Poker Night — Going All In

At our monthly poker night, we tend to maintain a strict standard of hi-lo brow. Sure, there will be some incredible craft beers, but there will also be Domino’s pizza. There will be fancy bourbons, but there will also be M____’s e-cigarette steaming away across the table. In other words, we achieve a manly balance — and eventually play some cards. 

Our latest lo-brow gamble is Corona’s Familiar. Already famous south of the border, this particular Corona style is newly available in the States. It’s only distributed in these large, beautiful bottles for now. And yes, that label is ink on glass. It’s stunning. 

As for the flavor, it’s right there with most Mexican macro brews. Some claim this is exactly the same brew as Corono Extra. In fact, the cap says so. If there’s any difference in quality and flavor, it might actually come from the brown bottle itself. Blocking harmful UV rays from skunking the beer, it’s possible that this is the Corono Extra flavor the brewery always intended — and it’s not bad.  

And then for the hi-brow move. We slowed things down and put on our contemplative poker faces for a bottle of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock. The rich, intense smoke flavor tastes like good bacon and gouda. It’s liquid alchemy and it’s astounding. I’ve also had the comparably smoky, but smoother Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen recently at Northdown Cafe and Taproom on Lincoln where it pairs perfectly with an eggy brunch. 

We also anted up with Goose’s Pepe Nero (not as good as I remember), Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale (spectacularly rich and effervescent) and a bottle of Evil Power from Three Floyds (an intense, over-the-top Imperial IPA) — and then I took everyone’s money. 

@mpkiser@goodbeerhunting

Michael Kiser