The Perfect Eucre Hand
The Perfect Eucre Hand


Bell’s Oarsman Ale
W hat a great way to start the year. Mrs Dan’s parents were here for the Holidays with plans to return tomorrow. Tonight we played Eucre. Being a Southerner I thought Eucre was some sort of earache. But these Yankees, including Mrs. Dan, introduced me to this game (along with Gin and Tonics but that’s another story). When we play it’s the boys against the girls. It was my deal and I dealt myself both red bowers, the king, queen, 10 and 9 of diamonds. The trump card was the ace of diamonds. I picked it up, discarded the 9 and declared I was going alone. Rather than prolong the girls’ misery I just laid them down. I had to take a picture of it.

From the Bell's Brewery Website
From the Bell's Brewery Website

I decided to pair this winning hand with a winning beer. I had tried one a few days before. At first I thought it was a loser. I had a Bell’s Oarsman Ale in the little fridge that I was waiting to try. When Mrs. Dan’s brother also came for the Holidays he mentioned he had never tried this Bell’s brew. I’ve always held Bell’s Oberon and Christmas Ale in my top 5 beer list. I didn’t want to risk losing my only single so I bought a 6 of it at the Vineyard.

My reaction on first taste was similar to my reaction when I drank Magic Hat’s Oddnotion Winter Series 2010 and thought I had a skunky beer on my hands. I had never read the label or looked at their website. The label denotes Summertime. I figured it would a lighter beer but wasn’t expecting it to be a sour mash brew.

It’s like tasting a nice sweet red apple but it’s some new sour apple. An out of place taste catches you off guard. Bell’s calls this a session beer. With the sour nature I would agree. It’s tart and lemony. Here’s what they say on their website.

“Designed as a flavorful session beer, Oarsman Ale uses a classic German brewing technique to impart a light, refreshing tartness. Oarsman Ale grew out of a desire to explore the tradition of session beers, trading intensity for finesse while still creating a worthwhile experience for the taster. The grain bill includes a healthy portion of wheat, while citrusy hops lend bright notes to the aroma. Fermented with Bell’s house ale yeast, Oarsman comes in at 4.0% alcohol by volume. Rather than being the dominant flavor note, the tartness in Oarsman takes on more of a palate-cleansing role, making it perfect for pairing with food.”

It was later at night when we were playing so I didn’t want to fill up with a bunch of food to see what pairs with it. (My New Years Resolution is to ride my bike no less than 20 minutes for every beer I drink and I don’t want to spend the rest of the evening peddling). It might be great with hot dogs. Or maybe with some of the boiled shrimp I made earlier in the day. I have some left over maybe I’ll try some with one of the remaining six brews. (Andrew found out it was a sour mash and chose not to drink one). Mrs. Dan and Mr. Mrs. Dan took a sip and gave it a thumbs up but added they would like it better on a hot day.

If you like something different and like an occasional sour beer then this one is for you. If all you like is dark malty brews, skip this one.

Happy New Year to one and all.

From: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Brewery: Bell’s Brewery


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