When you were a kid, did you ever have a favorite toy or game that you played all the time, it was always available, you loved it, but then you tired of that toy or game? You went on to look for different toys, more sophisticated toys and games that made you feel differently, maybe more intelligent. You still loved the old toy, but it got relegated to the status of “Old Standby”?
For me it was my old “Verty Bird” helicopter rescue game. This toy was simple. It had two joysticks, one that controlled the elevation of the helicopter, and one that controlled both speed and direction. The helicopter was tethered to a base, so it just went around in circles, but it gave me hour upon hour of enjoyment, trying to pick up the people in the life rafts and carry them to safety on the other side of the circle. I remember two things about this toy most. I used it so much I had to get another, as I wore out the first one, and my mother was never so happy with the advent of alkaline batteries, because the 4 D batteries this thing took were cutting into the family’s food budget.
A couple of years ago I was at a garage sale, and sitting right there, in the box, was an old Verty Bird Helicopter. I had to have it. I brought it home and set it up and played with it for hours. I rekindled my love affair with this old toy, and introduced my kids to it as I would have an old college room mate.
So what does this have to do with beer? Well the other day I got a hankering for a beer. Nothing too big, or special, just a nice light easy drinking beer so I could have a couple. I didn’t have anything that fit that description in the house. It was about 10:30pm, and in my small town all the grocery store options had long been closed. My choice was to go to the local bar and hope nobody saw me so I didn’t have to stay and gab (not likely to happen in a town of 1000 people) or run to the Chevron station C Store. C store it was. They had door upon door of light, lagery, watery brews and then about half a door of things that were a little more crafty. There I saw and purchased a six pack of Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale.
I was actually a little disgruntled at my purchase because they were out of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (my typical go to) and they didn’t have any of the Red Chair, a Deschutes IPA that would have been perfect for this occasion. So I got home, and didn’t even wait to go in the house to crack one open, such was my cravings for a cold beer. No, I popped the top and drank it right out of the bottle sitting in my car in my driveway while I listened to something about Aliens on AM Coast To Coast.
Now I had drank Mirror Pond dozens of times before, but truthfully it had probably been about 5 years since I’d had one. I had forgotten about the biscuity malt backbone of this beer, and how that hoppy citrusy tang right in the middle married so well with the maltiness of the beer. I had forgotten how refreshing it was on a hot summer night, I had forgotten how absolutely well crafted this little pale ale was, and it was in front of me all the time! Every where I go its looking right at me, and every other time I just passed it right by. Like catching up with an old friend, this beer made me smile.
Like an old toy, rediscovered, I will never take Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale for granted again. I’ve been enjoying the sixer all along, I’ve drank a few, and Sunday I made beer can chicken with one, and it was outstanding! If you see this old standby, now new favorite of mine out there, pick it up. It won’t disappoint.
What about you? What was your favorite toy? Have you ever had the joy of rediscovering an old friend? Let me know in the comments.