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Highland Brewing | Gaelic Ale

Highland Brewing | Gaelic Ale
Christopher Hilliard

ABV: 5.6%

IBU: 30

I was invited to a party recently. It had been a while since my last party so I opted in. As this would be a barbecue-centered party, I figured I should bring something. Beer was, of course, my first inclination. I’m a big fan of dark beers, but I’m also aware that people generally prefer lighter brews in the warmer months. Fortunately, my tastes include lighter beers as well, and I knew just the one: Highland’s Gaelic Ale from Asheville, North Carolina. Highland Brewing Co. produces great beer regardless of the type, but this one seems especially favored. As an amber ale, its color is a deep reddish-gold. The texture is smooth, and the flavor strikes a lovely balance between bitter and malt. In short, it’s perfect for parties (especially summer parties) with a diverse group of people and beer preferences.

Most of the party’s attendees were enrolled at the local university where they studied diverse subject such as particle physics, applied math, cell biology, genetics, and classic literature. I think it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway), there was no shortage of interesting conversations. At one point, the math and physics guys started talking about space. What exactly is “space”? How do we define it? Unfortunately, I didn’t get to hear how that panned out, but I plan to follow up as I’m curious about such things.

While waiting for some skewers to cook, I found myself talking to a guy I’ll call “Stanley” who studies classics. More accurately, he talked to me. I managed to interject a question or comment every now and again, but for the most part he waxed unceasingly about the epic tale he’s writing. If I recall correctly, it’s a story of conflict between the two human tendencies: logic and creativity, or as he put it “Rhyme and Reason”. There was mention of a hero bred of one tendency, yet born among the other (heroics to follow). To write an epic tale seems a lofty goal to me, one I doubt I would ever undertake, but I applaud his efforts and wish him the best of success.

Chewing on my skewered vegetables and sipping my second Highland Gaelic Ale, I found myself talking to a girl (“Kate”) about California. I’ve spent a little time visiting family in the southern part. I never lived out there, mind you, but Kate did. And she had plenty to say about all of it. My experiences in this particular part of town had always been pleasant so I was shocked to hear it was “the armpit of southern California.” In actuality, I couldn’t stop laughing. Kate was animated and hyperbolic, hilariously so, and I was glad to have met her.

Soon the sun went down and the party moved in-doors. People were playing Bananagrams and the French international “Jean-Pierre” brought out his rhubarb tart with freshly baked meringue on top. It was delicious, and I was certain to let him know I thought so. As the night stretched on, we put on The Orb and talked about music.

By the time I left, I was certain it was easily one of the most interesting and enjoyable parties I’d ever attended.

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