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Life's a play - Mark Nokes

St. Bernardus

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I decided I should do another beverage post since I have a category for it now. This one will focus on beer. Not just any beer, though. St. Bernardus. A fantastic beer and most definitely one of my favorites.

Every man at some point in their life is drawn to the sweet call of beer, the prince of beverages (King Whisky, Queen Cocktail, Prince Beer, for the record). In my late teens I had many beers, all of which were absolutely and horrifyingly disgusting. They did the trick, even if the trick was to get drunk enough that I didn’t care how they tasted anymore. As I grew older I drank less and less. At some point, I thought I hated beer. I tasted my friend’s beers, tried beers at restaurants, bars, etc. They all tasted like either the smell of dumpster juice from a Chili’s back alley or the bitterness of a thousand grapefruit peels. In either case, I hated the taste. Enter the Belgian-style quadrupel with its sweet, malty, bready flavor that keeps me coming back for more. Until I’m far too hammered to have any more, that is. They’re usually very high in alcohol by volume (ABV) and low on the international bitterness units (IBU) scale. Those two measurements are pretty much how I choose a beer these days.

Prairie Bomb in bottle

Ever since I discovered for myself that all beers aren’t hop soup I’ve had a much more fruitful relationship with beer. There is such a terrific scene for craft beer now and it keeps growing. In my experience, most craft breweries are brewing mostly IPA which I hate, but they tend to have one or two stouts or other ales that won’t make you want to scrape your tounge with your credit card. There are also some that make lagers and IPA the minority. I’m in Oklahoma so I’ll list a few of my favorite breweries around here.

That’s not an exhaustive list of breweries in Oklahoma, by any stretch, but they’re some of the ones that I particularly enjoy. From Prairie you have to try the Prairie Bomb!, an imperial stout aged on coffee, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chili peppers. It’s a regular offering. Dead Armadillo has a terrific Barley Wine if you like to get drunk but not full, lol. Battered Boar has an interesting selection of fruity things that don’t sound good as beer but, as it turns out, are. Elk Valley used to make a Bourbon Barrel Mashie that blew my mind, but I haven’t been able to find it in the last couple of years. If you see it somewhere, pick up a bottle! Angry Scotsman has a porter that I like called Left Luggage.

If you think you don’t enjoy beer, give it another go. Just don’t listen to your friends. That’s the route I took and I don’t regret it. I’ve discovered a whole world of flavor that I wouldn’t know otherwise. You’ll also learn something about your friends. They have terrible taste, although, I suppose you can’t judge someone’s preferences on flavor.

The MAN Himself

Author of Modern Guitar Method. Also, please listen to my album, Life's a Play. It's available everywhere!

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