Smithwick’s—yummy, cold, and redolent of all the crap in our very old freezer

My fellow inebriates,

My dad swears by this freezer thingie he uses to keep cans of beer cold.

It even has a bear on it.

In this case, we’re having a Smithwick’s Red Ale. It’s a nice malty, mellow beer with low hops and creaminess.

I don’t know why my dad didn’t tell my mum about this beer—she would totally like it. Maybe he was using his freezer thingie to hide the words “Premium Red Ale.” It doesn’t matter, though. The freezer thingie itself is, in any case, a deterrent (for her, not me); she says it “smells like the freezer.”

I found Dad’s beer because I can smell it with my bear nose. Sure, I can also detect the freezer thingie’s gross freezer-burnt-what-the-hell-was it sitting-next-to-why-do-we-never-clean-the-freezer-maybe-the-whole-appliance-is-faulty-oh-wait-did-we-finally-bury-that-dead-gerbil odour, but I don’t care. As you can see, I bellied right up to it so I could help my dad drink that Smithwick’s.

I highly recommend getting several freezer thingies for your household so you don’t have to share.

I also recommend a dedicated beer fridge/freezer for them so they just smell like beer.

And if you have a deceased gerbil in a baggie in the freezer (because the ground was too hard to dig in winter), it’s probably time to have that funeral.

GUINNESS BLACK LAGER—I’ll have another, and so will my dad

My Fellow Inebriates,

Thank goodness my dad had the sense to ignore Mum’s would-be dry weekdays edict. Seriously, we boys need to stick together against this sort of mini-temperance move. If my dad hadn’t felt the pull of the liquor store and gone in for some GUINNESS BLACK LAGER I would have worried about him.

Mum says I deserve hate mail for implying she can simply be ignored on financial matters. She said it was anti-feminist of me to suggest that Dad and I need to paint her anti-alcohol (at least on weekdays) campaign as irrational and militant, and that if I wasn’t careful she’d encourage the kids to put me in a dress ASAP and engage me in playtime well past Guinness-drinking hour, thank you very much, you nasty little bear.

DSCN2040I’m not making up the fact that my dad and I are overwhelmed here at LBHQ. The bathroom is full of ponies. Everything has glitter on it. We stockpile Purex’s pink breast cancer awareness toilet paper, which is so pink that it prevents you from seeing whether your ass is bleeding, if in fact it is. Yes, Dad and I are outnumbered. All we have is beer.

Moreover, I won’t get any hate mail because I don’t get any mail. Either my readers are completely nonplussed by the blog and left speechless or they simply aren’t reading it (my money’s on the latter). Ergo, I told Mum, I can say whatever I want.

She conceded the point but argued that Dad and I share more than beer. The stereo, the car, and probably the porn, she itemized.

“We watch gobs of porn,” I said—a small joust at her insecurities.

“That’s fine,” she said. “Lucky you’re nearby—you’re nice and absorbent.”


OMG!! Maybe my allegiance is all wrong, my fellow inebriates. In the spirit of reconciliation, I suggested we try some of that GUINNESS BLACK LAGER my dad bought so disobediently. She’s probably the smart one after all—for surely it’s better to save up one’s drinking for the weekend and then get ripped to kingdom come.

This wasn’t what she had in mind when she first proposed dry weekdays; it was financially motivated—i.e., doubling up on booze to make up for Monday to Friday would defeat the purpose.

I made one last appeal: “But haven’t you read The Secret? If we act like we’re poor by cutting back on alcohol, we’ll create an impoverished vibe and perpetuate our poverty. We have to throw money around and behave like it doesn’t matter.”

After that she just stopped talking to me. We drank our GUINNESS BLACK LAGER in silence.


Black and tan like a Guinness

As you’d expect, it’s the color of my friend Blackie Bear with tan foam (Blackie isn’t frothing at the mouth currently but he has some tan bits). An abiding affection for GUINNESS DRAUGHT must have programmed me to expect a deep, malty flavor—dark, boomy notes rather than the high notes you get off the top with the BLACK LAGER. While it does give off a malty smell, this proves deceptive upon the first sharp sip. True enough, I should be expecting lager-like characteristics, but it’s still a shock to taste watery barley and sourdough. It does settle down as it warms, but it continues to rail against all the sensory suggestions that attend the GUINNESS name, not to mention its warm, dark color.

The mouthfeel is inadequate but the carbonation is compensatory: forceful and emphatic. Coffee and malt hit the nose and the palate like a sloppy drunk trying to throw a punch. This beer is all over the map and yet it comes together in a fighting Irish sort of way. It’s pretty good if not memorable for anything other than some minor weird incongruities, and I would have another. And another. And another.