Saturday, November 13, 2010

Still Life with Dwarfs and Beer #6

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but I finally scored a beer I've been looking for and I had to write it up. My writing/blogging friend Hillary Jacques told me about it and claimed it was to die for; I have taken her at her word because she's from Alaska, and people have died for stranger things than beer in the land of salmon and short summers.

The beer is Alaskan Smoked Porter, and it comes in big ol' dated bottles. For such an august brew I broke out the seminal autumn cuisine and a very serious dwarf to guard it.

That's a grilled brat with sauerkraut and mustard, accompanied by some kettle chips. The Alaskan Smoked Porter stands majestically to one side. And on duty today from the dwarf kingdom is Einar Ericksson, high atop the seeded bun, shining a light in the dark cave of tasteless beers and leading us to liquid gold.

Einar's motto ("I seek treasure and beer and often don't know the difference") is an example for us all. And in truth, he's something of an archetypal character, guiding us through menus of tasteless swill to find a brew with gustatory substance. Do you doubt his archetypal muscle? Behold:
See, they're really the same guy. The hermit is a bit longer in the femur, that's all. And maybe he could use a Snickers bar. But Einar is carryin' a freakin' GUN, son! That's because he can lead you through the mines past the Balrog to the legendary casks of Shaft-Aged Scrumptious Shit, brewed by the celebrated hopmaster Steinar Thorvaldsson. And if any demons from the old world show up to try to mooch a pint, Einar will pop the bastard between the eyes with a black powder ball! Ain't nobody gonna snake my Smoked Porter with Einar on the job.

Speaking of which: I can see why so many Alaskans have died for this noble brew. Jerry Hoffman of Fairbanks lost his life when he attacked a Kodiak bear trying to break into his cooler of Smoked Porter; he was armed with nothing but a pair of BBQ tongs. Fisherman John O'Bryan of Anchorage accidentally dropped an unopened bottle in the sea, dove after it, and got eaten by an orca that mistook him for wayward chum. ("Carry On, My Wayward Chum" is the unofficial anthem of Alaskan fishermen.) If you get a chance to snag a bottle, do—you can always age it in your silver mine for a few years if you don't have occasion to drink it right away. It's awesome.

And now for something neither here nor there. To the person who thought it would be a good idea to take one of the greatest rock songs of all time—"Sweet Child o' Mine" by G n' R—and chop out 16 measures here and there to make it more "radio friendly": You suck hairy goat sack! You mutilated a masterpiece and ruined the song's balance, removed its musical tension so that we're left with all yang and no yin. You even cut off half of Slash's epic solo. What possessed you? Did you wake up in the morning and say, "Today, I'm going to take someone's work of genius and turn it into shit!" or are you seriously so clueless that you thought this might be a good idea? Honestly, I'm never listening to that station again. If they don't want to respect the music—leave someone's creative vision as is—then I'm not going to give their advertisers a chance to reach my ears. This concludes my rant. I am going to let Einar help me find a happy place.


  1. Dude, I can't believe you paired that with a brat (nomnomnom)! I drank it with, like, a couple of sliced radishes. It's 6.5% and ro-BUST.

    P.S. Please note that Hoffman dispatched that griz with the BBQ tongs. Maybe he wouldn't get to drink his beer, but he'd be hog-tied in Hell before he let anyone or anything else get to it.

    P.P.S How is it possible that you have four items under the label "marshmallows"?

  2. Only FOUR? I've been lax...I need to write about marshmallows more often. Thank you for reminding me! ;)