Javon Stallworth – Acworth, GA

I say this with immense love and respect for my father, but he is an elitist snob (regarding beer and wine). He’s the type of person who will pour a glass of beer slowly into a frosted glass and let it sit for a half hour before even sniffing it, let alone tasting it. He then makes a curious, bloodhound-like face and dissects the taste/aroma, finding notes of oak, honey, wheat, and citrus. If I can stop my eyes from rolling long enough, I find this ritual quite entertaining. On the other hand, I have two favorite beers that I stick to, both related to fruit: Blue Moon (orange) and Corona (lime). My dad calls Corona “Mexican Miller,” and seeing me open one allows him to roll his eyes at me. What’s sad and a bit ironic is that he was diagnosed with hepatitis. His treatment ruined his liver, and three transplants later, he’s slowly but miraculously recovering. I see this as a huge blessing, but his drinking days are over. Years ago, Dad woke up groggy from his second transplant surgery. He looked over and smiled at me like we had just survived a ride on a roller coaster. Coyly, he waited until the nurses left the room and said he missed the taste of a cold beer, “a good one,” of course. That wasn’t going to happen, but I had an idea. I took a trip to one of those giant warehouse-style package stores for beer, wine, and spirits, surveying the staff on the top non-alcoholic beer. The majority said Becks, so I picked up a six-pack. On my next visit to the hospital, I stashed a few cold ones in my backpack, and after waiting for the nurses to leave, I opened my bag, popped two of them open to my dad’s surprise and delight, and we shared the beers. I don’t know if it was the company or the depth of the moment itself, but for the first time, we both agreed that it was one of the best beers we’ve ever tasted. No orange or lime necessary.


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