Author’s Note: Being in public relations must really suck. These people sit in an office all day, firing off emails to deadbeat journalists in hopes of gaining some media coverage for their clients. Most of the time they get ignored. Hell, I personally dodge hundreds of them every stinking day. And on the rare occasion that I do spot something enticing and reach out with some interest in doing a story, the email exchange is about as boring as it gets – kind of like boning through a hole in a sheet. Why, yes, I’m interested in trying that product. Please send whatever you have to the following address. So, during the pandemic, I figured I’d give them a little more. While countless PR people continued to hammer me with emails, presumably from their homes, I hit a few of them back with some literary voodoo that none of them were expecting. Is it fiction or actual accounts of these crazy times in America? Well, that’s up to you to decide.
Hope all is well! 4/20 is quickly approaching, are your readers looking for the perfect beer for the holiday? Why not try a hazy beer for the hazy holiday?
Elysian Brewing's Contact Haze is a juicy, refreshing IPA that would be great to try. Drawing inspiration from 1950s science fiction, Contact Haze aims to alter our understanding of beer as we know it. One can expect bursts of bright raspberry, currant, citrus, guava, and passionfruit. The perfected blend of fruity flavors creates a delicious IPA experience that both casual drinkers and beer enthusiasts will love at 4:20 on 4/20.
Would you like to try it for yourself? I'd be happy to send you the press mailer with a sample, if you're interested. Please let us know if you have any questions too!
Mike’s Response: These Are Hard Times On The Farm
Hey Angel! Whew! Your email couldn't have come at a better time. I've been trapped inside my home here in Southern Indiana for weeks now; hell, maybe even months, going through what I consider to be the worst of times. Not because of this virus or the impending doom of the U.S. economy – all of which is bad enough -- but because it has been next to impossible to get my hands on beer.
You see, every damn liquor store in the state has been shut down to foot traffic because all of these gross bastards have been out here coughing, sneezing and picking their goddamned noses too close to the booze. I was in the Liquor Locker the other day – just before all of this lockdown business got really serious – and there was this one guy in there – a real redneck-looking fool -- standing in front of the beer cooler with one of his hands buried in his ass up to his elbow. I kid you not, Angel! I told him: Look, pal, I appreciate your enthusiasm for scratching that itch and all, but man, there's a pandemic going on. You're going to get someone sick! You know what he had the nerve to tell me? He said, "Hey, mang, we all gotta die from something." I'm like, it's bad enough we have to contend with this virus turning our lungs into the anatomical equivalent of chicken soup, but now I have to be concerned about the remnants of some redneck's back crack on my beer bottles. No thank you! I was hot, Angel, ah man! I would have whooped his ass right then and there had it not been for the social distancing rules and stuff. I have a mean left hook, but I ain't hitting nothing from six feet away, you know? I simply couldn't deal with it. I just turned around and left. I've been sober as a judge since then and I've got to tell you, I'm not dealing with it very well. I'm not going to mince words here, Angel. I need a drink!
But the situation here is now more desperate than ever. Everything's delivery only. The only problem is my place is way out here in the woods, many, many miles away from civilization. I moved out here several years ago in an attempt to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. My goal was to become completely self-sufficient. I bought a slew of chickens, a cow and I even started growing my own dope. Don't worry, Angel, the chickens are only used for eggs. And the cow -- well, it’s technically a bull -- he’s not going anywhere either. I really screwed that one up, that’s for sure. You see, I thought it would be cool to name him AC-BEEF-C. You know, because he’s an angus cow raised for angus beef and Angus Young plays guitar for the rock band AC/DC. Ah man, what a big mistake. Now, he’s just a pet because I didn't have the heart to take him to slaughter. My advice to you: Never name anything that you intend to eat. So much for self-sufficiency, am I right? I will admit it is fun to get all stoned and watch him chase those chickens around. I’m not sure what he wants with them, though. I don’t think the bastard realizes he’s a vegetarian.
It's funny, I even tried brewing my own beer when I first got out here. But in addition to catching one of the chickens on fire, every batch came out smelling like cat piss. I have no clue what I was doing wrong. I thought at first, maybe I could work with the whole cat piss angle – Cat Piss Ale? -- and start selling it as a side business. But I decided that I'd probably lose my ass once everyone figured out the beer actually smelled (and likely tasted) just like its namesake. So much for that.
At any rate, none of the liquor stores will deliver beer this far out of town. Something about their GPS doesn't work right. I can't get pizza or Chinese either, man! So as you might imagine, I've been eating a ton of eggs – breakfast, lunch and dinner – to stay healthy and strong. But not having any beer around the house is creating some extremely tense times. I feel as though I'm the last man on Earth. But instead of searching for someone to help repopulate the planet, I'm kind of hoping to stumble on to some zombie hipster with a hydrometer in his back pocket that I can chain up in my back yard to brew beer. Yes, it's that desperate right now, Angel. You have no idea.
