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North of the strip you’ll find $5 blackjack, inexpensive steak, and Pint + cans of Dale’s Pale Ale. This bright, hoppy delight is the flagship of Oskar Blues Brewing Company, originally of Longmont, Colorado and now with facilities in Austin TX and Brevard, NC. While alcohol is omnipresent in this town, it can sometimes be a small challenge to find good craft brew.
You can imagine how comforting these cans are, large in the hand, measuring 19.3 02 of fine golden liquid. Dale’s is as palatable as it is true to style, an instant classic among the pantheon of bitter, piney and at once citrus soft Western ales. At 6.5% ABV it is no slouch and could almost pass for an IPA in lesser circles.
Here in the Desert, it’s 41°, with a nip in the air that’s got the Freemont st. go-go dancers in flannel pants between twirls. Here, the casino signs are studded with big old-style bulbs that glitter like the nuggets of our dreams. Here, you can peacefully sip your beverage as you stroll between the one-armed bandits and cleavaged dealers. Stepping on to the pedestrian zone, you can enjoy some very loud peace and quiet.
A sort of lull drapes over my ears, the mind too distracted to pick any one word out of the cacophony. Somewhere at the bottom of my can, somewhere lost among the dollars I seem to have misplaced, there is an odd peace that develops. It’s like I’ve been transported to a fantasy oasis. Here, time is independent of the Earth’s traverse and excess seems diffused in to the air itself.
I sip a watery Wild Turkey, offsetting its candied grain impression with the hops and cool Rocky Mountain water. I browse the cousin’s digital Christmas lists and put faith in Santa-Amazon to fly it to LA on time. Back in the Golden state, folks are decking their halls in an attempt to bring home a little mini-Vegas. Like the ancients, we scare away the dark of winter with blinking LEDs and mock-ups of mythical creatures. Here, every day is a holiday and I’m glad to have Dale keeping me company as we await the barrage of functions, family, and CHEER.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
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