Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Never Summer Ale

I got my credit card statement today. Let me ask you something. Am I the last one to know that using a credit card is better than exchanging money in foreign country?

Don't get me wrong. You NEED cash in a foreign country. In Colombia, it's mainly used to pay off kidnappers so they don't kill you for not having any cash (seriously, that happened to my cousin-in-law). But you don't need to trade major amounts of currency (unless of course your are purchasing drugs and hookers and casino chips, then you need cash).

For you MBA business student geniuses, let me build you a case study. It was a hassle to get this stupid woman at the local grocery store to trade $200 at at rate of 1800 pesos per dollar, despite the fact that she was raping me of my money. Two days later, my mother-in-law got me 1870 pesos per dollar at some other rip-off place. But my statement today told me that I got 1974 pesos per dollar on the one credit card transaction I did while I was there, and that included a 1% fee they charged me for the privilege. (That's a significant increase, math wizards!) And the only reason I did that one transaction was because I got a 15% discount on admission for using Mastercard, so they got me that on top of a great rate. Duh dudes. Learn from my story!

Tonight I'm drinking Never Summer Ale brewed by Boulder Beer Company in Boulder, Colorado. The name intrigues me, mostly because I have the exact opposite problem, Never Winter State. Anyway, this is their winter seasonal and the third release in their Looking Glass Series.

Hoppy and fruity with a faint caramel and spicy smell in the background. Flavors start out hoppy, a lot of hoppy, with a nice grapefruit bite and some citrus in there too. Some black pepper adds to the already pushy flavors, but some caramel and malts come around and ease those flavors back to a very nicely balanced beer. This beer has a bit of an earthiness to it as well. Carbonation is another aggressive aspect in this beer, and then toward the end you get a little kick in the ass from the alcohol. Medium body. Right on target bitter finish. Lots of big players in this beer. None are, say, UFC champions, but each is a big school-yard bully. However, their teacher somehow makes them play nicely together. An all-around nice beer. Try it this winter season, even if you (are unfortunate enough to) live in Florida.

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