Mad as Old Ale (or Henry David Thorowing Up Beer)

“I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”
-Henry David Thoreau
Our local weirdo has a yard completely strewn with hubcaps, doll parts, and old bicycle scraps. He rides his bike into town to pick up trash (hoping for doll parts apparently) and to buy gallons of Mountain Dew (well known as his only form of sustenance). Sometimes, I wonder how close I am from being this guy. Had I not met my wife, I am pretty sure I would be well on my way to becoming a hermit. I would live on the seashore cliff in a one room shack quite content in my self-indulgent hobbies and my ever increasing idiosyncrasies. Dressed only in an open purple bathrobe, drinking beer, muttering to myself, organizing my LPs, managing 13 fantasy baseball teams, writing Twilight Zone fanfiction, ebaying pogs, eating cream cheese, smelling something fierce, lost in time.
Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale is a beer that probably has washing machine skeletons and dinosaurs made out of old tires decorating its yard. Eccentric, crazy, and a lot to take in. As the name suggests, a little bit bitter and mean at first, Old Curm is a sipping beer for sure. Best taken in little bits, letting it warm and unleashing its mellowing tidbits of crazy. Rich and strong flavors beset with toffee sweetness, sherry dryness, molasses gooey-ness. A guy who seems pretty cool and interesting if you can just ignore his off-colored jokes and the spittle in his beard.

Kevin Coyne is the hermit of rock. He barely scratched the surface on mainstream, yet his records have an amazing range. None of them greater than Marjory Razorblade. The album is ferocious in its driving isolation. The characters are alone locked up in their songs, afraid and desperate. Sonic mental illness. It is gorgeously dark, perfectly human. And this is where the beer and the record intersect. In the beautiful gloom of our world. Both give a great sense of wonder in their shadowy aspects. It makes them almost fun. That kind of fun when you are by yourself all day with nothing to do and can just revel in your own weirdness.

Both record and beer let the spices and sweetness brighten the corners, but never interfere with their dark passage. Lock yourself up with these two and, just for a moment, forget about the kids on your lawn, the government satellites spying, and the chip implanted in your brain.

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