We got a writ that the annual St. George’s Oktoberfest was cancelled. Forecasts of cold and rain persuaded the hosts to cancel. It had been cancelled this year already once before…now again. The event is high and holy on the beer calendar and now we had been slain by the weather. My buddies and I were a bit incredulous. Cold and Rain….cancel? Really a reason to kill it? We are men, not old white-haired grannies forgoing the April High Tea in the flower garden due to brisk winds. Though, I do know that the St. George contingent do depend heavily on their wives to bring on the food. It is sort of a family affair. But yet….St. George historically it is said in somewhat legendary terms to have slain a wicked dragon. Would he not done so if it had been cold and rainy? “Dear Dragon, perchance we could battle on Friday when the weather is to be fairer?” Yikes.
We quickly regrouped and formulated our own Oktoberfest at one of the kingpin’s castle. It is a lovely chateau with a stream, barbecue pit, and most importantly a “Man Cave”…a truly rustic yet entirely suitable location for a bunch of lads to drink beer, eat sausages, smoke cigars, and shoot the breeze…rain and cold be damned. The party must go ON. The essential inner circle of four of us all assented to slay the weather dragon on our own. We got the word out and then made pilgrimages to our local fine beer establishments to obtain high quality brews. No middle of the roaders or lowbrow beers. Bring your “A” beers. Others joined our hunting party and the imperfect storm now started to break our way. A little rain and cold makes the event more dramatic. Men don’t necessarily dig sitting on the beach, staring into the ocean, and drinking Coronas. That is Madison Avenue and Bridges Over Madison County crap…beer chick flick vibe. No, give us something to strive against like King Lear howling in the storm drenched in Shakespearean spirit. We see ourselves as Rogues and not Dandies. There are essentially harmless rogues like us…generally quite responsible who are just up for a good time and nasty rogues…vile characters. We are the former.
The character Kent in King Lear speaketh to another in front of Glouster Castle in one of the most poetical verbal smack-downs ever in print:
A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a
base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited,
hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a
lily-livered, action-taking knave, a whoreson,
glass-gazing, super-serviceable finical rogue;
one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a
bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but
the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar,
and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I
will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest
the least syllable of thy addition.
Quite a sharp-tongued fellow with a wonderfully noxious and expansive vocabulary. Finical Rogue…if someone called me that, I would have to consult a dictionary to decide how much I should be offended. On Thursday night, I decided to purchase a case of Rogue Ale–the Variety Case. Rogue even has a homebrew kit of its Shakespeare Stout. Rogue Ale seemed to be a great fit into our beer arsenal for the evening and it is comprised of Morimota Soba Ale, Dead Guy, Chatoe Single Malt Mogul Ale, Somer Orange Honey Ale, and Yellow Snow IPA. Now….that is some beer battlement armor. Consult the sacred e-texts for descriptions of these lovable Rogues. At seventy some shekels for a 12-22 ounce pack, these beers and not for casual drinking. Instead, these worthies are to be savored slowly and appreciatively. What can I declare…these beers are remarkable, almost without peer. Like King Arthur’s Round Table, this case put other knights and knaves to shame. It is not even a fair fight. Their might is so intimidating to put others to retreat except for warriors like Dogfish. Our host had his own weapon store in his beer fridge and most of the soldiery were Dogfish and other high-end brewers.
We finished the night with the Yellow Snow IPA which would be a fine brew for another get-together in the dead of winter. Oh, wait a minute, it might be cold. The evening was full of great beer, food, and fellowship.