Alright, here we go. Before we get to the good stuff, I suppose I should introduce myself. You can call me Duffer, or Duff. My wife calls me something else entirely but that’s none of your business. I’ve been playing golf since 1977. And for the purposes of this post, let’s just say I started drinking a year or two or three after that. The other day, I was reflecting on my history of golfing and boozing, which is extensive, to say the least. It started with something simple, you know, Coors Light, then for a while we moved on to Captain Morgan and orange juice, you know, something classy for those 7AM tee-times. The Captain made way to Bloody Mary’s, and then eventually micro-brews entered the mix.
I’ll never forget the first time I had a strong IPA on the course. It was great, but I wasn’t. After my third, my head was pounding like I just took an 8-iron behind the ear. I can’t remember, really, but I’m not sure if I even played the last few holes. Needless to say, this initial adventure didn’t dissuade me from future excursions, and in the meantime I’ve developed a higher tolerance along with my palette.
So here’s what we have going on here. With all this in mind, why not pair the two things I adore the most in my life? Beer and golf. Golf and beer.
Bandon Dunes Golf Resort – Full Sail Black Gold Imperial Stout
This coastal course just outside of Coos Bay Oregon definitely blows. By that I mean it’s very windy. It’s also way too difficult to tackle sober. By the time you’re done battling this challenging links-style terrain and the unpredictable gusts from the Pacific Ocean, you’ll be ready for a drink. Maybe one for every ball you lost. So why not warm up your wind chapped face with a nice hearty brew that will put the meat back on your trembling bones? Try the Black Gold Imperial Stout from local brewery Full Sail, just up the road in Hood River. A beast that can boast a bite same as the course, this beer has been bourbon barrel-aged for ten months and hits like a boozy two-iron with the wind behind it. The hints of chocolate and espresso will get your attention and sharpen your senses as they simultaneously dull. And the 9.6% ABV will help you forget that 9 spot on hole 14.
Chambers Bay – Cascade Brewing Sour Kriek Ale
Chambers is another linksy monster, but at least there’s only one tree on the whole damn course. That way, when you hit it, you’ll know you’re just as special as your mother always claimed. With gorgeous views of Puget Sound and Mount Rainier, there’s already plenty of reasons to get distracted while hacking away in the second cut, so pour something sweet, take a deep breathe, and just enjoy your surrounding for a while. Loosen up a bit, you know? Maybe try putting from the fairway or chipping with a hybrid. Anything is possible with a little gumption and liquid courage! To get you on the right track, try the Kriek Ale from Cascade Barrel House. This Belgian-style sour ale is tart and impossible to ignore. And it’s so tasty you might forget you’re drinking beer after your third or fourth sip. Aged for a year in oak, and brewed with an assortment of different cherries, there’s a puckering punch in this beer the same as your four-iron into a strong headwind. Have two, hell, have three. And remember to aim at the tree, that way you’ll decrease your chances of actually hitting it.
Torrey Pines – Stone Brewing Ruination IPA
If you ‘re not paying attention, and who would blame you after all this beer we’ve been drinking, I sure do love golfing with a great view on the West Coast. Unfortunately, I’m not the only one in San Diego. Folks vying for a weekend tee-time actually camp out for a chance to play Torrey’s historic North and South courses. Sounds like we’re going to need a beer that could work as both a nightcap and a breakfast. Look no further than the local Ruination IPA from the bastards at Stone Brewery. It might be heavy, it might be hoppy, but this Ruination character is seriously refreshing. And its citrus flavor holds up at room temperature, making it the perfect beer to nurse for a few holes. Also, if you pack a second or third bomber in your bag, you can stumble from hole to hole with confidence, knowing your beer isn’t slipping in quality even while your swing does. If you think about it, it’s just like having a grapefruit in the morning. A grapefruit that’s 8.2% alcohol.
Alright, so there’s the first three entries into this series. How’d I do? The keyboard started to blur after the first few hundred words, so I just sort of went with my gut from there. Apologies to my editor for all the typos, I’ll just have to trust he’s the professional I’m not and that none of them slipped into the published draft. What you do think of these selections? Would you change anything? Do you have a particular course of beer you’d like to see featured? Drinking beer and playing golf is way too much fun to give up on so soon, so I’ll be back later with more installments. Until then, Cheers! And also, Fore!
What about your pairings? Share them with me.