I can’t have nice things. I bought a nice minivan once. My son spilled grape Gatorade in it on the way home from the dealership. It’s not so nice anymore. I’ve had plenty of nice gear in my day—hyper-light tents and state of the art bikes and backpacks, and I’ve systematically ruined it all through sheer abuse and neglect. So no, I can’t have nice things. And logic would dictate that I also can’t go to nice places. Put me in a four-star hotel and I feel awkward, like I’m 13 and going through a massive growth spurt again. I tug at my shirt sleeves and accidentally knock over lamps. I’m better off camping in the backyard of nice places. In a tent that I’ve already ruined.
BlackBerry Farm is a nice place I can’t go. This is an expansive 4,200-acre “farm” with a lake and cottages and restaurant, all known for its hospitality and farm to fork food program. The nightly rate is roughly the cost of my minivan, and even if I could afford it, I’d probably just end up throwing up on the 900 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. That’s just how I do.
So, Blackberry Farm is out of my reach. But they also have a brewery that makes some really nice beer. And while I can’t have nice things or go to nice places, I can drink nice beer. That’s a luxury that even I can’t ruin.
BlackBerry Farm started making saisons a few years ago. They come in those fancy big format bottles that make you think you should save them for a special occasion. And you should, because they’re so delicate and nuanced that you need to sit down and pay attention and contemplate them. Maybe while reading Kafka or something. But they also released a few beers in cans this summer that are far more approachable, including this IPA, which is anything but delicate. Coyote Tactics is a brash IPA in the West Coast mold, full of pine and hop resin and just enough sweetness hanging out in the background to keep it all in check. It finishes dry and will knock you on your ass at 7.3% ABV.
I stumbled across it while in the middle of Tennessee a couple of weeks ago and drank an entire six pack without even realizing it. And not once did I feel awkward or out of place or knock over any lamps or throw up on expensive furniture. So maybe I can have nice things. As long as those things are beer. And I’m out in a field somewhere away from the nearest lamp.