Beer On My Shirt: Let's Pair Beers With Other Beers (And Other Things We Shouldn't Talk About)

J. R. Shirt, January 07, 2014

Sometimes, I think I should be writing about something other than beer. I realize, really, that I already pretty much do that anyway – I write about Wife, the Child, shitting my pants, the Child shitting the tub, the grocery store, and an imaginary therapist – just to name a few. I feel like I should start a project called Poop In My Pants. It could be the ying to Beer On My Shirt's yang. Or maybe I should call it Poop On My Shirt to really build up the brand (and to emphasize the fact that I don't actually poop in my pants very often).

Honestly, I think the act of going into the bathroom, and sitting down for, well, you know, is just the most ridiculous thing I do on a daily basis. For me, nothing ever seems to go as planned. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I just don't understand what is happening. I mean, I get it – biologically, or whatever the word is – I know, technically, what is happening, but sometimes I can't help but wonder what exactly is going on back there.

This is me: I am a regular guy (regular as in bowel movements), but sometimes, actually a lot of the times, I go into the bathroom and I leave and I am just baffled about what the fuck just happened in there. Sometimes I can't figure out what is happening even as it is happening. And you're all alone in there, usually, so it's not like you have someone there that you could pepper with questions or use as a soundboard for potential theories.

“Hey, is this normal? Did you hear that? Was that me or you? What's your name? Would you take peek for me? No, you do it. I don't want to look.”

Perhaps that is part of the issue – I have no good line of sight.

I have no questions about my knees. I understand my knees. I understand my feet. I have no real questions about my feet. Or my toes. Or my hands. Maybe a few curiosities about certain parts of the bottom of my feet, that due to poor flexibility, I can't really get a good look at. Basically, anything on my front I completely understand.

But, back there? I've never seen back there. And I am happy about that, really, I am (I tried once and have never been so pleased with failure in all my life. Apparently, I don't have enough mirrors.). Sometimes though, the situations are just so difficult to wrap my mind around. The other day, for example, exactly how did I get shit all over my ass cheeks? I'm sitting on the toilet, making zero sudden movements, just reading entire novels waiting for this process to end, and somehow, at the conclusion, there is shit all over my ass cheeks - like I sat bare-assed on the center cushion of a shit sofa. What happened? I don't remember anything exploding. Did my rectum turn itself inside out like some sort of blooming brown flower? Is there a little man in the toilet with a paintbrush painting my ass cheeks brown? Did my ass create a seal against the toilet seat, causing a vacuum-like state to occur, resulting in feces floating weightlessly in the space between my skin and the toilet water?

I try not write about this stuff too often (because I'm not sure if people want to here more or less about my bowel movements), but like a snowflake, each one is different. And it happens everyday, so I would have an excess of material. Also, I am not sure that this is what I want to be known for. I imagine a time, in that alternate reality where I am the guy that writes about his weird pooping exploits, when the Child is older and comes downstairs, completely upset, crying, and saying something along the lines “Dad, when are you going to stop writing about your poop? It's embarrassing!” or maybe just, “Dad, your shit is so embarrassing!”

She's right – it would be completely embarrassing if your father was a poop columnist.

Part of me, the perverted part, would really like to start writing about past sexual encounters – the funny ones, the awkward ones – and not from a place of manly chest pounding or lady objectification – but more from a place of honest observation and self-loathing.

A funny or awkward sexual encounter is essentially the same experience as a puzzling bowel movement, except it doesn't take as long and there is someone there with you - someone you can bounce “ideas” off of or ask questions if you're unsure about what is happening.

“Did I just...”

“Wait, no, I think you...”

“No, I think what happened, no, that, wait, that can't be right/possible.”

“So, wait, you, that wasn't on purpose? You didn't notice a difference?”

“I feel like I should be asking you the same thing.”

“I'm still holding something. Now I'm squeezing. What is that?”

“I don't feel anything. Where are your hands, approximately?”

Maybe the humor of the situation escapes the other person, but I'm nearly certain the awkwardness does not. In fact, I conjecture that awkwardness, like intercourse, requires a partner. If a tree is awkward in the forest but there is no one around to be made uncomfortable by it, does anyone care about the tree's social ineptitude?

