Would you drink a beer if it had the potential to erase a prior cringey memory? The collection of past regret sits in the hopper like coffee beans waiting to be ground. You’ll be folding laundry and then a twinge from your cervical spine: BAM now you’re thinking about that person you ghosted, the time you embarrassed yourself at a dinner party, a Facebook photo album titled ~ RaNdOm ~.
What if a beer could reconcile the past? With enough civet feces anything is possible. You could be sipping a light kopi luwak roast, the drying toast of lightly burned wheat crust, dunking a Nutella scone into the glabrous foam, but the past isn’t done with you. The hawk of noradrenaline grips upon the whale of the amygdala and the two shouldn’t be interacting. You feel shame. With some stouts, it’s time itself that repairs that deficiency.
The present imparts a strong sickly-sweet memory of present circumstances. Sipping the haptic enamel cup and feeling the waves of warming caramel crepe broth wash over you is helpful, but you were still cringe for so many years. Barrel aging fixes this dread. The complexity imparted is the distance of passing days. Fresh coffee becomes faded, and beans are ground anew. Chipped nail polish, spiked belts, eye liner, hidden folders of fan fiction, lip sync videos, filming prank videos at the mall, visiting a crush at work; it all integrates within the staves.
It takes a Noah Baumbach hand to unite the Hawk with the Whale. The Hawk, rooted in the Oceanside sky of excess, the whale, lapping in the delicate Flushing River. Suddenly with a little barrel- none of sensitivities of the past matter. Your present failings overshadow your past ones so substantially that you are reeking of espresso, peanut brittle, and Three Musketeers, cutting your own bangs, thrifting, saying things like “we need to normalize crying on the bus-” And suddenly it clicks.
All existence is cringe.
Stouts only help to shellac the imperfections. The world has a creamy warm swallow that drags on and even after the bitterness structures the sweetness on the frontend. Life is just a series of coffees and beers until the café is closed.