Anyway, they let me pick half the prize beers I took home that night (the other six were picked by the bartender—probably based on nothing more than surplus). I picked the memorable ones, good and bad, that would serve as souvenirs for the experience: Scottish brews Wee Heavy and Skullsplitter (for the cool names), Murphy’s Irish Stout (which I’d had years ago on a trip to Scotland), Belgium’s raspberry treat, Lambic Framboise, and similarly tasty RedBach. Last, I decided, was 28-proof Samichlaus from Austria—the bane of my quest. I may just keep that one unopened to celebrate the fact that I never have to drink it again.
TALL, DARK AND TASTY: Sporting my beer shirt and Guinness in hand, I celebrate with my crowd of supporters.