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.

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STARK RAVING RED—Warranted for four reasons

In the bathtub this morning: the most massive silverfish ever witnessed at LBHQ.

Only slightly larger than this morning's silverfish. More cuddly? Only Stephen Harper knows.

A well-known screenwriting technique for making a character more likable is “SAVE THE CAT.” Early in the story, the character rescues something—maybe a cat. Maybe Stephen Harper rescued this cat from a tailings pond. Maybe?

I wanted to put it in a cat carrier and send it to Stephen Harper as a pet, but instead my mother took a shower with it. So immense and robust was the silverfish, she reported, that it would not be nudged by mere water down the drain. Instead it filibustered by the hole until she aimed the showerhead right at it.

Now, ordinarily I would prefer not to have a play-by-play of any of my mother’s nude activities. But I like to monitor our silverfish situation—for a while, you may recall, I thought Fluffy Bear was summoning the creatures from some nearby Hell Mouth. He seemed to be marshalling them for some sort of arthropodic assault, an insect-amplified grief cry for our deceased Granny, whose bear he was before he came to live with us.

But then my dad sprinkled some white powder (instructing me not to even think about snorting it) around the baseboards, and the silverfish disappeared. For the most part. Those that survived his poisoning emerged larger, stronger, and more apt to wrestle you in the shower.

I think you’ll agree, my fellow inebriates, that the foregoing ramble warrants wine on at least four counts:

  • Encountering a silverfish the size of a cat is traumatic.
  • The mere notion of my mother in the shower is doubly so.
  • Should Fluffy choose to summon armies of silverfish again, they will be formidable.
  • Stephen Harper is still the prime minister of Canada.

stark raving red with LBKnowing that Stephen Harper probably wouldn’t think to reward us with, say, a bottle from the cellar at 24 Sussex Drive, I don’t feel so bad about failing to wrangle him a creepy new pet. Nor do I feel bad about busting the screwtop off a bottle of STARK RAVING RED. A big, jammy blend of Tannat, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet, and Petit Syrah, STARK RAVING RED is gonzo with plums and cherries, filling the mouth with sweet, somewhat cloyingly boozy fruit. It’s not disciplined in the least, MFI, it’s in-your-face, as bold as a silverfish on steroids, but without scales or antennae. I liked it even though there wasn’t a chance of taming it, decanter or not.

Would I send a bottle to Stephen Harper? Not on your life. He probably drinks $100 wine every night. Nope…if I ever send him anything, it’ll be a cat-sized silverfish, and he can stroke it.

stephen harper with silverfish copy

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.