Forever Amber!

by Jim Lundstrom

I think I might have mentioned before that I once had a crush on amber beers. And then I didn’t. Amber suddenly felt too cloying, and the crush just went away, like a fleeting summer love.

Well, the crush is back. I forget now exactly when and where and what brought it back, but I was reminded that it definitely is back when I was gifted a bottle by reader Jim Rogers, and it was a doozy, something you probably won’t find around here, but if you’re ever in Nevada, in a place called Clover Valley, you should find a craft brewery called Ruby Mountain Brewing Co., and once you do, order an Angel Creek Amber Ale. Yum!

After a particularly grueling day at work, I cracked open the magic fridge and my eyes fell upon the single bottle of gifted amber.

Grabbing the old Pabst goblet from the shelf, I loaded it up with this rich amber that pours with a wonderful creamy, tawny head.

The label tells me this is a 1996 silver medal winner at the Great American Beer Fest. Bravo!

Amber should have a major malt profile, and this one does with a tasty combination of crystal, Munich and pale malts. But at the finish you get  a squeeze of Cascade and Centennial hops to keep the cloyingness away.

I’ve never had any desire to go to Nevada until now, to have a fresh glass of Angel Creek Amber Ale at the brewery.

Mr. Rogers brought me another beer from Ruby Mountain Brewing Co., but you have to read the fine print to know that. It’s Buckaroo Pale Ale, “originally brewed,” the label’s fine print tells us, “for the Western Folklife Center and the Cowboy Poetry Center in Elko, Nevada.”

It poured golden hazy with a mountainous white head on top. Again, another lovely beer. It shows a nice balance of maltiness and hops, just as a good pale ale should.

I believe Mr. Rogers said he went to the Cowboy Poetry event and found it a hoot [Gibson, perhaps]. I’m sure this beer helped in the hootiness.

In honor of Cowboy Poetry, I offer two cowboy haiku:

Shouting and shooting.
Something is dreadfully wrong.
Loud desert thunder.
Or
A deep, burning pain.
Cradled by two loving arms.
I’m getting weary.

Apologies to Marty Robbins and his classic 1959 Grammy-winning country and western ballad “El Paso” for rearranging his lyrics to make haiku.