But then you think about the fact that our solar system is sliding through our already-rotating galaxy, which is itself hurtling through space, away from the center of the universe, which is who knows where. What we mean, obviously, is that this is a perfect time of year to convert all your friends and family. Not to your religion or anything like that, but to beer. And here's the key to doing it: Don't dip any toes in the water. Don't ease anyone into it. Slow and steady loses at life. Step away from that Boston Lager.
Say it with me:
Beer has such surprising and awesome experiences to offer, so if you're in evangelical mode, why select one with the least offensive, least intense beers out there? Don't build a bridge for your buddy, blindfold them and strap on a goddamn jetpack.
Here, I'll make easy for you: I drew on some common flavor affinities and connected them to one beer that might excite and delight your reluctant neophyte. Get it done and get on with your life, for everyone--even grandma! Bonus: all the beer names are linked to BeerMenus.com so you can snag one nearby. Caveat: This is very much focused on beers available in and around Chicago.
Roasty, creamy, and superbly satisfying oatmeal stout.
A Baltic porter with a smoldering punch.
The best in tart and funky I've ever tried.
Creamier, roastier, fuller-bodied. A study in texture.
A miracle of fermentation. Tastes like peach and apricot; absolutely no fruit involved.
Earthy, deep, complex, with a touch of vinegar and spice.
A pale beer with all the toasted oak and sour mash character you could ask for.
A hopped-up barnyard/horse-blanket/goat-pen wünderbier.
Candi sugar and dried fruit dominate.
For those who like to pucker, look no further. These are tops.
A beer this dry and tart doesn't have any residual sugar.
The holiday spices in these beers will suffice; no dairy necessary.
Armchair: check. Radiant hearth: check. Glass brimming with the darkness and warmth of occasion: double check.
Photo by Michael Kiser of www.GoodBeerHunting.com
T.S. Eliot once wrote, “If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” Sometimes in SOB Stories we write about our beer and sometimes we write about the beer of others. These are those stories.