Most grocery stores have a bunch of crap for you to buy right at the check out lanes. You’re leaving the store, but you didn’t realize you needed Scotch tape, a travel sized lint roller, M&Ms, 3 oz. of WD-40, or watch batteries. These are strategically placed and priced to get some chucklehead to pitch one or two into his cart at the last second. The store makes a high margin and the shopper has some other thing for the junk drawer or piece of candy he didn’t need.
The beer aisle has an impulse section, too, but you probably didn’t notice it.
At the Webster Groves Schnucks grocery store, the beer aisle is set up thusly:
First, you pass through the Mexican beers and the crappy American beers with some kind of lime flavoring. Then the rest of the imports, mostly consisting of megabrew products. After that you reach the American craft brews. St. Louis is well-represented in this aisle. Next, you have several coolers of megabrews, dominated by ABInBev, followed by the cheap-o beers.
Finally, you are ready to leave the aisle. You have your beer in the cart, and you are ready to get some beans, meat, and bacon. Just as you are leaving, you see a collection of Big Beers on your left in the last cooler. Ah, the impulse buy section of the beer aisle is upon you.
My impulse buy for the day is Magic Hat #9.
The Magic Hat Brewing Company calls it a “beer cloaked in secrecy” though I have no idea what that means.
My bias towards Ales, particularly English Ales, will become apparent. I just happened to luck out on this selection. I bought it because I had never had it before.
It’s not nearly as dark as traditional English Ales – it looks more like a Hefeweizen in the glass. It’s light, but has a good body and a crisp flavor, not particularly effervescent. Again, you need to remind yourself that it’s an ale. It was a great pairing for pork tenderloin.
One of the great things about Magic Hat, aside from their beer, is the incredible artwork on each beer label. These beers have been very thoughtfully made, down to the details.
My recommendation for Magic Hat #9: Drink This Beer