This is the first BOTS post I have written during my own personal Brew Day! I'm tempted to talk about what I'm personally making, but I'll save it for questions below. Or the first Cleveland series. We'll see.
As a general rule, I personally do not pay any attention to the standings until mid-May. I just don't feel like you can get a good feel for hot streaks, cold spells, and the like until you have a decent sample size. 40 games is usually my mark for when that occurs. The one downside to this "strategy" is that I generally also have no idea how most other teams are doing in the standings and only tangentially know their records when they pop up on the screen or during a read of the recap.
No matter how good/bad/awesome/awful the Twins are, I go into every single game thinking we are facing Walter Johnson and Zolio Versailes and Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett and 2006 Justin Morneau and, well, basically anyone and everyone that was good with their franchise at one time or another. Between #twinshits and guys like Alexei Casilla becoming the greatest power hitters ever, every Twins game is like a 3 overtime Stanley Cup Playoff game that goes until 2 in the morning and causes you to need ulcer medication. Trust me, if ever there was a team to drinking a ton of beer against, it's this one.
Surly Brewing company has you covered on this front. Last year, we profiled their Hell, a nice, light, easy drinking session helles pilsner. This time around, we're going for something...stronger.
The Surly Bender will definitely make you go on one. Surly is another brewery canning their offerings exclusively (we talked a little last year about how this has several advantages to bottling). They've also expanded their distribution a little bit, so this is more available than it was last year. The Bender is a tasty Oatmeal Brown Ale that's going to be a little lighter than your traditional Nut Brown (think Newcastle, but less fire-smelling). It's definitely a beer you can get lost in drinking a few of, but its flavor profile is more palate pleasing. Oatmeal is not an ingredient that is as aggressive as barley or hops, but it certainly adds a pleasant creaminess to the beer evident in the full, frothy head, and the Willamette hops cut through nicely to avoid a sickly-sweet taste and curb palate fatigue. At 5.5% ABV and only 45 IBUs (which won't be as evident due to the more roasted characters), this is definitely a beer you can "accidentally" drink a four-pack of during a game. Pick up a case for the weekend. Per person.
Surly Brewing Company is located in Brooklyn Center, MN.