It’s Saturday night and I’m satisfying my hunger with the Pizza Shark walk-in-special, a staple among students and junkies — chosen first for affordability and second for taste. I need a beer to go with my meal but I don’t see any in the fridge. I dig deeper, shifting a bottle of ketchup and a block of my roommate’s cheese when I see it, a can of Abandon Beer left behind after some long-forgotten gathering.
It is a false prophet. Pabst Blue Ribbon, pretentious beer, yet completely unable to satisfy my craft-beer snobbery. I sigh and contemplate the can where it sits, sandwiched between a jar of pickles and the wall of the fridge. I even reach out and touch it, resting my index finger just above the brand’s signature red stripe. I think perhaps this is what I want, a cold glass of uninteresting grain water, but I’m unable to make this self-deception stick. I let the fridge door swing shut and run myself a glass of water from the tap.
This beer will still be in my fridge a month from now, waiting for someone to come along whose tastes match its flavour. I remember the last time I left behind my own Abandon Beer. It was at a house party in Kanata. I had brought a beer I love, a case of Mad Tom IPA. It’s a flavourful offering from Muskoka Brewery, but, like most things labeled IPA, it doesn't hesitate to kick you in the back of the throat on the way down. My host on that fateful night wouldn’t drink it. It’s probably still hiding somewhere in the depths of his fridge.
This is the true sadness of Abandon Beer. It is the same sadness shared by all things lost. We leave something behind with the hope that it will be found again by someone who will truly appreciate it. In a perfect world, where all hearts beat with the same rhythm, love lost can be loved again. But this is the real world where tastes are fickle and gifts can’t be predicated on the taste of the giver. What we leave behind will ultimately be either too bland or too bitter for our peers, and our passions always wind up in the back of the fridge— behind the pickles.
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/294559767/
Conor is not an alcoholic. He is an engaged and passionate person who does about half as much distraught navel-gazing as this blog would suggest. He has an aptitude for communication and a passion for storytelling. When he finds he has free time he plays silly games and enjoys good beer.