I have had numerous beer conversion moments, with lots of false starts. The first beer I ever loved was Guinness, and the first time I had that was when I was a teenager in San Francisco. I had the flu and my Irish friend brought me a pint of Guinness and a raw onion which he said would make me feel better if I just bit into it, “like an apple.” The onion was painful but the Guinness was a revelation, as previously I’d thought all beer was icky lager.
I am nostalgic for a time before I existed, when nursing mothers were given milk stout as a tonic. For years Guinness was my chicken soup. I had no idea that what I was drinking was a shabby version of what could be had in Dublin, and now it’s possible to find wonderful stouts whenever I have the blues or the lurgy strikes. (The last time I was at Utobeer I was eying the imported Rogue Shakespeare Stout for my medicine cabinet. Specific indication for that brew– homesickness.)
I love bath ales which I have only had on tap until now. I found a bottle of Dark Hare at Waitrose and kept it for medicinal purposes, and tonight it’s my dinner: roasty and dry with just enough bitter chocolate to be comforting. I’m skipping the raw onion.
While listening to: The Young Charlatans’ “Shivers”