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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beer, Glorious Beer

"Do not cease to drink beer, to eat, to intoxicate thyself, to make love, and to celebrate the good days."--Egyptian Proverb

Words to live by, right? Perhaps mixed in with some exercise and good judgement now and again. But it has me thinking today, about, well, beer. I had a work thing in Chicago today, and was there with two colleagues/friends from the shop. Getting to Chicago with no afternoon agenda is rare for me these days. Either J and I are going in (at night) for a gig, or for some other very specific reason. (Though, yes, we did go the weekend of Valentine's Day, just to hang.) Becky and Mike and I were lucky enough to be able to roam around for a bit and do some picking up of needed items, and then headed to eat. With all the choices a city has to offer, specifically ones we don't have in SW Michigan, I had kind of assumed we'd eat somewhere...specific. But it was clear we all could "use" a beer, and instead headed to an old work haunt of mine, Jake Melnick's.

As I perused the (newly phenomenal) beer list, I was struck with a decision I often have to make--order something I know I like, or be brave and bold, and order something new. I tend to go towards the latter, and I'm rarely disappointed. I mean, it's work research, right? I should always be looking for something great for my customers. At first look, I decided to try a beer from a brewery in MN, Surly. I had the "Blender" and my friend had the "Furious." Both on tap, they were phenomenal, and though the Furious was much stronger--a great American IPA, the Blender was, strangely, the perfect beer for my veggie burger lunch. Post lunch, while Mike ordered an Ommegang Rare Vos (oh my, always sooo good) and Becky ordered another Rogue Hazelnut, I decided to go the rich, delicious way...toward an Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence. Just freaking delicious, I swear. Like a half-pint of dessert.
Ohmygod! Look at the gorgeousness of that lacing, the beauty of it all! 

My point is not to suggest or review Jake Melnick's, or these beers, or the incredibly fantastic and surreally delicious house-made veggie burger. My point is to encourage you to try new things. Indulge. Sometimes, you need a two-beer lunch. Sometimes, you need to sample something new to find something delightful. Occasionally we all need to stop THINKING so much, and just DO! Whether beer, wine, food...our mother's were right. It DOESN'T hurt to try.

**A little tip: if you're interested in ordering a new draft beer, but are "scared"--ask the server for a taste. They will almost always bring you a little sample so you can be sure not to waste money on something you will not like.**

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