‘I’ll Be (Doppel)Bock!’

by Jim Lundstrom

Stopping recently at a place with a great pick-a-six selection, I had been wandering the aisles for far too long with five exotic beers I’ve never had before, sadly unable to grab a sixth. So many choices, so little time…

Then my eye falls on a bottle of Spaten Optimator.
Really, my brain asks my eye.
Uh huh, my eye says.

So I stuff a bottle of Optimator into the empty hole in my sixer. Mission accomplished.

But when I get home and am uploading the bottles from the cardboard sixer to the magic fridge, I note the five exotic beers, thinking with each, oh, wow, can’t wait to try that.

And then there’s the Optimator, and all I can think is, what was I thinking? How many times have I had Optimator? Too many? 

No, I thought, that is impossible. I must have had a very good reason for choosing this as one of the six, and stuck the bottle of Optimator deep into the magic fridge. I remember thinking, “it will surface when I need it most.”
And there it was. So much sweet, malty doppelbockiedness in one green bottle!
Yes! The words of Optimatar must be said!

“I’ll be (doppel)bock!”
Now I know why I added Spaten Optimator to a sixer of exotic American craft beers – it is one of the great beers of the world, deep, dark, rich, roasty, toasty. This is a powerful 7.6 percent lager. What a beautiful world it would be if more people immersed themselves in lovely Spaten Optimator.

On a recent bright fall morning I woke with the slinky music of Victor Schertzinger and the lyrics of Johnny Mercer’s “Tangerine” echoing in my brainpan.

“Tangerine
She is all they claim
With her eyes of night and lips as bright as flame
Tangerine…”

It was the morning I went to buy the aforementioned pick-a-six, so, naturally, as soon as I saw Lost Coast Brewing’s Tangerine Wheat, it earned a spot in the sixer. 
Wheat beer and citrus are a natural pairing, and tangerine flavors are especially nice here in this 5.5 percent, easy-drinking ale from the Eureka, Calif., brewery.
Now, if I could just stop whistling the “Tangerine” tune in my head.