I'm mixed with pride and sadness in knowing that most of the beers I've tried and remember from the past couple of years have at least a B rating on Beer Advocate, and many have even an A+. It's like the feeling of a great warrior who has dominated all the life on his planet, won every fight, looking out sadly over the massive wasteland of twisted bodies and saying with heavy lament, "Is this all there is?" Granted, I'm not that jaded yet. I'm not rich, so my favorites are still a rare treat that I have to ration, the A+'s of the world. They can still move me like they always have. Still a religious experience. And there's all these others I haven't tried yet. But I doubt they can ever top the greats: Rogue, Stone, Samuel Smith's, Speakeasy, Huyghe... Some of these bring tears to my eyes. St. Rogue's Red Ale literally did, and then I had my first Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale, and I swore it was the best thing in the world. Then I had a few more Rogue ales that shattered everything I'd had up to that point. And when the only things I ever found tended to be IPAs and stouts, suddenly there were new flavors I could never anticipate. Though my feelings are mixed, there's a Southern Tier Creme Brulee stout sitting in my fridge, half-drunken. It actually tastes like creme brulee. How the hell do they do that? Granted, it tastes a little like coffee, too, and it has just a bit of bitterness to it. Everyone I spoke to said to pour it on some ice cream and make a float. Beer. Beer and ice cream.
I have a meetup coming up. A little group I'm putting together for people to just sketch and paint and whatever, collaborate hopefully, maybe even compose great works. It's really to get me out of the house, based on more than one person's advice. But besides that, there's a homebrewer's group, and several other local beer groups. I need to get some of that action. I really need to brew my own beer; it is ridiculous to have waited this long. I should have brown ales and stouts and IPAs, and maybe a dark abbey-style and a barley wine sitting under the sink cool and dry trying to mellow out. We're planning a trip to Portland, Oregon, where I'll see Rogue and Widmer Brothers and maybe the Dandy Warhols if possible. And hopefully Voodoo Donuts. But looking up beers today reminded me of my dream to one day see Tadcaster, just to visit their brewery.
Scratch what I said in the first paragraph. I had a Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale today, and it was pure beauty. One of the best things I've ever drank, if not the best. My faith is restored.