Drunken Speculation

Pairing beer with…feelings

Chemicals-in-brainLately, I’ve picked this persistent cough. It probably comes from living underground in a damp cave. I should probably get more vitamin D as my skin seems to be turning a shade of translucent grey. The all raw fish diet also has it’s “complications”. Add in the balding pate – gollumgollum – ahem, and I’m a picture perfect beer blogger.

After one of my rare trips into the sunshine, someone tried to explain the concept of “feelings” to me. I ended up spending four days Googling these “fee-lings” and after undergoing a battery of medical tests (turns out I can produce seratonin but my oxytocin gland is broken – I’m something of a love diabetic), I now have a fairly basic understanding of how these emotions, as you humans call them, are supposed to work.

Naturally, my mind wondered how one would mix feelings with beer. I loaded up on alcoholic malted beverages and a bunch of drugs that mimic the effects of actual emotions to see what happened. Here’s my best beer-emotional pairings:

Joy with… Duvel

One of the few rules in beer pairing that seems to be universal is that everything goes with Belgian beer. Duvel is one of my personal favourite Belgian beers. It’s golden and sparkly and has a decent head sometimes, depending on how old the bottle from the local big box retailer is, so that makes me happy.

I suppose if you’re feeling happy for reasons other than alcohol consumption (I’m not sure if that sentence makes any sense whatsoever), then you should probably decide whether the situation you’re in does in fact call for a beer. If your kid has just tossed his tiny motar board in celebration of graduating kindergarten, it’s probably not the right opportunity to crack a Belgian golden ale and spray it around like champagne in a strip club on a podium of a sporting event that you’ve just won.

Both good options but one is definitely going to get a guy more laid than the other (hint: maybe start learning about cars).

Both good options but one is definitely going to get a guy more laid than the other (hint: maybe get your cardio up and start learning about cars).

I don’t know that for sure. I don’t have kids.

Good fortune with… Budweiser

Complement, contrast and cut through – the three Cs of beer pairings with food. I could be wrong but those Cs seem to cover literally any combination of beer and food possible. That seems suspiciously convenient to me.

So for good fortune, a concept that has stood the test of time much better than it’s Johnny-come-lately cousin happiness, I’m going with contrast. At it’s heart, good fortune is both a positive and an unlikely event. By contrast, Budweiser is both terrible and terribly common.

This crap works just as well

This works just as well

Anger with… terrible homebrew

When fermented at warmer than recommended temperatures, some yeasts produce a paint thinner-like, varnishy quality. Much like the industrial solvents the beer’s aroma and taste evokes, this beer will burn on the way down and put fire in your belly. It’s a perfect accompaniment to life’s troubles, whether it be old people getting in your way at the supermarket, old people slowing you down on the highway or old people’s continued insistence on their right to exist and consume resources.

Military victory over a third world nation with… Sierra Nevada Narwhal

Nothing says “I spit on you and your culture of being poor and malnourished” than taking tons of grain that could’ve been used to feed real people and kilolitres of clean drinking water that could’ve been used to rehydrate the same people when they catch one of the myriad of horrible diseases they’re exposed to on a daily basis, than drinking a beer that is wildly expensive because the brewers decide to ramp up the malt profile just to satisfy the market demand and insatiable alcoholism of overweight Westerners.

It’s a tasty brew though.

Despair with… Nail Brewing Clout Stout

Because a $100 bottle of beer will fill the gaping void in your life.

Also applicable if you suffer from PTSD from that time you sent the Democratic Republic of the Congo packing on the battlefield.

That time you discovered a Crowded House single you haven’t heard for two decades with… Well, who cares, really? Neil Finn, man, Neil Finn. I don’t know, I guess one of those whacky Kiwi breweries would probably have something.

I may have run out of positive emotions to write about.

You say no to that hair

You try saying no to that hair

Unquenchable, religious bloodlust with… Newstead Brewing Two to the Valley IPA

Or substitute your favourite hoppy local IPA. The hoppiness will do a few things for you:

  • Ethanol – for those not familiar, is a chemical that can disrupt judgement – will lower your inhibitions in preparation for what’s about to go down
  • Geraniol – an essential oil in hops – will help you relax so that you can execute your plan to perfection
  • The overall product will help you channel your ancestors’ reverence for the use of beer in pagan ceremonies if your family originates in one of the whiter parts of the world (if not, disregard and move onto the next example).

I guess my point is if you’re planning on sacrificing a trio of goats (or son, depending on how Old Testament-y your god is) to your favourite war deity and using that as a superficial rationalisation for why you just want to straight-up murder some shit, no gory ceremony is complete without a hoppy beer to relax and lower your inhibitions to the point where smearing ruminant blood all over your face and screaming in a tongue not heard by man for centuries seems like a normal, or dare I say boring, aspect of your day.

Love with… literally anything other than beer

loveheartsOh and it’s Valentine’s Day? How appropriate!

So beer tends to bloat the drinker which I’ve found is less than conducive to making sweet, sweet love. This is why champagne is the traditional drink of weddings. And strip clubs, although that has nothing to do with love.

Plus beer makes you actual fat, not just gassy, which is only going to accelerate the decline in mutual attraction you feel for your partner to the point where you come home one day to find them in bed with the mailman and it doesn’t even bother you. Refer to “despair” from earlier. Or “joy” if that’s your thing – I’m not here to judge.

Happy Valentine’s Day readers! I hope the talk of blood, infidelity and despair didn’t put a damper on your day of love.

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