Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Letter from Zihuatanejo

Dear Bull,

Thanks for sending me the Boulevard Pilsner. As you know since I took up drinking again in 1983 when Red died I've been looking for a beer he would have enjoyed just as much as he liked that Bohemian style beer on the roof of the license plate factory with the boys in the spring of '49. Red always told me as we were sailing around Zihuatanejo that he was hoping to find a beer as good as that beer was. He tried all of the Mexican beers as we worked on rehabbing the boat. I will say that in my advance years I really enjoy a Pacifico after eating some tacos al pastor. Red never took to any of those. A couple of years after we watched "Smokey and the Bandit" in some rathole movie theater over in Barrio Nuevo (just up the coast from Zihuatenejo), Red really wanted to try Coors. When we got our hands on some in 1982 Red was quite disappointed and shortly after finally succumbed to old age. On the last day on this earth Red told me he wanted me to continue his quest to find a good Bohememian style beer.

It had been a long time since the malty hoppy goodness that is beer had passed through my lips. I remember vividly the last night I had drank a beer before Red's death. The events of that evening led directly to my current circumstances and your familiarity with me, no need to go into that anymore. The night of Red's funeral I drank a Coors banquet beer and a couple of times a year I drank a beer that I thought might have met Red's requirements. One evening about 10 years ago I tried a Sam Adams Lager and really enjoyed it, the first beer I've enjoyed since I first thought about voting for Thomas Dewey for President. I started to drink beer a little more often, nearly weekly and almost exclusively drank Sam Adams Lager. Oh sure I tried several of those microbrews as you kids call them. They're a little tough to get here in Zihuatanejo, but I do my best.

As always, I'm happy to receive packages from you, but I was quite surprised that this time you had sent beer along with your chess move. I didn't quite know what to make of it. I had to dig around for something to open the bottle with, I usually drink my beers at the bar. I wonder why they don't have screw top lids like Coca-Cola has. Once I got the beer cooled down and I tried it, I knew exactly what Red was talking about when he spoke of those beers the hardest screw to ever walk a turn at Shawshank had given the boys. The Boulevard Pilsner was so cold and refreshing with an actual taste to it that I never found in Coors or Budweiser or Miller Lite. I guess that is because the Pilsner uses 100% malt instead of using fillers like rice. I never understood why the Budweiser advertises that on the can.

Anyway, thank you for sending me the beer. I now feel that I have fulfilled Red's quest to find a beer the equivalent to the one on the roof. I'm now older than Red was when he passed on, and I can't help but think that beers equivalent to the Boulevard Pilsner should be more prevalent and easy to find. Between Red and I we've spent over 175 years on this earth (granted, a full 100 of those years were spent as children or in prison) and have only had 2 (maybe 3 if you include the Sam Adams Lager) great lager type beers with full flavor.

Oh one more thing, do you think you can send me an Olivia Wilde poster for my wall to replace this Jessica Alba one?

Your chess buddy and buddy in beer,

Andy Dufresne


  1. Great piece--you really captured Dufresne's voice well. What made you think of Shawshank when drinking the Pilsner? Did it just make you think of something you'd like to drink after a hot day on the roof?

  2. Thanks JJS, I don't like pilsners much but I recognize that sometimes one tastes really good on a hot day. When I saw the label it seemed kind of retro and reminded me of the beer from Shawshank. I didn't have much to say about the Boulevard Pilsner (I like it) and I was stuck in a meeting all day yesterday with no access to anything to distract me so I formulated in my head a letter from Andy.

  3. Brilliant. I seriously can't wait to try this. Love the retro label, and I do enjoy a good pilsner on the porch on a warm summer day. Now I will enjoy that beer on the porch and be thankful I am not in prison being forced to tar a roof. Thanks Bull.

  4. Slightly off topic, but I had Tank 7 on tap last night at The Foundry. Absolutely amazing--I've been thinking about it all day. Do you know if this only going to be on tap or is it also being bottled? The bartender said it was being bottled, but from what I've read online it sounds like it might not be.

  5. Polly, Tank 7 will be bottled, it will replace the Saison currently in the Smokestack Series. I don't know when it will be released in bottles though.

  6. Anyone know of other places Tank 7 is being served? Was hoping it would appear at the Tap Room in Waldo, but so far, no go. I've been dreaming of Tank 7 since the tasting at the Flying Saucer earlier this year.

  7. The Flying Saucer has Tank 7, which I think just went on tap tonight.

  8. Swagger on 84th and Wornall has a great tap selection and carries tank 7