I enjoy flavored beer and experimental beer. I also love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I could live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Growing up my family would take an annual summer vacation trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. We would get out early every day and I would spend the morning fighting waves, tides, and my younger cousin Daryl. After a long morning of beach activities the family would head back to our modest accommodations where I would enjoy a lunch of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a Yoohoo chocolate drink. Six days of beach festivities meant six days of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and six days of Yoohoo chocolate drinks. My point is that I know a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I see it (a statement that comes as a surprise to no one reading this blog since you have topless pictures of me).
So when perusing the aisles at my local beer shop I came across Liquid Lunch from Terrapin Beer Company, I had to give it a try. I mean, right there on the label, the beer is described as a peanut butter and jelly porter. You have already read about my experience and love with peanut butter and jelly. You should also know that I'm partial to dark beers. Brown ale is probably my favorite but I also really enjoy porters and stouts. You can keep your overly-hoppy, grapefruit filled Indian Pale Ales. Give me a beer that is more reminiscent of motor oil, like a porter. My expectations were high for Liquid Lunch. I was hoping to get the best of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a porter.
I was shattered the moment the dark liquid hit my taste buds. My childhood came rushing back as the distinct flavor of robitussin overwhelmed my senses. No peanut butter. No jelly. No porter. Just flashbacks to being force fed the world's worst tasting cough medicine, receiving Vick's vapor rubdowns, then climbing under a blanket to weather the illness while watching The Wizard (which starred Fred Savage and I had taped onto VHS from HBO during one of the free HBO weekends) for the 700th time (Super Mario Brothers 3!!!!!!). Maybe the manufacturer of robitussin was trying to make a medicine that tasted like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich so kids would be less resistant to choking it down. Well, robitussin failed at producing a peanut butter and jelly flavor and so did Terrapin.
Just so you don't think I'm a hater of Terrapin Beer Company, you should know that I have had other beers from that brewery and have enjoyed them immensely. Terrapin's Liquid Bliss is a chocolate, peanut butter porter that tastes like a peanut butter cup in liquid form. It is just outstanding. The Road Warrior is not only an indie movie starring a not-yet-public-antisemitic Mel Gibson but it's also a refreshing kolsch-style beer that is perfect for any sunny summer day. Terrapin's Pumpkinfest is a subtle pumpkin beer that doesn't have overwhelming pumpkin spices and is nice on a crisp fall evening. The point is Terrapin can produce some good brews.
I can say with certainty that unless I catch the croup I will be avoiding Liquid Lunch in the future but I won't be holding the beer against Terrapin. They can't all be winners and I applaud the effort just not the results. I'll be picking up a Terrapin Pumpkinfest this fall.
P.S. My local beer shop is The Wine Cabinet in Reston, VA. Yes, I do know it is call The Wine Cabinet and I don't care. The folks at The Wine Cabinet carry a nice supply of local and non-local craft beers so until someone opens a all-local craft beer store in my basement I will continue to patronize The Wine Cabinet.
P.P.S. I have a basement and I'm not opposed to working with entrepreneurs who want to lease my basement for a all-local craft beer store. All renovations, zoning, parking, and other business related construction will be your responsibility. Let me know if you are interested.