by J.S. Holland
I keep seeing this Tap Room No.21 stuff at the supermarket, and finally succumbed to the curiosity. Most of that curiosity was incited by their packaging that celebrates the end of prohibition, aka "the Noble Experiment". According to their website:
"A tribute to “The Noble Experiment”, Tap Room No. 21 embodies an American spirit of perseverance. During the heyday of the Roaring Twenties, corruption was rampant, lawbreakers became icons and speakeasies replaced saloons. As an ode to the repeal of Prohibition, our best kept secret and most cherished contraband is available for you to enjoy among your crew of notorious bootleggers."
Well, actually, not much has changed since then, so let's not start sinking each other's battleships quite yet, gentlemen. Even as we speak, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for all nations on Earth to take draconian anti-alcohol measures. Today, by coincidence, happens to be "World No-Tobacco Day", a sophomoric celebration of smoking bans, also engineered by the WHO. And yet, this same organization is totally whitewashing the dangers of Fukushima radioactive fallout - to the extent that even the mainstream media is calling bullshit on them.
If this were the Wild West, people like this would have been hung long ago.
So yeah, anyway, therefore, it does my heart proud to see a fledgling young beer that openly acknowledges that at least during this time in history, the good guys were actually the bad guys, and the bad guys were actually the good guys. Black is white, up is down, through the drinking glass.
And it's a damn fine brew. Hoppier than I would have expected, which is a very pleasant bonus, though not nearly so much as Schlafly Dry-Hopped APA (another common find in higher-end supermarkets lately.) All in all it's a complex taste but disarmingly subtle at first. The "ohhh yeah" hits you a full 5 seconds after you've already swallowed it.
They have several varieties but I chose their pale ale. Creature of habit that I am, I will probably stick to their pale ale and not try their other offerings anytime soon. This stuff is tasty and I tend to stick with a winner. Sure, it's a mass-produced corporate brew trying to pass itself off as a "craft" beer, but that's life in this here dwindling spiral of a dying civilization. As Wanda Jackson says, "go to the store, let's buy some more."