Brew Wars: Part One

by Arkaidy Wisniowska

 

It had been a blistering day in the hot Tatooine sun. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker drudged heavily through the dry sand and dipped inside the Mos Eisley Cantina for a bit of refuge. The place was an unwelcoming dungeon and one could never know what outburst of violence may take place or when. Obi-Wan took a seat at an empty table in the middle of the bar. He leaned back, closing his eyes, enjoying the rest. Luke fell into his seat loudly, moving and fidgeting around like a boy who can’t sit still.

“What are we going to do now Obi?” Luke asked impatiently, “How will we get to the planet Alderaan?”

“Do not worry, right now we rest,” Obi-Wan replied.

At that moment a barmaid came up to the pair, surveying the situation, “you men look like you’ve been through hell, what’ll it be?”

“A refreshing beverage please, something that will calm this fool down, and something strong for me,” said Obi-Wan.

Luke made a face, crossed his arms, and resolved to sit quietly in his seat.

“I see,” said the barmaid, “I think I have what you want.” She walked away and disappeared into the back. Moments later she reappeared, carrying a tray with two bottles of specially crafted brews. She set one down in front of each of them, and smiled. “These ought do the trick.”

Obi-Wan picked up his bottle and took a sip without even looking at the label. He welcomed the taste and discerned the beverage was indeed what he had asked for. The brew was strong, but not overly bitter. He could tell it was highly infused with citra hops, but the rich coffee-notes were very unusual for what he believed was an India Pale Ale. He had never tasted such a unique and refreshing combination. The alcohol was strong and flavorful, just how he wanted. He stopped to meet Luke’s gaze, smiling as his young friend took big sloppy guzzles of his own drink.

“Very unique, have a taste Luke,” said Obi, handing Luke his bottle.

Luke grabbed the bottle and took a swig. His eyes got bright and he spit the 8.7% alcohol brew on the floor.

“What is this!” Luke yelled.

Obi-Wan chuckled and finally took a look at the label.

“Dayman Coffee IPA,” Obi said, “looks like a collaboration between Stone Brewing Company, Aleman, and Two Brothers Brewing. Don’t like it Luke?” Obi jeered, having already known the brew would prove too strong for Luke.

“That’s the awfulest thing I’ve ever tasted!” shouted Luke, cleansing his palate with his own drink. He was such a kid sometimes.

“Well, what you got there?” asked Obi, pointing to Luke’s short, round bottle.

Luke looked at the bottle and said, “Full Sail Session Premium Lager and unlike yours, this one tastes great”.

Luke handed the bottle to Obi as he reached over the table. Obi tasted the lager and did his best not to chuckle. The brew was crisp and lightly carbonated. It was balanced with fruity hops and a slight sweetness to the tongue. With 5.1% alcohol, it was just what young Luke needed today. For Obi, it wasn’t much more than a glass of water, given the strong characteristics of what he liked to sip.

As the two men sat enjoying their brews, they talked about how they would make passage to Alderaan. Little did they know a pilot named Han Solo was only feet away, enjoying his own refuge from the Tatooine sun with his co-pilot Chewbacca. Han overheard the conversation and he approached the two, with Chewy close behind.

“I hear you are looking for passage to the Alderaan System,” Han Solo said, setting a bottle of beer on Luke and Obi’s table. Obi first laid eyes on the bottle, then his gaze followed upwards until he met Han’s eyes.

“Yes indeed, but we need a fast ship,” said Obi.

“I’m the pilot of the Millennium Falcon,” Han said proudly. He then quickly saw neither Luke nor Obi knew what the Millennium Falcon was.

“You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon?” Han continued. “I outrun Imperial Starships, not the local bulk cruisers, mind you, I’m talking about the big Corellian ships, now.”

The pair negotiated the price, with a little uproar from Luke.

“For that price we could buy our own ship!” Luke said, outraged.

“And who’s going to fly it, you?” Han teased.

Just as the negotiations were final, the barmaid returned to the table.

“Another round?” she asked.

“Yes,” they all agreed.

When the barmaid returned, Obi turned his attention to the brew of his new-found friend, Han. Han picked up on this and as he took a drink, he said, “Oh, you wouldn’t like this, it’s a hell of a Lambeak. I don’t even like it myself, but it does the body good.” Han smiled as he puckered up for another sip.

Obi was intrigued. Being worldly as he is, he was not swayed by Han’s suggestion. Han sensed this and with a big smile, he handed the bottle to Obi, similarly as Obi had done with Luke. Obi took a big, full drink.

“Wow, that’s one hell of a sour beer!” he said.

Han, with an appropriate look on his face, said, “I tried to warn you.”

He reached back for his drink, but Obi took another full sip before handing the bottle back.

“It’s like a diluted shot of some really sour whiskey.” Obi commented.

With a smirk, Han said, “yeah it’s a kick in the pants. It’s called Whiskey Richard Belgian Sour Ale by Dark Horse Brewing Company. I first tried it back home, hated it the first time, too. But I guess I came back around. I love the sour cherries and lemon that gives it a nice contrast. And hell, you can’t beat a good 8% alcohol.”

Just then Chewbacca interrupted, “aaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwrrrrrr.”

“Yes Chewy I know, yours beats my 8%,” Han said acknowledgingly.

“Aaawwwrrr,” Chewy concurred.

“Chewy drinks this dang barleywine,” Han started, “show them chewy.”

Chewy held out a bottle of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale.

“I think he feels kin to Bigfoot there,” Han said, pointing at the tiny picture of Bigfoot on the bottle.

“But that stuff right there,” he continued, “has about 9% alcohol.”

“Aaaaawwwrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,” contested Chewy.

“Oh, sorry, 9.6%,” Han corrected, smirking again.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwrrrrr, aaaaaaaaaaawwwwwrrrrrrr,” Chewy continued.

Han smiled.

“Chewy likes it because it has a strong, robust barleywine flavor. He says it’s slightly sweet and piney at first, but remains hoppy and bitter to the finish. It’s still smooth though, and certainly full of wine characteristics. Chewy likes to keep these around for years before he pops one open, just to see how it changes the taste. You know, aging it like a fine wine,” Han laughed.

“Aaaawwwrrrr,” Chewy was pleased with his friend’s translation.

At this point, Han and Chewy sat down at Luke and Obi’s table. The four of them continued enjoying their brews into the night as they formulated a plan that would get them to planet Alderaan while avoiding any Imperial entanglements.

It would not be an easy task.

Would they make it?