Beer Guy LA friend and contributor, Dane Elcar recently threw back a few pints with us over the release of his latest audiobook. This time he lends his voice to the critically acclaimed novel, “Above All Men” written by Eric Shonkwiler and produced by Fiddleblack. In celebration of his efforts, we decided to take on the apocalypse depicted in the story by asking what might be the most important question of all: what beers pair best with the end of the world?
Good news, everyone! Whether it’s a slow apocalypse as it is in the book “Above All Men” or we go out in a flaming ball fire al la Terminator 2…this is the end. And we’re taking it on. Set those survival instincts aside and accept it. You’re screwed and there’s nowhere to go. It’s time to open the lawn chair, put on your Ray Bans and crack some bottles while polite society expires. You might have some special beers stashed away in your cellar, or maybe you have something in the back of the refrigerator waiting for just such an occasion. What are the beers you’d want chilling in your end of days cooler?
Assuming the end of days doesn’t come in a flash of fire and brimstone, Jeff would certainly be one to finalize his accounts, even if faced with a total economic collapse, so his first choice would be Moonlight Brewing Company’s Death & Taxes. “This beer is one of the best black lagers I have ever had,” Jeff says. “And it’s light enough to make for a good start to your beer-aggedon.”
Dave wouldn’t want Jeff to be denied the opportunity to mock him one last time, as he does whenever he asks for a light, hoppy, pilsner. So to ease his palette into the approaching apocalypse Dave would crack a can of St. Archer / Girl Skateboards Hoppy Pilsner. “It’s refreshing as hell. A perfect opener to my final beer drinking session.” Dave also points out it would be somewhat mandatory to open some Drake’s Hopocalypse to get this party started.
“Above All Men” depicts what some call a slow apocalypse.
“Crops are drying up and oil is running out. People flee cities for the countryside, worsening the drought and opening the land to crime.” — Midwestern Gothic Press.
So this might be the perfect time to get out the snifters and slowly savor a memorable brew?
“I suppose the calendar was just off by a few years,” Jeff would say as he pours himself one of his cellared bottles of Lost Abbey’s 2012 release Mayan Apocalypse Judgment Day. It was an end of the world version of their year-round Judgment Day made with cinnamon, chiles and tamarind.
“For my last big beer I’d go with Black Tuesday… and I probably wouldn’t share it.” says Dave of the Bruery’s powerful bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. “Half way through the first glass I’d be ok with it all.”
It’s possible that in an ever-dimming multiverse there’s a version of Jeff out there relishing in the fundamental interconnectedness that flows throughout space time by enjoying a Hopfenstark Boson De Higgs. “It’s my second choice,” he says. Perfect to sit back and watch entropy at work.
If Shonkwiler’s vision has come to being, the world has reverted back to the old west. Dust storms block out the sky. You’re a lone rider looking for some shelter. You ride your horse up to the nearest house. You enter. Inside, you find the largest collection of rare beer you have ever seen. This is it. This is the gold mine. The end isn’t a ticking clock, it’s kissing the world you know goodbye. There will never be beer like this again. What do you grab to put in your saddlebags?
Jeff would grab up the super rare, End of History by BrewDog. “If it’s the big LAST call, that’s what I’d want to drink. Plus at 55% ABV…well it’d be game over.” Complete with a taxidermied-squirrel-encased bottle, it seems like the perfect beer to bring a little humor to the end of days.
Dave would load his entire bag with Heady Topper. “For my money it’s the best Double IPA in the world. Hard to find in California, but worth it when you do. I once drove six hours round trip in a snowstorm through Vermont to load my carry-on bag with it. I wouldn’t do that for any other beer.”
What about your friends and family? Hell we’re all in it together, right? Maybe it’s time to barbeque a pig, sit around a fire, and shoot the shit. Tell stories of how it once was. Laugh. Cry. Drink. So it’s time to ask yourself, what beers would you share along with your lost hopes and useless dreams?
Jeff offers up Omnipollo’s American Double/Imperial IPA Fatamorgana, “A very good IPA”. Plus another Imperial IPA by 3 Floyds Brewing Co., Apocalypse Cow, as well as Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. extra special Strong Bitter (ESB), Horseshoes And Hand Grenades. All three beers would be a perfect way drink out the light with friends. “Best of all there’s no need to worry about the hangover tomorrow,” he says. “As there won’t be a tomorrow.”
Dave would go a more sentimental route with Stone’s flagship brew, Arrogant Bastard. “It’s what pushed me into the craft beer world in the first place and I’d be happy to take it full circle and go out with it.” If he had more time however, he’d still like to roll the dice on some beers he’s never tried. Maybe finding his new favorite brew in the final hour.
Here’s to enjoying every beer as if it’s your last. Good bye, folks! I’m sure we’ll meet again…some sunny day.
From the Beer Guy LA Staff
“Above All Men” is available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. For more information on the audiobook visit Fiddleblack.org.