My friend Matt reads this blog. I’ve known Matt for almost twenty years. I call him Batman as an inside joke from college, or else I call him by his last name. Sometimes, I call him “Old Dirty Bastard,” what I think is an allusion to a rapper from the 1980’s, but I’m not sure. I do this because that’s the name of his fantasy football team in the league he and I share with several other fraternity brothers. Last week, I traded him Rob Gronkowski for Austin Hooper and Stefon Diggs. This week, Matt and I play each other.
Though I’m projected to win, I’m far from confident. Fantasy football has so many variants that it’s hard to be good against people who are equally competitive, and I admittedly care a little bit too much about winning. So this week, as a timely tribute to my friend, I thought I’d try my hand at reviewing a beer, as while Matt can enjoy a nice glass of wine, he certainly prefers beer. But Mark, you’re thinking, you’re the most fabulous wine reviewer on the far eastern side of the state of Nebraska, Why not just keep doing that? Think of it as Michael Jordan playing baseball. I’ve reviewed beer before, but never well. Something about the challenge is luring me in today. Matt, this one’s for you. Let me know how I do.
With cross country over, I’ve been doing more cooking lately. Last night, I threw together my own variation of chop suey that is part stir fry, part pad Thai, and was really pretty good if I may be so immodest. While I cooked, I sipped at one of my favorite beers of all time, Dead Guy Ale by Rogue out in Oregon.
Dead Guy Ale is a favorite of mine in part because it masterfully walks the line between what I love about a good Belgian Quad and what I love about proper English ales. It is a deep brown in color, with limited carbonation so it isn’t filling your mouth with foam every time you sip. It has defined malty characteristics, and carries a subtle sweetness that is present, pleasant, but far from dominating. Best of all, it is exceedingly smooth and easy to drink. At just over 6%, it’s a relatively strong beer, but never goes anywhere near overboard. In short, I suppose I appreciate Dead Guy Ale for much the same reason as I appreciate many nice Cabernets — it has impeccable balance and superb drinkability. And it paired brilliantly with my faux-Thai.
After dinner, we took the kids upstairs for a bath, then got them ready for bed and read them stories and shared a glass of wine. It was a pretty perfect evening. Today we’ll head to Des Moines so I can run the half marathon tomorrow. I’ll update you on how that goes sometime soon, but for now I hear Zooey cooing in her crib, so I have to run. Have a terrific weekend everyone! (And send good vibes to my fantasy football team!)
Cheers to the weekend, to old friends, and to great beer!