Good Beer Hunting

no. 476

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Midsummer parties always last longer. Late sunsets create the illusion that it’s still early, and the heat makes it comfortable to stay out. At least that’s the excuse I’ve been using to explain why I found myself at Barcelona’s Garage Beer Co when the clock was pushing midnight—we were simply getting the real party started.

The porrón—which is somewhere between a teapot and, um, something you might find in a meth lab—has become a Garage mainstay. Originally used in Catalonian wine bars, it allows a group of people to share a drink without ever letting the glass touch their lips. In Garage’s taproom, it’s used to taste beers before you buy, but at their monthly release parties and festivals it becomes something of a competition. The technique involves holding the spout near your mouth, tilting just so until the liquid comes out, and then slowly pulling away as far as your ego demands.

It’s a risky game. (I’ve taken Lambic to the eye, which is unpleasant.) And on this day, a lot of precious Saison ended up on our shirts. Garage co-founder Alberto Zamborlin, however, was a natural. After we all went back to our pint glasses, he continued to use it. Never wasted a drop, either.