I always considered myself very good at monogamy; I drove the same car for like, 20 years, and my wife and I have been together basically since puberty. But Starr Hill’s new Jam Pack has me thinking that maybe I’m supposed to be a swinger. At least in terms of the beer I drink.
Because I’m obsessively monogamous, I tend to drink the same beer over and over. It’s how I protect myself from being disappointed. There’s nothing worse than getting your hopes up while ordering a new beer and then you take your first sip and it’s…just okay. Nothing makes me angrier than having to work through a ho-hum beer. It’s a waste of time, money, and calories. I can only imagine the frustration that single people have when dating. What do you do when you’re on a first date and the person sitting across the table from you is just…okay? Do you suffer through it? Do you get up and leave, explaining that the whole process is just a waste of time and calories?
I know Pisgah Pale is great so I’ll just order another one of those. And another. And another…It’s like marriage. (See how I just reduced the institution of marriage to a beer metaphor?)
But then you have the mix pack, a box of goodies where brewers hobble a few like-minded beers together into one handy, swinging 12-pack. It lets dabble outside of your comfort zone without forcing you to get too weird all at once. It’s just like those “key parties” in the ‘70s. You get to “spend some time” with a new partner, but you’re still going home with your significant other. With a mix pack, you get to try something new, but you also have the comfort of drinking a couple of your favorite, well-established beers.
Starr Hill’s new summer mix pack is an example of beer swinging done right. It’s packed with four different beers—Northern Lights IPA, Grateful Pale, Front Row Golden Ale and The Love Wheat Beer.
The Northern Lights IPA and Grateful Pale are incredible as always. Those are great beers that I would happily drink on the reg, but I already knew those were great beers. The beauty of the mix pack is that you get to try new things without much risk. And the biggest surprise hit in the box is Front Row Golden Ale. It’s creamy and smooth, and just 4.8% so it’s easy, all-day drinking. I can’t overstate how soft and creamy this beer is; it’s like swallowing clouds. There’s a bit of corn sweetness in there too, and a little hint of something tangy on the end. But mostly, it’s clouds.
I probably wouldn’t have bought a six pack of Front Row because I don’t typically like golden ales, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t a great freaking beer. And that’s the beauty of a mix pack. It forces you to date around. Look at me, I’m swinging.