Sunday, June 15, 2008

The bird, at rest

Nearing the longest day of the year, despite the fringes of fog being carried into the valley by a persistent maritime breeze out of the west, bringing along with it the slightest damp hint of a chill, the light seems to carry on through the evening in a way that not only keeps the air pleasant and warm, but makes time feel frozen perpetually around 4:00 in the afternoon, like an eternal springtime happy hour.

And what better way to celebrate a happy hour at the tail end of a splendid weekend than with a nice, proper pint of ale. Or, lacking that, a mug of the bird. Sure, it's only a week old, it's dead flat, and not exactly "refreshing" at 65°. On the other hand, it's an oddly fitting complement to lounging in the post-yellowjacket, pre-mosquito, friscalating dusklight of a Sunday in Ross Valley, almost British in its green, sticky malt presence, with enough cask character and balance to withstand the less than optimal serving temperature and complete lack of carbonation.

Then again, it's early. Both the summer and the bird are very young, with the hidden side of both having yet to reveal themselves. While the days will technically start getting shorter soon, you wouldn't know it from the way the heat of the sunlit hours won't gracefully fade into a cool evening's respite, instead carrying into the night like an oppressive broken record. And as for the bird, it's an unknown. All that's certain is it won't be getting any sweeter...

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