Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Indiana Jones and The Two Hearted Ale

The only way that Indiana Jones does *not* indulge in Bell's Two Hearted Ale is if there's a snake on the bottle.

Bell's and I go back a long way; but Two Hearted Ale is new to my world. I first tried it in April, courtesy of my neighbor, a Wisconsin denizen. He was on his way home to the North Woods for the weekend and stopped by my place to chat about our favorite topic, baseball. After a while, the topic switched to our co-favorite, beer, and I eventually revealed that I was a Bell's fan but a virgin with respect to the legendary Two Hearted Ale. Bell's is no longer available in Chicago due to maverick-hero owner Larry Bell's stand against big Illinois distributorships and the draconian laws that punish micro-brews - the only beers with any character around here.

Anyway, the next evening, I'm sitting on my couch with my girlfriend, and my neighbor knocks at the door. He had returned from Wisconsin and was bearing the most stately six of Two Hearted you will ever see. It was practically angelic. I mean thing literally glowed like a mural of our Lord and Savior in a Mexican village. The rest is history. My "studies" of the beer began soon thereafter, and now I am as fully apprised of it as my beer amigo, Shaun.

I can't argue with the description. Two Hearted is firmly grounded in hops with a huge, burly nose of flowers - the kind of dry, rugged flowers that comprise a hearty tea. It's got plenty enough personality to be indulged on its own, but makes for a great food beer to accompany robust foods, perhaps with spicy sauces. Yet, it's not over-the-top hops or hops-for-the-sake-of-causing-a-hops-shortage hoppy, either. The bold yet restrained character of the beer makes it unique and very enjoyable.

Meanwhile, the arrival of my first beers is imminent . . . . impending . . .

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