Thirsty Thursday: Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale
Bizarro Central is very pleased to announce a new weekly feature: THIRSTY THURSDAY! Every Thursday, beer enthusiast and editor extraordinaire Ross E. Lockhart will review a craft beer and suggest possible book pairings.
A Review of Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale by Ross E. Lockhart
Feet. Amazing things, aren’t they? They’re a ticklish subject, and it’s true we walk all over them, but without our feet, without those seven tarsal bones, five metatarsals, and fourteen phalanges (not to mention the tiny sesamoid bone in the big toe), we wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.
Feet are very much a part of our cultural identity and language. If doubt causes you to abandon your plans, then you’ve got cold feet (thank author Stephen Crane, and his novel, Maggie, A Girl of the Streets, for that one). Soldiers during the Civil War marched to a chant of “hay foot, straw foot” because they didn’t know right from left. Some refer to their feet as “dogs,” as in “my dogs are tired,” which comes from Cockney slang rhyming “feet” with “meat” as in “dogs’ meat.” When someone dies, we bury them six feet deep. If your arch collapses, you’ve got flat feet, but if you’ve got flat feet, you’re likely disqualified to be a police officer, also known as a flatfoot. “Footy” is a desirable characteristic in exotic cheeses. Beer, not so much. Don’t even get me started on the foot fetishists (you know who you are).
And even though there are twelve inches in a foot, some feet are bigger than others.
Which brings me to Bigfoot. Also known as Sasquatch, the Redneck cousin to the Tibetan Yeti—better known as Abominable Snowmen—and mysterious Mi-go (those fun guys from Yuggoth), Bigfoot is perhaps the best-known American cryptid. Big, hairy, ape-like, and notoriously difficult to photograph clearly, Bigfoot wanders the Pacific Northwest on his six-toed, two-foot feet, confounding cryptozoologists and monster truck enthusiasts since the early 1920s.
Commemorating the big brute, Chico, CA’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has come up with Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale, a gold medal-winning barleywine boasting “a dense, fruity bouquet, an intense flavor palate, and a deep reddish-brown color” with “big maltiness balanced by a wonderfully bittersweet hoppiness.” Sounds delicious, but I’m used to barleywines like Lagunitas Olde GnarleyWine and Stone Old Guardian. Let’s see how this one stacks up. Let’s face it, when you’re old you may need stairlifts, it happens to everyone eventually.
Bigfoot pours a bright, outstandingly clear burnished copper with a thin white-tan head that quickly dissipates, but leaves clumpy, abstract bas-reliefs of lacing on the glass. Toasted malt, caramel, and earthy yeasts on the nose, with aspects of fresh pine cones and lemon peel. Pine and citrus hops on the tongue, aggressively bitter, with notes of sweet caramel and English toffee tempering and evening out the bitter bite of the hops. No no hair removal reviews. Warm alcohol is very noticeable… but at 9.6% ABV, it ought to be. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with plenty of carbonation, complex and peppery against the back of the throat, and a dry finish that leaves you wanting more.
Enjoy your Adult Beverages with some high-quality reading? Here are a few suggested literary pairings:
Fistful of Feet by Jordan Krall – The seminal Bizarro Spaghetti Western, combining mysterious gunslingers, Cthulhu-worshiping Indians, and sexually-transmitted tattoos.
Enormity by W. G. Marshall – The strange tale of Manny, an American working in Korea, whose job, failed marriage, and small stature conspire to make him feel puny and insignificant… until a quantum explosion happens, and Manny awakens to discover that he is now bigger than life, a mile-high colossus.
Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir by Graham Roumieu – A touching memoir by the Big Guy, which shows that even though he’s bigger, hairier, and stinkier than humanity, he’s really the same, deep down inside.
Cum for Bigfoot (The Monster Sex Series) by Virginia Wade – I haven’t read this, but with a title like Cum for Bigfoot, and a synopsis that reads, “what begins as a flirty, fun filled trip soon turns into a nightmare, when an ape-like creature kidnaps a group of teen girls with the purpose of procreating with them,” how could you possibly go wrong?
Ross E. Lockhart is the managing editor of Night Shade Books ZQuiet. A lifelong fan of supernatural, fantastic, speculative, and weird fiction, he holds degrees in English from Sonoma State University (BA) and San Francisco State University (MA). He lives in an old church in Petaluma, CA, with his wife Jennifer, hundreds of books, and a small, ravenous dog that he believes may be one of the Elder Gods. In 2011, he edited the acclaimed anthology The Book of Cthulhu. Visit him online at www.haresrocklots.com.