When it comes to decisions that involve my heart, I am not sure I am ever going to get it right. I don’t fall for anyone easily and when I fall, I fall hard. I am following my heart instead of my head and this is probably the problem. Imagine jumping off a cliff attached to a bungee cord. You know what you are getting yourself into and assume the risk of the plunge. Sometimes, it feels worth the risk. It could be what some people refer to as butterflies. It could be the ease of your conversation, your eye to eye contact, the sexual tension you share, and something as sweet as a shared kiss. I don’t normally jump off cliffs. I may not see the hidden red flags that should have me running in the opposite direction. The world of being single has its challenges. No one tries to form any kind of connection anymore. Dating doesn’t exist. Conversations are sent through social media messaging. Friends with benefits can’t even commit to regular hook ups. Texting has replaced voice to voice conversations. Sexting has replaced sex. Hanging out has replaced dating. Situationships have replaced relationships. I am just tired of entertaining it all.
A friend whom I call a chosen sister reached out and asked me to meet her and her husband in Mexico. “Take on a foreign lover,” she suggested. “It may just give you a better outlook on men.” Another friend reached out, letting me know our annual beer tasting was to take place. Let me explain this to you before continuing.
A group of us met a decade ago at a resort in Cancun and I had the idea of hosting a beer tasting with them. The rules were simple – bring a local beer, talk about it, and pour it for the others participating. I decided to go to Mexico; it was the perfect escape to meet friends and drink beer. Plus, I may even be pleasantly distracted by someone from a different country who wants to dance the slow and sensual rumba!
My big debate, other than what to pack, was what beer to take – and wondering if my luggage would be over fifty pounds. I know I am not the only one who struggles with this. I overpack. Five dresses, six bikinis, eight different outfits, and six pairs of sandals isn’t too much for five nights, is it? Another question was, would I have to wear some of my packed clothes on the plane, because the beer I packed made me exceed the weight limit? As I over-thought this, I wondered whether to invite a friend to rumba with me or if I should find a rumba partner there? Or should I invite someone I know who lives there to meet me? I remember to pack condoms at 1am before my 4am Lyft pickup. I found 4 condoms that expired a day ago. Surely, that was a sign to forget about the men and focus on the beer.
For my trip to Cancun, I decided to bring Long Live Beerworks’ PVD Pils, Friendsgiving, and DDH All Seeing Eye. Two to share, and one for me! I know my choices were worthy. Long Live Beerworks is like a man you are proud of and want to introduce to everyone. Since I ditched the idea of taking a male companion this is the best alternative. My friends are beer-worthy and I know they are going to love them.
Once in Cancun, I explained to about twenty of my friends why I chose this brewery. LLBW owner and head brewer Armando DeDona is a genius when it comes to craft beer brewing. I have never consumed a beer of his I didn’t like, and I fall in love with a new beer each time I visit the brewery. First I served Friendsgiving. Friendsgiving is an annually released imperial stout and, like all LLBW beers, it ages well. It was released in November 2022, has a 13% ABV, and its sweet flavors of hazelnut, vanilla, and a hint of malt chocolate and coffee, make it a highly desirable dessert stout. Needless to say, this beer was sampled by all and the can was drained quickly.
Next up, I served the DDH All Seeing Eye. This is a New England double dry hopped IPA with an ABV of 8.4%. It has juicy tropical fruit flavors that level off with a slight piney hop. I was a little territorial with this, like a jealous girlfriend, but I managed to share some of it, while holding onto it, so my lips rarely left the can. Yes, it is that good!
I drank the PVD Pils on the balcony outside my room, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. I sipped on this Italian pilsner while palm trees swayed in the warm breeze. The only sound was the waves riding the wind. This Italian-style pilsner is a perfect beer to drink in the Cancun heat. The taste is true to its style: light and refreshing with a slightly hoppy bitterness and malt that takes over and makes it smooth and easy to drink. A crushable 5.24% ABV had me wishing I’d brought more than one of these Italians with me. I didn’t share this, and I don’t feel guilty about it. Sometimes being selfish with beer is a form of self-love.
I wanted to drink some local beers from Mexico as well. There is a brewery located in Isla Mujeres called Isla Brewing Company – the only microbrewery located there. I have wanted to visit for some time. The brewery was closed but offered orders to go, which allowed me some time to talk with Charlie, a resident of Isla Mujeres. Charlie looked like a combination of Jason Momoa and Johnny Depp, with a Lenny Kravitz style about him. Yeah, I know, he was f’ing perfect. I asked him about relationships, love, sex, food, life, and beer. The essential basics. He led me to a meal of great food from a family-owned restaurant, located some handmade hot sauce for me to take home, and found one of my favorite Mexican lagers. We shared some deep thoughts and opinions about relationships. He enlightened me with his male point of view. Charlie told me, “I talk with a lot of men from the United States. They all talk about work being a priority. They aren’t interested in taking the time to get to know a woman. They are distracted. They find it easier to seek out the lazy way of life. They meet women on social media because it is easy and involves no effort. They watch porn. They entertain themselves at home drinking and they don’t consider putting in the effort of having an actual relationship because their needs are being met without one.” Is it any different in Mexico? Charlie thought for a moment and replied, “There are less opportunities in Mexico for men to turn to outlets other than pursuing a life of happiness with a woman.”
After hearing this I felt a little defeated. Should I move to Mexico? I do like hot sauce and hot men. Decisions, decisions. Do I fly back to the States and meet more men who are selfish and lazy when it comes to any form of a real connection?
If I am going to dance the rumba, why would I choose a partner who doesn’t want to dance? It’s like having sex with a partner who doesn’t participate. You have to touch, to feel, you have to talk face-to-face to be real and I am choosing beer to heal.
You can’t order commercial light beer and expect craft beer quality. You also can’t think beer is going to taste good just because the can art is pretty. Much like relationships, when it comes to beer, the time invested and the ingredients in the can are what matters.
Am I giving men from the US another chance? I guess you will just have to read my future articles to see. Until then, let’s cheers to great local craft beers and to not having bad sex!
Long Live Beerworks
40 R Sprague Street