By Chris Maza
Sometimes you come to appreciate things a bit more after you've taken a step back from them for a while.
The month of March, as well as parts of February and April, were tough days for me. Being the good Catholic that my wife encourages me to be, I decided to give up my two vices for Lent coffee, my lifeblood that helps me get through the day, and beer.
While the exclusion of coffee from my daily routine took a much more physical toll on me as a caffeine addict, being unable to enjoy beer had a psychological one.
For me, there can be something very therapeutic about walking through a store, reading labels and talking to salespeople while trying to select the right beer for that evening. There's also an extra sense of appreciation when you take that first sip and realize that the 45 minutes you spent pondering were well worth it.
Perhaps its because I've had more than 45 days to think about what beers I was going to enjoy on Easter I am ready to say something that I have never said about any beer, at least publicly.
Here it is.
Brooklyn Brewery's Local 1 is the best beer I have ever tasted.
A friend recommended Local 1 to me as I asked almighty Facebook for suggestions on what I should end my personal prohibition with and after a lot of reading and virtually no negative reviews, I decided to give it a shot.
I bought a 750 mL bottle topped with a cork and poured it into a regular pint glass because it was what was available, but I would suggest a tulip glass or a goblet to others. The hazy light-orange hue with a nice, fluffy white head gave the beer a nice appearance while its aroma was filled with sweet and fruity characteristics, ranging from what seemed like apples and pears to citrus.
For a beer with as high an alcohol content as Local 1 has (9 percent alcohol by volume), that characteristic is masked quite well by an amazingly intricate taste, featuring the fruitiness and some sugars that were promised in the nose and just the right amount of hops to create a subtle bitterness that added to the complexity of the beer.
With as many flavors and characteristics that were incorporated into this brew, it could have been very easy for the flavor to become convoluted, but Brooklyn struck the perfect balance and created a top-notch beer.
While it's labeled by the company as a strong pale ale, this one struck me to fall more under the saison banner, but perhaps its unfair to even try to label such a master-piece.
The best part? It's available at most locations for less than $10.
With the Boston Marathon upon us, Samuel Adams has released the Boston 26.2 Brew in its honor.
Several watering holes along the route will feature the beer, but alas, I will not be able to attend the marathon this year and doubt by the time I get a chance to go to the Boston area, the kegs will have been long-since kicked.
Therefore, I'm asking for your help.
Is anyone heading down to Boston for the marathon who might be willing to share their thoughts on the 26.2?
If so, let me know what you think by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, why run when you can drink beer?
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