I’m a vodka girl. I will always be a vodka girl. However, there have been times I’ve committed acts of alcohol infidelity. Shamefully, one of those times was last night. It was raining, it was late and the dogs were asleep. I was working on my novel and a hunger pang caused my mind to wander. As if on cue my neighbor knocked on my door and invited me downstairs for pizza, cherry pie and some beer. I didn’t like beer but it had been a long time since I had cherry pie. I accepted the invitation thinking my distaste for beer would keep me far from it. I was was wrong. Once I entered the cozy apartment things took an unexpected turn. Although I’m a mature adult (relatively speaking) and could have had the pie first I didn’t want to seem too eager. I politely accepted the pizza first and the beer with no intention of opening the bottle. After a few bites I realized I did in fact need something to wash it down. As badly as I wanted the pie I couldn’t couldn’t just abandon the pizza mid slice, it would have been rude. Trapped with nothing else to drink, in a moment of awkward weakness and a mouth filled with pizza, I found myself reaching for the beer at my side. I took a sip bracing myself for the repercussions of my impulse, a bitter fizzy taste that would envelope the inside of my mouth and the instant regret to follow. Instead my tongue was met with an unexpected mild flavor low on fizz that I didn’t immediately hate. I looked at the label. Tap Room No. 21 Pale Ale.
I don’t know beer or anything about hops or malt and other things that make up the ingredients for beer. I’ve probably had about five bottles of beer in my entire life and most of them were in high school. All my beer experiences have been the same, foamy, dense, bitter and disgusting. And let’s not forget the beer breath which has always been a repugnant factor in drinking the stuff. But Tap Room No. 21 Pale Ale turned my head around. The aroma was slightly citrusy and the flavor was thinner than I had expected. It wasn’t complex but the flavor had pleasant layers that weren’t overwhelmed by extreme bitterness. It also didn’t cling to the inside of my mouth like the others had. It washed down my pizza without washing away its flavor or distorting it. I hate beer but Tap Room No. 21 Pale Ale was actually, dare I say…good. To make this particular brand even more appealing it goes for about six bucks on the grocery shelves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to jump on the beer ship any time soon but Tap Room No. 21 Pale Ale was a nice diversion. It’ll definitely be up for consideration on those few occasions where I need something different than grain alcohol. So to recap my evening; acting on impulse: good. Cherry pie: good. Tap Room No. 21 Pale Ale: good.