BAVARIA 8.6 RED—Strong enough for apocalyptic thirst

My Fellow Inebriates,

Our new (old) house is full of silverfish! They scurry across the bathroom and kitchen floors and counters. OMG, they are so gross, people. Do you have silverfish? What the hell is the deal with these little suckers?

My mum didn’t want to talk about them. It takes her 15 minutes to stop shuddering after killing one. So I asked my friend Scarybear.

Scary says silverfish are harbingers of the End of Days. “They and all their fellow Darker Animals are in charge of Priming the World for the post-Apocalypse after all Good Animals such as Bears have lost their Lives in an All-Out Battle with the Dark Forces of Evil.”

“And how long do we have left?” I asked.

“Thirty-six days.”

If this sounds mighty theological, Scary insists it’s not. He’s far too big a Gene Roddenberry fan for that. But he feels just as entitled as Billy Graham to cherry-pick the best (most dramatic) scriptural snippets as apocalyptic fuel. He believes, for instance, that where the silverfish are most numerous there must be a Hell Mouth—probably in one of the bathrooms. Maybe both.

My dad says silverfish like eating cardboard, and that if we ever finish unpacking and get rid of our boxes they’ll go away.

Wikipedia says silverfish actually like the adhesives in cardboard packaging. They’ll also chow down on photos, paper, sugar, coffee, hair, carpet, clothing, and dandruff. If they’re hard up for food they’ll attack furniture, leather, and synthetics, or even eat their own moulted exoskeletons. (According to Scary, “only a Dark Creature would do that.”)

All that starchy food must drive them into wet areas. We all know how thirsty junk food makes people and bears, and presumably these disgusting bugs are no different.

Scary shrugs at this observation; he thinks a Hell Mouth makes the most sense.

One thing is certain. We can’t even discuss thirst without mentioning BAVARIA 8.6 RED. An import from Holland, this marvelous strong red lager is rich and deep—and 7.9% alcohol. The aroma is malty-caramelly with a subtle touch of fruit. Brisk carbonation meets malty sweetness on the palate—not super-complex, just big and satisfying: a boozy belt with a lingering toffee aftertaste.

Our camera charger is still MIA, so I went scoping for a photo of this lager and found one on Beer Advocate, which advised me not to use it (so I didn’t), but while I was there I noticed BAVARIA 8.6 RED had taken a shit-kicking from the good reviewers at BA. It’s probably the lowest-rated beer I’ve ever seen there. This was a big shock. It was like being told there might be a Hell Mouth in the bathroom. One minute you think you live in a normal house whose paranormal activity rates about a 3 or 4 on the freaky scale. Next thing there’s an effing Gateway to Hell spewing out silverfish and other servants of Satan so they can devour hair-dye and sanitary-napkin boxes.

Regardless of Beer Advocate’s damning of BAVARIA 8.6 RED, I stand by this Dutch brew. It’s super-friendly and easy-drinking without being thin or sour or macro-like. Whatever the BA beer geeks are getting from it, I’m not. I LOVE it, people. And not just because one can is enough to get wasted with. I love it for its own sake.

AMSTEL LIGHT—Calls for diplomacy

Today the kids decided I needed a bath. Luckily they’re not totally unsupervised; our mother intervened. She said they could do it as long as the bath was pretend.

That our bathing simulation wouldn’t occur near running water was a relief, but Miss P’s choice of a saucepan wasn’t exactly comforting.

Nevertheless, she made it work.

Ahhhh. Let’s talk about that AMSTEL LIGHT.

However did such a beer (ABV 3.5%) gain entry into LBHQ? The best possible way—borne by friends who joined us for Thanksgiving dinner. (Over-generously, they also brought a bottle of wine, a tray of cupcakes, two large chocolate bars, and a bouquet of flowers. How my parents merit that sort of treatment I don’t know.)

Okay, so when I said I was going to review AMSTEL LIGHT, my mum threatened me. She said, “They are very good friends of ours and if you trash that beer just because it has a low alcohol percentage…you just wait.”

For what?

Let’s face it, 3.5% alcohol is a travesty. “My fellow inebriates,” I said to my mother, “expect complete honesty.”

“Your fellow inebriates,” she said, “can’t even realistically expect you to stay on topic.”

Just the facts then:

Appearance: straw-yellow, like the urine of a well-hydrated bear, with no head (the beer, not the bear)

Smell: Grain, inoffensiveness

Taste: Corn, grain, slight Dutch-style funk

Body: Light, airy, strangely unfizzy

Impression: What the hell?

AMSTEL LIGHT reminds me of the time my parents went to see Avatar and they took Scarybear instead of me (he rode in a purse). I thought I was invited, right up until they got in the car, and then there I was, left behind with the kids and the babysitter. Kind of disappointed, but at the same time not disappointed about being spared a confrontation with my long-standing fear of blue people.

While I very much doubt any of my hobo friends would buy AMSTEL LIGHT, in terms of its potential to shine a small ray of happiness into an alcoholic’s life, AMSTEL LIGHT obviously runs circles around O’DOUL’S. And that makes it okay.

“Faint praise,” said my mum. “You’d better hope our friends don’t read your review.”

“Or what?”