As you might imagine, when I received your email about trying Elysian Brewing's Contact Haze, I was ecstatic. I must have re-read the message 10 or 15 times because it was the closest thing I've come to having a beer in such a long time. What can I say? I'm thirsty. So, yes, please-please-please, send over as much Contact Haze as you can possibly spare. Hell, send a keg! I would also greatly appreciate any other flavors that you think I would enjoy. I mean, if something doesn't give soon, I might be reduced to knocking back some of that skunked out Cat Piss Ale that I left to rot in the barn. Those are going to be some dark days, Angel. Dark, dark days.
In exchange for your kindness and hospitality, I'll do my best to type out a review of Contact Haze. I can almost see the headline now: Elysian Brewing Saves Southern Indiana Man From Drowning In Cat Piss. There's no way in hell’s holy name that anyone could pass that one up without reading it.
XXXX Bellemeade Avenue
Evansville, Indiana 47714
PS: It's funny that your name is Angel because you might have just saved my life.
Elysian’s REPLY: Never Fear, Beer’s On The Way
I have to say, this is the best response I've ever received! It made my day. Thanks so much for taking the time out to send this hilarious email. These are indeed, some very strange times and I'm glad we can help make it a little bit easier.
We'll ship some beer out ASAP to you and hope that it helps bring happier times. We also just launched the Elysian Rolling Stone Lager mailer and we'll make sure to send one your way, along with a couple other brews.
AC-BEEF-C is a stellar name for a bull!
Thanks again Mike, hang in there and stay safe!
Mike’s RESPONSE: Beer Makes For A Wild Night On The Farm
Hey Angel! Sorry it took me so long to respond. It’s been a crazy week. Well, what can I say? How about holy humping hell, you guys at Elysian Brewing aren’t fucking around. Thanks for the beer!
As you might imagine, I was pleased to see the UPS truck come barreling down the lane the other day. I must confess, however, to being a little thrown off at first. I don’t get many visitors out here in the sticks – and I completely forgot your beer was scheduled to arrive -- so I didn’t know what to think. Honestly, I’ve probably been binge watching too much The Walking Dead lately, as the thought did occur to me at the time that my farm was about to be raided by leather clad, ball bat-toting psychos searching for a place to lay low until this virus blows over. I have to admit that I’m not much of a gun person either, so I don’t keep any around the house. But you still don’t want to come fucking around over here. Nope! I do have a few wire brushes stashed in every room, just in case some post-apocalyptic shit starts to go down. They are also there to fight off any back-biting rednecks that happen to stumble onto my place and try to get frisky with the livestock. A wire brush is an excellent weapon, Angel. Never forget it. All you have to do is smack some turd gurgling fuck in the side of his neck, and they’ll go down like a sack of potatoes.
It’s usually so quiet out here, too, so all of the animals kind of started having panic attacks as soon as they heard the UPS truck roaring toward the house. The chickens were all scrambling around out there, all clucking and clacking up a damn racket, while ole AC-BEEF-C, well, that fat cow thought his number was finally up. Hehe. He must have considered the possibility that he was about to be turned into sirloins or something because the last time I saw him, Angel, he was hauling ass toward the back forty! It was a tense few minutes here for all of us, let me tell you. Whew! It wasn’t until the UPS truck got within closer proximity that I realized it was just some dude trying to deliver a package.
That’s when I remembered about the beer!
I figured I’d have to sign for the parcel, though, so I stepped off the porch and made my way toward the driver to give him my Herbie Hancock. But this guy – oh, brother -- he was social distancing his ass off. “Yo, man!” he shouted at me. “Stop right there. Don’t come any gawd-damn closer. You don’t need to sign for anything.” I’ll be honest, Angel, the guy scared me a bit. His voice was so stern it stopped me dead in my tracks. I told him: “Fine, be that way.” He didn’t utter another stinking word. He just sat the packages down in the middle of the driveway, jumped back inside his little brown truck and made a beeline back to where he came from. I’ve got to tell you, Angel, the virus is making people crazy. That dude was stressed out to beat the band – almost as much as ole AC-BEEF-C. One thing is sure: If the Rona doesn’t get him, hypertension will!
After reviewing the Elysian press materials – and by reviewing, I mean, I put on those “Make Contact” funglasses inside the orange sci-fi music box and played a couple of rounds of darts -- I tossed the beer in the fridge for later. Man, the anticipation was killing me, too. I could hardly wait to pop one open and catch a buzz that didn’t come from snorting lines of nutmeg or taking shots of hand sanitizer. It’s like I said before: I’ve been pretty thirsty over here and shit is getting desperate. And, if I’m honest, sobriety never really suited me much. I come from a long line of drunkards and social ingrates. Every kind from those who want to fight anything and everything that moves to the ones who just piss themselves to sleep. You know the ones! Remind me to introduce you guys to my Uncle Stan one day. Oh boy! That bastard’s liver is a fucking scientific anomaly. Get this: The doctors diagnosed him with cirrhosis back in 1985. They gave him something like three weeks to get his affairs in order – prognosis negative! He’s 75 now and still wakes up drunker every morning than I’ve ever been in my life. They can’t figure him out.
