This month’s edition of The Session (which was properly hosted on the first Friday, even though this one is appearing on the first Monday of December) is hosted by Stan Hieronymus, who asked us to consider a hypothetical beer dinner:
If you could invite four people dead or alive to a beer dinner who would they be? What four beers would you serve?
While this seems like an easy premise on the surface, the more I think about it the harder it becomes to choose. The obvious choice(s) would be beer luminaries (Michael Jackson, etc.) as this is a beer blog, after all, but I think I would only pick one: Fred Eckhardt, the Dean of beer writers.
Fred was not only hugely influential to the field of beer writing and to craft beer, but he was simply an incredibly interesting person with great stories. Of course he should be at dinner.
And you’d probably think that Hair of the Dog Brewing‘s Fred, brewed in honor of him, would be served, but no. That beer would be their Adam, the first beer HotD brewed that was inspired by Fred, based on an historical recipe that he found.
My next choice would be Alton Brown, another interesting personality to me that I think would be an eminently interesting dinner guest—who may help you cook it and would certainly know everything there is to know about the food in it. On one of his episodes of “Good Eats” he focused on brewing a beer, the recipe for which you can find online, which was essentially a slightly amber pale ale. In honor of that beer I would select Deschutes Brewery’s staple Mirror Pond Pale Ale.
Third choice, after some thinking, is going to Douglas Adams. Because why not an English humorist and science fiction author? Among other things. Here is a completely random quote from his posthumous book The Salmon of Doubt:
I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
That sums up quote a lot of things rather nicely I think. The beer would have to be a proper English cask ale, likely a bitter. I won’t be picky as long as it’s fresh.
My final choice is a cheat, I’m picking two: Barack and Michelle Obama. With everything else that has been going on in this country of late, politically speaking, I simply think they would be as interesting as guests could be. No politics allowed, of course. I’d rather talk beer, and the beers served would be the White House Honey Ale and White House Honey Porter that is brewed at the White House—since President Obama brought homebrewing (back) to the Office.
There we are. A beer dinner I’d love to attend.