Lifts trap door leading to crawlspace, pulls out vellum-sheathed tome labeled “Beerhole Scthick.” Leaves door open, takes several steps upon the dusty hardwood before sitting down laboriously and opening the book.

Lessee… “Bitch about pricing,” “Bitch about Beeradvocate reviews,” “Bitch about extremeness,” “Thinly veiled suicide threat…” Ack! None of these work! Wait… what’s this? “Gimmick review.” Yes! That will do nicely.

Turns to camera. Several teeth are missing. Eyes are welled with tears. Begin speaking in tone that is absolutely flat and normal.

Jack’s Abby is only lagers. They make some very good beers. They also popularized India Pale Lagers, which are stupid because the back ends get all weirded out from lagering. I do not know if they lager their exquisite Baltic Porter, but I think that would be illegal since that’s not how you do porters.

Sighs deeply. Turns momentarily to face a mirror. Turns back toward the camera. Skin is to beginning to peel off my face, melting.

Berliners are kind of popular in America now. The first one I remember that was really good was from New Glarus. It was nearly as thick as Weinstephaner’s Hefe, which is perfectly thick, only the NG beer was soured wonderfully by lacto. The result was like a wheat milkshake that was also a citrus soda. It was fabulous and completely different. After trying something like that, it’s no wonder other brewers would want to try to emulate it.

Looks downward toward hands. They are tiny and frail, veins sticking through the skin as blue as the sky and as thick as earthworms.

Traditional Berliners are not as sour as New Glarus’. They were traditionally only lightly soured and then flavor would be added in pubs. There’s Red Syrup (raspberry) and Green Syrup (woodruff). Michael Jackson’s first edition of the World Guide to Beer showed all three colors lined up like a traffic signal. It was cool, and it seeing it made me realize how differently Americans had interpreted the style. There was a booth at the recent American Craft Beer Fest, in Boston, that actually had the syrups on hand. I drunkenly explained how cool that was, how I’d just read about it in an old book. The woman running the booth said that no one ever used them, and she disappointed, on a personal level, that I requested the woodruff.

Turns toward window then snaps ahead away. Camera pans upward, toward window. The sky is red from pollution and blood. A hairy, three-fingered hand, perhaps belonging to a disfigured chimp, taps lightly on the glass and then beckons us to follow it.

So… Jack’s Abby. Their Berliner seems remarkably traditional, at least as I understand the style to traditionally exist. Lightly sour up front, leading to a middle that’s like a combination between a Shock-Tart-Flavored American Berliner and a nice, traditional municher, with lights nodes of cereal against sunshine and hay. The finish is fabulous, really shows off their brewing acumen. Zero esters. Delicious dryness.

Sigh again, more loudly. No longer any energy to lift up head. Camera pans towards the still-open crawl space door. A line of ants, each the approximate size and shape of a Coronita bottle, is streaming out of the hole. The ground is alive with them.

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