Crowler In The Night: A Poem By Erik Wollschlager

The Buffalo streets, though sometimes cold
Are overflow’n with rivers of gold –
But not the type that prospectors seek
It’s more the kind for discerning ‘geeks’
Made with water, malt and hops
Enjoyed until the last flaxen drop
It’s beer, of course, it’s beer we love
Sent down to us from high above.
Served up in glasses and plastic cups
Clanked for shouting “Bottoms up!”
But I deride those lesser vessels
Tossed aside to shards from tressels.
We all know cans are where it’s at
Aluminum and short and fat.
Like a pop-top holy grail
The only thing to hold my ale,
And this is where my tale begins
A beach, some beer, and many friends
From that day forward, I will stan
For my greatest friend, the aluminum can.
The call came in one early morning
A plan my friends early forming
A sun-filled day upon shore
With coolers full of beers to pour.
Some Jam of Kan and jams of bands
And relaxing stretched out on the sand.
They’d bring chips, some fruit, & crackers
Some food for beach bumming snackers
Eagerly I volunteered
To be the one to bring the beer.
I filled my trunk with coolers, iced
Engineered my car precisely
Down the road to my local zymurgist
Ran through the door feeling quite urgent
But my horrified eyes did see
The cooler shelves were quite empty.
A moment of dread, then I thought
Of all the growlers I had bought!
Back to the car, back to my house
Grabbed my glass and brought it out
Back to the brewery, back inside

Filled with Buffalo’s brewish pride
Back to the car, onto the beach
Where my friends waited for me.
I dragged the coolers to the beach,
But security would not let me breech;
She popped my coolers and saw the growlers
“NO GLASS ON SHORE!” the guard howled
My beer was housed in a half-gallon glass
And the matron screamed ‘YOU SHALL NOT PASS’
Like the Balrog, flamed hot and dry
Unto the maiden, my thirst becried.
Still she shook her stern head nay;
I hung my head in wretched shame
But inside a voice called out to me
What about some crowlers, B?
A smile spread across my face
My glass-held beer I could replace
With giant cans perfect for the beach
I bought my gang a couple each
Returned to meet security
Who smiled and I think winked at me?!
Regardless, she let me pass and I
Struck out past the blowing grass
Onto the sand where my friends had perched
Hot and looking of mighty thirst.
We popped our tops and drank down some beer
I swear that I could hear the cheers!
So to this day, I swore allegiance
For picnics and for days at beaches
Bar-mitzvahs and baptisms too
Only one vessel will do
So here’s to you, almighty crowler
I raise my can and then I holler
Thanks to you, sealed tube of tin
For keeping all my beer within
Until it’s time that we should drink.
We drink this one to you, I think.

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