RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Thursday, January 8

Okocim Porter

AFFORDABILITY: The Beer Run store in Charlottesville is a nice store with plenty of selection of high end beers, plus they can get kegs of pretty much anything that is kegged up on two days notice. They had a nice big holiday beer display in their cluttered store (which also has a bar and serves lunch and the like), and on one shelf on the far wall was a bunch of porters from east Europe, which I had assumed was part of their holiday display. The Okocim was one a few Polish porters, promising high alcohol content, in just over a pint bottles, for $3, about the price of big molotov cocktail bottles of Sierra Nevada or Newcastle or Red Stripe at the regular grocery store, so I can tolerate that I guess. 3 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: I had actually bought a couple of Polish porters for New Year's Eve when another couple and their kids came to the house to throw down. Me and the dude cracked open a porter each, me choosing this one (and it promising me 8.3% alcohol). Turns out he was a full quarter Polish, like me. My grandfather was the son of Polish immigrants, and when he pass away this year, while we digging through his shit for legal effects, we found the green card my great grandmother got passing through Ellis Island. So me and the other dude bonded in our neglected Polock heritage, and happily and heartily rang in the new year sucking down these porters. And really the only testament as to the destroyability of the Okocim is the fact that by the time the night was over, I was lighting cheap Chinese fireworks on the picnic table, sloshy and loud, and woke up in a new cycle of the calendar boxes with oddly parallel burn marks all over my writing hand. I would assume this was from attempting to light more fireworks as already lit fireworks exploded beside me. 8 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: Nice black, brown, and ominous eastern European dark red, with words using far too many of the last five consonants in the English alphabet to seem normal to me. Plus, a little shield of a goat, full horns twisting behind his head while he drinks from a giant flagon of drunkwater. I would proudly wear this label on a t-shirt, especially since I go through shirt phases. One point, it was all Hawaiian shirts (which sometimes meandered into the similar genre of old black man button-down shirts), and then it was t-shirts where I put iron-on letter messages on them ( a blue t-shirt with “MY GRASS IS TALL” in a play on the one that one dude in Lynyrd Skynyrd is wearing in the Street Survivors LP), or when I was wearing knock-off football jerseys with color matched t-shirts underneath. But lately, as I’ve become bored with styles again, I just want to wear jeans and black t-shirts (perhaps relapsing to my early teen years) and the only two I really have to wear are one from some junkyard my homeboy Benji gave me (says “recyclers do it again and again”, wink wink nudge nudge heh heh heh), and an ominous Costa Rican beer shirt my wife got me when they all went to Central America and I was still here working like a fool. So yeah, nice label, and I want a t-shirt like this. 6 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: Made by the famous Okocim Brewery of Brzesko, Poland, which of course I don’t know shit about. But even the importers - Stawski Imports of Chicago - sound like good shit. My grandfather lived in Chicago for a while after running with some injuns after the war he was in. I used to be a pretty proud southerner, like lots of shitty people get fake proud of their shitty home to give themselves a higher level of low self-esteem, but in my meanderings, I have to say the strange ethnic identities of various white breeds in pockets of the north is interesting to me. In the south, it’s basically just white people, without knowledge of individual flavorings. But those ethnic whiteys, man they have some good looking sausages in their stores. Whitefish sausage? Sign me up. With some homemade countertop fermented sauerkraut? Fuck yeah. My mom was pretty emotional in memory mode this past Christmas, first one without her dad, so I think I’m gonna take some of these Polish pints of porter down there and we can burn up some old furniture in the back yard. 7 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: Maybe it caught me at the right time, remembering old acquaintances that shouldn’t’ve been forgotted, and it got me feeling good. And I might just be in impulsive semi-responsible, semi-degenerate mode, but this is the greatest beer ever. 9 out of 5.

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