The women of ExBEERiment review two new literary brews.
“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.” — Oscar Wilde
Many a writer seems to lead a life that runs hand in hand with alcohol, yet none so much as the American writer. From Ernest Hemingway to Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac to F. Scott Fitzgerald, creativity and a passion for the drink have danced along that same fine line that separates genius from insanity. How fitting then that one of our next beers up for discussion is named after that all-too-familiar poem by one of our most famous alcoholic Americans.
THE RAVEN: Special Lager, 5.5% ABV, Baltimore-Washington Beer Works joined hands with Germany to give us this lovely lager.
Kunoichi Erica: The Raven cannot be described as anything other than perfectly Poe-like. The first glance of its golden hue immediately recalls sunlight breaking through the rent in the House of Usher. Its murky texture speaks of mysteries swirling within one’s glass–mysteries as curious as the mind of the poet himself. The crisp fragrance is as wholesome as Landor’s Cottage, as comforting as the embrace of Lenore.
True, its flavor is not complex. Nor is it particularly potent. Rather, it is the longevity of the taste that reels one in. Like the meter of Poe’s poems, it sticks to the pallet, locking the unwary drinker into a state of satisfaction sealed as tightly as the tomb of Fortunato. While The Raven may not be destined to be ranked among the finest of beers, its haunting quality guarantees it a role as loyal companion to many a lager-lover. One cannot help but wax poetic:
Once from out a bottle trimly, as I poured it, nice and nimbly,
Tumbled outward a smooth and syrupy lager of some writer’s lore–
While I sipping, slowly savored, suddenly there came a flavor,
As of fresh bread newly lavored, lavored with a caramel score.
”Tis a tasty brew,’ I muttered, flavored with a caramel score–
‘Drink the Raven, evermore.’
King Midas: “Fiddlesticks! Give me gold, not advice!”
Goldie: “So be it. I gave thee advice. Now I give thee gold. The golden touch is thine. Toodle-oo!”
-The Golden Touch, 1935
While Kunoichi tackles America, Miss Riot will be mingling with ancient alcoholics from the Mediterranean. Thanks to the generous donation of Doc’s DeLorean, she was able to kick it old-school with the wine-guzzling Roman wonder: Ovid. Together, they sampled a magical beer aptly named for his most famous mythical character.
MIDAS TOUCH GOLDEN ELIXIR: 9 %/ ABV, Deemed a herbed/spiced beer and royally crafted by Dogfish Head Brewery.
Rachel Riot: This “elixir” is fit for a King himself. It lays within a bottle decorated in purple and gold and pours a color of golden coins. A smooth beer with little to no head and perfected with features of honey and fruit. It’s sweet but not overpowering and sits well on the tongue and in the aftertaste. It’s definitely not a session beer so take your time and enjoy the texture and taste. You can experience this golden beer for $6.00 a bottle at 12 Steps Down. Purchasing Midas Touch might leave recession affected people without riches but, just like King Midas, you will be richer in the things that really matter: Good beer.
Rachel Riot and Kunoichi Erica are pseudonyms for the bloggers at Philadelphia ExBEERiment, where this post first appeared.
Finding a good bar is like finding a soul mate. The very air around you should sing softly of future memories forged on the strength of the bond created upon that first fateful meeting. When your foot crosses the threshold for the first time, the force of the atmosphere should drag you forward like a willing victim into Dracula’s castle. The personality of the bar should fold itself around you, whispering assurances that you have indeed entered a space that is alive: with excitement, with curiosity, with warmth.
The gals from Philadelphia ExBEERiment chat with Adam Ritter of Sidecar Bar & Grille about Philly Beer Week.
The proprietors of the Philadelphia ExBEERiment blog join PW to review the best beers of the winter months.
Bar Review: 12 Steps Down