In the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
In the spring, a young woman’s fancy lightly turns to thirsts for beer.

Tennyson might not have penned it, but the fact remains. At least for this young woman it does. (Frankly, I prefer “chick” or “girl” or if you want to be really Jerry Lewis about it, “Laayayayayayadeeeeee,” because “young lady” sounds like my mom caught me out after curfew.)

The first warm waft we got that the world was turning mud-licious and puddle-lovely — which came last month right before that blast of cold had us turning the heaters back on. You know, for the cats. — I had this odd quirking in my mouth. My tongue felt dry and edgy and my throat was clicking in a greed for something cold, bright, topaz. Something fat. Something tire.

Whizzing by our neighborhood BevMo, we picked up a handy case of New Belgium’s Fat Tire and chilled it. A few hours later and, for the first time in many months, I lovingly coaxed that smooth, cylinder out of the fridge and held it close and throttled, enjoying its cold weight.

With a crink! and a spliff!, I let loose my amber beauty and slid it into a gently curving glass. Nose to mouth, nose to soul, heart to lips, I breathed it deep. Yeast and sharp and quench and tang.

Cheese. Cheese? We interrupt this Harlequin Romance: She Bore All for Beer to bring you this breaking announcement: Cheese. Seriously, I started to quaff this amazing beer that brings the full, teaming rush of summertime to my mouth and all I could think of was, “I SMELL cheese! What IS this CHEESE?!” The beer didn’t pass my parched, cracked, lusting lips. The beer didn’t slide down my willing, hungering throat. I sniffed it. I smelled it. I damn near SNORTED it!

Finally, it came to me: Ardrahan! Gubbeen! St. Nectaire! Durrus! One of those cheeses was the soul mate — the Ilsa to its Rick, the Rhett to its Scarlett, the Pacey to its Joey — to this beer. My friends, it was clear that I couldn’t revel in my spring fancy until I requited this pairing.

After testing each and every one of the pungent cheeses above, it became abundantly clear to me that Fat Tire was a slut. It had no “perfect mate,” no desire to be monogamous, no real loyalty. It slopped as well with Ardrahan as it did with Durrus. And Gubbeen. And St. Nectaire. It was a bi-cheesal beer.

The tart, yeast-bosomed cheeses brought out all that was giving and sensitive in this simple beer. None of them were favored above another, but all of them were deeply loved.

The End.

Fat Tire: A Bodice Ripper (with Cheese) 26 April,2007Stephanie Lucianovic

  • Sean

    Don’t judge, Stephanie. Some beers are just … friendly.

  • wendygee

    I love that slutty fat tire!!just bought a six-pack myself…I should share it with that queer old goat-footed balloonman now that it is spring!

  • Erin

    Stephanie, have you heard that Fat Tire is finally coming to Minnesota? Limited release starts this summer!

  • Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic

    Really and truly, Erin? That’s awesome! I was going to bring a case home for my soon-to-be-delivering friend and her husband when I visit in June, but maybe I don’t have to! YAY!

  • cookiecrumb

    Ever so Bulwer-Lytton.

  • Erin

    Really and truly! Here’s the email my husband got from the folks at New Belgium (uh, yeah, he wrote them. What’s it to you?):


    Thanks for the e-mail. Good news, we do have plans on distributing to the Twin Cities area later this year. The dates are still up in the air, but we are hoping for a late summer/fall release. So sit tight for a few more months and we’ll be with you shortly.

    Tyler Foos

    When they debuted it in Chicago, you could only get the big 22-oz bottles for a while, then the regular 12-oz bottles, and now, finally, kegs! I assume we’ll see a similar schedule here.

    (Though if you’re taking orders for your summertime trip…) 😉

  • Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic

    Hey, if I can devise a way to pack them in my checked luggage without shattering, I will contact you and take your order. Then I can meet the captain!


Stephanie Lucianovic

A former picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a writer, editor, and lapsed cheesemonger in the San Francisco Bay Area. A culinary school grad with an English lit degree, she has written for,, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Additionally, she has been writing for KQED’s Bay Area Bites since its inception and is the website editor for KQED’s Emmy-award winning show “Check, Please! Bay Area.”

Stephanie was an original recapper at Television Without Pity and worked on a line of cookbooks for William-Sonoma as well as in the back kitchen of a Jacques Pépin cooking show. Her first book, SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: A Picky Eater’s Quest To Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate (Perigee Books, 2012) is a non-fiction narrative and a heartfelt and humorous exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters that Scientific American called “hilarious” and “the perfect popular science book for a reader that doesn’t think he or she wants to read a popular science book.”

Stephanie lives in Menlo Park with her husband, three-year-old son, assorted cats, and has been blogging at The Grub Report for over a decade.

Follow her on Twitter at @grubreport

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