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Beer, the Best Date: Hoppy details of looking better after each sip

Image by Jeannie, the Happy Heart Wanderer, the local artist who finds hearts — all year long — in everyday surroundings. Check out all the heartiness that surrounds us in RI at instagram.com/happyheartwanderer

If you were going to date a beer, which beer would you date? Before you judge me for this question, let me ask you this: Haven’t you ever whispered into your pint glass, “I love you?” 

No? What kind of beer are you drinking then?! I have spoken these three words to more pints than partners. Picking out the perfect pint is much like dating. You are meeting and discovering, to determine whether there is a connection or not. Lust, love or leave it?

Is there anything more desirable than a person who is fit? I am not trying to be shallow. Isn’t it true that if you are happy with the way you look, you are happier in general? “Fitter. Happier.” We met at Proclamation Ale Company. Being hoppy yet smooth, with an ABV of 8.5%, surely this was the DIPA for me. Then I saw KDA was back around… we had a history together. The beertender told me that both DIPAs were strongly related. I ended up going home with “KDA”. Was that wrong of me? What can I say? KDA is juicier to me. Haven’t you ever been dumped by anyone for another? Thought so. Me too.

On a recent visit to a neighborhood pub called Skeff’s, I asked their bartender, Patrick Hamilton, for some advice on dating. We both ended up making the same decision: Whalers Brewing APA “Rise.” Patrick said, “Rise is dependable, never disappointing, and would rise to the occasion.” I have to say Patrick was a complete gentleman in his response. I, however, am not so innocent in my references to horizontal positions with vertical reactions. There is a reason #beergasm exists. This pale ale is a crushable 5.5% that I will have over and over again and never get tired of, much unlike the unreliable men I have dated. 

Maybe I need a little romance? I can’t tell you the last romantic gesture I received from a date. This thought introduced me to another beer, the “Fifth Anniversary” from Shaidzon Beer Company. Anniversaries celebrate love — yearly celebrations of blissful entanglement — exactly what this annual Shaidzon stout represents. Made by Seaworthy Coffee Roasters with coconut and freshly roasted local coffee beans, this tall, dark, and delicious stout is perfect to warm me up on a cold winter night. I don’t like overly sweet things. They seem fake: nauseating and hard to take seriously, much like a date that tries to sweet talk you into bed. I like strong and mysterious things like this stout. Because of its bold coffee flavor, delicious coconut, and its 8% ABV, I had “Fifth” twice and went back for another “date” a couple of days later. Less pretentious equals better outcomes.

What is it about a bad boy? You can’t resist him even though you know he is going to break your heart. Maybe it is because he breaks the rules. He is confident, dominant and assertive. Hanging with him makes you feel like a badass. That is why “Cranston Thug” from Union Station is just the gangster I look for. This NEIPA is dry hopped and has an ABV of 6.7%. Like a true baddy, it is hazy, dominant in flavor, and maintains a bitter bite through each sip, all the way to the end. This rebel with a hoppy cause always wins and there is not much you can do about it.

I have never been a fan of dating apps. Profiles never seem to be truthful and I can never seem to find a match. If Long Live Beerworks were a dating app, it would be the exception. I not only meet many interesting choices, I always find I like, if not love, most. However, much like my dating life, once I am introduced to a beer at Long Live, it disappears. The great thing about this is that soon enough, another beer will catch my eye without leaving time to be upset. Unlike boys, there’s no crying over beer. I still felt the need to ask for some beer dating advice from two beertenders at Long Live Beerworks, Riley Mello and Kristie Martin. It came as no surprise that they chose from the list of the many optimal singles from Long Live. “I would choose PVD Pilsner because it’s a classic,” Rylie said. “It is like a walk on the beach, sharing banter, seeing a movie and then getting dinner. It would be a night I would remember the next day. There would be no foreplay but simple pleasures.” At 5.24% ABV this certainly is one that you could over-indulge in with no regrets.

“I would choose Move Mountains,” said Kristie. “I like to hike and this is my favorite.” Luckily for Kristie, this single IPA is back on the available list. Its profile reads, “Riding that tropical wave,” with a 6% ABV and flavors of coconut and citrus. I can see why Kristie chose this newly re-available gem.

In the mood for a little ménage à trois? Long Live has a bit of a history. My favorite, by far, is Life Among Giants, a collaboration with Nova Farms, a cannabis retailer. For me, this was love at first sip. If any beer was my soulmate, this 8.5% ABV DIPA would be it. It is hop-forward throughout its body with juicy, piney cannabis terpenes that linger on the tongue. I long to meet again. With beers that live up to their name like Poets in the Night, DDH Hopeless Romantic, You’re Dead and Out of this World, Good, Good Things, Three Times a Lady, and “What is Love, you are bound to find the beer of your dreams here. Unlike any dating apps, I only swipe right at Long Live. 

This will not be the end of my craft beer love affairs. Whether they are only for one night, hard to find, or no longer available, they have all been memorable. These short term beer-lationships have kept things exciting and new. I am positive I will find another to cherish. Finding a beer “to date” has been much easier than finding a person. After all, beer has never broken my heart.

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