The label on New Belgium's Trippel recommends drinking the earthy ale cool, not chilled.
I'm not exactly sure what that means without a thermometer. But I had some time on my hands. It was Saturday afternoon. I could stand to find out.
I figured that in the time it took for my roast-beef-and-cheddar sandwich to be assembled, the beer I'd grabbed from the Tacoma deli's impressively stocked cooler would have time rise to the desired temperature.
I think it did. Somewhere around the 15-minute mark. That's how long I'd already been waiting, open beer in hand, sans sandwich.
Seven people stood in line. Twice as many waited. My Trippel threatened to turn tepid.
Fifteen more minutes clicked by.
I was down to warm backwash when my sandwich arrived.
I felt like that kid who should have clocked that crunching owl in the Tootsie Pop commercial.
What is the taste of the perfect-temperature Trippel with roast beef and cheddar on a lazy Saturday afternoon?
At an under-staffed main-drag deli, Tacoma may never know.