This blog documents my attempt to drink a beer from every country in the world and every state in the United States.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

State #20: South Carolina

Beer: Patriot Pale Ale

Brewery: RJ Rockers Brewing Company, Spartanburg, South Carolina

ABV: 6.0%

Yes, I know how to pour a beer into a glass. Mr. Rocker takes the blame for this one.
I find it puzzling when people from the South claim a monopoly on patriotism and a love of America. They wrap themselves in the flag, telling us to “Never Forget” 9/11, yet they abhor the urbanity and elitism of New York and Washington without ever having come within five hundred miles of them. Some of these same “patriots” will also fight tooth and nail to preserve the use of the Confederate flag, either as part of a state flag or as a stand-alone symbol to be flown next to other less offensive banners. Guess what? Your beloved Stars and Bars is a symbol for a violent, treasonous movement that killed hundreds of thousands of people so that rich, lazy white people could sit on their porch and get richer while black people got whipped for picking cotton too slowly. Violent, racist, and lazy treason: how patriotic!

I couldn't find an explanation for the brewery's name anywhere. (The founder's name is Johnsen). When I think of southern rockers, I think of this and this, unfortunately.
So, when I saw that a beer from South Carolina’s RJ Rockers Brewing Company was called Patriot Pale Ale, I immediately though “what a bunch of asses!” I bought a six pack of the stuff and drove off, resolving to make fun of it.

I think I tasted four or five drops that were NOT handcrafted. Close enough, I guess.
The good news is that, upon doing a bit of research, I learned that the founder of the brewery is a Gulf War veteran from New Jersey who had relocated down south. So, while I still deride South Carolina’s political attitudes, I salute your service, both to our country and to the craft beer industry. Seriously. Thank you.

Far more enjoyable uses of foam.
The bad news is that all six of the beers were foamtastic. I admit that the six pack tipped over in the back seat of my car when I was driving home, but that’s happened to me dozens of times, and never has an entire six pack been rendered virtually undrinkable by such a tiny tumble, especially not after two weeks of settling in the fridge. I couldn’t pour more than an ounce of the stuff into a glass without a massive head building up over the top of the glass. While the flavor was good—it was nice and hoppy, like a West Coast pale ale—the experience was altogether negative. While haute cuisine chefs do some amazing things with foams, a pint needs no more than one inch of it, and certainly not six. If I hadn’t bought the stuff in Huntington Beach, I would have gone back to the store and asked for my money back.

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