FILTHY DIRTY IPA—Because my dad and I have taste

In the downstairs bathtub this morning: two of the meatiest, most massive silverfish ever seen, squaring off with a hefty spider. Suspended above them by an invisible thread: the exoskeleton of one of their mates, presumably tortured to death by the spider.

Damnit, Stephen Harper, keep your pets on a leash.

Damn it, Stephen Harper, keep your pets on a leash.

Of course I wanted to see who would win. But my mother didn’t care. “F**k you guys,” she said, and shot all three down the drain with the showerhead.

That’s the level of enlightenment at LBHQ.

I thought my mother could use a beer but she has an inexplicable resistance to drinking at 7:00 am, and her unwillingness to let me watch the silverfish-spider death match is pretty much indicative of her unwillingness to take any of my good suggestions.

So I had to wait until 5:00 pm to try this new beer in the fridge: Parallel 49 FILTHY DIRTY IPA. And even then I had to fight my dad for a share of it, which felt sort of like being a silverfish versus a big-ass hairy spider. But fight my dad I did, my fellow inebriates, and here’s what FILTHY DIRTY was like:

FILTHY-DIRTY-500x500Ahhh! Let me start with 7.2% alcohol. It had me there, friends, but it was only getting started. FILTHY DIRTY boasts an IBU of 55, the combined effort of Chinook, Centennial, Citra, Simco, and Ahtanium hops—not fighting it out but harmonizing into a piney, grapefruity, bittersweet hopfest with a creamy mouthfeel and a long linger. My dad and I marveled at the various hop contributions; as we savored the IPA we could taste tropical notes and subtle bready malt backnotes. It was totally, totally yummy.

My mum said it tasted like elastic bands and earwax, which is what she says about all IPAs. We called her a philistine and suggested she get into the kitchen and make the family some pizza.

And that, my fellow inebriates, was a lot like picking a fight with a big spider. Don’t even ask who won.


My Fellow Inebriates,

As annoyed I am that no drinking is occurring at LBHQ these days, Scarybear is even madder. Not that he gives a rat’s ass whether we have any beer in the house. His big gripe is the lack of cake at (or since) my mum’s birthday last week. Nobody even thought of cake; that’s how busy they are. And Scary lives for cake.

He also lives for TV, and yesterday my dad decided to put our plasma out to pasture. As he took it off the bracket, Scary’s funk became even more funereal than it had been for Glen Bear (whom V says “might be in the stuffie box” at kindergarten—but will she ever remember to check?). And we know who broke the TV.

"You've just crossed over into the Fluffy Zone."

“You’ve just crossed over into the Fluffy Zone.”

This is what Sylvia Browne says about the whole thing.

Sylvia Browne auto reply

OMG, Sylvia Browne called me a “customer.” Sylvia Browne won’t solve the Fluffy problem unless we send her some cash.

Sylvia Browne pic

But Sylvia Browne predicted that Mitt Romney would win the 2012 US election. Why would I trust her to tell me why/how Fluffy broke the dishwasher, clogged the toilet, made the air too cold at LBHQ, possibly disposed of Glen Bear (unless Carnivorous Duck ate him), and zapped Scary’s beloved plasma TV with his mind??

57912I wouldn’t even trust Sylvia Browne to review a bottle of LAGUNITAS LITTLE SUMPIN’ WILD ALE. She’d never, even on her wildest predictive run, guess that it weighs in at 72.5 IBU and 8.8% alcohol. This shit is hoppy with a capital H. If you like beers that beat you up, LITTLE SUMPIN’ WILD is for you. But Sylvia Browne would never know that, because she probably never even predicted the Twinkie’s demise.

Incidentally, we have Twinkies up here in Canada. They are on the shelves at Walmart the way they always have been, with their zillion ingredients and infinitesimal vitamin profile. They do not seem to be an obsession here, unlike the apostrophe-less Tim Hortons coffee, which is crappier than all the Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Cupcakes the Hostess factory can spew out on its very worst day.

