A couple of years ago I got a last minute request from a friend of mine on a Wednesday afternoon. He called and said, “I play on a slow-pitch softball team in Davis and we could use an extra player this season – interested?” I hadn’t played softball in years but had in the past so I figured, sure, why not? It sounded like fun again so I told him I’d be there later that night. Wondering how a pastor might respond, he said with a hint of hesitation in his voice, “the name of the team is the Immoral Minority.” I burst out laughing, and I think I could hear him breathe a sigh of relief.
Turns out this team is one of the older teams in Davis – not necessarily its players (though our combined ages could probably beat any other team’s in our league), but the length of time it has been in existence, and the name is a reflection of that. Around 30 years ago the Moral Majority was on the rise and some sassy softball players in Davis decided to co-opt the name for their softball team. When I heard the name, I knew I’d like this group of guys immediately. When we finished that first game, everyone meandered over to the bleachers, sat down, started chatting, and then someone popped open a cooler and passed a few beers around. That settled it: I had found my softball home in Davis with the Immoral Minority. I’ve been playing with them ever since, and most Wednesdays, enjoying a tasty beverage afterwards.
Last night was no exception. Another win for the Immoral Minority (still cracks me up to write it or say it out loud), and another beer. Usually, if you make a mistake during the game, cackles will rain down from your fellow players and you will be expected to provide the beverages for the following game. Needless to say, I’ve brought my share of beer already. And while the Immoral Minority might pretend its a rogue group with no philosophical or theological standards, they have standards for beer – another sign I knew I’d get along with this group. Our third baseman extraordinaire pulled a few 6 packs out of bag and announced, “this is my go-to beer. My drinker’s beer.” It was Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Duschutes Brewery.
I’m all for matching glassware to the style of beer, but sometimes, you just need to drink your beer out of a bottle and a softball game is one of those times. I can only imagine the reaction I’d get from teammates if I pulled a pint glass or snifter out of my bag and poured my beer into it. But the bottle and its label is the first thing to appreciate about Mirror Pond – it was clearly marked with a freshness date so you can tell immediately if you are getting a good, fresh beer. These were, so it was time to sit back, watch other teams play softball, maybe throw out a sassy comment or two about their quality of play now that we were done for the night, and sip this offering from Duschutes.
Mirror Pond is an American Pale Ale that features an American brand of hops – Cascade Hops. While they are widely used, some beers showcase them better than others and Mirror Pond is a classic example. This beer has a sweet citric taste to it but not in the fruity, cherry or apricot beer sense. It’s the distinctive grapefruit citrus of the Cascade hops, and Mirror Pond balances it beautifully with hop bitterness and malts. The beer has a very smooth body and is extremely drinkable – easily enjoyed over lunch or after a softball game. Our third baseman knows his stuff: this is a go-to Pale Ale. If you like Sierra Nevada and have never tried Mirror Pond, give it a shot. And if you find yourself needing to watch some softball on a Wednesday night, stop by and check us out. You’d probably be our only cheerleader, but we might give you a beer for your effort. We might.