Scrimshaw 4.7% ABV
North Coast Brewing Co.
We walked out of the mild cold and into the Barrel Head. Expecting to find most of our group already arrived, there was only one present, even though the game was to start in a mere 10 minutes. Just as we sat down, everyone else began to stream in, to the point that we needed three tables by kickoff.
Immediately a round of Coors Light was ordered. I told the bartender, “I’m good.” He either didn’t understand me or didn’t hear, for upon returning he placed a full pint glass in front of me, just like everyone else. Though I can be pretentious and a beer snob, I didn’t want to be “that guy” on this evening. As I was also aware that during NFL games the Barrel Head only charges $1 for pints of the beer before me, I went ahead and drank my Coors Light with everyone else. It was beer after all (and on draft).
I had a chance to win in one of my fantasy football leagues. I had a lead but was up against Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne. No one likes to hear about anyone else’s fantasy football, I know, just trying to set the scene. I had an invested interest in this game unlike most of the others. I was watching and hoping that it would be a low scoring affair, as I sipped on my beer.
Having finished my glass, I set it down while intently focusing on the TV. Andrew Luck threw his first TD pass, I groaned and turned back to the table to see not my empty glass, but another full glass. Damn it. I had even already figured out which craft beer I wanted to ordered.
One of the nice things about The Barrel Head is they have great specials on beers such as Coors, but also have 10-12 craft beers on tap, as well as a decent bottled beer selection.
Not being “that guy” was starting to become difficult now. I couldn’t even pawn off my beer on one of the others as they had all just received full pints. Another $1, another glass of flavorless, uninteresting beer. Now I had to keep track of not only the game, but how low everyone elses’ glass was getting. I would not be paying for another glass of Coors Light this night.
This 2nd glass took me much longer to finish. It was a strategic move. If my glass was still mostly full the waiter would not bring me another. With a good beer, it would be hard to retain the discipline to follow through on such a plan. Not a problem in the least to refrain from drinking this beer.
The bartender came around again and the others ordered another round. He did a count and left me out. A wave of relief washed over me. After dropping off their pints, I stopped him and asked for a North Coast Scrimshaw. The person sitting next to me, in bewilderment, asked “What is that?”. I told him “It’s a beer.” The waiter came back and set down my glass. Immediately the bewildered fellow said “Oh, I can see the difference.”
I picked up the glass and took a sip. An audible note of satisfaction leaped from my being. This was a Pilsner. It had flavor and depth, a mild sweetness to it from the Tettnang hops. The color alone, rich and dark, at least compared to the Coors light, was enjoyable to the eyes. I realized a 1/4th the way through the Scrimshaw I had forgotten about my other glass which still contained some of that other beer. I picked it up and quickly gulped it down. This made me that much happier to have a true Pilsner handy, to restore joy to my palate; which I instantaneously took advantage of.
My Scrimshaw nearly finished, I looked up just in time to see Andrew Luck throw a TD pass to Reggie Wayne. That play sealed my defeat for the week in fantasy football. Bitter as the loss may have been, it could have been worse. Instead of Coors Light being in my glass. I thankfully had North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner. If you are ever in doubt as to why you drink craft beer, do a side by side comparison of a craft beer and one of the “Big 3” beers. I was more than happy to pay 5 ½ times the price for the Scrimshaw than another Coors Light.