But why would you have a weak, acidic Timmy coffee when you can have a hop-thrashingly strong ale from Lagunitas Brewing Co.? It pours a golden hue with a coarse, clingy head. From the get-go it assaults you with citrusey, piney, earwaxy hops and a honey-nut pulse behind. Those fumes don’t lie, my fellow inebriates, LITTLE SUMPIN’ WILD packs a wallop. You get spice, pine, grapefruit, and biscuit in gratuitous lashings. Bend over as it kicks your ass; it is a surly item with a crisp yet creamy mouthfeel and plenty more punches where the first ones came from—which is to say, it will stick around in your mouth.

The verdict? Let Scary eat cake, and let Fluffy duel Sylvia Browne on PPV. Let me have LITTLE SUMPIN’ WILD—preferably for breakfast.

SLEEMAN CREAM ALE—What would the Tooth Fairy pay for it?

My Fellow Inebriates,

Once upon a time, when a kid lost a tooth—or in Miss P’s case, yanked a tooth out and trailed blood from the rec room to the bathroom—parents knew the drill. Wait till the kid’s asleep, root under the pillow for it, and leave money. Voilà, the Tooth Fairy has visited.

But inevitably, the millennial Tooth Fairy has stepped things up. Not content to initiate a cascade of parental anxiety—Do we have cash? How much? Do we need to match the neighbors?—today’s Tooth Fairy adds a flourish: just before leaving the kid’s bedroom, she dips her frock into a glass of water, magically imparting color so the kid is surprised not just by hard cash under the pillow, but iridescent supporting evidence of the TF’s visit.

Luckily we learned of the Tooth Fairy’s job-description upgrade before P lost her first tooth. Being the youngest kid in class, she’d already oohed and aahed over countless tales of morning-after fairy water. Fairy of a thousand dresses, the TF had left P’s classmate Bailey yellow water, Paige blue, Colton green. That first time, last year, my mother stained her hand bright red with near-indelible food coloring and spent the next day hoping like hell P wouldn’t see it and divine the trick behind the shimmering pink fairy water on that morning’s nightstand.

A year later, P was so eager to invite the (pronounced incisorlessly) Toof Fairy, that she bloodied most of our house and sent the toof flying down the bathroom drain, requiring Dad to get a pipewrench and rescue it. Fortunately he was sober. I would have had some problems, being half-cut on SLEEMAN CREAM ALE.

I was more surprised at its hoppiness than I was at my mum’s arbitrary valuation of $3 for a central incisor. That’s 1.5 bottles of SLEEMAN CREAM ALE, depressingly or not. Was Mum being cheap or just wisely starting low? (Last year’s bottom incisors went for $2 each.) Like a high-diving judge, Mum might be saving the big numbers for more impressive, rear-mounted teeth in an incisor-canine-molar progression. And while the neighbors’ Tooth Fairies might bestow ten-dollar bills or Wii games, ours is frugal and withholding; she might equate two teeth with three beers, but at least she does the dress thing.

And behold…this morning P awoke to a brilliant aquamarine water glass, mocking (me) with Blue Curacao–likeness. What she thought of the three bucks under her pillow, who knows, but the blue Fairy Water was some serious shit. No one was allowed to throw it out. Indeed, she plans to take it to her first day of Grade Two tomorrow, where some slightly older and much more disingenuous little punk will probably disabuse her embarrassingly of the entire Tooth Fairy myth. (Holy crap, I hope not.)

With these sorts of worries, you need to keep a supply of beer in the house. SLEEMAN CREAM ALE gained entry to LBHQ in the Summer Selections mixer pack for two reasons: (1) it was one of few mixers that didn’t contain anything weird; and (2) one of its three constituents, HONEY BROWN LAGER, is my mum’s unimaginative go-to. While this latter is malty and mild, the CREAM ALE is crisper and more earthy, with light hops on the nose, medium body, and some faint fruitiness, along with a lingering hop-punch on the mid and rear palate. Refreshing and inoffensive, it’s just interesting enough to keep your gustatory centers busy, plus it has some zippy carbonation to make your twist-off effort worthwhile.

And it is worthwhile. A case of SLEEMAN CREAM ALE would be worth at least seven teeth—fewer if you included canines and molars.

In fact, we probably should have left a glass of it…unattended…for the Tooth Fairy. Or would it be a problem returning to the ToothCastle with a beer-stained frock?