According to Christian folklore, wise men showed up at the birth of Jesus. Guided by the Star of Bethlehem, they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrhh.
It is not my place here today get into the details of it all. Yes, astronomers basically think the "star thing" is silly. Oh, and guess what - the Bible never said anything about Three Wise Men. Apparently, according to the story, three gifts were left by wise men, so it has been assumed for centuries that three dudes showed up. What an exercise in anti-logic, huh? Of course, to some, the "birth of the son of God" is even more silly. But, again, that is not my point here today.
This Christmas, for me, in a sense, was a time of phone calls, thanks, and good business etiquette.
Continuing their efforts in pushing the limits of good beer, the Boston Beer Company, brewer of Sam Adams beers, moved forward in a partnership with the Weihenstephan Brewery in Germany. The final product was Infinium Ale. Still following the Reinheitsgebot (the German beer purity law that allows the use of only malt, hops, water and yeast), Infinium was released just in time for the Holidays.
Knowing only high-end beer stores would have it, I went to the high-end beer store of the Downriver area as far as I am concerned - Vreeland Market. After a conversation with Bill, the owner, he mentioned that his six cases have been sold out or moved on to his other stores. But with the wink and smile that would bring joy to beer drinkers in Michigan everywhere, he said he would get on the horn and see what he could do....
Not 24 hours later, my phone was ringing. Come and get it!
That's Bill on the reindeer in the photo above. As you tell, it is quite a big bottle. 750ml to be exact.
With friends, I cracked it open on Christmas night. Not with a bottle opener, mind you. It was corked.
All in the all, Infinium Ale (#893) was the perfect hybrid between a beer and champagne. On the pour, it bubbled like champagne. Clear and apply juice in color, a light citrus aroma was detectable. The palate was perfect. Very little sweetness actually. With the champagne influence, I was expecting a ton of sugary tones. Didn't happen. Instead, there was a light malt feel with a light body. Keep in mind, it was "light" but with character; not at all light like a Coors Light (otherwise known as water). The finish was dry, rounding out a superb drink. 5 out of 5 in my book. Eight folks gave it a go. While nobody present, beyond me, is anal enough to score on it a one-to-five scale, everyone liked it.
Needless to say, stories like this re-enforce my commitment to Vreeland Market. Bill and Company treat me pretty well there (this is just one story of many). There is no way I can ever buy craft beer at any other Downriver store. Beer bars? Of course. Breweries? You bet. But a take home six pack of some wacked-out beer from a distant corner of the country (or world) will only be purchased here.
Bill the Wise (Business) Man apparently follows a simple business creed - treat the customer right and they will be back.