Food & Drink » Food & Wine

"I Like Beer." Two Brews to Savor While Watching the Country Go into a Ditch


I came home the other week to find a couple of six packs from a pair of Arkansas breweries chilling in the fridge. Which is never a bad thing. Mrs. M’s cousin had come in town for a funeral and asked to stay with us, which would have been a nice visit but we were going out of town for the weekend. We left the key and a warning about the unreasonably loud washing machine. None of this was worth noting, really, just the sort of thing that happens in a properly functioning society.

These are the sort of wholesome thoughts I always regret having.

Last Thursday I was at my desk, planning a robbery actually. Fictional, of course, tightening up the plot lines for a movie on which my name will certainly will never appear. I also had this column deadline. Yet I was distracted. If you’ll recall, there was something of a political kerfuffle brewing, regarding a Supreme Court nomination that I found myself unable to ignore. I made the mistake of turning the television on and, like a lot of us, I was more or less on the hook for that blizzard of shame until 6:00 p.m.

The truth is that I don’t write fast enough to just take a random Thursday off. So how to produce while unable to tear yourself from the television? I couldn’t claim it was work, because I don’t do much journalism anymore, and what little I do generally involves drinking. Fiction involves entirely making stuff up, and that hearing was just too damn weird to invent. I’m a little too single-minded to be a brilliant multi-tasker, I can, however, passively watch the Republic blow a rod in two directions at once and drink beer at the same time.

My first selection was probably a subconscious attempt to lighten the mood. I tried a Bluewing Blueberry Wheat Ale by Flyway Brewing company out of North Little Rock. It’s a good light summer beer that weighs in at a manageable 4.9 percent ABV. I know it’s not “technically” summer anymore, but I also know that we’re going to creep back into the hot and muggy again a few more times before Thanksgiving. I am not an unqualified fan of either wheat beers or fruity ones. The blueberry, though, isn’t too obvious here, which keeps everything light and refreshing. What it wasn’t, though, was that fearsome American Franken-Shandy, Orange Bud Light.

So I could plausibly claim this wasn’t a bout of weekday day-drinking, I was dutifully was making the odd tasting note. “It tastes good.” “Doesn’t taste like licking granite.” “I’ve never really cared for Debra Winger.” That sort of thing. I was bringing the glass to my lips when it happened: The prospective Supreme Court Justice began to loudly proclaim a storied, arguably problematic and undying love of beer. This isn’t a political column, so I won’t quote the man, only my immediate impression, which was Ron Burgundy saying “I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly.”

Wow, you really like beer, your honor. Right-O! Well shit rolls downhill in this country, so I popped another selection from Arkansas. I am, after all, a professional.

It was from Lost Forty brewing company, a Love Honey Bock. Love Honey, for the Memphian, is the Bock version of Wiseacre’s popular Tiny Bomb. At 6.3 percent AVB it’s an easy drinking classic, a dark copper bock with a slight tweak of Arkansas honey. It’s light in body and tastes like slightly malty beer should. Honey Bock will easily make the transition from summer to fall then winter to spring. Should you find yourself on Little Red River or Greer’s Ferry, pick up a six-pack of either. (Editor's note: The Little Red and Greer's Ferry Lake are in Cleburne County, which is dry. But you can pick it up on the way over.)

I’m not sure what sort of food you’d pair then with, but I can say they salve the unease one feels while watching the wheels of government come off and bounce violently into opposing ditches.

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