My brother-in-law and budding brewing partner gave me an assortment of beers today. This is nothing new, since he's one of the biggest consumers of my output, he gives me beers now and then.
This assortment was a Sierra Nevada Torpedo, New Belgium Arrow something-or-other, and two Belgians -- Duvel and Piraat. Never had Piraat, but really enjoy Duvel.
I was really looking forward to trying the Piraat, so this afternoon, prepped my favorite glass and pulled the Piraat out. Opened it and the first thing I noticed was barely any pressure. Great, thinks I, a bottle conditioned beer that didn't condition properly. Poured it into the glass. Flat viscous piss-yellow liquid, with almost no carbonation. Smelled it. Sickening sweet, with a strong petroleum scent. Almost like synthetic apply juice married with vaseline. Despite all the warning signs, I tasted it. Like the smell, sickeningly sweet with an alcohol burn. Let my wife smell it (she wouldn't taste it) -- disgusting was her pronouncement. Dumped the beer, commenting that this was the first time I'd EVER dumped a beer. Sent my bro-in-law an e-mail, telling him about the beer, and telling him maybe their conditioning yeast was bad.
Went back in the kitchen, scrubbed and rinsed my glass and pulled out the Duvel. Opened it. Same flat sound, same piss-yellow, same stench, but didn't dare taste it.
My next thought was this -- he has a buddy with connections whom he told me was going to get some special Belgians. Hmm, could these have been them, possibly some bootleg backroom Belgian that had been disguised so as to hide their contents? Sniffed the bottle again. Nah. No way. Nothing this disgusting had ever even been conceived of in the holy mecca of brewing known as Belgium.
So, I called him. He and my sister were dining with my parents. I said, "Hey, that beer you gave me. Something's wrong with it." "Which ones?" says he, innocently. "Why, the Piraat and the Duvel. They reek of petroleum and taste sickening sweet. I think they may have spoiled in transit." "Hmm, " he muses, "do they, perhaps, taste like juice?" "Juice?", asks I. "Yeah, Joose." was his reply. This time, I caught the reference.
You see, I'd noticed the color was very similar to a can of Joose we'd used for a tasting back at Thanksgiving. I'd bought two cans for the tasting, but since we couldn't finish the first can, I'd saved the other and gave it to him as a gag for Christmas. (For the uninitiated, Joose is a caffeinated energy malt liquor beverage that tastes something like a cross between mule urine and rocket fuel. Oh, and it has natural orange flavor.)
What he'd done was ask a buddy to rebottle the Joose in Duvel and Piraat bottles for the sole purpose of playing a joke on me. My response? Pay back's a bitch. He laughed and hung up. Then called me back 10 minutes later to laugh some more.
Yeah, payback is gonna be a bitch.
Brew like your head's on fire.