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Victory Dirt Wolf Double IPA

Sometimes we forget the value of a toast. We raise our glasses almost robotically for almost any reason. There’s really nothing wrong with that--Anything that brings folks closer together or that highlights what would ordinarily be a mundane moment is something we should appreciate. But when you make a toast on a truly memorable or important occasion, you should do so with a special and deserving beer, one that measures up to the gravity of the moment. Victory Dirt Wolf Double IPA is just that sort of beer. And this week as my family lay to rest my Great-Uncle Andy, there was no better beer to serve as a sendoff for the old coalminer from Pennsylvania.

Big Boss Brewing Deuces Wild Double India Pale Ale

Some people like to roll the dice, others play their cards close to the vest. Personally, I’m a fan of the sure thing. Yeah, I’ve been known to order a pint based on recommendation alone, but let’s face it: If you respect the recommender, you’re not really gambling. The folks at Big Boss must have known that I don’t like the chase and that I don’t like trying to decipher “hard to get”. Because when that smart beauty with the hourglass figure flashes a grin or when that copper colored brew laces so nicely in your snifter, it’s time to enjoy the moment, not play games.

Bombshell Beer Company Pick Up Line Porter

This week’s beer is Bombshell Beer Company’s Pick Up Line Porter—A “just right” brew, one that evokes images of the quiet girl across the room—the one with the shy smile; all corduroy, tweed and cashmere. I call it the Beer of Contradiction. Why? Because while pick up lines are crass and unsophisticated, this lovely porter relies on a gradual and quiet seduction. Take a sip, close your eyes and imagine crackling fireplaces and cozy sofa evenings. This delightful little beer closes in and slips you a long, slow, warm, chocolaty French kiss right when you least expect it.

Ska Brewing Modus Hoperandi

This week’s beer is Ska Brewing’s Modus Hoperandi. The beer I won’t take for granted—unlike the funny blue-eyed brunette in my high school English class. You know the one: you had several classes together, you even shared a group assignment or two, and you thought about asking her out a few times but you were too easily distracted by the Dutch exchange student or the surfer girl who transferred in from California (neither of whom actually gave you the time of day). Sometimes you look too far afield when there’s a good thing right under your very nose.

Trophy Brewing Trickshot Imperial India Wit

This week’s beer is Trophy Brewing’s Trickshot, a crisp and refreshing slap on the fanny for tasks accomplished and jobs well done. This feisty little bubbling wit is bold and congratulatory. On a chilly night in November it might seem to some to be a bit discordant to drink a wit. It might seem equally discordant for a beer weighing in at 7.5% to be so light, airy and refreshing, but this is exactly the kind of ale that doesn’t conform to preconceived notions and silly seasonal limitations and preferences.

Carolina Brewing Company Wet Hop IPA

This week’s beer is Carolina Brewing Company’s Wet Hop IPA. Emphatic and to the point—a beer that knows where it stands, made by brewers who are crystal clear about how they want to make their beers and run their business. A no-frills, unpretentious, IPA with a name that tells it like it is—a sort of offensive lineman of beers. A beer that says “I know I’m good and I came to play”.

Southern Tier’s Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale

This week’s beer is Southern Tier’s Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale: A marvelous example of how a beer can capture a time, a place or a mood. As we are officially into Autumn I have come to realize, once again, that this season is the time of texture, smell, and patina; of color and hue, of comfort and warmth, and of deceleration; the season of sweaters and scarves, of slowly walking hand-in-hand or arm-around-waist, and of stolen kisses under the evergreens.

Natty Greene’s Flintlock Double IPA

This week’s beer is Natty Greene’s Flintlock Double IPA—A straight shooting, hold-your-ground kind of brew—exactly what one should expect of a brewery whose namesake fought so hard in our nifty little War of Independence. I admit I have been unfairly dismissive of this brewery in my past. While the hopheads among us can be particularly hard to please, we should not be hard-headed. We should always be willing to reverse a viewpoint and sing Yankee Doodle Dandy for a job well done. And since craft brewing has truly been an American Revolution, this particular ale deserves a medal.

Stone Enjoy By 09.13.13 IPA

This week’s beer is Stone Enjoy By 09.09.13 IPA. An inspiration.