When I was in undergrad at Berkeley, is a subordinate clause I try to never use, but we used to go to this place Jupiter and order the craziest things we could find on the taplist. Over and over, it was Moonlight Brewing. Gruit brewed with spruce tips, A BLACK PILSNER, and the iconic Death and Taxes. Tasting Arrogant Bastard or Hop Rod Rye or HOP STOOPID next to Brian’s beers felt so different for that time period.
Beer persists and now Moonlight is in cans. You don’t have to go across the bay bridge to Zeitgiest and sit with techbros in Patagonia microfleece vests complain about how there are bikes stacked everywhere. Now Moonlight itself feels as consistent as lunar beams. They’ll ship Reality Czech to your doorstep and it will land on top of your case of Kern Citra. What even is life right now.
On National Beer Day I think back on old Death and Taxes and what an insane marketing strategy pushing a schwarzbier is/was. There simply isn’t a higher flavor :: abv :: calorie ratio in the game, with Edmund Fitzgerald looking onward balefully. The clean wash of a tight lager, the roast and pumpkernickle of a porter, UK tier sessionability, and somehow a black beer that feels refreshing.
There will be many more National Beer Days, and beer honestly has never been better. The main takeaway of the past year is how much beer is dependent on the forum, manner, and people it is consumed with. A context free black lager is just something to drill while watching Vanderpump Rules and pinning high waisted culottes and cropped equestrian jackets to your Pintrest. Add people, missions, nighttime walks, open containers, then beer allays the inevitability of Death and Taxes, instead of just numbing them.
Whatever your Death and Taxes is, crack one today, because public negligence and crying and bad right swipes and lost security deposits and black out Mexican food and everything else is on the horizon. Beer has been patiently waiting for an entire year to return to the people and places that give it meaning.