I made up a drink, sort of

February 2, 2010


In the spirit of drinking two drinks (of my choice) at once, I decided on the way home that I was in the mood for a Black and Tan. So I jauntily entered the liquor store that is dangerously convenient on my walk home (across the street from the sushi restaurant that is dangerously convenient on my walk home) and strode to the beer cooler in the back, expecting to grab a four-pack of Guinness Draught cans and a six-pack of Bass Pale Ale bottles.


What liquor store doesn’t have Bass? “It’ll be in on Thursday,” said the evening manager who has learned that, even though I wear a big coat and carry a giant backpack, I am no threat to shoplift. We bonded over the lag time between when Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale was released and when it finally showed up at this store. During several visits over two weeks as I hopefully inquired “now?”, I heard what has become a famous refrain, “Check back on Thursday.”

In all fairness, I suppose I should mention that this liquor store does focus on their wine selection. And though their beer department is small, relatively speaking, it is weighted toward the non-Genuine Draft varieties of malty goodness.

I will also mention that, perhaps apropos, I have Anthony Bourdain’s new episode from Prague on as I write this and there is a heavy emphasis on beer.

It’s hard not to find the Guinness these days, but in lieu of Bass I chose one of my favorite pale ales, Sierra Nevada. I selected it over, say, Lagunitas or Southern Hemisphere because those are grapefruity pales. Sierra Nevada is regularly aley.

Not bad. Perhaps even better in this situation (but also unavailable) would have been Red Seal Pale Ale.

So I christened this concoction the Black and Nev, to distinguish it from the legitimate Black and Tan. I had thought of Black and Pale but decided to go with Nev to give it a more specific identity. Then my friend suggested Dark and Pale, which I love in principle because of the oxymoronic wordplay. But in the end, I think I’ll stick with Black and Pale, as the Black is a practical reference to Guinness, which it does actually contain. Sorry, Lauren!

One Response to “I made up a drink, sort of”

  1. Annie Says:

    I’m admiring your bartending skillz (have messed up a black & tan before). Love Red Seal too, although I usually have the amber variety.

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