Thursday, February 03, 2011

BEERflections ~ Dogfish Head Brew Masters Night @ Vine & Barley

Okay, so this is a wee bit late in the making for which I have only petty inconsequential excuses to offer…and offer I shall. In fact, I can sum it up in one word: BrewGrrs. Or as I like to call it – the world works in beautifully mysterious ways such as…

It was a relatively cool December eve the 13th as I puttered southward to Vine & Barley for a night of jazzy revelry and beer sublime. I’ve been a rhythm & blues/soul/jazz novice pretty much my whole life but my Love takes it to epic heights of passionate curvaceous seduction. My lady loves the blues and she loves beer. How did I get so lucky? Not sure but damn I am.

But enough of my fortune; let us delve into Dogfish Head’s fortune and while we’re at it, Vine & Barley’s too.

Miles Davis is no longer among us but his spirit lives on through his music which is as much living history as beer. In this instance, our moment of living history was the Bitches Brew. A collaboration between Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, the Davis family, and Sony Music, Bitches Brew received the barley carpet treatment as the premiere episode of Discovery Channel’s newest show, Brew Masters featuring Sam and Dogfish Head. While the episode we watched at the Brew Masters Night event was not Miles’, the heart of soul and the heart of beer were one and the same as beer geeks and burgundians around the world rejoiced. I know I did.

Arriving around the usual hour, there was time to sup the other fabulous Dogfish Head brews being offered until the bell chimed 9pm.

What’s at 9pm?

Well goshgollygee, tis the vaunted tapping of Bitches Brew. Enticingly and aggravatingly limited in bottle and keg, twas a sigh of relief knowing this brew came and conquered before departing forevermore. After all, not everything worthwhile in life is about the easily accessible generic schlock. Instead they are a celebration of the unique, the rare, the individual, and the moments in life where affirmation is as sublimely simple as the touch of a glass on your lips as her frothy silk glides across trembling tastebuds into a heart fulfilled.

This is life. This is beer. This is Bitches Brew.

But before the Bitch sang, I savored other Dogfish brews on draft with friends of old, friends aplenty. For myself, I directly courted the Pangaea and the Palo Santo Marron while eyeing the imposing presence of Olde School. A previous encounter had left me irrevocably scarred but his down-home charm eventually won me over. For this round, I will give the draft Olde School my good will, cherish scars healed, and celebrate a renewed sense of adventure. The bottles on the other hand…only cellaring will tell. And of course, let us not forget Dogfish Head 90 Minute, a classic Americanized Imperial India Pale Ale which is currently enjoying an insufferable draught. On special all day long at $3.95 a pint, many snifters were savored from dusk onward.

With time minding her business, 9pm crept around the bend and with my name safely secured on “The List”, a glass brimming seduction soon lounged before my eyes of avarice. A moment if I please…

Beautiful. As delicious on draft as in the bottle and unsurprisingly so just a tad more. As names were called and hands thirstily grasped their chalices of divine inspiration, time continued to mind her business. Eventually the company of physics came to call and the spit-sploosh-pop of crema-hued foam knelled the end of our Dogfish Head Miles Davis Bitches Brew keg, a beer of jazzy inspiration woven with notes of primitive honey beer and gesho root. Separately, one will never know. Together, sublime. Every time Sam gets crazy with beer, somehow someway tasty fantasticness emerges. I don’t ask why. I often wonder how. And I savor whenever, wherever, and as often as possible.

Wandering into the creeping night for a breath of fresh air and a chat with my Love, I eventually wandered once more inside the sanctuary of Vine & Barley to find the revelry still at full swing. As 10pm crested and Brew Masters graced the only TV in Mark’s fine drinking establishment, a crescendo was reached upon which raffles were drawn and I found myself without any material rewards but plenty of irreplaceable memories instead. Soaking in the hearty din, I knew just how lucky I was, friendly faces and entire spaces included.

Alas, all good things must come to an end as the sweet siren’s call of a warm bed crept atop the palm tree studded hill. To a life still well lived, a night pleasantly pursued, a beer slowly savored, and the patience of my Lovely, Prosit!

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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