SCANDAL ALE—Damn fine for a drinking game (and it includes one)
Last night I dreamt that my fellow blogger Transman came over to hang out. We were sitting on the crappy LBHQ futon watching reality TV. Between channel flips I’d interrogate Transman about his real name and he’d evade my questions by dissing pseudocelebrities (“Look at those Kardashians, dude, they could crush us”).
We were drinking SCANDAL ALE, a new arrival on the BC beer scene concocted by owner Hugh Hefeweisen and brewmaster Suddly Brew Right, identities as impenetrable as that of my hypnagogic houseguest. As we sipped from our stubby bottles we recalled how all bottles used to be stubbies, which made us feel old, at which point I notified Transman that it was not I, at 7, who was old, but my fortysomething parents. Which made things weird for Transman, who hadn’t realized he was four or five times the age of the bear beside him.
Fact is, I wasn’t around for the heyday of stubbies. SCANDAL ALE is my first experience with these squat brown bottles (which we’ve enjoyed not just somnifically but in real life). The brewery first came to my attention through Twitter, which I always forget to visit. Twitter suggested I follow Scandal Brewing, which I think I did. But at the time they had no actual beer yet; it was still five months away. So I forgot about it until my dad came home with this crazy retro comic-book style cardboard box, the inside of which is printed with colorful game cards. My fellow inebriates, if for no other reason than this box, you should grab a case of SCANDAL ALE. This is a product with style, and its pseudonymous crew has thought hard about branding a memorable identity.
But how does it taste?
Well, in my dream Transman helped himself to another. Deep copper with a rich light foam, SCANDAL ALE gives off a malty aroma with a touch of toffee and grassiness. Scandal Brewing boasts all-organic ingredients and conducts daily tests on the spring water that goes into its ale and lager. Caramel malt and Bavarian hops marry up into a medium-bodied 5% ale with an IBU of 17, so it’s mellow but not too mellow. Generous carbonation makes SCANDAL ALE punchy on the palate—solid and rewarding without departing into groundbreaking new flavors. If anything, it splits the difference nicely between mass-market brew and some of the less accessible tastes found in the craft beer section, but soars above macro-swill with its organic recipe and malty goodness.
Where it does break ground is in its packaging. Break the box down and you’ll find the inside printed with cards for what Hugh Hefeweizen says is not a drinking game (it makes a damn good drinking game). Cards like “Embezzlement,” “Golden Parachute,” and “Busted!” direct you to swap, steal, cede, and hustle your way to 10 points. It’s perfect for kids (seriously, whatever gets them off Pokemon is a good thing).
The ale is so good that I told my dad we needed the lager too. We’ll see what comes back when he returns. He’s also buying a toilet plunger so I have to wait an inordinately long time. Perhaps I should doze and have some more beer dreams.