LONE STAR - The Show at The Triad in NYC and the Stars Favorite Beers
Editor's Note: This piece is written by our guest contributor, Matt de Rogatis who stars in the upcoming production of James McLure's "Lone Star" at The Triad in New York City during the month of August.
On August the 15 at The Triad Theatre in New York City, I'll be reviving my creation of Roy Caulder in James McLure's Off Broadway Play, Lone Star. Roy is a small town Texas boy, circa 1972, suffering from PTSD as a result of his tour of duty in the Vietnam War. To cope with his spiraling life he enjoys raising Hell and drinking beer, although not necessarily in that order.
Now, while I've never been much of a Hell raiser, I do enjoy throwing back a cold one every now and again. I tend to be a creature of habit, but with the sudden craft beer phenomenon that has taken over, it's hard to not want to sample all the great stuff out there. Still, I always find myself going back to what gets the job done.
Here are my top 5 beers and why.
#5 - Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale by Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company. Aged in freshly decanted bourbon barrels for up to six weeks in some of Kentucky's finest distilleries, this is a can't miss beer with notes of vanilla and oak. A relatively new beer, (launched in 2006), it can be enjoyed before, during or after dinner. Some people even use it as an aperitif. I've introduced this beer to a lot of people and they all seem to have the same reaction after their first sip, "Oh...wow."
#4 - Troubadour Magma. An IPA brewed by Brouwerij De Musketiers in Belgium. Anyone who knows me knows I am NOT an IPA guy. It's the kind of beer I like the least yet, somehow, this IPA found itself into my top 5. A few years ago I was bartending on the Upper East Side and a regular came in repeatedly and would only drink Troubadour Magma. When I told him I wasn't an IPA fan, he simply responded with "have you tried this?" I took a swig and was immediately hooked. There is literally no bitterness to this beer and a must try for any serious beer drinker.
#3 - Derailed Black Cherry Ale by the Erie Brewing Company. I came across this beer on a white water rafting trip in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. It's a full-bodied ale with notes of dark cherry and the perfect level of hops. While I'm not normally one to go for fruity beers this rare find is not syrupy or overly sweet like some of the others out there. Yes, I'm talking about you Sam Adams Cherry Wheat! Derailed's incarnation is a rare sessional wheat beer that goes great with mounds of steamed mussels and shrimp cocktail. Shout out to Roland's Seafood Grill for having it on tap.
#2 - Guinness. Brewed in Dublin since 1759 and quite possibly the world's most iconic beer. I'm a stout drinker and while there are some excellent challengers to the Guinness throne, in the end, no other stout can beat its rich, velvety finish. It's that much fresher, that much creamier. I even like my onion rings battered in Guinness. In fact, there's only one other beer in the world I'd rather sit down and drink...
#1 - Lone Star Beer by the Miller Brewing Company in Fort Worth. Call it a sentimental pick but it's the God's honest truth. For me, Lone Star represents so much more than just a beer. It might not be the strongest. It might not be the smoothest. Some might even say it's watered down, bland and boring. And that may be partly true. But when I drink a Lone Star beer I don't think of the taste or the color. I don't think of the alcohol content or what kind of malts are used in the brewing process. Instead, I think of the wonderful play written by James McLure and the nostalgia I get remembering the first time I ever played the character of Roy back in 2010. "The National Beer of Texas" makes me think about our current production. There's been a lot of hard work put in by everyone including our director Pete McElligott, stage manager John Constantine and my co-stars Chris Loupos and Greg Pragel. I have a great history with this show and an attachment to these characters and that's why Lone Star Beer means so much more to me than just a drink. It is a reminder of great times and wonderful experiences that have greatly impacted my life. Isn't that what sitting down and having a beer is all about?
Lone Star by James McLure returns to The Triad Theater (158 West 72nd Street) on Tuesday nights on August 15, 22, and 29 at 9:00 pm. Live blues and rock music precedes the play. For tickets and more information visit www.DrinkBeerRaiseHell.com.
Photo Credit: Chris Loupos