There is a language of beer, just like there is a language of wine or food. Some people find these esoteric languages snobbish, others think they’re fun. But anyone who loves something dearly waits for the moment that they walk into their favorite place–wine store, surf shop, butcher–and are recognized and given special treatment by everyone there.
Last Friday I walked into Coit Liquor, our favorite local booze place, with Joe. There is an employee behind the counter–John (aka The Beer Guy at Coit). He looks over the head of the person he is ringing up at the cash register and says, “Hey man, we got a hundred and twenty in.”
“I’ll be taking some of that,” Joe says. We go straight to the back right corner of the store where the beer cooler and small section of beer shelves are. We pick out the other beer we came for, and then proceed to stand in front of the shelves aimlessly.
“What are we doing?” I ask Joe, in a loud museum whisper. “Where’s the hundred and twenty?”
“He’s got to get it from the back room.”
When John returns with a single 12 ounce bottle of Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA, we start to check out. He taps his head. “I almost forgot, I just brought some stuff out of the cellar.”
“Supplication, Temptation, Beatification, and Firestone Walker’s 12th Anniversary.”
“I’ll take the Firestone,” Joe says, just like I know he will (since we already have the first 3 in our own “cellar”–otherwise I’m sure he’d take those too). When we finally stagger out of Coit, neither of us can fasten bags, bursting with bottles, shut.
The road towards craft beer is a slippery slope, my friends. A tasty, slippery slope.
Coming soon: Beer at Joe’s SF Beer Week schedule