Aren’t there times when you say to yourself, “I need a beer”? Tragedy occurs, desecrated by work, the hangover shower (how dare you judge me?), celebrating one of life’s glorious moments (like having Chocolate Rain for the first time)… stuff like that. When the moment strikes, just about any beer would probably do the trick. But that’s not what I’m trying to accomplish. My goal is tell you EXACTLY the beer I needed when I needed said beer. So that you, my friends, will have a beer with just the right amount of whimsy or gravitas necessary to capture the moments of your life. Without further ado, let’s kick this off with…
The day my dog turned blue.
90 minutes. An hour and a half. I left my dog alone in the living room for 90 minutes. What could possibly go wrong? Well when a visitor has left a pen out that you and your conveniently out of town wife don’t know about, it can turn ugly. In fact, it can turn downright blue.
I opened the door and my hyperactive boxer puppy, Evie, jumps on me (this post is all a shameless plug to make Evie famous. Isn’t she cute?). Something is different this morning and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Why does her face look shadowed? Why are their marks on my pants? Why is the floor wet? Holy SHIT! MY DOG’S FACE IS FUCKING BLUE!
Let me sum up the sequence of events that followed:
* 10 minutes of “How the hell are you blue?”
* 5 minutes of surveying the damage of blue. Final tally: floor, couch, my pants, kitchen counter, the door, the wall.
* 10 minutes of cleaning up mystery liquid (which I thought was urine) on the rug and floor
* 30 minutes of washing a blue puppy
* 10 minute break because the now clean puppy has pissed on the floor and ran through it
* 5 minutes to be pissed off because the mystery liquid was sparkling juice and not urine
* 40 minutes to clean the rug, floor, hallway, and puppy of all piss
* 30 minutes attempting to clean the sofa
* 5 minutes to text wife regarding Blue Puppy. Infinite laughs. Number of fucks given, ZERO.
Grand total of 145 minutes of Blue Puppy Hell! Holy shit… I need a beer.
Why do I need a beer? Because after being alone with a dog for two days with no wife to help me, I’m feeling like a single parent. Because my back hurts from bending over and I’m feeling fucking old. Because after working a 40+ hour week, this is not how I envisioned my Saturday morning. Goddammit, when the hell did I become an adult?
And then it hits me. The beer I need.
Flashback to my childhood. You know what I loved? Fifty/Fifty Bars. Orange Creamsicles. Or as I knew them in Fresno: Tutone Bars. When I was tired as hell from playing basketball on a hot summer day, nothing was better than that creamy, orange goodness. I used to try to mix orange juice and milk to capture that same flavor in a drink (take my word for it, it doesn’t work) but nothing compared to a Tutone on a hot summer day.
I needed that feeling. In beer form. Thank God for The Bruery’s “Tout Mais le Coller”.
This beer, a collaboration between two of my favorite breweries, Noble Ale Works and The Bruery; is probably my favorite beer of 2013 (Not to be confused with best). The reason being, I love me some orange creamsicle.
Commercial Description from The Bruery: “Tout Mais Le Coller” loosely translates to “everything but the stick,” and that is what we went for in this beer that is meant to clone the flavors of an orange cream popsicle. We brewed this cream ale with our friends from Noble Ale Works, adding a confident dosing of both lactose and natural orange flavor, creating a beverage that will remind you of your youth. A sweet and creamy mouthfeel with that unforgettable bittersweet bite of an orange, peel and all. This beer is far from subtle in flavor and is a very fun one to share with friends.
When you smell this beer, the vanilla and orange hits you like a Tommy Hearns right cross. With most beers I feel like you get an “undercurrent of vanilla” or a “hint of orange peel”. That’s not the way this beer approaches the aroma portion of tasting. It was like sticking my nose in a blender at Orange Julius. I was stoked.
Your first sip, you’ll notice that the vanilla smell that you get from its aroma, has now transitioned into a creamy mouthfeel that completes the orange creamsicle experience. This would be a great beer for a nitrous tap. I find that many cream ales overdo it when it comes to carbonation (a problem I also see in saisons). It works against the smoothness that I enjoy from this family of beers and ends up overpowering it instead of complimenting it. Tout Mais le Coller does not suffer from this particular ailment. The body of this beer reinforces the idea that you’re drinking a creamsicle.
The not-so-subtle aromas that left you on your back earlier? They come back with a vengeance with another one-two of vanilla and orange flavor. Surprisingly, while the smell of the beer is very natural orange, the flavor of the beer is where the “fake orange” creamsicle taste shines. Again, reinforcing the creamsicle experience.
But wait, something is missing? If this tastes like a creamsicle, how do I know this a beer? BOOM. Hops in your face. Just the right amount of bitterness to keep the sweetness of vanilla and orange from overwhelming you. Because you’re not a kid anymore. You’re a grown ass man and you wanted a beer, not some popsicle in liquid form. But remembering its ethos, the beer returns you to the creamsicle experience; a smooth mouthfeel to finish your sip. There is no lingering bitterness or carbonation, just the creamy vanilla and orange flavor of your own personal alcohol-infused fifty/fifty bar.
As I finished my glass of Tout Mais le Coller, I flashback to days spent running up to the ice cream truck in 112 degree weather. The perfect way to counter the hardships of schoolyard fun and battles on the basketball court. A simple time when being too hot was the only problem that I needed to worry about.
The empty glass in front of me jerks me violently into reality. I look around. The sofa is still… fucking… blue.
I need another beer…
Note to Reader: It should be pointed out that once my wife returned from her trip she was the one that removed all ink from the couch.