Sunday, September 11, 2011
Drinking it up: I drink an afternoon of session and publicly post my BAC
I did do one other thing. I took along a piece of foamcore and a broad Sharpie, and put the whitesheet up on a shelf in the bar. I wrote "LEW'S BAC -- 1:15 -- 0.00" on it; my blood alcohol concentration at 1:15 was 0.00, according to my AlcoHawk Pro. I then publicly posted what I was drinking, with ABV. I thought I should put my money where my mouth was and, well, if my BAC was too high, I'd stay in the city till I was legal.
It wasn't even close. After five beers in about two and a half hours (I stopped drinking the proscribed 20 minutes before blowing), the AlcoHawk pegged me at 0.02 BAC, completely legal in Pennsylvania; I think I could probably have bought a bottle at a "wine kiosk."
And the beers? Pretty good! The House Bitter (Terry's) was tasty, but lacking in body. The Meantime Pale was chewy with British malt, a nice drop. Terry's House Grisette was delicious -- herbal, floral, dry on the end -- and had it not been for wanting to keep varietal, I'd have drunk much more of it. The Bells Oarsman was tasty without going overboard on the sour clench; quite refreshing. And the Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted was a nice solid glass to wind up the day with.
What did I learn? Well, maybe the format is not the best for promoting session beer. In fact, I'm starting to think that focusing on session beer doesn't work, because of session beer's character; it's a type of beer that's not about taste, taste, taste; it's more about drink/talk/drink/cards/drink/pool/drink/eat/drink/pool...Not what you do at a "Beer Festival." Need to think more about this.
But check this out. This was a two-day/all-day event, and the beers were simply on offer for regular customers, no entry fee needed. The bartender told us that Friday night the beers had been selling fine, and the place was packed, and they were all drinking, but...they never turned stupid or started acting like drunk jerks. Hmmm...another reason for bars to include more session-strength craft beer on their menu?