19/05/2020 – Stone Soaring Dragon IIPA

Quarantine Diaries XXXXXII

Tuesday May 19th 2020

The news that Texas will enter the next phase of reopening on Friday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend, has, as you might expect, been met with mixed responses here in Austin. As we slowly ease into what will hopefully bear some resemblance to the real world, I’m not sure I can continue to justify offering up Quarantine Diaries as, with bars and restaurants re-opening, albeit at 25% capacity, this doesn’t qualify as quarantine by any discernible standard. I have enjoyed and found significant relief and comfort in writing these posts, as well as drinking so many delicious and exciting beers, but once we’re back drinking in bars, listening to live music and trying to resuscitate the fizz and pop of life before Covid-19, how interesting or resonating will my daily adventures really be to any potential readers? While my experience of living through what I will realistically call Phase One of the pandemic is obviously very personal and specific, I’m sure that there are at least some elements of my emotional journey as well as the many activities and experiences I’ve gone through that have struck a chord with others. Differences have, for a time at least, seemed less important than similarities in our condition as we have shared recipes, TV and book recommendations, gardening advice and silly outfit pics on top of our usual beerchat. We have all gotten to know one another better, and certainly, in my opinion, come out the richer for it. Nonetheless, as we begin to resume our regular routines, I fully anticipate that the intricacies and minutiae of my distinct comings and goings will no longer fall into the category of relatable material. As someone who has always been an outsider and whose life choices have been far from typical, this is sadly to be expected. You won’t find me propping up message boards on Linked-In or Mumsnet – there has yet to be a forum invented for folks who march to the beat of my particular drum. While I am sad, both because the project is coming to an end and because of the loss of the sense of community and belonging that is so rare for me to experience, it is of course a relief to be looking forward and thinking of the future once more. What next, in terms of writing projects? I shall be giving this considerable thought over the next few days.


Stone Soaring Dragon IIPA

img_7727This glorious fragrant, floral-hopped IIPA brewed with white tea is such a delight that we absolutely had to pick up more. The delicate, lightly herbaceous, aromatic quality of the tea combines perfectly with soft stone-fruited hops for a sweetly nuanced flavour that pairs brilliantly with spicy food (we’ve tried it with Sri Lankan chicken and jambalaya so far) but is also killer by itself. I’m a huge fan of Stone beers and enjoy both their new releases and the classics, but this is their most outstanding brew for a while – a total experimental belter.