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He watches the world like a bloated vulture atop an ivory tower awaiting the expiration of the wretched and the damned. For most, life is a journey versus a destination, but his entire life has been about reaching the lofty space he occupies. His personal voyage is over. Now he’s a fixture on a nearly astral plane of governance where the haves rule the have-nots. To get there, he painted on an uncharacteristically pleasant public-facing persona to garner ballots bearing his name. The road to his enviable place in the political hierarchy was paved with those slips of electoral parchment; so seemingly small and insignificant alone, yet so powerful when lumped together to convey majority-rule. But long gone are his days of groveling to curry the favor of the unwashed masses. A clever politico knows such tactics are only necessary the first time around. The Highbinder now employs more efficient, foolproof tactics for ensuring reelection and acceleration of his agenda.

There’s always a loophole to exploit, so long as you look hard enough, and never a shortage of big-wheels to grease nor citizens to strong-arm. Failing all that, he’s a man of means and there is nothing a fat wad of greenbacks can’t take care of. This is his stance, his credo. It’s never been about his constituents, simply about having constituents upon which to impose his will. It feeds his ego, that most vital component of his being. And what good is money and power without status and the unchallengeable ability to do whatever you please, even if it flies in the face of everything you promised to get elected, everything your position supposedly stands for and the entire democratic system you’ve sworn to uphold and protect? His very existence and death-grip on the crown answer that very question louder than words ever could. But to meet with him in his palace on-high at least means indulging in the refined raspberry-, wine- and oak-kissed, barrel-aged nectar bearing his name. Unlike him, it is subtle, refined and true. Snag a few bottles on your way out—he owes you at least that much.

THE HIGHBINDER
Subculture: Feral | Style: Blended Barrel-Aged Sour Ale with Raspberries | Alcohol-by-Volume: 5.7%
Availability: For sale exclusively in 500ml bottles at the Societe Tasting Room

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Some journey the world in search of that special someone; a soul-mate for which they are perfectly suited to spend eternity. The Bachelor observes this behavior—he can even find the nobility and normalcy in it—but for him, monogamy is simply too cruel a rule. This free-wheeling gadabout sees the fairer half of this spinning orb’s populace as a nearly endless source of pleasure. Were it possible, he’d have his way with all of them, but knowing his earthly and biologic limitations, he employs a more selective, fastidious approach that’s as frequent as it is fleeting, hand-selecting conquests, one after the other, unimpeded by the concept of forever. It’s always a one-time thing. There will be no repeat-performances. It’s going to be what it’s going to be, but it’s also going to be a thorough exploration that touches on all the senses.

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Many are the comely damsels who’ve surrendered to The Bachelor’s charms. And he distinctly remembers each of them…but not necessarily because they tickled his fancy or scratched that proverbial itch. Were achieving such synergy as simple as two random forces colliding, life would be so much simpler…and, in his opinion, insanely dull. Part of the excitement of engaging the opposite sex (but never in a matrimonial sense) is the potential for incompatibility. How can one fully appreciate harmony unless they’ve suffered through discord? Without our failures, what would drive us to succeed? Each imperfect liaison helps him recognize the desirable characteristics missing from that tryst, thus increasing the probability of achieving eventual perfection. Yes, The Bachelor has learned a great deal by perpetually pushing the envelope of singularity…but he’s nowhere near finished.

THE BACHELOR
Subculture: Out West | Style: Single-Hop IPA | Alcohol-by-Volume: 6.5%
Availability: Draft-only, at the Societe Tasting Room and throughout San Diego County
Hop Varietals Explored (so far): Cascade, Centennial, Mosaic, Motueka, Chinook, Citra, Azacca, Amarillo, Rakau, Sorachi Ace, Jarrylo, Simcoe, El Dorado, Northern Brewer, Galaxy, Hallertau Blanc, Mandarina Bavaria, Eureka!, Idaho 7, Calypso, Nugget, African Queen (AKA: J17), Nelson Sauvin, CTZ

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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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