Are You A Sommelier, or a Sommeli-Ain’t?

‘What does it take to be a father?’ I ask.

“Testicles and a kid” you would answer, if you were like, Don Rickles.

Hilarity was never so hurtful.

But Imaginary Don Rickles isn’t wrong. Not technically. You could add to that list the improv skills of Wayne Brady, 20 years of joint pain meds, and a sharply decreased aversion to other people’s bodily fluids.

And coffee. One and a half-times the gross annual export of Brazil, stretched cup by beautiful black cup over 2 decades. Heck, let’s throw in Kenya there. Nobody ever throws in Kenya. I’m modeling inclusive behavior here.

It takes a lot to be a father, is my point. There are many elements in this sleepy, poorly washed periodic table. And maybe my favorite element (behind coffee and breathing) is beer.

Now I realize this may not speak to everyone as it speaks to me. There are dads out there who don’t drink beer, just as there are parents out there who manage to keep their children from any form of TV or sweets. And I applaud them. With one hand. While I hold my Velvet Rooster Belgian Ale in the other.

I realized right away that I couldn’t get drunk anymore, for the simple reason that caring for an infant while nursing a hangover sounds like nine flavors of fresh hell. But just as nothing saves you from the thought of all the sleep you could be having like an espresso or two at 7am, so nothing calms a worried mind after 9 hours of being a dad and 6 hours of your paying job like a beer or two while you finish the dishes at 12:45am.

And I live in Minnesota, which is quickly becoming the Florence of the Craft Beer Renaisance. Seriously. They’re rewriting the state laws to let these guys do their thing.

And so I thought I’d dedicate this post to the unique pairing of Fatherhood and Craft Beer. As a sommelier pairs a wine with an entrée, so I shall pair a daily daddy duty with a delicious local brew.


Picking up your toddler, I’d pair with Harriet Brewing’s West Side IPA. The sweet, fruity Belgian sugars and yeast match the undeniable sweetness of a two-year old, arms stretched up towards you. While the sharp bitterness of the American hops invoke the awareness of your aching back and the knowledge of how many times you’ll have to repeat this action today.

Late night cooking & cleaning are the province of the Spanish speaking line cook and the new father. Whether your steam cleaning the seafood cooler or scrubbing yogurt off a hi-chair nothing makes it fun like a Summit Great Northern Porter. Like all Summit beers, it excels without drawing attention to itself. It’s the Carhartt work-wear of beer.

For Teething, there is no other beer that will do but Surly Furious. The oral assault of bone piercing gum 30 times over 3-12 months could only be achieved in beer form by the overwhelming taste of the flagship pint of Minnestota Craft Brewing. It’s bitter, it’s malty, it destroys your mouth with awesomeness.

Fulton Worthy Adversary Imperial Stout is a beer that demands consideration, reflection, and by the end of the 22oz-bomber it produces a wit and volubility that’s only appropriate for an audience you’re not immediately answerable to. And thus, it’s perfect for Dad-blogging.

There’s more, of course. There are dozens and dozens of breweries in the state of MN, dozens and dozens in the metro area. I’m only stopping here because I’m down to whiskey and I need to get up in the morning.



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6 responses to “Are You A Sommelier, or a Sommeli-Ain’t?

  1. and here I thought beer only paired with food…

    • I consider it my duty as a closet hipster and a Minneapolitan to pair craft beer with as many things as I can avoid arrest for doing. For example, I find it goes quite well with showering.
      Thanks for the comment!

  2. MD

    Excellent! I’d also proffer Coffee Bender for that hour of the evening where you want a barley-based beverage but are still staring down the barrel of many loads of laundry; or a nice Lucid Air for supervising sidewalk chalk drawings on a warm Saturday afternoon.

    • Mmmm, I’ve always thought of Coffee Bender as more of a 10am beer, but I wouldn’t be hard to convince.
      Thanks for the comment, and the share, citizen. Recognition from an authority on the subject is most flattering.

  3. Love this. As a mom who likes craft beer, my go to is Fulton’s Sweet Child of Vine.

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