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An ambulance flashed its red light right outside my window as I cracked open a corked bomber bottle of Blood of the Cherry from O’so Brewing of Plover, Wis.
Is that some sort of omen?
Probably not, but it is rather disturbing to see that emergency light flashing just as I sit down to enjoy a much anticipated sour beer. It’s as if there is a nefarious plot to prevent me from fully enjoying this beer right now.
All of a sudden I hear the nasal monotone of William Burroughs whispering into my brain, “Sometimes paranoia's just having all the facts.”
I say “Pfffhhhhhhht” to the plot, draw the light-tight curtains, wish whomever the ambulance is for well, unwind the wire holding the cork, then give the cork a little shove with both thumbs and it shoots out of the bottle with enough energy to put someone’s eye out.
Thankfully, there is not another eye to be seen. This bottle of beer is mine, all mine! Mwhahahahaha!
Blood of the Cherry is a barrel-aged sour blonde ale refermented with sour Montmorency cherries from Door County, resulting in a palate-pleasing and, yes, even life-affirming sourness that at times seems to challenge how much sourness your palate can take.
Can you take this level of sour cherry blood, you ambivalent human?
Bring it on, Mr. Buttera!
If Door County were to designate an official alcoholic beverage, Blood of the Cherry might be just the ticket. I’d vote for it, if, that is, I were allowed to vote.
The color is the rosy glow of sunset that exists in nature only at that exquisite moment when the sun is about to disappear.
As I ponder the extraordinary rosiness of this beer, my eyes drift to a frameless canvas on the wall directly across from me, a closeup painting of a ripe cherry tree done in a style that reminds me of James McNeil Whistler’s Japanese period. It makes me happy to see it there.
Then I look down at the black & white blossoming cherry tree that spreads across the Blood of the Cherry label. It looks like a modernist take on Japanese style – the limbs of the cherry tree look overweight, American rather than Japanese, and the cherry blossoms themselves look ill defined compared to a traditional Japanese depiction.
I get it.
I love it.
This is a beer of celebration.
The realization of which makes me wish I had saved it until I had finished my last story for the early summer magazine, instead of cracking it open after finally figuring out how to tell that story but before actually sitting down to write it.
Oh, well, I imagine having a bomber of Blood of the Cherry in me can only make the story more fruitful, and maybe I’ll get another bottle when I finally finish the accursed thing.