This is a shot of the Total Eclipse beer from Lunar Brewing in Villa Park (54 E. St. Charles). This place is a microbrew center of excellence. It’s like going to a microbrew all-star game. Somewhat akin to sitting in the seats at an Academy Awards of beer.
So I walk in. It’s in a nondescript building on a busy street. The bar side of the place is a dark, elongated room. I saunter up to the bar and have a seat because I was there before my friends showed up.
“What you gonna have?” says a burly, friendly bartender.
“Well, what you got?” I say, matching the bad English, just in case this turns out to be a bad English competition.
He slides one of those little plastic menu things over to me and says, “Those are the beers we have on tap.”
There’s about ten of them. I ask, “Are they all made here?”
He jerks a thumb towards the back of the place, “Yeah, makin’ more right now, back there.”
“Well, I like Guinness, so what do you have that’s comparable,” like anything could be comparable to the great Guinness, but I’m open-minded.
“Sure, I think you’ll like the Total Eclipse, but,” he pauses, ominously, “there’s only one problem.”
“After you drink it, Guinness will taste like sh&% for the rest of your life.”
Whoa, I was rocked back on my heels. Not so much by the comment, I’ve heard profanity before, but by the conviction with which this man made this statement. He looked me in the eyes and stated this as if it were just a simple fact. As if it were as unequivocal and believable as statements like “Jordan was the best ever” or “the Packers suck.” There was no arrogance or pretense, just a statement of what he believed to be the truth.
Lemme tell you, ’twas a great beer. I haven’t had a Guinness since, so I can’t verify the bartender’s proclamation. I’m not really worried that I’ll start hating Guinness, and I highly doubt that my next Guinness will taste any different from any other I’ve had in my life. But that brief moment after the comment, when I actually hesitated before ordering the beer, I had chills running down my spine from a mix of fear and excitement…chills that I haven’t felt since the last time I heard Ty Pennington say “MOVE THAT BUS!”