– Honeeeey! Will you grab me a beer, please?
This is a recurring phrase among lovers, companions, close friends, the closest, the spouse or taking off the “Honeeeey” part, the waiter and more recently, the sommelier. Change it to “love”, “friend”, “darling”, “chief” and so on. Whoever asks for the beer, must do it with affection. And ask politely, always with a please in the end.
At my house, I, a sommelier, work even more. When my husband asks me for a beer, it’s not just a cold one. Sometimes a Pilsen visits the refrigerator, but it’s rare.
– Loveeeer – I say back- which one do you want?
– Choose for me, please. (I hear back, with that soft voice)
– Do you think I’m working at this time? (In a rough voice) Choose one!
Here comes the worst part. When the person decides that he will not choose, it is then that Ninkasi’s energies pour her patience over me. He answers:
There is no “whichever” beer when you have a choice. My husband is bald, he doesn’t lose his hair choosing beer. I do. And it is very hairy to look in detail in this complex world of flavors.
– Refreshing, malty, bitter, sour or dark?
That’s how I start here at home, with the counted options. It’s almost 35ºC outside and it’s already eight o’clock. Who doesn’t want to cool off? What about a glass of cold water or something light and citrusy? The already hydrated human body wants flavor, texture, aroma, a little bit of everything. All of which give lightness to our souls.
– Okay – I go on – citrusy, herbal or fruity?
Since we are here, I might as well….
– With a touch of acidity?
– Sure, you know what I like. 😊
– I know, but I forgot, and we don’t have it! We had it on New Year’s (laughs). Choose another.
– Okay, it can be bitter then (sighs).
Once we learn to appreciate the efficiency of acidity, we salivate at the thought of something that is both delicious and balanced. A liquid can be much more than hydration and refreshment. Over the years we traveled around and trained our palates with a lot of things that once seemed too daring. Beers that told stories in Belgium. Monasteries full of narratives in the Netherlands. Brewpubs full of boldness in England. Local beers full of technique in Germany. Delicious hop beers in the USA. He’s almost as much a sommelier as I am. He is just lazy.
– I’ll get that Session IPA, to start slowly. I thought it was pretty good the last time we bought it and it was on sale at the emporium these days. It´s that amazing local brewery.
Homely conversation, that gossip about purchases we make, talking about the economy, the rise in the dollar, the impact of it on our favorite imported label, which we will only drink again at the source if we travel at 4.20 exchange rate (LOL). Oh, I miss drinking straight from the source. That “terroir” beers have, more in the sense of ambiance and technique than the ingredients themselves. The terroir we set foot on.
With the beer in hand, I use the opener that doesn’t crush caps, the simplest in the collection: nail and wood. From the cupboard I take the Brazilian short glass, which has the writing “my other glass is a Teku”, while the Teku itself is sitting on the top shelf, already resigned, observes another journey of the humble and clean Brazilian short glass. We are in our own terroir. Drinking beer at home with my husband after a long day at work, just drinking together and laughing at a bubble at the bottom of the glass, tapping and finishing.
At least I get a kiss at the end, the waiter definitely doesn’t.