It's unofficially the doldrums of summer, when things like job performance and precise maneuverings in time and space take backseat to the more important goals of porch-sitting and pool-seeking. And coming in a close third: cold beer-sipping. Traditionally, this activity should be done from an icy, sweating can.
Alas, it's been nearly half a decade since either of us drank beer from cans on any regular basis. That was when a run for Olympia beer was the closest thing to a summer vacation we had, and we swigged enough Tecate to build a one-story pyramid out of cans in the backyard. A couple years ago, when we got deep in good beer, that swill no longer sufficed; so we said, "Goodbye, aluminum," and "Hello, 750-ml bottle." We didn't look back. But when one of our local liquor stores started carrying beers from Colorado's Oskar Blues, the only craft beer brewery we know that cans their beers, we realized we deeply missed the experience of closing our lips around the cool, tinny mouth of a beer can. Suddenly, it seemed like such a simple summer pleasure we had been missing out on. So we bought a six-pack of the brewery's flagship brew, Dale's Pale Ale, and "porched it."
Now, for drinkers accustomed to pouring bottled beers into proper glassware, the act of simply cracking a can and tilting it in the direction of one's face can be startling, even disturbing or liberating. Thankfully, the beer locked inside immediately registers as bitter, hop-intense and floral. We've seen some pool-goers nearly choke because they were expecting the watery feel of High Life. Dale's Pale is close to an Anchor Steam ale, hoppy but not an IPA, stingy but not quite an ESB. There's very little head—obviously, otherwise it'd foam out the top of your can—and a soda-like spritzing of bubbles that congregates nicely on the rim of the can after a couple sips. When it does, you'll notice a gentle reddish-blonde hue in the beer, unimaginable compared to most fizzy yellow cans. But don't get too curious—that's half the can's mystique. And definitely don't make the stubborn mistake of pouring Dale's into a glass; it's not the same. You are paying for the experience of cold metal in your hand.
Soundtrack: Black Sabbath's "Iron Man"
Find It: All Kelly Liquor locations, Albertsons, Walgreens (Central and Dartmouth only), Gecko's on Academy, O'Niell's Pub, Stone Face Package Liquor, The Bird, The Barley Room, Triangle Grocery (Cedar Crest), Whole Foods (Santa Fe), Liquid Company (Santa Fe), Susan's Fine Wine and Spirits (Santa Fe), Railyard Restaurant and Saloon (Santa Fe), Cliff's Liquors (Santa Fe), Warrior-Phillips 66 (Bernalillo)