My better half opted for a party at the local swimming pool for my youngest son’s third birthday. While she did the yeoman’s work, I was left in charge of two pivotal ingredients, ice and beer. Now, the ice was a challenge since we were in the midst of a heat wave and I needed to fill two coolers, a large beverage tub, and a buffet raft (she who must be obeyed finds the coolest things!). After a feeble attempt with 32 pounds of ice, I had to step up my game and go for nearly 100 pounds all in. The reason for what may seem like a massive amount of ice was the need to keep all of the beverages (beer, water, juice pouches, soda, ice tea, etc.) at an optimum temperature.
Now the beer turned out to be an even bigger challenge as the pool does not allow glass, and based on the crowd, I couldn’t get a single mini keg to satisfy everyone. This led to a search
for quality (and perhaps not so quality) canned beer that came in a six pack. At Kress Liquors, I placed a couple of quality bottles up on the counter for myself (Harviestoun Old Engine Oil, Rogue Chocolate Stout, etc.). The clerk commented on how well the selection process had started and I remarked that it was now going to take on a decidedly different turn as I place sixes of Modelo Especial, Molson Ice, and Sly Fox Pikeland Pils up on the counter. While the Pikeland Pils is a true craft beer in a can, the other two were really more just crowd pleasers as the “craft” nature just isn’t there.
So still not satisfied, I headed to Cherry Hill Liquors (literally 100 feet from Kress so you have got to love NJ) in search of additional cans. There I was able to find the Sly Fox 113 IPA, Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale, and just for laughs, a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Now the Sly Fox Pikeland Pils is no stranger to the Booze Dancers as this was featured in our cans of summer review, and I liked it enough that I picked up the 113 IPA as a complementary beer. The Dale’s Pale Ale is one of G-LO’s favorites and I like the beer (and the cans that look like someone is rolling them out of their garage) well enough to have included it in our day.
The Modelo Especial was a pick to satisfy my Pappy. He is a fan of a simple pilsner, i.e. no extra hops, no craftiness, and no funk, and I just can’t bring myself to buy a six pack of Budweiser or Miller Lite. The Molson Ice was a comfort pick as I have fond memories of deck hockey and Molson Ice, softball and Molson Ice, and parties at the Shore and Molson Ice. Come to think of it, I drank a lot of Molson Ice (and Labatt’s Blue) in my early twenties.
The PBR is a beer from my childhood that was a true working class, blue collar beer that has somehow, through brilliant marketing, made a resurgence as the beer of choice for the newly minted college graduate. I cannot believe the number of Philly bars that carry PBR on tap and offer it as a weekly special.
Thus with three cases on ice, I headed off to the pool having successfully completed my rather limited task. Unfortunately, The Wookie was away, and G-LO was off at a whisky event with Mark Gillespie, so I seriously overestimated the amount of beer. Pappy was good for a Modelo and a Molson Ice, and my F.I.L. actually downed a PBR, and G-LO (somewhat to the wind as a late arrival) had one as well. I have to say the offerings from Sly Fox and Oskar Blues were somewhat neglected as the Modelo and Molson Ice (and a ridiculous amount of water. Did I mention it was really hot?) seemed to be more to the crowd’s liking. Sadly, I was left with about a case and a half of beer and was forced to make the supreme sacrifice and finish it all, slowly over about three weeks (and with some sharing).
So what did I learn from all of this?
- Leaving me in charge of ice and beer may have been too much of a task.
- Really cold beer, even out of a can, is really good on a hot day.
- Cold beer is welcomed by the Booze Dancers even after the party.
- No beer, regardless of the brand, will ever go to waste (I might have to throw out the Bud Light Lime exclusion here).