Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fenway Beer Blues

So, for my inaugural entry, I wanted to set the tone a little for what will hopefully be a semi-regular thing and to let any actual readers know what they are in for (besides biting sarcasm and grim cynicism.) I'm going to write about my Adventures in Beer. This may seem very unappealing to some, and some may be thinking, "Why is he writing about this?" but I feel that there are plenty of uneducated drinkers out there, so if I can help even one of them, then my job is complete.

Let me give you a "f 'r instance." Last week, I went to a Red Sox game with my Dad (an uneducated drinker if there ever was one). Since I work very close to Fenway Park, I thought I would get an early start at Boston Beerworks, one of my favorite watering holes. I had to meet the Old man at Who's On First?, a dive that specializes in cheap beer and cheaper women, so I figured I had to get my jollies in early.

So, at Beerworks, I started with my old stand-by, the Fenway Pale Ale (when in Rome...), an American-style Pale Ale that actually doesn't really taste like one, but it's still very good. It's dark, pretty hoppy, and gives you a nice bitter kick at the end. Anyway, I found a seat at the bar (amazingly), ordered up some nachos, and commenced people-watching.

As we go forward, I should point out that I am not a fast-drinker. I like to enjoy my beverage and taste it going down, not drink thirty beers in ten minutes and pass out and tell everyone the next day how awesome I am because I drank thirty beers. Come on, would you drink wine like that? Well, if you were my ex-girlfriend, I suppose you would, but real people wouldn't. Why drink good beer fast? It's a waste, not to mention a hazard.

Having said that, I was under a bit of a time crunch, and I noticed that Beerworks was sporting a new tap: Bay State ESB (Extra-Special Bitter) that I really wanted to try. I only had a scant few minutes, so I made the quick decision to down the Pale Ale and order an ESB. I did not regret it. The ESB was delicious (even better than the Sierra Nevada ESB, which according to their bottle, means Early Spring Beer. Those scamps!) In fact, the Extra Special Bitter was not all that bitter, even less than the Pale Ale. but it was very hearty and tasty. Definite recommend if you're at a Beerworks location.

Unfortunately, I had to drink it fast because I had to meet my Dad at Who's on First?, where he would not doubt offer to buy me a beer. I hurried over, and Bob was well into a Bud bottle, and offered to buy me a Sam (Boston Ale, not my favorite of theirs, that would be the Octoberfest, but better than anything else they had.) He drank two to my one while we chatted about the Sox/Rays series, but I was still way ahead on points, of course. And due to the speed of my drinking, feeling slightly contented.

Here's where we go downhill. Once inside Fenway, my dad insists on drinking a different kind of ESB, Extremely Stupid Beer. Yes, this would be the $25.00 (or whatever they charge these days) Lite beer. Yes, we all know it. It seems to have come straight out of the Fenway urinals. Absolutely disgusting. In fact, I think it killed my buzz altogether. I heard my stomach say, "Hey, wait a second! Weren't you drinking really good beer not twenty minutes ago?" The Urinal Cake Lite actually made me ill. And not because it was a bad batch or whatever. it tasted normal. It's just gross all the time. Of course, I had two, but only because the Old Man was buying and, hey, I'm at a game.

So, thumbs up for the Beerworks offerings, natch. If you're going to Fenway at all, though, either pre-party and skip their watered-down crap, or seek out the couple of decent stands they do have: the Irish Beers (Guinness, etc.), or the Sam Adams way down in right field. And I think some sections have a Heineken guy walking around, but he may be tough to find. I say stick with Beerworks, Cornwall's (not for any good food, though), or even the re-tooled Cask n' Flagon, since they at least have a decent selection as well. Otherwise, either mortgage your house and risk the tummy ache and buy the Lite Piss, or sneak in a flask.

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