However, when I think of that potential future, the one where I've written an anthology of awkward sex, I question whether or not that would be the most beneficial thing for the Child's formative years. Also, I do not think that Wife would appreciate it or find it at all funny, even if I changed her name -- to something like Girl #7. (For the record, in this particular case, the number 7 is used only as a representation of luck, as in “I am so lucky that I am married to her.” The number 7 is in no way a ranking or representation, implied or otherwise, of chronology or merit.)

So I'll stick to the beer writing. I do really like beer. Without it, I would probably write less and talk almost never. Pooping will always be there for me to fall back on, later in my career. And once the Child is middle-aged, perhaps I'll sit down and pen a memoir of my bungled naked interactions. I'll call it something like “The Upside Down Turtle” or “Who Put That End Table There?” or “Fudgeton Sinclair”.

A new beer idea I've been workshopping, one that actually got a bit awkwardly sexual from a flavor standpoint, involves pairing. I've read a lot about pairing different beers with different food -- but what about pairing beers with beers! Who needs to eat! Beer menus should be, and most times are, a journey, a choose your own adventure series. But imagine if beer menus and tap lists started suggesting beer pairings – based on similarities or accentuating certain elements of the flavor profile or the feel.

You want to drink this? Wait, start with this first, then go to that, and then bam!, try this new thing, yes more of that please, could you call me a cab?

Let's take it back a few steps. A few weeks ago, anticipating the release of Troeg's Nugget Nectar and Bell's Hopslam, I went back to an old non-Beergraphs post where I talked about hiring imaginary employees (Oh, the good old days before the down economy started to affect imaginary companies). More importantly, I also talked about drinking a Nugget Nectar followed by a Hopslam. The pairing, specifically the order, really allows you to appreciate the perfect hop/malt balance of the Nugget Nectar followed by the unique smoothness of the hops, honey, and booziness of Hopslam. By no means am I, or was I, recommending that you drink every Hopslam or every Nugget Nectar this way, but the combination is a powerful one, like Nick Cage and Elisabeth Shue – each amazing on their own, think Valley Girl and Adventures in Babysitting, but together, well, you know, Leaving Las Vegas was pretty good, too.

More recently, I stumbled upon a less obvious beer pairing that absolutely knocked my socks off (which is good because usually if I wear socks for more than eight consecutive hours, the tops of my feet start to really hurt).

PAIR THESE BEERS: Deschutes' Black Butte Porter followed by Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale.

The Black Butte Porter is just all around delicious in an easy way and feels amazing in your mouth. You should drink it whenever you get the chance. But the the Celebration Ale, after a Black Butte, was simply amazing – “like a virgin” amazing. After my first sip, I looked at my pint of Celebration in amazement. I was tasting things, noticing things, in that Celebration Ale that I hadn't tasted in a long time, maybe ever. My palate, like a bored partner in long term relationship, had become complacent to wonderfulness of Celebration Ale. It took a chance encounter with another, Deschutes' Black Butte in this case, to remind me of the reasons I fell in love with Celebration Ale in the first place. Now I love them both – for very different reasons – and this relationship metaphor is going in weird direction, so try the pairing if you have a chance and let me know what you think.

Let me know of any great pairs you've come across. Beer pairs, specifically.

Black Butte Porter, Dechutes Brewery (4.59 BAR)

Appearance = 4.25/5

Poured dark dark brown with just under an inch of light tan head. The foam looked heavenly.

Smell = 3.5/5

Semi-sweet chocolate. Clean. Maybe a hint of orange.

Taste = 4.25/5

Flavors are mild throughout but impressive nonetheless. Easy roastiness and sweetness, chocolate, coffee, grain, and earth. The finish has a faint citrus acidity/zest and bitterness.

Feel = 4.5/5

Like a fluffy, carbonated cloud. Smooth and creamy. Medium body. Sweet and slick to start. Dry and nicely bitter at the end.

Overall = 4.25/5

Delicious and drinkable in an easy way – smooth and roasty. Something about it makes me want to say 'effortless'.

The words I googled while writing this: objectification, ineptitude, bungled, depraved, chronology.

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