It’s my Granny’s birthday today but my mum says we don’t have to make a cake because she’s dead. (I was thinking sherry trifle.) I think my mum is just trying to be a hardass, but she’d better hope none of Granny’s relatives are reading this. “And why would they?” she asked. “Why would anyone read it?”
Since my mum is being so liberal with abuse, let me tell you about her latest beer purchase. Thinking she could appeal to all tastes at LBHQ by buying yet another sampler box, she cruised the liquor store seeking a package that did not contain anything weird or fruity. I’ve mentioned before how limited my parents’ beer bandwidth is. My mum is anti-fruit and my dad is anti-IPA—which eliminated most of the sample packages in the store.
What remained was Lighthouse Brewing’s Premium Pack. Promising three ales and a Bavarian lager, it seemed innocent enough, so my mum plunked down $23 and took it home.
First out of the box: RACE ROCKS ALE. Considering the ordinariness of the packaging along with its lack of informative tasting notes, how could anybody expect weirdness? We were geared up for a run-of-the-mill ale with an ordinary hop/malt interplay. But it wasn’t to be.
Pouring amber-red with creamy foam, RACE ROCKS ALE puts you on immediate notice of wannabe intentions. But what does it want to be? Lighthouse Brewing designates it a craft beer, but OMG, any day now MOLSON CANADIAN will start calling itself that—it doesn’t mean anything, my fellow inebriates. If anything, RACE ROCKS ALE seems to be channeling the Belgian style with its rotting-orchard redolence.
You know when you’ve peeled a bunch of apples and peaches and whatever the hell else, about a day has gone by—a hot day—and gradually, slowly, you begin to notice that the kitchen smells? Well, I wish RACE ROCKS ALE were that subtle. While it’s certainly not as in-your-face as Unibroue’s product line, the fruit is there nonetheless, shaking its ass in your beer.
Okay, weird mixed metaphor, but this is a strange beer.
On the tongue the ale redoubles its aromatic fruitiness. It’s no longer deniable; the overripe peaches can’t be ignored. Now, this is okay for my dad, because he gets all the remaining RACE ROCKS ALE and possibly its fellows if it turns out the fruit thing is something Lighthouse does with every beer. Score for my dad, but now we all have to live with my mum, who can’t blame anyone but herself for buying the case.
And what did I think of it? Holy crap, you know I loved it, people—I love all beer. But I love some beers less than others, and this is one of those (the ones I love less).
Nor did I like the way my mum pounded her bottle to make it go away. I had to be fast to get any at all. (She said it wasn’t bad enough to throw out. And yes, she does wear ten-year-old jeans for the same reason.)
Ignoring my angry mother, what did my dad think? “It kind of reminded me a little bit of U-BREW,” he said, damning Lighthouse Brewing further.
I guess this means I get all the RACE ROCKS ALE to myself. Too bad I can’t open it. If I could, I’d offer Granny a toast.