Thursday, April 26, 2012

Of Pecans and Beer

So, I have this husband. Said husband is extremely talented when it comes to writing (and many other things such as knowledge of literature, brewing beer, being a husband, brewing beer and did I mention brewing beer?)

Back to his writing...for the past who knows how long (maybe 5 years) he has been writing beer reviews on the website, Beer Advocate. Over 420 reviews, in fact.

Beer Advocate "is a global, grassroots network, powered by an independent community of beer enthusiasts and industry professionals who are dedicated to supporting and promoting beer." (Website)

His reviews differ from the normal reviews by way of creativity. Where regular beer reviews judge based on appearance, smell, taste, mouth feel and overall likeability, Joseph judges on those categories but in a creative way. He reviews beer by way of nostalgia and the emotion evoked by recognized flavors.

I encourage you to read other beer reviews by him.

So sit back and enjoy!

Yes, the days of tween-age when I was living in the town of Orangeburg. My best friend had pecan trees in his yard, and a huge field next to them. His mother used to pay us to pick them up for her, as she would make far more money at the farmer's market. The days lasted a lot longer then. Before I knew of beer, or of heartbreaks, or of long work-weeks. This one takes me back. Pours lazily into the glass, a glowing dark amber with a finger of froth that only lasts a few moments, like the dust kicked up behind the tractors, or the dust floating down from the crop-duster we used to chase in my dad's car.

There's a sweet, almost maple-syrup note to the nose, those early mornings after staying out all night in the woods, that we would come home to warm pancakes on the griddle. His mother used to make pecan waffles, too... I'm reminded as I take another whiff. The hint of bitter in the back isn't at all reminiscent of hops, but rather of the bitter lining inside the pecan's shell.

The flavor is not quite as good, sadly. The malt is very "newcastle-esque," though sweeter. The hops come in in the back, with an almost cardboard-note. Lightly sweet but largely bland, and only a hint of nuttiness, unlike the rich pecan aroma that hinted at much more.

Smooth, medium-full bodied with a pleasant lingering dryness in the back of the throat. Carbonation is fairly high, almost too high, as this beer would be perfect for those slow days by a lolling river, or paired with a wheat-stalk that one could chew contemplatively between sips, on a thick, fly-biting summer day as only South Carolina has.

This beer is not excellent. It's just above average, almost good. But it takes me back such that it just reminds me of home... The home I'll never return to, the state of mind that I had on those warm days under the pecan trees in my childhood. Life is too fast. Drink one of these, and try to slow down.

Remember what it was like when you were young... and long for the country in the summer.


  1. wow...that almost brought tears to my eyes. O, nostalgia...

  2. good writing. made me really root for that beer. too bad it ended up average :(