Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Night of the living plastic bottled swill Hell … but a good time for the discerning.

Imagine that you’ve paid the very reasonable price of $80 for a chartered bus seat, a ticket in the right field stands to watch the Chicago Cubs vs. the homestanding Cincinnati Reds, a pre-game picnic meal of barbecue and the fixings, and all the craft draft beer you can drink before and after the game.

Imagine that the three craft beers on tap on the bus are BBC APA (Main & Clay), Browning’s She-Devil IPA, and Browning’s Helles, the latter a German-style golden lager perfectly familiar to any person who has ever suckled an ice-cold Bud Light.

Imagine that such an unprecedented deal isn’t quite good enough for you, so you ignore the craft beer you’ve already paid for, pack a cooler with canned and bottled swill, throw back a dozen or more overpriced “waters,” as Sergio would call them, during the ballgame, and at a moment of supreme self-revelation during the journey home, begin belting out an off-key version of the best-forgotten, hoary seventies paean to piddling Parrotland, “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” – all the while believing that in your choice of beer, music and life, you’re being somehow clever and the life of the party.

I can’t imagine it, although I experienced it on Saturday, July 28.

However, it is my pleasure to report that entirely apart from redneck contingents originating in my (sighhh) home town of New Albany, there is good beer to be found at the Hofbrauhaus Newport, and even at Great American Ball Park itself. Within 100 yards of our seats at the home field of the Reds, I found Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale, BarrelHouse Red Legg and an unidentified Flying Dog, along with a Red Hook IPA -- all ridiculously priced at $7.25 per plastic cup, but at least bearing tangible sign of hops and hope.

Meanwhile, mainstream America supped predictably at the altar of mainstream plastic bottles as the Reds bowed unconvincingly to the Cubs by an 8-1 score before a sellout “home” crowd of 42,500, of whom at least six of ten were Cubs, not Reds, supporters.

That’s surreal, but not as surreal as the bizarro-world spectacle of swill-hounds eschewing all-inclusive craft beer for the nadir of American brewing. Might I have been able to assist by providing salt, limes and other irrelevancies?

Verily, I should be used to it by now, but there are times when New Albany can really get to a guy ... and follow him back and forth during an otherwise marvelous break.

(Originally published at NA Confidential)

No comments: