Hops With Chops: The First Official Beer Review Ever
by Jeremiah Sutton
I don’t want to divide the room, but does the world need another review? Does my opinion on carbonated concoctions of barley, hops, and a little yeast matter? Will I win the Nobel Prize while downing beer? Wish in my right hand and spit in my left, and I can clearly see which has filled up faster; nonetheless, I prefer my hands dry; I don’t want my beer to slip outta my hand, and sticky, wet fingers are no friend of the keyboard. If you didn’t notice the photo(s) near-ish these words, be enlightened, for I have chosen for my inaugural beer of review to be Guinness. Specifically, the 14.9 fluid oz. can of “Draught Stout” with the almost magical little widget inside (See the picture now? I am sure you have seen it, if not, a quick google images search should suffice). Ahh, the golden harp upon this jet-black can; with a crack of the tab, some familiar bubbles begin to escape, and into the glass, we go. And let me leave no doubt that I am and will be writing these reviews while I am actually drinking the beer. Don’t you worry, dear reader; it only gets worse from here.
Rhymes aside, after the approximate 119 seconds it takes to pour one of these puppies, my nose is greeted with the distinct aroma of roasted walnuts and about 2-day-old cold brew coffee sitting atop the half-inch foamy head formed by the beautiful cascading nitrogenated bubbles.
Founder Arthur Guinness died three months ago today, 23rd of March, 1803, leaving behind his three sons and brewery already producing over 800,000 gallons of beer per year. His employees had health insurance, company-fed meals, pension plans, and higher wages, the kind of benefits that were almost non-existent at the time, especially in Ireland. Despite being an upper-class Protestant, Arthur supported Catholic emancipation in 1793 and was involved in several charities. His good-willed spirit lives on today through the Arthur Guinness Fund.
As I sip into the middle of this brew, I still have a quarter inch of foam through which the warming wood notes come. A hint of thinning maple syrup lingers on the tongue with a soft, sourdough crust-like finish.
The great beer drinker, Patrick Henry, proclaimed his famous words, “Give me liberty or give me death, and bring me an ice cold natty lite, I am hella parched up here,” during a speech to Virginian militiamen, this very day in 1775. March 23rd is also famous for “O.K.,” an abbreviation for “oll korrect,” first published in 1839 by The Boston Morning Post and made famous by my facial hair decision’s sake, President Martin Van Buren, during his re-election campaign. Wait, What? Yes, you heard me… well, you have “read” me. You are now 487 words deep in an article written by a man sporting mutton-chops on his jowls, inspired by a dead president whose nickname was “Old Kinderhook.” I wouldn’t blame you if you called it quits right here. Plus, you probably already have an opinion on Guinness. Seriously, why are you still here? Alas, I have almost finished this point, so the end of this first-ever official beer review is almost at its conclusion.
Not much has changed flavor-wise as I near the bottom of the glass. Remnants of the frothy head ring the lower third in tan-speckled, splotched stacks. Aftertaste is very similar to medium roasted Mexican coffee for me; Chiapas or maybe Oaxaca. I give it 3.9/5.0; it’s very good, almost outstanding but not World-Class, better than just “good.” They say that it tastes worlds apart better in Dublin, and one day I hope to stand before the great St. James’s Gate. Lastly, I want to thank Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company because on this day in 1935, the Richmond, VA company delivered the first 2000 cans of beer to the people, marking the first time Americans sipped beer while their sober friends asked, “What kinda soup are you drinking like that?”
Drink to the Foam! Lechyd Da!