My favorite dark beer: Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, served perfectly — on the cool side of tepid and on tap — a beautiful thing to behold, a bewitching thing to consume. It has a rich, edgy, aromatic taste (reminiscent of a much stronger libation like whiskey; in fact, for a beer, it offers quite a kick). For some, food has a particularly strong nostalgia. I discovered this stout years ago during a time in my life when, although unemployed, I felt unprecedented strength and freedom. I had walked away from a corporate job, and left the town I had called home for over two decades. I decided to tackle this new phase of my life with courage and anticipation, rather than fear. It was a time of reinvention and rebirth. I dug deep, and made the acquaintance of aspects of myself I’d not before known. One night, I decided to go out for a cold one at a local pub—all by myself. I’d never done that…walked into a public house alone with the intention of remaining so. Brazenly, I sat at the bar. The barkeep asked me if I knew what I wanted. I told him to surprise me, but that I wanted something on tap and out of the ordinary. So, he poured me this stout, which I loved from first sight and first sip. I was not much of a dark beer drinker, but this one won me over. Something about it made me feel like a rebel to my former self—as though it symbolized the new incarnation. For a while it became my signature drink. When I have it now, a part of me relives that time and I taste that sense of freedom all over again. There is a strange and beautiful nostalgia with such things.
Cheers, salut, skål, gunbae, à ta santé, l’chaim… [you get the idea] !
‘Nostalgia on Tap’
story / image © 2017 Nena Black