Saturday you finally emerge from the fog of war and beer into the surprisingly beautiful November day – emerge that is, only to shy away from the bright light and crushingly loud traffic of Route 2 that inexplicably make your headache worse. Bleary eyed and smelling of team spirit, you stagger back to the cool dark of your dorm. Clearly, you have not fully recovered from your Homecoming weekend, yet it’s already time to get ready for another important football game: Williams at Amherst. Looking for a Gatorade, multivitamin or at least some Emergen-C, you pull open the fridge and survey the situation: Duggan’s Irish cream liqueur, Smirnoff Ice Raspberry Burst, Svedka imported Swedish vodka, Bacardi Superior Puerto Rican rum, some Maker’s Mark and a host of odd craft beers you would never buy sober. Whether you like it or not, these liquid scars from battles that took place barely a week ago will be making up your spread for the weekend. That’s right, folks: This week’s “Bottom’s Up” is Homecoming Leftovers.
Now, the amateurs will at this point head straight for the beer, wishing to spare their stomach the pain of liquor so shortly after Homecoming weekend. Wrong. The strategy here is to go right for the Svedka and whip yourself up a screwdriver (vodka and orange juice). This way you get started at a good clip while at the same time taking on the threat two weekends of heavy drinking poses to your immune system. For those of you used to seeing me describe taste in this column, relax – we’ll get to taste when we get to beer. In the meantime, this is a game of strategy, not taste. The road to Amherst is full of obstacles and second-best options; hopefully this article can serve as your survival guide.
After you replenish your nutrients, it’s time to get something ready for the trip. Seeing your friends yawning all around you, you make a game-time decision and put a pot of coffee on. It is at this juncture that we see many an inexperienced player drop the ball. It’s crucial at this point that you don’t slow down while you wait for the coffee to finish (while you sober up). A shot of Maker’s is recommended for every five minutes you wait for that coffee to heat up. Next, it’s time to Irish up your coffee a bit with that coffee liqueur. Make sure your driver gets a virgin mug though.
Your health is in good stead, you’ve got some caffeine in your blood and your favorite “Amherst sucks” chant is running through your head. So what do you pack for the actual game? Looking in every hidden corner of your refrigerator’s vegetable drawers, you dig up a Polestar pilsner, an Allagash Belgian Tripel ale, some Full Sail winter ale and a raspberry Smirnoff Ice. A little liquored up, you and your friends decide to have a quick taste test to choose which brews make the travel cooler.
The Polestar is a crisp, relatively light pilsner out of Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing Company. This beer is a nice, forgiving beverage for a 10 a.m. start. The Full Sail winter ale is also quite tasty (and quite light), though falls a tad short of the advertised “godlike nectar” featured on the box. Finally, the most aggressive choice, weighing in at a solid 9-percent ABV, is the Allagash Tripel ale. This brew is dark and slightly moody – the perfect choice if you’re looking to get rowdy with some Donkey fan blowing a vuvuzela in your face.
Satisfied that you’ve seen what the field has to offer, you call up a huddle. Which beers make the ice-cold cooler and which will sit out on the seat to warm up to the agony of lukewarmity? The answer, of course, is to load up all the brews and leave out the Smirnoff Ice. In fact, don’t even bring the Smirnoff – it will be better used as a paper weight.
My friends, we have made it to the game, avoiding traps left and right. What happens next is up to you, but if you really want to play varsity, then the play is to reward your DD with a cheeseburger or slice of pizza at least.
Before we sign off, however, an update on the alcopop contest (“Bottoms Up,” Nov. 3): The road to Four Loko abolition has begun, as the producer voluntarily agreed just days ago to stop shipping of its product to New York. For this reason, we have settled on “that crazy amphetamine beer they used to sell” to use in place of “alcopop.” Thanks for your submissions!
Until next time, enjoy the biggest little game in the country! Wait, it already happened? Well, I guess that serves you right for wasting your life away on alcohol and intoxication.