Me and Brooklyn Beer – the taste of memories3August 7th, 2009Uncategorized
This ramble is in response to Mark Dredge’s post on Wednesday. And I don’t mean one of those negative YouTube video responses…I mean a ‘yes, I know exactly what you mean but I can’t fit what I want to say in a tweet’ response.
You see, as with everything in life, some beer means more to me than others.
In our posts and our conversations both Alan and I harp on about Old Hooky, from our beloved Hook Norton Brewery. It’s local, it’s nice and, in desperate unequivocal human nature, we want to be a part of it. I love St. Peter’s bottles and that somehow makes the experience of drinking their ale better. Viru from Estonia tastes like twice the continental lager it might be because of its funky, modern shaped bottle. But greater than these fancy designs and quirks that add to our beer drinking experience is the associations that memories and good times bring to our favourite tipples.
But the best example of how I can ‘taste the memory’ is with my favourite beer of all time, Brooklyn East India Pale Ale. I’m completely and utterly in love with this beer, and my passion is completely and utterly influenced by my memories and the emotions that I project onto it.
November 3rd, 2007. In fact, it’s nearly November the 4th. I’m sitting in my bunk in a grotty Chelsea hostel on West 30th and 8th, New York. In not very many hours at all I’ll be waking up, eating breakfast, and making my way to Staten Island with hordes of other similarly mentally disturbed individuals to run in the New York Marathon.
I signed up as a bit of a challenge: my Dad double my age had a dream to run the NYC Marathon and on the year of his 50th birthday, decided that running 26.2 miles would be a suitable celebration of his life. Zoom forward a few months – mostly spent thinking “Don’t worry, it’s ages away”, and then a couple more months of “I’ll try some 30 minute jogs”, before 3 months of painful torture throwing my body around the hills of South Leeds in a desperate bid to get ‘marathon fit’ – and here I was, contemplating the single most stupid thing I’d ever embarked on.
Earlier on the night in question, we returned from a day of exploration in a truly great city. Stopping at the store on the corner of our street I nipped in to grab a couple of beers to conquer my nerves. Dutch courage I guess.
And this is the moment I came across Brooklyn Brewery. Sat inconspicuously amongst an array of bottled beers, I was soon marching up the stairs of the hostel with a 6 pack of colourfully labelled Brooklyn beers. And I fell instantly in love with EIPA at first taste.
I can’t describe that first sip, but it was good. It was amazing. It tasted like nothing a UK beer had ever come near to. And it was the strength I needed (or the sleeping pill I didn’t have!) to go to bed a little more excited than scared.
That moment, and during the remaining days in New York (I finished the marathon!) Brooklyn EIPA became the symbol of my achievement and the completion of my personal challenge, and every time I drink it I smile inside, because I fucking did it. I ran 26.2 miles in New York and it was one the best days of my life.Tags: brooklyn brewery, east india pale ale, EIPA, marathon, new york