08 April 2008

Beer Diary #8 - Jim | Then and now

4 April 2008, 10:00 p.m.
Location: Home

At last, it's time for the premier of the fourth and final season of the SciFi Channel's updated version of Battlestar Galactica. The highly lauded show has been on hiatus for nearly a year, and that's a year too long for anyone who watches the show. Before you sneer at me for being a sci-fi nerd, go out and rent the first three seasons of this show on DVD. Then, tell me you're not hooked and jumping on the small but sturdy BSG bandwagon, joining the rest of us who are already following the final chapter of the BSG story. Even if you're not a sci-fi fan, you'll get addicted to the dark drama, which is laced with contemporary social and political commentary and conveyed by a superb cast. You too will want to see the survivors of the Twelve Colonies reach Earth. And, you too will desire the answer to the colossal burning question: Who is the final Cylon?

Five good reasons to watch Battlestar Galactica

To grease my BSG viewing gears, I grab a Bell's Hopslam from the fridge. I wish I had cellared some of the six pack I bought because, for me, the 2008 Hopslam has a sharper hop edge than it did last year and could use some mellowing. It is also drier to my palate and doesn't carry the sugary back and peachy nose it had in its inaugural batch. Still, Hopslam is beautiful stuff, a pineapple-scented bomb that improves with each sip. I nurse my pint through the entire gripping BSG episode, letting the tranquil buzz slowly permeate my frame.

5 April 2008, 8:00 p.m.
Location: Broad Ripple
The Usual Suspects
The Corner Wine Bar

The Redhead and I end a working Saturday with dinner in Broad Ripple at The Usual Suspects. I rarely drink a beer with dinner (I know what you're thinking, Brewmaster's Table people: Sacrilege!), but a Bell's Oberon feels like the right pairing with my entree: potato fritters. Besides, we're dining alfresco, feeling the remaining tendrils of warmth from the setting April sun, and the Oberon suits Spring's ushering in of more pleasant days.

The server brings out the Oberon with my salad. The wheat ale looks exactly like it did last year with its orange/golden tint and slight white head. The nose carries that same clove character the beer had in 2007, so I expect that this 2008 Oberon will be similar to a visit with an old friend: comfortable and familiar. Yet the first sip brings more spice and sweetness than last year's batch brought. The 2008 Hopslam tasted a bit different from the 2007 release, and now I get the same experience from the Oberon? Larry Bell, w
hat's going on up there in Comstock? Not that I'm complaining, 'cuz I'm a longtime member of the "different is better" school of thought. Oberon is not normally the sort of beer I'd be yearning to stock my fridge with, but I'm smitten with the 2008 edition.

After dinner, we venture next door to the Corner Wine Bar, a place we find ourselves returning to with some frequency given that it's where we had our first date. We find an open table in the pub half of the restaurant and sit next to a rambunctious group of ladies in their mid-20's who have all the hallmarks of a bachelorette party crew, only sans the penis-themed accoutrements that you normally see these groups toting around. Despite the smoke and the noise, we still settle in comfortably with the lively vibe.

The Redhead goes with her favorite libation: a vodka martini, dry with olives. I look over the beer choices, which are not many but impressive nonetheless: Three Floyds Gumballhead, Founders Pale Ale, Chimay. Once again, I see another acquaintance from the past waiting for me on the draft beer menu: Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale. I first had this superb Clipper City brand at the 2007 Phoenix Theatre Brew-Ha-Ha. This American IPA pours with a cloudy amber color and thin off-white head. Like the Hopslam, Loose Cannon is all pineapple in the nose; however, it also has a faint sweaty funk that the Hopslam doesn't have. It's flavor is heavy on the pine notes with a light caramel and molasses back. The mouthfeel on this beer is medium, and a
t 7.25% ABV, this IPA is a little more drinkable than some of its heavier hopped cousins. All good, like it was last summer at the Brew-Ha-Ha. A good candidate for a formal KOTBR review.

I see now that visits to familiar places still bring something new each time you go to those places.


  1. I am so hooked on BSG. I've purchased all of the DVD's and celebrated watching the season premiere with a good brew by my side. One of the best SciFi series out there.

  2. Dave, what did you drink while watching the show?

  3. BSG is quite possibly the best show on TV.. well when it is on that is. I am disappointed that it is already coming to a conclusion, but I guess that is better then it being watered down just to extend for years.

  4. My brother is gaga for BSG. I've watched the pilot/movie and the first couple episodes and really need to sit down and watch some more.

  5. Love the BSG, wonder what they are going to do with the 'Caprica' spin off