Went out yesterday after work at the record store, hat in hand, to apply for some jobs. San Chez just isn't supporting me in the manner to which I have become accustomed. My fist stop was the HopCat at 25 Ionia. I'd heard that they were only hiring women, and as I have no standards, I just made sure not to wear my glasses. I assume a bar that wont hire men probably wouldnt hire brainy-looking women either. Sidling up to the bar, I saw my friend Kevin from work at the Chez. He was there for the 5$ beer/fries/burger combo. I filled out the application and was convinced to have a beer. In my defense, it was really snowy outside, and windy to the point where I wondered if maybe god wasn't taking the snow back. One Hopslam later, I really really don't want to leave. And let me say, Man does that beer smell like weed. Sips of Kevin's Le Fin du Mond made me realize for the upteenth time how differently I seem to taste things than other people. Every comment I had was met with a disbelieving look from Kevin, the cute bartender, or, more often, both. Yes, I said it, pale Trappist beers taste like butter. And drinking from those thick rimmed bottles is like making out with your ale. Also, Cassis Lambic, a lovely-hued drink by the makers of Framboise, has a strong salt-water nose, and tastes distinctively of oyster. Not in a bad way, but so much so that every minute or so I made a confused face and asked if I was crazy or if everyone else could taste it. Apparently I was crazy. Kevin then convinced me to share a bottle of a darker Trappist Ale. This one was nice, actually, a peaty, vaguely smoky beer, with a rich sort of umami fullness. It had a tang almost akin to eating a really good live culture yogurt, like you could taste friendly bacteria making your food more delicious. One of the things I love about beer is that its never bad. There are boring beers, and odd beers, and beers I don't like as well as others, but they are just gradations of one wonderful thing. Its the varied nature of beers that makes them exciting, and I feel great pity for people who will only drink one thing, only drink their favorite thing. I understand a desire for the familiar, but when new tastes and a great buzz are only $4 a glass, I don't understand being unadventurous.
Hop Cat Part II or, "why fancy glasses are ok if your beer is made by monks"