Monday, August 1, 2016

Part Three of the Salty Dog Trilogy: The Tossers

The Tossers


No loot, no booze, no fun


Angry Banjo by Verboten

You will like if:
You like dry finishes
You understand 'cream ale' doesn't mean sweet
You are pleasantly surprised by unexpected beers; for example, I'd never had a dark cream ale before

You will not like if:
You aren't a fan of drinking water after every pint
You think cream ale should only be corn yellow in color
Seriously, this is a dry finish

There are only two things I like out of Chicago; the hotdogs and the music. The Tossers, though lacking in hot dogs on the cruise, brought the sound. Billed as the 'world's loudest folk band' from the Irish neighborhoods of the Windy City, I had been listening to them for years and jumped at the chance to finally see them live. And oh yes, it was folkin' wonderful.

I regret nothing.
We had wristbands for the evening shows, which meant a solid day of beers. So we get to the venue, they come out to tune their instruments, and...still tuning. Wait, he's grabbing a beer, and still tuning. After probably fifteen minutes of their frontman tuning his mandolin, the band started looking at each other shrugging. Which led to even more confusion in the audience. After probably at least seven more minutes of fiddling with his mandolin, he throws it on the ground with a loud, "Fuckit!" and picks up his banjo and starts plucking away for the first song. 

Already off to a good start. It was a great performance, and about as Irish folk punk as you could get. He had a cigarette in his mouth and most of the lyrics were a mushy slur. We couldn't tell if he was drunk already (most bands were) or if years of whiskey had left him with permanent mush-mouth in the great tradition of Shane MacGowan. 

Either way, they killed it. Song after song of Irish rebellion and traditional celtic tunes put to modern punk beats. 

I choose my beer pairings based on a few things, and they change on a case to case basis. Does the flavor match with an experience? Was I doing something awesome while drinking it? Or does the label and label art and beer name simply match up with my topic. In this case, it was the latter. Let's welcome Angry Banjo by Verboten:

A dark cream ale. Which is something I'd never had before. I'm no stranger to cream ales. Traditionally brewed with corn and finished with milk sugar for that dry, creamy coating that lingers in your mouth and usually with a bright yellow color, this was an interesting take on the style. Still creamy, still dry, and most importantly, still delicious. But with an added roastiness like lightly toasted bread and maybe just a tiny hint of coffee. None of the reviews online say much about coffee, so maybe I imagined that, but I never said I was a pro. 

Long story short, it was a fantastic take on the classic style. And I could think of no better-named beer than Angry Banjo to toast The Tossers with. 

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