Strange Dates: A tangled story of fate and beer.

courtesy of craft

Is there a better way to celebrate my return to blogging than by writing about something virtually irrelevant but still strangely interesting?  Only if I incorporate beer too.

So I recently experienced a moment of perfect coincidence.  It happened through a bizarre cocktail of winter ale, Indiana Jones, and fate.  Bear with me.


 All this month: I’m preparing for an externship with Zipongo in San Francisco, for which I’m developing a business plan and prototype for a mobile phone app.  Brand strength and customer experience are key components of the project.

 3 weeks ago: Over Thanksgiving break, Laura and I are channel surfing and catch the incredible “bad date” scene from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc.    We agree to watch the movie in full once I get back from Ithaca.

 1 week ago: My friend, Brian, sends me this article, which links the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Arc to concepts in brand management.  Essentially, it ties together elements of my future date and future externship.

 2pm Thursday: I’m back in New York and in the Whole Foods Beer Room.  With San Francisco in mind, I pick up the beer, Allies Win the War!  It’s apparently a collaboration between 21st Amendment (a SF brewery) and Ninkasi Brewing Co. in Oregon.  It should be a nice accompaniment to tonight’s movie night.  Plus, I’ll write about it for my triumphant return to eating goodly.

3pm Thursday: Zipongo itself enters the tangle of coincidence as I get an email from a future colleague who references 1) the beer list on eating goodly and 2) the local breweries of San Francisco.  Wait a minute… I was just planning on reviewing a San Francisco local beer on eating goodly.*  Weird.

6pm Thursday: Once I’m home, I take a closer look at that beer… Allies Win the War! is an “Ale brewed with dates”.  Dates!  As in, the scene from Indiana Jones that started it all!  What is happening???

 9:12pm Thursday: As Indie throws the date in the air, I throw back my glass of date ale. In so doing, I experience a zen-like state of perfect coincidence.


As for the beer itself, it looked great – really deep burgundy with a thick, stout-like head.  I approached it sort of timidly, anticipating something syrupy and intense, Belgian quad-esque. Instead, its nose was a lot more like a fragrant West Coast IPA – a lot of citrusy hops with some deeper fruits too (dates?).  The taste was where things got interesting… super thick, less bright than the smell suggested, and with this mellow sweetness that makes the overall flavor really round.  It’s also got some subtle toastiness, which combines with the thick body and mellow sweetness to remind me a little of a milk stout.

So for a flavor snapshot, mix 2 parts Left Hand Milk Stout, 1 part Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, and add dates (or at least close your eyes and picture them).

Consensus?  It’s a nice winter beer – definitely warms you up and has a deep, mellow profile.  Still, I would have liked a little more sharpness in the flavor to cut through the heavy body.  It’s really good as a one-glass experience, but doesn’t really leave you wanting another one anytime soon.

The question now is what fateful beer will I drink next?  Just to be safe, I think I’ll stay away from Zombie Dust for a while.  **


* In fact, I now see that the 21st Amendment Brewery is 8 blocks from Zipongo’s office.

** Or face grave/awesome consequences.