I have written recently about the glorious beers that brewer Paul Fryman brews at The Wooster Brewery, in the town where I work (http://caelumetterra.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/glorious-beer/)
Last weekend my impression of his brewing skills was solidified.
I am a baseball guy in a famously football town. Massillon, Ohio, where I live, has been the subject of two feature films for its devotion, some would say fanatic devotion, to football. This in a region, Northeast Ohio, famous for its obsession with the sport. In Massillon football is a religion, and middle aged guys wearing their high school jerseys and letter jackets is the norm.
So when my twelve year old and I went to a local sports bar to watch the third game of the World Series, where our beloved Detroit Tigers were struggling to stay alive after losing the first two games of the series to the Giants, we weren’t surprised to see that all the many TV screens were showing a football game. But this was understandable: the game was an Ohio State game, and it was near the end of the fourth quarter. The management tuned one small screen to the Tigers game, and I assumed that when the OSU game was over the big screens would be tuned to the World Series.
Wrong. They were all tuned to a Notre Dame football game except our small screen. And the (very loud) audio was the football game.
So we were watching the Series in less than optimal conditions, silent, a small screen off to the side, while we were surrounded by huge images of football, and a soundtrack to match.
By the bottom of the fifth inning, the Tigers had been unable to score, my son had lost interest, and I was exhausted, not only from the environment, but from having just completed a 56 hour work week.
We went home, risking that we would miss one of those sudden turnarounds that can only occur in the most sacramental of sports.
The next morning we learned that this had not happened, that the final score was 2 to 0, just as it had been in the 5th. The next night the Tigers lost again, ending the Series and suffering the same humiliation they had dished out to the Yankees in the playoffs.
But what did I learn about the fineness of the local brewery? Well, I had a Guinness stout while I watched the game. Not so long ago I considered this a formidable brew, hearty and flavorful.
But after having gotten used to the Wooster Brewery’s New Stout, so complex and satisfying, Guinness tasted like Budwieser, flat and flavorless.
Mr Fryman’s brews are that good.