It’s been less than a week since Hillary Clinton made her 2016 presidential campaign official, and the excitement already threatens to drown the city. Do you find yourself gasping for air? With frontrunner candidates now emerging from both major political parties, we can finally get down to that eighteen-month-long horse race of speculation dubbed “election season.” Sweet lord, this calls for a stiff one. Like with most everything else in life, there’s a beer for that. In this case, it’s GORP — a beer brewed by the friendly folks at Carton Brewing specifically for hitting the trail. Drink up, America. You’re going to need it.
For those sad souls deprived of a proper childhood, GORP stands for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts. The classic snack mix for long hikes along the Appalachians also contains M&M’s, for good measure — they tie things together in flavor far better than they fit in the acronym. To evoke fond memories of outdoor adolescence, northern Jersey’s most experimental microbrewery added peanuts and chocolate to a porter that’s fermented on black raisins. The resulting 8.4 percent ale doesn’t just taste like its namesake, it’s actually made from the exact same ingredients.
Although its dark brown appearance borders on opaque, the so-called “trail ale” boasts more transparency than any candidate shaking hands on the campaign trail between here and Iowa. It’s also full of much more substance, offering dark, roasted notes of malt and subtle hints of oak and nut before fading away in a graceful bow of vanilla. American politics will be dominated for the better part of a year by the traveling circus car of would-be presidents catering to their respective bases. They would serve themselves well to embrace the overall sense of balance delivered in a pint of GORP.
As the presidential election cycle threatens the specter of interminability, GORP is but a seasonal release that will be gone almost as quickly as it arrives. It’s now back on tap across the city — from the neighborhoods of Hillary Clinton’s new Brooklyn campaign headquarters to the other boroughs beyond. Don’t delay — while the politicians are out there shaking hands and holding babies, ease the pain at your local craft-beer hideout. Drink early — and often.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 17, 2015