Alas, dear reader, this week’s beer was never supposed to happen. Indeed, as Nick’s car sat in the Dudley Coe Lot destined not for Uncle Tom’s but for Don Foshay’s Discount Tire & Alignment, we feared that all was lost. True to our spontaneous form and following our shout-out in “Bottom of the Barrel,” we had agreed to compare and contrast Will Schweller’s homebrew with one of Nick’s all-time favorite Canadian lagers: Labatt Blue. But as we trudged back to Columbia Street, Nick reading seemingly endless VIN numbers into the phone, we were lost.
Stepping-up: the beer of the hour (and the beer of our week)—21st Amendment Brewery’s Down To Earth. Surprisingly relevant name aside, this was the only beer in Nick’s fridge. Having reserved this six-pack as the hidden “good beer” amongst the Rolling Rocks and Old Milwaukees of last Friday’s rockin’ jazz party, it had well and truly come to the rescue now. And it came to the rescue in more ways than one: what a beer it was and just what Nick’s quack doctor had ordered after an afternoon of “please hold” elevator music.
This session IPA is true to its description as a smashable beer. An IPA will never go down like a watery American lager, granted, but this brew can go the distance. It’s refreshing, it’s delicious and it’s not too complex to enjoy multiple cans. Even before you open this beer up, the art—a strangely-happy-spacesuit-clad monkey chilling in a hammock by the ocean—is worth a brief marvel. And once it’s cracked, it only gets better.
Upon being poured, the can releases a creamy and plentiful head, sitting atop a mellowed-orange beer. There is very little smell, with brief hoppy notes here and there—nothing to offend even the most malt-inclined of drinkers (Nick included). And the taste itself is not in the least layered but is nonetheless delicious all the way through. This is about as light as an IPA can come, but it’s still full of the citrus and floral notes expected of pale ale. There really is not much else to say: it’s crisp, it’s refreshing, it’s not too bitter and it’s full of simple, straightforward flavor. Down to Earth’s mouthfeel also has an easy lightness that belies gravity; it is at the perfect level of carbonation, a rarity from a beer that’s not on draft.
Coming in at $8.99 for a six-pack, this beer is ridiculously well priced for its quality—one of the best value buys that either of us has seen. And at only 4.4 percent ABV, you could drink that whole six without hitting the floor. This beer is a must-have in your fridge. And what’s that? Yes, this beer is available at Bootleggers. Look, we love Tom’s, but if you happen to find yourself in Leggers’ hood, get yourself a case or two of these beauties. We must go now, as we continue to discuss Mongolian yurts and question the perceived perfection of Denmark, but we shall see you soon, dear reader.
Tonight’s Toast: “Here’s to the great artistic genius, Pablo Picasso. His last words were “Drink to me.” Who am I to question genius?” Go out and get drunk with a good friend this week—we love you, Pablo.
Tonight’s Soundtrack: The sound of sizzling dumplings, courtesy of Sun’s Oriental Market, alongside “Deep in the Iris,” the third studio album by Canadian art rock band Braids (in a nod to LaBatt and what could have been).
Conclusions on Down to Earth: