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Peace pour



It had been one hell of a week. The Dow Jones had risen and fallen to the floor faster and with greater frequency than a politician's knickers. The streets of London had been overrun by the chaos of hooligan anarchy (or cleansed by the flames of social uprising, if you prefer). The citizens of Iowa had handed their "straw poll" to a member of the tea party, a statement that probably would horrify me if I knew exactly what it meant.

Paranoia and fear banged on the front door, it seemed, and I needed to stave them off with some reminder that life is fundamentally a good and beautiful thing. From the back of the fridge, nearly forgotten in a graveyard of leftovers, I pulled a bottle of Trappistes Rochefort 10, quite possibly the greatest beer in the world. It is the Platonic form of beer—a monk-made, palate-coating explosion of dark, mysterious fruit and rare Belgian yeast so forceful that a quaffer renders the drinker momentarily paralyzed by joy. This is a beverage so perfect that it could start wars, depose kings and destroy worlds. Well, maybe there's a little hyperbole there, but, damn, this stuff is good.

The bottle cap was popped and soft tendrils of carbon dioxide escaped, like smoke rising from a chimney in some idyllic Thomas Kinkade painting titled "The Forest of Light" or "The Meadow of Light" or "Light in a Well-Lit Meadow." The scent of raisins tantalized my nostrils. The rich flavor of aged port wine did the Charleston on my tongue. I found myself caring less and less about Wall Street. Fiscal uncertainty? Bah. What mattered more was the certainty that each warming sip would taste better than the last, or the certainty that when pale malt, Belgian candy sugar, bitter hops and natural spring water mixed and mingled with those mysterious little characters called yeast, something magical would happen.

In my reverie, I came up with a message for the citizens of London—enough with the looting and pillaging already. Doesn't a quiet conversation next to the fireplace in an old pub sound more appealing? What disagreement can't be solved over a bottle of Rochefort? And to the tea party—enough with the rhetoric about traditional American values. Don't you realize your entire organization is based on an event involving Indian makeup? Those are not good values. Try Belgian values instead, like the calming effects of Trappistes Rochefort 10.

Indeed, maybe what everyone needs is a bottle of Trappistes Rochefort 10, just a simple, pure and beautiful experience, bottled and available at your local retailer for the paltry sum of $6.49. There's no need to buy gold futures or build fences to keep other people who are different from you out. Forget the notion that the world is a nefarious place and that you should fear it. Life is good. People are good. Especially if those people are Belgian monks.

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