By Osayi Endolyn
It’s a Monday afternoon and I am writing this as I sip my second glass of beer. It’s a draft pour of Dieu de Ciel Rosée d’Hibiscus, which basically translates to “pretty damn good.” It’s bright pink, but not too sweet, with citrus tones that go down smoothly. I will probably consume two more glasses of this French-Canadian piece of heaven before the night is over.
For some of you, you are right there with me. Just hold the line for a spell. The rest of you, don’t be afraid. I think I know what you’re thinking.
You’re reminding yourself of how much you dislike beer. You’re recalling frat parties gone bad. You’re thinking of the keg pours that never got better, no matter how much you chugged. And if that’s not you, then I’d guess you’re thinking of those multi-million dollar commercials that would have you believe an extremely witty, white-haired man, or a college co-ed are the only people who can justifiably enjoy a glass of beer.
If that’s you, I know how you feel. Several years ago, I was the same way. As a young adult, I was raised to believe in the evolutionary hierarchy of wine. Long live the grape. Holiday dinners began with a presentation of the different varietals available for the meal. There were talks of wine shops, clubs and tastings and there was no shortage of education. I loved Cabernet Francs and Sangiovese blends. I learned that a straight Vigonier was not for me and the Gewürztraminer had me at hello. It was a good life, my time with wine. And it’s by no means over. But we’re not as close as we used to be. It couldn’t be helped. I met craft beer.
Before that first taste of the finer brews, I was totally in the dark. I didn’t know that beer didn’t always have to smell like an after-hours airport bathroom. I didn’t know that drinking beer could actually be a fun, pleasurable experience. That entire shops existed just to sell the good stuff. That the aromas and taste could make me giggle like a preteen, remind me of warm memories and inspire my future.
Over the past few years of drinking and experimenting with beer, I’ve learned many things. I’ve learned that I’m not a connoisseur. Not officially anyway. If you want ratings and jargon, you can find better places to whet your palate. Nothing against the science — I used to comment religiously on a red wine’s tannins — that’s just not my aim here.
This column is for anyone who realizes that beer is part of life. Not just the drunken, spitfire life where you wake up to a carpet covered in bottle caps in the morning. This column is for the day-to-day life where the drinker finds an upswing in the little malt-hop-ale-lager things.
The spice in the Trappistes Rochefort 10 that reminds you that your sweet tooth hasn’t totally disappeared with age. The cool, spring-almost-summer afternoon, where a St. Bernardus Abt 12 eases you into the evening.
But today is Monday, and I’m drinking a Rosée d’Hibiscus. Don’t mistreat the pink. The bold and bright coloring gets a bad rap. It’s okay. We picture a fatty-cheeked 4-year-old girl whose babysitter calls her “Princess.” We don’t think of a slightly sour, floral explosion that dares you to claim you know the first thing about spring. We don’t think that a malty beer at 5 percent alcohol content has any business trying to interrupt the rigor of a Monday. But it does do that. And so much more.
The Dieu de Ciel Rosée d’Hibiscus is currently available at The Porter Beer Bar in Little 5 Points.