I never got into baseball.
I was born to be constantly moving. Modern medicine might diagnose me with “restless leg syndrome” or “fidgititus”. When I tried to play as a kid, I’d get easily distracted. I was famous for taking off my glove and wearing it like a hat, on top of my other hat. The only thing I was good at was running wildly towards a base, often knocking the baseman out of my path quite forcibly, and then being ejected from the game.
My mother often tells the story of when my dad had to literally drag an 11 year old me out of the house as I desperately clung to the stair rail, wanting nothing more than to not play baseball. I hated the uniform. Playing sports in tight pants just never sat well with me.
Baseball was just too sedentary. Too much standing and looking, not enough chasing and rolling. I needed to be running, jumping, falling, bumping. I know there is some movement in baseball, it just wasn’t enough for the amount of proverbial ants in my proverbial pants.
But! For the sake of this excellent beer, I’ll put on my baseball hat. Er, cap.
In 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers thoroughly whooped up on the New York Yankees, taking the World series four games to three. This was the first World Series win in the history of the team, and put an end to the long-standing Yankee baseball dictator ship that had a chokehold on the game. In 1957, the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, making the ’55 victory the only one to ever occur while the team was based in New York.
Easy to see why the geographical fanatics at Brooklyn Brewery named their beer after the historic event.
Baseball is as much a part of New York as street vendor hot dogs and militant taxi drivers. I think this is part of why I don’t particularly like New York City; it’s a world that doesn’t belong to me. I don’t get it, and I don’t think I am supposed to.
This beer though, I get this beer. It may be that missing connection, the one thing that brings me closer to the Big Apple, closer to understanding the ravings of homeless people in Times Square, closer to realizing the appeal and wonder of America’s favorite pastime.
Pennant Ale ’55 pours into the glass like the wave passing through your section in the ballpark. It smells like that odor that hits you as you enter a stadium; fried food, newly opened beer, fresh, open air. It is a wholesome smell that primes you for an excellent drinking experience.
Its color is infield-dirt-brown, with a hint of red clay. The head settles quickly, leaving behind chalky baseline lacing just above the surface of the beer. The mouth feel is an in-field triple, the bubbles roaring like the crowd, hoping the runner will make it home. The taste is nothing short of a grand-slam.
9.5 out of 10.
Next up: Harpoon Belgian Pale Ale!