Beer Journal: Bolo Ties and Russian Ladyfriends

09/30/2010 3:31 PM |


Dear Beer Journal,

If I were a steak, which I often imagine myself in times of great confidence, I would be cooked medium rare with some sort of peach glaze, topped with bleu cheese and served on one of those plates that is lit on fire before it is placed before its victim. If I were a beer, I would be Abita Purple Haze, because I think very highly of myself. And if I were a restaurant, I think I would be the Hill Country Farmhouse in Flatiron, because it is awesome.

Last night I attended a “BBQ and Abita Dinner” at the carnivore oasis of Hill Country Farmhouse. I was going to go to “Brewmaster’s Degustation” at Mas Farmhouse, but then I remembered that I work for The L Magazine, and couldn’t possibly afford the $180 ticket. Plus, Abita is special to me as I have fond memories of my grandparents drinking it and shooting armadillos at their house in Louisiana.

Crossing the river into Manhattan for a NY Craft Beer Week purpose made me realize that not all NY craft beer events are created equal. Hill Country’s checkered tablecloths were not there for irony, their artwork was Nebraska-born road signs that made statements like “Loose Livestock,” and the blues band comprised of men wearing cowboy hats and selling their compilation CDs recorded live at the Lebowitz wedding reminded me that there is only so much organic gourmet chocolate to be given out at a beer tasting before someone goes bankrupt. Sometimes the big boys have to step in and serve us all unauthentic but still yummy slabs of pork shoulder in order for craft beer to stay alive.

This was by no means a bad thing, journal, because though this was a tasting, I’ve never been more overserved. Nice young ladies in stirrups and t-shirts with steer’s heads printed on them came around and poured our glasses full of Restoration Pale Ale a full hour before we had any food. My row of eaters were ex-Texans wearing bolo ties (again with the unirony) that had brought along their young, Russian ladyfriends. We all enjoyed the appetizer of smoked brisket taquitos and avocado creme. We all hoovered the coffee rubbed tenderloin, and we all had way too much Abita Turbodog to even think of having a second scoop of Blue Bell Pecan ice cream. And just when I was about to write these No Country for Old Men off for having nothing in common with me except the promise of a hangover for the next day, we all got free Abita coozies and freaked the fuck out with joy. “Now our hands won’t be cold when we drink our NEXT beer, wherever that may be,” said the one in a denim button-up with embroidered red flowers. “I’m going to have a beer for breakfast just to use this!” said another in Wrangler jeans. Then we all learned how to order beer in Russian and (I can only assume) went home to dream about what kind of steak we would be if we were steaks.

Tonight, I will be in the city again for “Brewer’s Choice,” a Thunderdome-style event with 15 brewers competing for glory with each of their best beers. Most likely, everyone will have beards and be really relaxed. I will miss the girls in steer t-shirts and the loud, drawling, drooling men who love to be served by them, but we’ll always have breakfast.