Recently, I found myself sitting in a car on Friday afternoon, at the border of the United States and Canada, anxiously awaiting a weekend of delicious Seattle hop-bombs on the way back from suffering through nine days of weak Canadian swill.* I thought I had nothing to fear. I thought my suffering was over. I thought wrong. When my passport was scanned, a warrant popped up for my arrest for a crime I did not commit, in a Missouri county I have never been, on a date when I wasn’t even on this continent. I wasn’t going anywhere.
I spent the next 44 hours in a Washington county jail, waiting for the authorities to take a few minutes off from their busy weekends to review my case and realize that I was being held on utter nonsense. In the meantime, I was locked up with between four and nine other women, mostly junkies and meth heads. This was no music video jail. There were no pillow fights—we didn’t have pillows. The only women walking around in a state of undress were the junkies going through withdrawal who had the sweated through their jail-issued greens. At one point, I was trying to sleep and one of the aforementioned junkies tickled my feet, because if she couldn’t sleep, no one could.
When Missouri dropped the warrant and I was released on Sunday afternoon, I discovered it would take another three hours before anyone could pick me up. I did what any self-respecting Alehead with a dead phone and in a strange land who had just spent two days in the can would: I followed my nose to beer. As luck would have it, I soon found myself at the Chuckanut Brewery, pounding through a bowl of locally-fished clams steamed in beer and garlic and a pint of British IPA. A tasting note follows:
Notes: poured into a glass that was not made of brown rubber. No one was heard sobbing in the background about how they were going to prison for a long time, this time.
ABV: 5.5% Merciful on a stomach that had spent two days trying to digest jail food
Appearance: The rich golden glow of freedom with a finger of foam the color of clouds over a peaceful sea
Aroma: Citrus with a rapidly fading bitter note of resentment and anxiety
Taste: Refreshing citrus with a clean finish, like a cool ocean breeze after being locked up in a cinderblock room with no windows for two days
Mouthfeel: Like angels skipping en pointe across my tongue
Drinkability: Oh, yes
Maybe I was biased slightly by the situation, but if you ever find yourself in Bellingham, pay them a visit, sit at the bar, and reflect for a moment on how awesome it is not to have to defend your dessert from the bossy skank the next cot over.
*I hyperbolize. Hop Circle by Phillips was quite a welcome palate wrecker.