The Virtues of Free Beer

Pyramid's Hefeweizen is a little more interesting than some other versions on the market--it's got the subtlest trace of the sour/tartness characteristic of the continental original and is nice and cloudy with yeast and wheat. But, truth be told, it's not anything to write home to Mom about. (It is styled an "American-style hefeweizen" by the brewery, and has won awards in this category. I find it more flavorful than others in this rather insipid style.)

However, as I was returning from a long day in Medford yesterday on Alaska (Horizon)--a twelve-hour round trip, not including commute times to the airport--the gracious flight attendant offered me a plastic cupful of the hef, gratis. She even came back by and offered me a refresher (I declined). It was slightly over-warm and the plastic cup did nothing to enhance the experience. Still, there's something about a free beer at the end of a long day that really hits the spot. Fred Eckhardt is famous for saying his favorite beer is the one he's drinking, and while I won't go that far, given the right circumstances, I see what he means.