Thursday, September 10, 2009

An Owl Predicted My Milestone Beer

Owls are just so awesome. Not only are they one hell of a predator, but the myths and legends that surround them can be very interesting reads and quite varied.

Depending on where you call home home, seeing one on the way to harvest will provide a good yield. Hearing one may mean a child will get sick or someone will die..unless you're a pregnant woman at which point you can expect a girl. For some, however, if you hear it while you are in labor, the child will live an unhappy life. In India, a broth made from owl eyes could be used to help a sick child. In Algeria, placing the eye of an owl in the hand of a sleeping woman will force her to tell the truth. Guess who believes that if an owl flies in your house, you have to kill it because it leaves with your luck? Yup. The Irish.

I think you get the point. I could go on forever.

But, I would rather start my own myth - if you hear a Great Horned Owl calling before sunrise in a suburban Detroit neighborhood, you will consume a milestone beer.

Actually, it is not a myth. It 's true. Really.

Yesterday morning, before sunrise, from the comfort of my warm bed, I heard the calling of a Great Horned Owl. Birders often describe the hoots of this particular bird as one asking a simple question: "Whoooo's awake. Meeeeeee, toooooo !" Seeing that it was 5am, I guess I got to answer the question "Meeeeeee dammit. Thaaaaaaaaanks alot!"

With dinner yesterday (parmesian chicken bake with julien potatoes), I "enjoyed" my 630th beer. What is the big deal with that number? 630 is now a point when my bird list and my beer list are the same! I never thought the day would come, but it is here - I have sampled as many beers as I have seen birds!

So what was the milestone beer?

The Hitachino Nest Beer from the Kiuchi Brewery in Japan got the call. Unfortunately, it was not worthy of such a milestone beer. It started good with a great look (cloudy straw yellow and a shortlived white head). Everything crashed when I smelled it. Lemon, lemon, lemon. On the palate? Guess what? More lemon with a titch of carbonation. The finish was dry, lemony,and tart. There was no suggestion of hops at any point. All in all, I think it could be described as a funny, watered-down, carbonated lemonade. 2 out of 5.

So why would I have chosen a sub-par beer for such a milestone? First, I did not know it was sub-par. Ultimately, I had something else in mind. I simply wanted to have a beer with a bird on the bottle. Nothing more. As you can see from the bottle cap, this fit the bill. I have had it in my fridge for over a week.

Tuesday was kinda interesting if you think about it. An owl in the morning. An owl in the evening. One was a bird. One was a bust.

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