Winter is cold.
After spending the last two winters in Mexico, where cold meant adding a sweatshirt to your shorts and t-shirt attire. I now go out with wool underpants, reg’lar pants, wool undershirt, reg’lar shirt and a coat. I ride with wool a ninja mask over my face and wool gloves on my hands. Waterproof gloves, coat and pants mingle in my bag with a thicker coat, and two wool hats.
While I wait at lights I am shrouded in a fog of my own exhaust. My skin cracks and bleeds from exposure. I chill my beer on the porch.
I am waiting for the snow to come on thick and cover the streets so I can go out and ride in that slippery fluff. I’ve never tamed a wild horse, but I imagine controlling a bike in snow to be a similar endeavor. The other day I rode out late to a bit of sidework in the early morning. The clear and extremely crisp last couple of days had left crystals of ice on the side of the road, but in the darkness and sleepwebs of morning I had ignored the dangerous aspect of them and delighted in their existence as their hazy reflections softened the otherwise ugly ruts. I came to an empty roundabout which allowed me to carry my speed into the small hill. I chose the most direct line, right against a storm drain and saw a glob of black ice, realizing too late it wasn’t water. I tried to lessen my weight from the front as my wheel rolled over it without incident. In the split-second before my rear wheel went over it I thought, “Phew. I made it.”
KGGHHH! The rear had too much weight, slid out and slammed me to the ground. The cars behind me slammed on their brakes and offered help and rides. I had a few scrapes and new hole in my pants but was otherwise alright.
After work I needed a beer. I went onto the porch and hunted the formidable Abominable Winter Ale from HUB. Unstable planks endangered my voyage through flower pots flooded with frozen ponds. Leafless skeleton branches scratched at my face as I looked for the beer’s distinguishing marks; a frightening bright face imprinted on a silver aluminum can. Hidden in the shadows of a barbeque I spotted my prey and leapt, missing my mark and slipped onto an embankment of stairs.
When I awoke I was in the deep entrances of the red ale beast in a pint glass. I was surprised to find that it had a small head and was so light in color. More orange than red, but when facing such a menacing animal (7.3% ABV) you don’t want to see a lot of foamy blood around its mouth. It had a hoppy musk, like a yeti having just rolled in a hops field. The hoppy flavor reminded of the metal blades of a toboggan but finished light like melted snow. This seemed to reflect its body which was light considering this to be a winter ale with a lot of crisp carbonation. It’s loud at first sip, like the roar of a yeti but settles down like the silence of snow.
Overall, the name is meaner than the beer itself. It is not a come-in from a yet-hunt kinda brew. Grab a few of these to sip on while you kick it by a fire playing board games or waiting for your pumpkin pie to cool.