There you are, perched atop a barstool, perusing the beer-board, when suddenly you pick up the silhouette of a foreboding figure in your periphery. Though unassuming in most ways, this individual demands your attention—not by might or even with words—but by his mere presence. He stands at the doorway for a moment, surveying the place’s inhabitants, assessing…always assessing. For this is his business, assessment and, of course, collection. Though gaunt as a specter, his right forearm is surprisingly meaty, for it does the literal heavy-lifting. Dangling from the end of that appendage is an empty satchel, but it won’t be empty for long. The Exciseman has come to claim his due and he won’t be leaving until he’s been made whole.

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You lock eyes and know in an instant that resistance is futile. Cat-and-mousery will only prolong the inevitable, so as he approaches you allow yourself to yield and order a black lager. It pours onyx as the unfeeling heart of this unwelcomed guest. It tantalizes, first with faint traces of stony minerality followed by bold flavors of baker’s chocolate. Just as you begin to take it all in, like the garnishing of wages, your palate is wiped clean by a bone-dry finish that leaves you eager to go back for more. You indulge that yen, time passes and, before you know it, The Exciseman is on his way out the door, his satchel filled with your hard-earned wages. And you find this experience, this transaction, wasn’t all that bad after all. In fact, it was quite pleasant. In this brief moment, you can appreciate the art of this infrequent visitor. You offer an unseen tip of your hat to him—and a percentage of your wealth—and take another sip.

THE EXCISEMAN
Subculture: Stygian  |  Style: Black Lager  |  Alcohol-by-Volume: 5.4%
Availability: Draft-only, at the Societe Tasting Room and throughout San Diego County

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