As I drink my last bottle of Off Color Brewing's Troublesome – a blended wheat beer (a Gose would be the technical description for the style, I suppose) involving coriander, salt, and lactobacillus – I think about how great it will be when temperatures warm up for good and we say goodbye to what has been, at least in terms of inches, an eventful winter. I think about the 50 degree temps we had this past weekend and that somehow, even though I was wearing a t-shirt, I still found myself shoveling snow, clearing the street parking in front of the house so we can actually entertain the idea of visitors, if not actual visitors, and I find the entire scenario, well, troublesome.
The beer finishes with a mild tartness and what feels like just a hint of salt and I am reminded of the extreme uptick of sodium in my diet on the weekends over the past few months. I can hear my mother's voice from her visit a few weeks ago reading the sodium content of the hot and sour Thai noodle bowl I was microwaving. This past Sunday morning it was Wife reading the sodium content found in one serving of the smoked salmon I was enjoying on my bagel. What was most troublesome about the whole ordeal was that I had apparently, according to the nutritional label, put a total of four servings of smoked salmon on my everything bagel. I am eating like a pregnant grizzly bear.
Even more troublesome was the mid-level migraine that I developed from eating what equates to 136% of my daily sodium requirement in a single sitting. Add to that the four delicious peanut butter cookies from the box that I have been religiously purchasing from the bakery department of my local grocery store – an addiction that in itself has become one of the more troublesome aspects of my existence – and I imagine my sodium intake was somewhere north of 250% and it wasn't even 10AM. Had I been drinking this beer in the midst of this migraine, and perhaps I should have, the brightness of it – both in color and tart lemon flavor – would have unleashed an assault of daggers on the tender regions behind my salty eyes.
To make matters even more – yes, troublesome – was that this particular Sunday was the day that I agreed to get into the pool with Child for her swim lessons. Normally, this duty is reserved for Wife while I play the role of attentive towel boy, but the upcoming week was shaping up to be a hectic (I could have said troublesome) one for Wife on the work front and about a week ago I had agreed to take the plunge for her. Somehow, even though she would still be attending the swim lesson, playing the role of photographer, videographer, and not so attentive towel person, the act of me going into the pool somehow lightens her load. So, pre-migraine, I was happy to do it. And while, mid-migraine, the idea of getting into a brightly lit pool – a goddamned freezing, brightly lit pool, filled with screeching toddlers creating warm pockets in the water with their urine – literally gave me acid reflux (possibly just a side effect of the sodium overdose) as I put my swim trunks on before I left the house, I knew Wife greatly appreciated not having to suit up this week so regardless of migraines I was going to get into that pool and splash around with my wonderful Child.
Interestingly enough, the most troublesome part of the whole pool experience wasn't the bright lights or the shrieking children and their piss pockets, rather it was how far inside my body my penis went from the subzero temperatures of the pool water. I can honestly say that for a solid half hour I had no penis – it had, along with my testicles, formed some sort of sex organ Klein bottle inside my body (click here for an image and information about a Klein bottle if you are unfamiliar). My lack of genitals was so much so that when Child, while trying to tread water, accidentally kicked me in my fleshy man zone she might as well have been kicking a tempurpedic mattress. I can't even tell you about what happened when I tried to use a urinal in the locker room after the swim lesson – the words simply don't exist.
Troublesome, Off Color Brewing
Appearance = 3.5/5
Clear, golden color. Lots of carbonation but only a thin layer of white head.
Smell = 4/5
Tart lemon, orange, coriander, and wheat.
Taste = 4/5
Like a very mild lemon sweettart – sweet from the wheat, kind of earthy, with a light lemon citrus tartness. Very refreshing and pleasant even with the sour twang.
Feel = 4/5
Light, prickly carb goes well with the tartness. Typical feel for a wheat beer – light flavors but a medium bodied beer. I feel the salt a tad on the end, or perhaps that is a side effect of the sourness.
Overall = 4/5
Very refreshing – the combo of the wheat and the lactic tartness work real well together and finish very clean. Will be great for the warmer temps – look forward to filling a cooler with this.
Here is the description from Off Color Brewing's website, which made me excited to try it:
Most brewers spend a lot of time and effort keeping lactobacillus out of their breweries; it was the first thing we brought in (it still has to stay in the corner though). We blend together two different beers to make Troublesome. The first is a somewhat uninteresting wheat beer and the second is an overly acidic & funky beer fermented solely with lactobacillus. We blend the two beers together with coriander and salt at the tail end of fermentation to create a mild, lemony tartness and a fuller sensation of mouthfeel. And yes, it's hard to make.
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