It was going to take a while for the beer to get cold, so I spent the next few hours taking care of some odds and ends around the farm. You’d be surprised at all of the busy work it takes to keep a place like this going. Just one mysterious odor can fill up an entire day. Truth be told, I might just sell the place once this whole virus debacle is over and move back to the city. If for no other reason than not having pizza delivery really blows. Do you like pizza, Angel? Man, I sure do.
It was around 8pm when I opened the first of the Contact Haze. Wait, seriously, there’s only two of them? Maybe I should have made myself clearer when I told you guys previously to, “send all you can spare.” Two’s all I get, huh? Well, that’s fine, but you should know that I usually need at least six to do a proper review. I’m an artiste, what can I tell you? My liver is my canvas.
My process goes something like this:
The first beer is there to provide me with a flavor profile and also show me whether it is heavy or light. I can’t be all bogged down and bloated come midnight when I’m stumbling around the kitchen trying to find a cereal bowl for my Count Chocula. The second and third is just to see whether the beer is something that I can drink all day long – like on a boating trip or out in the backyard chasing chickens -- or if it’s just a one and done kind of deal. For the record, I’m not a fan of those. Nobody should be! If I like the way a beer tastes, I want to drink as many of those goddamned things as possible. I’m not one of those lightweight hipsters all lathered up in beard oil who just sits around sipping on various brews trying to pass himself off as a certified cerevisaphile.
Note: For the record, those people don’t have to register with the state sex offender list. But you probably knew that already.
The fourth and fifth beer, incidentally, is to give me a sense of what kind of buzz I’m going to be dealing with. Does it make me want to turn up the REO Speedwagon at full blast and frolic around in the yard in only my work boots, or is it one of those instigator brews where a man has to fill his socks up with bail money before he drinks it? As you might imagine, this is a crucial phase in the review.
The sixth beer, well, that one’s just for me. It’s there to celebrate a thorough exploration into the mad science that brought the beer to life and perhaps fill me with the spirit to say nice things about it. If I get there, there’s no doubt you’ve got a fighting chance at receiving a solid review. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers. You sent two. I was going to make do with what I had.
I finished the first Contact Haze in like two swigs. Yeah, I know. I came out of the gate pretty hard that night, let me tell you. I tried to savor it as much as I could, but, as I’ve said already, I’ve been getting thirsty over here. It wasn’t until I cracked open the second one that I truly got a sense of what the beer was all about.
So, here’s my preliminary review:
Contact Haze from Elysian Brewing is everything a diehard beer drinker wants out of a Hazy IPA. It’s wet, citrusy and comes with an above average alcohol content. Hell yeah, score! It’s lighter than some of the swill you’ve had in the past, but it hits harder, too. It’s like having a hoppy mimosa, only in a fiendish 12-ounce can and not one of those godforsaken champagne glasses that makes you look like a royal putz. In my head, the beer took me to a vulnerable place that cannot typically be accessed without nipple clamps and some shaming. At times, it made me feel as though I was having my taint tickled with the feather of a Somali ostrich while cocaine crazy fairies beat me in my third eye with a fetish flogger and fed me some of that fruit cocktail we used to get in the school cafeteria. Remember fruit cocktail, Angel? Other times, Contact Haze was like being tossed in an orgy situation with the dudes from the Fruit-of-A-Loom commercials and a pack of blood-thirsty badgers. It was exciting as all get out and worth some laughs, but clearly spending too much time there was going to lead to a morning of regret and some scarring. I’m giving it a 7.2 out of 10. Tasty as fuck, but now it burns when I pee.
I don’t know, maybe that’s a cliché beer review, but it’s how it made me feel. Contact Haze also got me riled up enough to do some real drinking. By the end of the night, I had killed off all the Elysian Space Dust and the Superfuzz Blood Orange that you sent, as well. I’m going to shoot straight with you, Angel, I got pretty hammered. I woke up the next morning a bit hungover and no recollection of how the night came to an end. It’s nothing out of the ordinary. I blackout a lot. All I know was when I came to, I was wearing only a hat fashioned out of aluminum foil, and I had one of those Elysian Brewing stickers stuck to the center of my chest. Just call me your friendly neighborhood brewperhero! And yes, pulling it off hurt like hell, just in case you were wondering. The other sticker you included is strangely missing in action. I suspect, at least at this juncture, that it might be affixed to one of those chickens I’ve got out there. I only say this because the pile of beer cans in the middle of the living room floor were all covered in chicken shit. I can only speculate what happened there. I’m not happy about it, though, I’ll tell you that. If I find out which one is responsible, it’s egg-laying days might be numbered. You like chicken, Angel?
Thanks again for the beer. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them and can’t wait to get my hands on more. You’ve got my address – wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Elysian’s brews are definitely going to be making more appearances over here in the future. So, thanks for the introduction. I feel like Contact Haze is going to be a huge hit this summer, as long as this lung-thirsty virus allows us to have one.
Keep on Rockin!
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