As part of our mission here at Why Daddy Drinks to revel in the humorous lunacy that is fatherhood, and to promote the drinking of quality beverages, we bring you our weekly segment highlighting something that should be in your glass. This is The Drink Of The Weekend.
One of the benefits of living in the San Francisco Bay Area is that, come winter time, you know you will never, ever, have to worry about getting snowed in.
I have lived in Oakland for nearly 14 years and in all that time, not once has it come anywhere close to snowing. One time, I had some frost on my windshield in the morning. I took care of that the old-fashioned way: I threw a cupful of warm water on the windshield. Done.
Yes, there is snow in California, but not anywhere near us. Winter is like Groundhog Day. It’s chilly every day, yes, but in the Bay Area, you don’t need to worry about buying a snow shovel once November hits.
Now, summer time…That’s a bit different. The Bay Area is home to dozens of these “micro-climates” that the local weathermen love to blather on about on TV. There’s a reason why Mark Twain said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” It’ll be 60 degrees and overcast in “The City”, and by the time I get home to Oakland, there’s not a cloud in the sky and it’s shorts and t-shirt season.
And go a little farther east, like to nearby Livermore, and you can think you just entered the ninth circle of hell, temperature wise. Livermore is about 25 miles from Oakland and on a hot day, the temperature will go up one degree for every mile you drive out to the town that plays host to one of the biggest repositories of weapons-grade plutonium on the planet.
Which is exactly what happened this past Saturday.
It was 65 degrees when we left home to go to a birthday party for a friend of my daughter, Maddo, and by the time we got to Livermore, the temperature gauge in my truck read 90. Yeah, I know it’s been hotter around the country this summer, and I know this is nothing compared to the pizza oven that is Las Vegas or Phoenix, but it was still plenty damn hot for me.
Luckily, the birthday boy’s dad planned ahead.
As any good dad will do, he was working slabs of ribs and a barn’s-worth of chicken wings on the grill. And right outside the back door was a cooler full of beer; the kind that’s been chilling in a bed of ice for hours and cold enough to put out the fire that was already burning up the back of my neck.
Yes, it was a kid’s party. But it was in the middle of the afternoon and dad would wouldn’t have put the beer out if he didn’t expect or want people to drink it and enjoy themselves. Which is what I did.
There’s a reason why San Jose, Calif.-based Gordon Biersch makes its SommerBrau Kolsch Style beer. It’s right there in the name: SommerBrau…Summer Beer. Beer for the Summer. I didn’t need any more selling. Cold, slightly bitter and crisp as it goes down. It was the Drink Of The Weekend, and I have one smart dad, El Lee, to thank for providing it.
Oh, and the ribs and wings were awesome, too.