Beer of the Weekend #824: Boomtown

Today is National Beer Day, but I’m not drinking any beer.

I decided to not drink beer for two weeks. The last time I drank beer was nearly six days ago on Saturday night (very early Sunday morning, technically).

Why no beer? First of all, I don’t sleep well after I drink. The only mornings I get to sleep late are after nights when I drink, and I never wake feeling well rested. Alcohol reduces REM sleep, so though I may sleep longer on Saturday and Sunday mornings, it is not as productive or restive.

Secondly, abstaining from beer for a short period is something I’ve thought about doing to shake things up. For as long as I can remember, I have drunk beer on Friday and Saturday nights. There have probably been Fridays and Saturdays when I couldn’t drink beer, but they are rare enough instances that I don’t remember them. Basically, I have drunk beer on Friday and Saturday nights going back to at least 2003. It’s time to do something different — for two weeks, at least.

Though I’m not drinking this weekend or next, I am posting this review. It’s a very tasty brew I tried a few weeks ago: Boomtown, brewed by the Big Grove Brewery of Solon and Iowa City, Iowa.

The color is clean, clear, very pale gold. A finger of buttery, beige, bubble-spotted head leaves a ring around the edge and a bubbly skim. The aroma is light but sweet, grassy, and malty. Corn is also noticeable. It smells a lot like an adjunct lager, the kind you cut your teeth on in high school — but it doesn’t taste like one. It has a lot more bite and flavor than the smell leads one to believe. It’s grassy and earthy, and also quite spicy. Zest and light fruit, like apple and strawberry, are also noticeable. This is truly a very good, easy drinking, “lawn-mowin’” beer, as Big Grove’s menu says.

Fun facts about Boomtown:

• Style: Cream ale. I was told that the brewery is now calling it “golden ale” because many people confuse cream ale with cream/milk stout.

• Price: $14 for a 64-ounce growler fill at the Big Grove Brewery and Taproom on Gilbert Street in Iowa City.

• Alcohol content: 4.5 percent ABV.

• Boomtown was a nickname given to Solon when railroads were built through it.

• Here’s a question: When does Saturday night end and Sunday morning begin? Technically it’s midnight, but what about socially, culturally? I don’t think there is an official time. It would obviously be before sunrise, but when? Around Thanksgiving I bought a new, solar-powered watch and the day and date are displayed in a window. Though the date number changes at midnight, the day does not change until around 3 or 4 a.m. I hated it at first because, hey, it’s no longer Saturday at 3 a.m. on Sunday. (I’m just anal like that, though I am never awake for it to matter.) Over time, however, I have come to like the delay; I think it is much more fitting, informal, and human. It doesn’t feel like the previous day ends until you hit the hay. So perhaps around 3 or 4 a.m. is when Saturday night turns into Sunday morning.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B.

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