Monday, July 7, 2014

Discovering Life: Alcohol

I spent from 12 years old to my escape this past December in a Southern Baptist Convention church, and Baptist churches of different varieties are well known for opposing alcohol. It's rather ironic, considering the fact that the Bible says that Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine.

The excuses given by many SBC people I knew for this was rather funny, some claimed that it wasn't really wine he turned the water into, but a fermented grape drink that barely had any alcohol content at all. Both from the descriptions given of festive occasions in the Bible, and any sense of ancient history, that's highly unlikely.

It's been said that Jesus turned water into wine, but Baptists for centuries have been trying to turn it back into grape juice, which is rather accurate.

There's also the old jokes about Baptists and alcohol that are common in conservative Christian circles, most revolving around Baptists secretly trying to drink without their friends knowing.

"What's the difference between a Baptist and a Methodist? The Methodist will say hi to you in the liquor store"

"How do you keep a Baptist from drinking all your beer on a fishing trip? Invite another Baptist" 

For a few months after I left, I didn't drink any alcohol, not because of any lingering religious guilt or the like, but because I assumed that any amount of alcohol while on Cymbalta would be a disaster that would probably land me in a hospital.

Well, I found out that wasn't completely accurate, limited amounts of alcohol (2 drinks a day maximum) actually wouldn't be a problem. That kind of limit was fine by me, the idea of getting plastered drunk doesn't appeal to me at all, especially the throwing up afterwards. As a kid, when I would get the flu, the part I always dreaded the worst was throwing up, especially that acidic taste in the mouth and throat afterwards, bleh.

Anyway, about two months ago, I went to the brewery and restaurant of St. Louis brewing company  Schlafly. The food was great, but when in the restaurant, and during the brewery tour, they allowed people to sample different beers.

Some of them, I might have actually liked, and did like at first, but all of the beer I tried to some extent had this bitter seltzer like aftertaste. I was told later that this was the hops commonly used in beer, and that it often takes time to get used to it.

I gave up on beer after that, but not alcohol itself, and after asking some ex-fundamentalist friends online what they liked, I kept trying different things, some drinks became my favorites, others I hated. Here's a few of the drinks I have tried since then, and how I felt about them,

(A+) Angry Orchard Crisp Apple

I have found I really enjoy hard cider, and Angry Orchard is the best I have had so far. Crisp Apple is good, a slightly sour but very rich taste to it. It goes great with any kind of food or just kicking back or relaxing at the end of the day.

(C-) Seagram's Escapes Peach Fuzzy Navel (weird name, right?)

It didn't taste horrendous, but it really didn't taste that great either, kind of bland and watered down, only thing it had going for it was that it was very cheap (just over $4.50 here in the St. Louis suburbs for 4 bottles), other than that, I have nothing positive to say about it.


(A) Smirnoff Cherry Lime Coolers

Unlike the Seagram's, this did not disappoint. It had a nice tart but sweet taste that kind of reminded me of something along the lines of flavored 7Up. Highly recommend it, and since it is one of Smirnoff's coolers instead of actual vodka, it has a low alcohol content. 

(B- ) Twisted Tea

 I have conflicted feelings about this one, overall it was OK, but I had to drink it slowly, and at times couldn't finish a bottle of it because it has far too much of a lemon taste to it. I don't hate it, but probably won't be buying any more of it. I am however using it in some BBQ chicken I am making today, that lemon taste should be interesting when it cooks through.

(A+) Mike's Strawberry Lemonade

Absolutely great all around taste, Mike's is a great company, and I liked their Mango Punch as well.

(D-) Bacardi Premixed Hurricane

 It turns out I just can't take that spicy taste of rum, attempting to water it down with various things (including blue Powerade for laughs), and mango juice drink just would not even hardly make it bearable to finish a small glass of.

(A) Redd's Strawberry Ale

I have yet to try their more well known Apple Ale, but if it is any bit as good as their Strawberry Ale, it will be great too. Though technically a beer, I still enjoy it, great rich taste, sweet without being too sweet, goes great with food or just any time I feel like a drink. 

I have seen in stores a hard iced tea that they make, which I am curious about, hopefully it will be much better than Twisted Tea was.

I enjoy talking about alcohol with people, it makes me feel like one of the "normals". Just recently have I really felt like I can pass in mainstream society somewhat, and talking alcohol, really makes me feel like I have made it, I have come a long way in life from what I was, and what I was forced to be.

If you have any suggestions of something I should try, tell me.


  1. Angry Orchard also sells a cinnamon apple cider. It's a bit sweet for my taste, but since you like cider, you might enjoy this too.

    There are beers available that aren't overpowering in their hop flavor. Hefeweisen is light and crisp with very little hoppiness. Since you like strawberry ale, there's a strawberry sorghum beer (the name escapes me) that you might enjoy.

    1. I tried Schlafly's Raspberry Heiferweisen, even the fact that it had actual pureed raspberries in it wasn't enough to kill that awful hops taste.

      Some ex fundies have told me that after 6-12 months of drinking other alcohols, sometimes you can become immune to the hops taste. I'll see about that.

  2. Have you tried any wines Sheldon?

    1. I have a bottle in the refrigerator of some wine from St. James Winery, it's a little too potent for me, lol

    2. Norton? gotta try some REAL wine, Sheldon! J/K I am a wine geek, so...

    3. Well, bring the suggestions, Brian.

  3. I must admit, I enjoy a good cold Guinness. Recently I've been cutting the gluten and I enjoy:

    The ancient Greeks and Romans had to "cut" their wine with water it was so thick... so I think that Jesus would have produced the strong stuff!

  4. If you like white wines, Sheldon...I might suggest a good Riesling. They range from bone dry to quite sweet and have lower alcohol than many California wines.

    for reds, Pinot Noirs can be a lighter style that goes well with almost any food!

    Good luck. Wine is a dangerous hobby!

  5. If you like fruit-flavored beers with little to no hoppiness, have you tried fruit lambics? Lindemans lambics might be to your liking.

    1. Sounds intersting.

      I had a Sam Adams Cherry Wheat tonight, not bad.

    2. I've had the cherry wheat too -- yum!

  6. Rum with orange juice! I can't drink straight orange juice anymore, it's too acidic :D I use dark rum though.


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