Some people loves birthdays. I’m not one of them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of getting presents but I really do not enjoy all of the extra attention that comes with celebrating the day I was born. It’s not modesty because I’m not what you would consider a modest person. It’s not fear of the spotlight. It feels a little like undeserved attention.
I’m serious about this. What did I do to make August 25 of every year an occasion? Yeah, I was born but it’s not as if I did any of the work. The Wife doesn’t get a present every June on The Kid’s birthday, even though she was the one who had the C-section. It’s as if we are celebrating another year of me not testing any Darwinian theories. “Yeah. Jared. Congratulations on making it one more year without having a catastrophic cardiovascular episode. Here’s some cake.”
Earlier this summer we heard about James Harrison, professional football player and buzzkill, who gave back his kids’ participation trophies because he believed that his kids should only be rewarded if they won. It’s a segment of the “wussification of America” narrative that says our nation has become weaker by awarding participation trophies, credit for trying, and shielding our children so greatly that we’re raising a nation of wimps. We close schools because it’s cold, don’t let them turn their brains into soup by playing football, And as a result, we’ve lost our boldness, make bad decisions, and lost our position of global power. But, let me pose this question. Aren’t birthdays the ultimate celebration of participation? Isn’t a birthday party a participation trophy? Child does nothing, parent does all the work, yet we give them presents? That’s not teaching them the right lesson. Does James Harrison crack down on the loserdom of birthdays? Does he demand presents for siring his kids? AMERICA MUST KNOW!
So, what does any of this have to do with beer? On my birthday, I celebrated the hard work of my mother and the fine doctors at what once was Syracuse’s Community General Hospital for successfully delivering me into the world by cracking into Smuttynose Brewing Company’s 21st anniversary beer, Spank. By label, it is a hoppy farmhouse ale. By the glass, it’s a complex, lightweight ale with a nice yeasty tang. It has a big fluffy head, regardless of how hard one pours. The fruit flavors are explosive, from banana esters to citrusy hops. It’s bitter, peppery, floral, and fruity. One of the finest beers I have enjoyed this year from one of the finest breweries in the Northeast.
If you are going to wuss out and submit to peer pressure of celebrating a birthday, there are worse ways.
Brewer: Smuttynose Brewing Company
Style: Farmhouse Ale
ABV: 7.8% IBU: n/a
Container: 22 oz. bottle
Price: $9.99 Point of Purchase: Syosset Beverage, Syosset, N.Y.
To The Eye: Orange and hazy. Pillowy head that doesn’t subside much during the session.
To The Nose: Fruit and floral aromas. Pineapple, lemon, and pine all present.
To The Palate: Low carbonation and lightweight. Opens floral with lemon dryness. Well-balanced. Bitterness opens up at the middle from the saison yeasts.
Aftertaste: Dries off on the back end with a peppery, fruity finish.
Boozy Factor: Nice punch to it. It punches above its weight class.
On a Scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as highest: 9