His hand rested pensively on the stem of the tulip glass, swirling it slightly as the cherry red liquid inside slowly ebbed and flowed. Sour beers were okay by him, but that 'up all night heartburn' had slowed his appreciation of them considerably in the last few months. He thought maybe it was that late night binge eating tacos and pizza was to blame at first but now found himself contemplating a stop at the pharmacy for some antacids on the way home when he left the taproom.
He knew the food was probably a bit of an issue but add together a few too many pounds, age and that sharp but deliciously funky acidic sourness he associated with her laughter and you had a recipe for a long night questioning more than his choice in beer.
He took a sip and closed his eyes, this yearly release taking him back to the first time he had it, which seemed like a lifetime ago but was just a little over 3 years.
She had been new to his life then and they were both using craft beer to explore their relationship with each other as well as with the burgeoning local scene. She wasn't into sour or farmhouse ales but preferred the hoppiest of IPAs, dank and bitter, while he was a pan-drinker of anything, the boozier, the better. They met as people used to, through friends and at various festivals over a half a year before he had the courage to ask her on a solo beer tour to the big city and some of the finest offerings out there. It was in those taprooms, taking transit and sitting a little closer each time that he started to fall in love. She wasn't like anyone else he knew, she laughed with pure joy and longed for adventure, with an astonishingly good tolerance for alcohol. Not that he would have noticed much, his nervousness always gave way to overindulgence and he would start the pattern that would ultimately end their relationship 2 years later. Perhaps she thought it was cute when he would act a buffoon, he was a happy drunk and never wavered in that respect. She played along and the two of them spent most weekends either hungover or working on another one as bottle releases and tap takeovers vied with festivals and other beer fuelled events for room on their social calender.
He ordered another bottle, the pomegranate this time, and looked around at the other tables. Laughter echoed into the night and he could see the heads bowed in closer conversation, an indication of the love that existed out there, just not right now for him. While the server poured his much anticipated purchase into his Teku, he marvelled at the colour and once again drifted to the memory of what used to be the happiest time of his life. Every sip a beautiful tragedy of love found and lost in the beer that they had both held so dear.