>Saturday Beer Review (kind of)

>Tonight’s beer review begins with a story. The Common Man was innocently enjoying the farmer’s market today; the veggies were relatively cheap and fresh (as were the bagels) and The Common Man managed to find two neat-looking beers to review by New Glarus Brewing Company. On the way home, since they had had such a wonderful time at the market as a family, The Uncommon Wife sweetly asked The Common Man whether he’d like to take a walk with her and The Boy and The Evil Dog that afternoon. The Common Man agreed since he needs to exercise more anyway and it’s always good to spend more time with the fam. “Perfect,” she told him, “I already have the route planned out.

What The Uncommon Wife failed to mention, however, was that the route was four miles long. With The Boy. And The Evil Dog. And what The Common Man figured as a half-hour jaunt around the neighborhood turned into two hour odyssey through the west side of Madison. The Common Man’s two bum knees are a little sore tonight, he’s dead tired, and sunburned.

Now, The Common Man would have been able to deal with this development. After all, what’s two hours on a Saturday anyway? He could have one beer with dinner, after all, and one later. Or one to celebrate the end of his Bataan Death March, and one to chase the food down his belly.

However, fate would have other ideas. Along the parade route, The Common Man, The Uncommon Wife, and The Boy (but not Ralph the Evil Dog) managed to get invited to a party. For this to make much sense, The Common Man needs to backtrack here for a second. The backyard of the new house has a jungle gym and a basketball court. And so it has become a Mecca for kids around the neighborhood who either a) have no basketball court/jungle gym or b) don’t have a little brother as adorable as The Boy. And The Common Man and Uncommon Wife encourage their presence, since it gives The Boy a chance to practice socializing with other kids. The upshot of all this is that The Common Man knows virtually every kid in the neighborhood but very few of the parents (though he tries to meet them whenever possible; he doesn’t want to be known as the sketchy guy who lets kids play in his yard).

Anyway, out of the corner of his eye, The Common Man spots one of the kids in a backyard jumping on a trampoline. He waves, then sees a man coming out of yard’s house. “Hi,” says The Common Man, trying to be neighborly. “Are you A_____ and L_____’s dad?” He says something about being a stepdad and a conversation begins. He mentions that he’s having a small get together that night and would everyone like to come by for brats, beer, and corn on the cob. Not wanting to turn down an offer for some adult company and really hoping to get in good with the neighbors, The Common Man, et al agreed to drop by.

And so, upon their return The Common Man and The Uncommon Wife sprang into action. The Boy needed dinner (because he couldn’t last until the party), and if he was having dinner, everyone else might as well join in. And The Common Man never shows up to a party empty-handed, so he drove to the store and brought home a sixer of his old standby, Bass Ale.

Bass, to The Common Man, seems like the perfect beer to bring anywhere. It is flavorful and different enough to not offend the denigrators of Budweiser, Miller, and the other American waters. But it’s also light enough that people who don’t like heavy beers won’t be offended. And though a pale ale by name, Bass lacks the hoppiness of most of its compatriots. It is perfect to drink in the heat, and just fine in the winter. It’s great to drink in a crowd or by yourself. You can drink it here or there, you can drink it anywhere. It is, in fact, the perfect compromise beer. It has something to appeal to everyone.

So, what happens? The Common Man returns home, and the kids in question are playing in the backyard with The Boy. And they are happy to report that, somewhere, there has been a miscommunication. Actually, the friendly fellow from the walk isn’t their stepdad, but that of their friend Chloe. And so, The Common Man, The Uncommon Wife, and The Boy head to the party of the man they don’t know and have no connection to, with beer and cookies. Everyone there is perfectly nice, but, as it turns out, they do not drink or need any Bass (there’s a kegorator of Bud Light in the basement). In fact, they return the leftover Bass when The Common Man leaves to put The Boy to bed.

So, now The Common Man is dehydrated (from the walk, and from drinking the Bass by himself), has no more room for the New Glarus, and hasn’t had time to drink them anyway. So you get a story and a review of The Common Man’s old stand by, Bass, filling in once again in a pinch. The perfect beer for every occasion.