Beer On My Shirt: Chicago, Day 1

J. R. Shirt, August 21, 2014

Summer has come to its inevitable end for me. To say that I am angry or depressed or distraught or beside myself or perhaps hysterical over the perpetual motion of the calendar would be an exaggeration. I will say, however, that I am not pleased. How could I be?

Time keeps trucking on and my body responds with continuous decay -- I have the midsection of a bloated river corpse -- and the constant, perhaps exponential, erosion of my mind, my night vision, and my expectations that someday I will become a man and be able to grow a proper beard.

Forever a man-child, never a bride.

But rather than look ahead to my guaranteed demise, let's instead look back. Specifically, let's look back at the brief time this summer I spent in the city of Chicago with my brother, T-Bone. More specifically, let's look back on that time through the lens of an imaginary travelogue that was kept during, well, my travels.

Day 1:

T-Bone and I arrived in Chicago this morning around 10:30am. The flight was terrifying. It was the first time I've flown since becoming a father, and the illusion of my life somehow mattering in the larger scheme of things made the act of hurdling through the turbulent sky completely unnerving. 

At one point during our descent, I remarked to T-Bone, “I would feel much better if I could just scream as loud as I wanted whenever I wanted, you know, to release the tension.”

From the airport, we took an elevated train toward the neighborhood where we were staying. Still shattered from the flight, I found the train experience unpleasant and longed to have my feet on solid ground. I feared I might die before I had had the opportunity to record all of my internet passwords for Wife so that she could carry on my electronic life as if I were still alive. That and online banking and bill pay. I imagine with the right amount of planning, an identity could live forever on the Internet. Unfortunately, I had yet to execute the type of planning necessary for that sort of immortality. It was a train ride full of regret.

The first beer I had in Chicago was Revolution's Anti-Hero IPA, at a patio table at Big Star, and the beer was one of my favorites from my time in Chicago. And the tacos. My word, the tacos.

Anti-Hero IPA, Revolution Brewing Co. (7.26 BAR, 120 Style+)

Appearance = 4.25/5

First of all, that is a great looking can. And the beer looks pretty good, too. Vibrant copper/golden-orange color with a nice finger of white head on the pour. Decent retention. Some lacing.

Smell = 4/5

Definitely some grapefruit and some pine, maybe tangerine or nectarine. Grass and biscuits round it out, and a floral perfume was prevalent at times.

Taste = 4.25/5

Great balance with citrus and pine dank sweetness to start it off followed by a dry grass crispness and bright bitterness in the finish that lingers, dare I say, for just the right amount of time. Not a hop bomb, but still citrus, pine, and grass hop flavors carried on top of a great malt base with notes of biscuit and caramel.

Feel = 4.5/5

First few sips were like whoa. A bright, lively, and refreshing feel. Maybe just a touch more than medium bodied with light to normal carbonation, accented by the crisp element of the taste. Finish doesn't linger so it drinks easy.

Overall = 4.25/5

I would like to have this in my fridge all the time. I also had some at Revolution's Brew Pub during Day 2 in Chicago along with the Tribal Hero and the Citra Hero – and I was surprised that I enjoyed the Anti-Hero the most. Preconceived notions were that the Citra would be my favorite. Sometimes you can't even trust your own notions. Sometimes your notions are the potions that leave you stranded in the ocean. Or the river. I wrote a song about it. It's called "My Body Is A River Corpse" and it's sung to the tune of John Mayer's hit song...

Stayed tuned for future installments of Beer On My Shirt's adventures in Chicago, including, but not limited to, Chicago Day 1 Part 2 Three Floyds' Brew Pub, and Chicago Day 1 Part 3 T-Bone Sleepwalks. Follow J.R. Shirt on Twitter and Untappd @beeronmyshirt.