Quarantine Diaries XV
Sunday April 12th 2020
I don’t think I’ve spent the whole of Easter Sunday at home since I was a child. It was, indeed, a peculiar sensation to get up on Easter morning with no plans at all, made even more peculiar by the fact that I had, despite everything, somehow forgotten that it was Easter Sunday and neglected to buy any appropriate food or drink. Quite how this was possible considering how much time I’m spending on Twitter I’m not entirely sure – clearly some form of internalised denial based around the fact that I always spend Easter Sunday having a boozy pub roast. Even in a pandemic, I am still managing to have First World Problems – ha. Swift emergency meat and beer runs were in order (fortunately still possible here) and we ended up with two delicious T-bone steaks (y’all in the UK miss those? I certainly do!) and a brilliant haul from our lovely beer-neighbours at Live Oak Brewing, so all was about as right with the world as it could be. We can and will overcome the dystopian strangeness of isolation with a shit-tonne of food and drink. Yes, we will.
Live Oak Pink Pils and Weisse Rauch
When we first arrived in Austin I was so excited to get stuck into a tonne of boozy American IPAs that I somewhat neglected ATX’s oldest continuously-functioning brewery and champions of local Texan European brewing heritage. Of course, this meant that once I did finally roll up at Live Oak I was so ready to hit up the Pilsners and by gosh was I in the right place! Live Oak’s exemplary catalogue of Pils, Helles, Rauchbier, Grodziskie, Roggenbier and the occasional IPA are beautifully crafted homages to classic European styles with a little taste of Texas on top, and the vast, leafy Live Oak beer garden is the perfect place to kick back and quaff lager on a hot Texas afternoon. It felt eerie pulling into the Live Oak lot on a 29-degree scorcher of a Sunday to find the place deserted, that deafening post-apocalyptic silence again, but we were happy to get our mitts on 6-packs of Live Oak’s new Pink Pils collab with the fab Pink Boots Society and their gorgeous banana-smoke Weisse Rauch.
Back in the real world, I do spend a lot of time being one of those annoying beer people, always seeking out new releases and ordering flight samplers, but being stuck at home has really made me crave the simplicity of a few go-to fridge-beers in sinkable quantity, the unique joy that comes from crushing a high-quality light beer and going straight to the fridge for another. Repeat. Both of these excellent beers fit the bill perfectly, the crisp bitter-malt Pils clean and refreshing for round one, and the luscious, soft and gently smoked Weisse Rauch for a little later as it began to cool down. Lying out in our garden listening to records, I remembered that before we had session beers, we just used to have beer sessions.