20/05/2020 – Blue Owl Van Wilder Sour Red Ale

Quarantine Diaries XXXXXIII

Wednesday May 20th 2020

I love being asleep. I know, who doesn’t? But I really, really love it. I was having insanely vivid, utterly fantastical end-of-the-world dreams decades before the cool kids jumped on the Covid-dream bandwagon and have imagined up more versions of the apocalypse than Joss Whedon. And no, I’m not going to tell you about them. Believe it or not, I actually really enjoy these dreams. There have been many times in my life when escaping into a fictional apocalypse was significantly preferable to the reality that I was living through and I craved the blissful other-worldly nature of my over-active imagination. My crippling insomnia often meant that access to the comparatively halcyon world of my dreams was a rare treat, which has made me value the sleep that I am able to get even more. I never expected to see anything resembling a real-life apocalypse, although you would think that I would have been a little better prepared with all this practice – ha. Oddly, throughout most of lockdown, my insomnia, though present, has been relatively muted, allowing me relatively free movement between one worldwide catastrophe and another fictional one chosen by my sleeping brain. I would never have expected to sleep better during a pandemic, particularly considering the irony of my subconscious suddenly being in a weird zero-sum competition with reality as to who can be the scariest, but there you go. Did experiencing an actual end-of-the-world scenario in some way temporarily soothe the worry-worms that keep me from being able to switch off at night? Maybe. This last week, with Phase Two re-opening on the horizon, my insomnia has been back with a vengeance. Every time a butterfly flaps its wings in Tokyo my eyes shoot open and I’m as alert as a hawk going in for a kill. Damn. I don’t feel afraid of returning to the real world, at least, I don’t think I do – but maybe I should? Does my subconscious have key insider info, or is this regular common-or-garden fear of change? Either way, I’m back to getting a lot of night-time reading done at the moment, waiting, not always patiently, to slip away into the grip of some new and convoluted disaster scenario in my head.


Blue Owl Van Wilder Sour Red Ale

25bbc83e-3800-4d2c-99cc-30d05ead85fdWhen we received an email from our lovely friends at Blue Owl telling us that they were running low on this season’s batch of Van Wilder, I insisted that we stop what we were doing and place an order immediately. I was so excited when we first tried this cherry-tastic variation on the already-superb Van Dayum Sour Red that I was not prepared to miss out on a mighty 64oz growler of this delicious treat before the bank holiday weekend. Needless to say, a beer this tasty has zero chance at all of lasting two whole days in our company without being consumed – well, they do say drink fresh! Our growler made it a whole two minutes back to the car where it was immediately decanted into my big shiny Yeti for our distanced walk around Lady Bird Lake, during which we easily demolished 32oz – sorry not sorry. This batch is so delectably dark and juicy you almost feel as if the sweet, dense morello cherries are being squeezed directly into your mouth. Really. There is a rich, chocolatey undertone which is beautifully balanced with bright jammy tartness. Cannot wait to finish the last of it later this afternoon.