Allow this beer writer to get a tad literary for a moment. In When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer by Walt Whitman (he’s a poet, you heathens), the narrator describes attending a lecture by an esteemed astronomer, who is educating the captive audience on the nuances and scientific minutiae of space. It’s a short poem, and one can’t imagine the “charts and figures” cited within the text to have held up to time. It was, after all, written in the late 1800’s and public consensus likely held that God or some deity put that big bulb in the sky or that those funny little shining things are ancestors of royalty twinkling down on their heirs.
A lot has changed about our knowledge of space, of course. But even still, our protagonist walked out of the boring lecture to look up at the stars and constellations in amazement rather than boredom fueled by the equations and dense lecture by some tweed-coated dweeb. We don’t know if Whitman was drunk, but I’m assuming that his compunction to lay down on the grass was, in fact, influenced more by his emotions than his head. Or maybe he was drunk.
This is one thing that I have in common with America’s first poet. I’m a big space guy, but I hate science fiction; I think Star Wars is the most ridiculously boring movie series of all time; If I had a gun to my head and had to make a life or death claim as to whether I thought the moon landing was staged or fake, I’d wager my life that there’s no way we landed on the moon before we invented the microwave.
I’m still a big space guy because we don’t know much about it and that wonderment gets me. I’m too dumb to figure out infinity; I’m too overwhelmed by the vastness of that statement. What do you mean it’s been there forever? What do you mean it doesn’t end? You could hand me charts with equations and numbers or send me to dinner with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and I’d want to be just like Whitman and go outside and just look up.
It’s a classic west coast-style IPA, complete with a pine-tree assault on the nose and the crisp, clean finish at the end.”
Seattle’s Elysian Brewing Company makes an 8.2% alcohol by volume India Pale Ale called Space Dust, so there’s really no way in hell I wouldn’t want to try it. I wouldn’t know what a Millennium Falcon looks like, but put it on a beer label, and instinctively I don’t want it; Use the word “space,” though? I’m in.
The beer is a monster. The hefty alcohol content combined with the 22 ounce format makes the task of drinking the entire bottle as daunting some of the aforementioned equations or actually going to space (a task for which I am wholly unwilling to do, unless the other alternative is being dropped in the middle of the ocean, but that’s a whole different story).
It’s a classic west coast-style IPA, complete with a pine-tree assault on the nose and the crisp, clean finish at the end. It’s a medium-bodied beer, but you won’t get the haze associated with the current IPA craze. You’ll just get a straight forward, classic example of the style, hop resin sticking to the tongue in the best possible way.
Despite the ABV, Space Dust is light enough to keep you motivated to head outside and stare at the sky, but big enough to keep you inner Whitman intact: look up at the sky, not to sort out the questions of the galaxy, but simply to look at some cool shit.