs for our new Holiday ale.

BREWER 1 and BREWER 2 start fidgeting anxiously.

KEN GROSSMAN: Great! What's it called?

MARKETING WEENIE:Picture this: A quaint little cottage in the countryside. Surrounded by evergreens, snow adorns its roof, smoke curling up from its chimney...

HEAD BREWER: Hey, shit-for-brains, he asked what it was called.

MARKETING WEENIE sighs, pausing for effect.

MARKETING WEENIE: It's called... Celebration.

KEN GROSSMAN: Love it, love it, love it. Let's go home.

MARKETING WEENIE: Well, wait, shouldn't we try tasting it first?

KEN GROSSMAN: Holy shit, yeah, duh, forgot about that. Where is it? All I see in this bucket here is a bunch of pale ales and IPAs.

BREWER 1 (under his breath): Fuuuuuuuuuuck

BREWER 2: What the fuck are we talking about here?

HEAD BREWER glares at BREWER 1 and BREWER 2

MARKETING WEENIE: You guys were supposed to bring a few bottles of the new holiday ale for us to taste.

BREWER 1: Yeah... so, uh, we didn't brew any.

HEAD BREWER: What!? So what the fuck is in all those fucking beer tanks out there!?

BREWER 2: It's actually a pretty bitchin' IPA.

HEAD BREWER: What about all the cinnamon and nutmeg we were going to brew it with?

BREWER 1: Brewer 2 heard a rumor it would get him high...

HEAD BREWER: That's the dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard.

BREWER 2: Duuuude, it totally works.

KEN GROSSMAN: Really?

MARKETING WEENIE (in unison):This is unbelievable. You assholes should be fired!

KEN GROSSMAN: Eh, not so fast. Do you still have any?

BREWER 2: What, cinnamon?

KEN GROSSMAN: Yeah, let's fire that shit up!

HEAD BREWER: I'm game.

MARKETING WEENIE: So what are we going to do about the holiday ale?

BREWER 1: Shit, man, bottle that IPA and slap those Celebration labels on it. Done. This ain't fuckin rocket science.

KEN GROSSMAN: You guys are fucking brilliant. I'm giving you all raises.

MARKETING WEENIE: This is amazing.

KEN GROSSMAN: Except for you, you're fired.

2. INT. COMPUTER DESK - 11:15 PM

Sierra Nevada Celebration

MARK: Yeah, so it's pretty good, but I have no idea what makes this a winter seasonal. Pours a nice clear amber red color, with a solid, light colored head. Typical IPA smell of malt and hops, and a taste to match. Nice citrusy start, dry bready bitterness in the finish. There's absolutely nothing about this that screams "Holiday" (except for the label), but it's a good beer. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 6.8% ABV bottled (12 oz). Drank from a tulip glass.

So I'm looking forward to Sierra Nevada's upcoming summer seasonal, a Russian Imperial Stout. (What? That makes about as much sense as this one!)

Update: This should go without saying, but I obviously don't think Ken Grossman (and his brewers) is a cinnamon snorting addict. However, I do think it would be funny if he was.

Again Update: Apparently I missed the opportunity to make fun of Sierra Nevada's "green" industry practices (which are praiseworthy, to be sure, but also probably ripe for hijinks).

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Hi, my name is Mark, and I like beer.

You might also want to check out my generalist blog, where I blather on about lots of things, but mostly movies, books, and technology.

Email me at mciocco at gmail dot com.

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