Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I was really happy to see Hedonist Beer Jive give some love to Schlenkerla a couple months back. It's a beer that seems made for this time of year -- while I can't imagine drinking a beer that tastes like smoked sausage in July, when the temperatures dip into the 20s and 30s, it works. It's 34 degrees Fahrenheit outside now, and I'm having one, and I can vouch for its credentials.
I first had one during a deep freeze a few years back, and it just felt right -- this is the kind of beer that you should be drinking as you sit by the fireplace in a remote mountain lodge, snow coming down like mad outside. I quickly found out that it was best suited as an occasional indulgence, though. If I had one of these every night it'd probably put me off beer, and then where would we be?
About a year after I first tasted it, I went to a friend's Christmas party, and brought along 20 Schlenkerlas -- I figured it'd put everyone into the holiday mood. Wrong. The first person to open one took a sip and got a look on his face kind of like if you bit into a lemon during a visit to the proctologist. He passed it around the table, so everyone could take one sip, and everyone was similarly unenthusiastic. As I recall, only one other guy and I were able to drink entire bottles.
(Not wanting them to go to waste, we deposited all the unopened bottles inside Fidel's fridge -- he was out of town, and we figured he'd enjoy 15 bottles of beer that tasted like bratwurst. It seemed funny at the time.)
I've ceased to be evangelical about the stuff, but dammit, when it gets cold enough for a bottle of Schlenkerla each year -- I get disproportionately happy.