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Hey! Q: How’d you like it if you constantly had someone blowing gaseous ice at you, dousing you in water, and trapping you in your house under the threat of more pain? A: If you’re able to read this right now you apparently love it since you haven’t killed yourself yet. It’s called winter, idiots. Oh, and that irritating person’s name? Dicky McSnowpants.

As perhaps a counter article to the bike pub crawl article, I’m now going to mope about how during winter you should just give up and accept that you’re a hostage. Between roughly the months of October and March pour gasoline on all your aspirations of enjoying a functional life and go fuck yourself. You can’t even plan ahead for the freak warm spells scattered about since the forecasts are like wandering around a village being terrorized by a sniper. Oh shit! I’m talking about the weather!

Buried deep beneath the pile of things vitally important for life and, therefore, under attack from winter’s hate, is beer appreciation. Sure, it might naturally cool down your basement to optimum cellar temperature for aging (hopefully your only planning on aging a beer five months) but that’s winter’s only goddamned advantage! Everyone knows the prerequisite to drinking a beer is having a beer. Everyone knows the prerequisite to having a beer is getting a beer. This part (the getting part) is what winter makes tricky. Unless you live in a liquor store no one’s gonna deliver beer to you. The End.

Oh, what? You don’t live in a liquor store?! Well then I’ll just keep on typing!

In this (rare) case you’re gonna be forced to go outside for the “get” (as fans of consumerism will say). This involves moving your arms and legs in a way that won’t directly injure yourself, others, or indirectly cause other objects such as ice, cars, bikes?, snowdrifts, frostbite, or others to injure yourself or others. Real simple, right? I “get” things all the time when it’s not winter and it really is simple – I’m usually half-asleep during it. But when it is winter shit gets complicated: existing outdoors is a physical pain, you actually have to think when you drive, and available parking becomes sparse (cuz you’re not on a bike, AMIRIGHT?!). Plus patios are a no and if you go somewhere to drink you arrive nez bouché, struggling to smell anything other than your stressed mucus membranes.

Last Tuesday I had all this in mind as I tossed back and forth the idea of swinging by the Butcher and the Boar in downtown Minneapolis for the inexplicable tapping of Three Floyds’ Boogoop with the added bonus of Surly Pentagram hopefully still on from its release party two days earlier. How is Boogoop still available? Even more pertinent, how could any Three Floyds beer be on tap in Minnesota? Amidst this confusion I hastily decided I had to throw on my beer reporter balaclava and battle it out with winter to get some goddamned answers! Meanwhile, outside…

Following outside, I was in no mood to talk to anyone much less mumble any words other than “beer” and “gimme” (and “that one”, plus move my pointer towards the Boogoop handle) so I was unable to find out about the stupid keg’s stupid origin. Furthermore, they must have been storing the Boogoop keg outside since it was poured ice cold. Now my hands’ ability to warm up a glass of something unintentionally frozen is normally pretty competent; I have dainty, lady-like hands but they get the job done. Not this time! I had already declared my hands dead earlier when I stumbled for five minutes taking off my coat as chunks of blood ice also stumbled (presumably also taking off their coats) back into my hands, effectively rendering them useless as I relearned for the next hour how to “do hands” (as I assume my zero-year-old self would have called it the last time I had to learn [assuming I could talk]).

Even though for thirty minutes my glass needlessly remained a perverted homage to the horrific journey here, it eventually brought forth the satisfying hop and malt formula I’ve always expected from Three Floyds. Boogoop is, I think, the fourth in the “Goop” series of Three Floyds/Mikkeller collaboration malt-wines which also include Oatgoop (oatwine), Hvedegoop (wheatwine), and Ruggoop (ryewine, a version of which just got “Beer Hole-ed”) Contrary to the name, the 10.4%abv Boogoop doesn’t taste like Boo Berry cereal (Bell’s takes this honor with their Wedding Ale), but the “boo” does signify the presence of buckwheat. Allegedly, buckwheat’s a real bitch to brew with so I’ll cut some slack to any brewer willing to mess with the pseudograin what with its inherent stickiness and the necessary pre-mash gelatinization. Fittingly its appearance was a sort of brownish-red clear haze reminiscent of Jell-O. The bitterness first hidden behind the malty open emerges in the finish and lingers cuz it’s got nowhere else to go (certainly not outside). Upon finishing the goblet my tongue felt almost numb, causing me to worry about my ability to taste the Surly Pentagram I’d just ordered. Not to worry as this beer was ridiculous and I’ll probably blab about it later but holy shit this ended up being long!

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