Bar Belle from 6/13/17 Insider Louisville: Zima returns!

Liquid dream come true.

There was a part of me who never thought this day would come. That Zima would never be re-released into U.S. public consumption for all (who are 21 and over) to enjoy.

Well, it’s here. And I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I got the text from Big Bar owner Kevin this morning saying a shipment of Zima was on its way. I rushed over to watch them roll the case in, and on the way I grabbed a bag of Jolly Ranchers.

Here’s a Bar Belle column entailing just how exciting this is for me. And I’m here to report Big Bar was the first bar to receive Zima, with others following very soon. Like tomorrow, and definitely by the weekend.

Zima. It’s zomething zifferent.

Today’s Reason To Drink

I’ll take a scoop of this.

Attended the annual Keg Liquors Fest of Ale over the weekend and drank my weight in beer — and then some. Which explains why I can’t button my pants.

Tried a lot of new beers (new to me) and several familiar favorites.

A couple badass beers I recall were Sun King’s Cherry Busey, which I kept accidentally referring to Cherry Garcia; Redd’s Blueberry Ale; Oberon, of course; and I spent a good 45 minutes up with the cider and wine folks, which is where my memory got fuzzy.

Beer. It’s what’s for breakfast.

Today’s Reason To Drink

Run, don’t walk, to Big Bar tonight!

I’ve got two scoops for you, and none of them involve frickin’ raisins.

First up: There are conflicting reports of the launch date for the re-release of Zima. But the good news is it’ll be soon. The official date is July 4, but some reports have it on shelves as early as Monday, June 12. I guess we’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled. #cantwait

Secondly: Hopefully you read this today and not tomorrow, long after the bottle has been poured. Big Bar is celebrating the last two days of their 5-year anniversary by selling Old Forester Birthday Bourbon at $5 a pour.

I’ll be stopping by on my way home from work. I’m not sure how many bottles they have, but if it’s just one, I don’t think it’ll last very long tonight. The good news for those who need to stop home first is it’s only one pour per customer, so I won’t be able to drink it all.

Today’s Reason To Drink

No thanks.

Tonight is Pint Night at Flanagan’s, and I always look to see if it’s something I’d like to A) try, and B) take home a cool glass. This week’s email made me throw up in my mouth.

At 7 p.m., they’re offering pints of Sweetwater Cool Breeze, a Belgian-style saison flavored with cucumber and lime. Gross and gross!

The only thing cucumbers are good in is a jar of pickles. That vegetable needs to be banned from U.S. consumption. It not only tastes like rat fallopian tubes covered in horse semen, but it gives me heartburn!

Leave my beer alone.

Tasteless Tastings (Take 3): Best Damn Cream Soda & Best Damn Sweet Tea

Welcome to the third Tasteless Tastings installment, which is exactly what it sounds like: tasting notes from the riffraff. If you follow the liquor industry to any capacity, you probably have come across snooty tasting notes from classy people who make the new spirit sound more like a science experiment than something you consume for fun or to forget the world around you. I want to shoot gayly forward from the hip and tell you how it really tastes. So each time the nice mailman brings me a sample to try, I’ll gather up some friends and we’ll have a candid, lively and unpolitically correct discussion about said sample. So let’s do it …

What are we drinking today?: Best Damn Cream Soda & Best Damn Sweet Tea beers brewed by Anheuser-Busch’s Best Damn Brewing Co. in St. Louis.

What the hell is it?: It’s beer … flavored beer, of course! The cream soda is an ale that is aged on real vanilla beans during the brewing process; the sweet tea is an ale aged with real black tea leaves. It’s fizzy, sweet and (I believe) delicious.

Why do we care?: Both products should be making their way to the Louisville market soon. If you’re tired of beer and the same-old, same-old, these might give your taste buds a quick pick-me-up.

Give me the nerdy numbers: Both products are 5.5% ABV, and there is no caloric content on the bottles, unfortunately. I’m guessing they have a lot of sugar, but we’re not worrying about that at the moment, are we?

What do we think?: I didn’t interject too much this time during the candid and lively discussion because I was too busy sipping and laughing. I think as an alternative to beer, these products are quite tasty, but I’m not sure I could have more than one in one sitting unless they were used as a mixer for a cocktail. Both were very sweet and made your spit thick — like when you eat a couple Starbursts or a handful of Skittles.

Here’s what the group thought …

Best Damn Cream Soda

Tracy: It’s not bad.
Britany: I like beer — I don’t want to count this as beer.
Tracy: It’s sugary.
Britany: Tastes like burnt sugar — like it has a caramelized kind of flavor to it, but it went too far.
Cara: Tastes like buttercream icing.
Sara: Tastes like Grandma?
Erik: I wouldn’t order it at a bar, but after two days of drinking, and it’s Sunday … Sometimes water just doesn’t cut it. This might work.
Britany: I’m over-salivating to try and make it go away.
Cara: I could drink this and not be upset.
Erik: If you could get some bourbon to mix with it, it might work.
Cara: It’d be good on ice cream.
Erik: A bourbon float!
Tracy: It’s making me burp a lot.
Britany: That’s your body rejecting it!

(We added Jack Fire to Britany and Cara’s samples.)

Cara: It’s not terrible … it balances it out nicely. It feels like I’m 18 and drinking for the first time.
Britany: It’s Big Red gum. I can taste the aluminum foil! Now Big Red gum has some relation to Big Red soda in my brain.
Tracy: I don’t think I could drink a whole one.
Cara: I think it would be good in a cockital, like a Best Damn Cream Soda Float.
Erik: Or with a cheeseburger.
Sara: I think there are people who would enjoy this, they’re just not in this room.
Cara: If I didn’t know what a good drink is, I would like this.

Best Damn Sweet Tea

Cara: It smells like roses!
Sara: I think it tastes a more like sun tea than sweet tea.
Tracy: Now this one I would drink on a Sunday. It’s less sweet.
Britany: Maybe at a baby shower that’s more like a brunch.
Sara: It’s like a Southern mimosa.
Cara: I’d like it to be a little less fizzy. (Puts an ice cube in her sample.)
Erik: It tastes like a holiday drink you left sitting around.
Cara: I don’t hate this one at all, and I don’t even like sweet tea.
Erik: I liked the Cream Soda one, but this one is a little better.
Cara: It makes me feel Southern … like I should be eating a finger sandwich and my colors are blush and bashful.
Erik: Her colors are pink and pink.
Britany: It might make a good Arnold Palmer if you added some lemonade.
Erik: Or Absoute Citron!
Cara: I bet the hangovers are horrible.
Erik: That’s just conjecture.

Next time, the Tasteless Tastings group tackles Michter’s 10-Year Rye Whiskey release. Stay tuned …

Today’s Reason To Drink

I’m zinking of you …

Apparently, when people think of Zima, they think of me. And I’m quite honored by that.

A Maxim article is going around Facebook about the ’90s wine cooler-like drink possibly making a comeback, and I’ve been tagged numerous times. I suppose there are worse things to be associated with … like Nickelback or Ricki Lake.

I heard the good Zima comeback news a while ago but still haven’t gotten wind of a launch date. The Maxim article says it’ll only be available through Labor Day, so that means it should be out soon so we can get in all the Zima action we can.

I can only image what a Zima-fueled makeout session would be like. Surprisingly, I didn’t have any of those during my college years because the only time I “madeout” was at frat parties, and those boys only served shitty beer. (No wonder I’m gay.) So now I just need to find someone to makeout with — and that might be tougher than securing a ’90s relic in 2017.

Maybe I’ll just suck face with a Watermelon Jolly Rancher and call it a day.