Hello. I drank The Parkside Brewery’s Attack of the Cherry Stout the other day and I’ll tell you about it in a second. But first, hey listen:
There’s… a mantra that I mutter when cruising the bottles & cans at my local libation station that goes a little something like this:
REPUTATION, have I heard you before?
STYLE, are you something I adore?
ART, that’ll get you thru the door.
But TASTE, will you leave me wanting more?
With regards to the art on the can and its relevance, one might argue I shouldn’t hold something as superficial and unrelated to a product’s actual value or taste in such high regard (it’s number three in my four-point poem for fuck’sake!) To which I would politely reply, “Thank you for your criticism but… do you not live in the real world?” My eyes wander and often wonder at the beauty this world has on display. My eyes are often inextricably drawn to that which is pleasing and- NEWSFLASH! So are yours. Does it make the beer taste better? Hell no. But given two choices and no other indicators, ten times out of nine I’ll buy the beer in the stylish or artistic can versus the one clumsily cobbled together with no real forethought other than, “…make sure they can see our logo!”
I love the whole damn theme with this can. As a stand-alone piece it’s already awesome. I mean, it’s a fruit-flavoured, end-of-the-world (or at least, end-of-Port-Moody) situation that resonates with our culture’s love of dystopian futurescapes and big bad-guys. And now you’re telling me it’s also an homage to an existing mural (The Future is Behind Us, by artist Kris Kupskay) in Port Moody? Well played, Parkside Brewery, well played indeed.
As an aside, and this probably only applies to skate-dorks like me, the fact that the original mural is beside the PoMo Rotary Skatepark and the can-art contains some of said skatepark’s rail features is giving me tingly feelings that will require a little alone time with my deck (I said DECK!) to fully assuage.
So one, two and most definitely three are covered. How’s about that taste then? Art is a start and (as I said) that shit’ll get’cha thru the door, but if you want that first-timer comin’ back you need to really nail it with item number four.
As an Imperial, weighing in at 8.3 ABV with a volume of 473, this beer was no joke. But it was tasty. After the pour and the obligatory photograph, I put nose to glass and took a whiff. Smelled “stouty” all right, but I couldn’t really pick up the cherry. My first sip brought a wee bit of cherry to the fore but at it’s core this was just a really delicious stout. As the beer warmed the cherry got a bit (just a bit) more pronounced. I got some chocolate, maybe some caramel, but you know, malty caramel. Caramalty? Sure. There was even some nut action present. As you can probably tell, I don’t really like describing what I’m tasting. Part of the reason for this is I feel pretentious when doing it. But also it’s because I’m not that good at it (yet). Perhaps, as this beer-bloggin’ journey continues, I’ll develop a more analytical palate and the vocabulary that goes with it. But perhaps not. Suffice to say, this was a delicious beer that I will happily drink again!
In one of my first BFFs, I suggested a musical pairing because it seemed somewhat appropriate. I’m feeling a similar synchronicity this time around, and would suggest you pour a glass of Parkside’s Attack of the Cherry Stout then sit back and let The Flaming Lips seduce you with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part I. You could listen to Part II as well, I suppose, but it’s instrumental and I always felt like it represented the battle itself, whereas Part I is Yoshimi’s origin story and the lead-up. And for my money, character development, dramatic tension and rising action always always always outshine actual fight scenes. These may be my last written words in 2017 and if they are… well… I can’t think of a better beer or soundtrack to play me out with. Merry Whatever everybody. Be good to each other.