Erik Drost / Flickr

The solar eclipse happened yesterday! And boy, was it amazing. But I’m not the kind of guy who “prepares” a ton. I don’t “read instruction manuals” or “read." So, sue me: I thought I could view the eclipse with any old sunglasses. I mean, it was covered by the moon, right?

Well, the New Year’s Eve 2006 glasses that I wore -- they didn’t work. And now my eyes hurt. A lot. In fact, I’m not even typing this story out right now -- I’m dictating it to Siri and hoping she doesn’t screw up. Don’t let me down, See Rihanna!

So, because I’m in so much pain today, and because I’m sure there must be others in my situation, I thought I’d provide the both of you with the five best beers to drink after improperly viewing a solar eclipse through a pair of New Year’s Eve glasses and burning a hole through your retinas so deep that it may or may not have also caused brain damage impeding your fine motor skills.

Can someone open this bottle for me?

The Bruery Mash & Vanilla

13.3% ABV (Placentia, CA)
credits:"The Bruery / Facebook" width:400 align:right Holy moly do I need a barleywine right now. I can feel every bit of Mash & Vanilla's 13.3% ABV, which is healing me way better than that fistful of Aleve I just took. I feel like… I feel like maybe I should call an ophthalmologist? ….Nah, I’m no wimp. I can take care of myself; I don’t need some nerdy science guy with a futuristic laser. I’ve seen those movies where the bad guy almost lasers off the hero spy’s junk. Um, NO THANKS, eye-doctor kook. All I need is my bourbon-barrel aged barleywine with vanilla, bourbon, and coconut notes. The flavors are as intense as the burning in my eyes.

Wicked Weed Brewing Aye-aye Stout

8.5% ABV (Asheville, NC)
A friend of mine thought it’d be real fucking funny to smuggle some of this Aye-aye Stout from Wicked Weed’s taproom for me. Get it? EYE EYE, like the two ocular organs of mine that may or may not be melting into my skull right now. Well, joke’s on him, because this stout brewed with wildflower honey is nothing but delicious. Those big roasty notes combined with the warming feeling I’m getting from this big imperial bad boy are making me feel like the universe loves me once again. Just like I used to love the sun. Now it is my sworn enemy.

Birds Fly South Ale Project Brand New Eyes

5.3% ABV (Greenville, SC)
credits:"Birds Fly South Ale Project / Facebook" width:400 align:right Don’t you ever wish you could just swap out your eyes with ones that didn’t look into the sun about 24 hours prior? This beer’s name is a symbol of hope for me right now, and the funkiness coming from this farmhouse ale puts me in a happy place...until I remember my eyes hurt because I looked into the sun.

SingleCut Beersmiths Double Dry-Hopped Is This The Real Life IPA?

7.2% ABV (Astoria, NY)
Now that I’ve more or less blinded myself, I figure I should appreciate some of my other, unaffected senses. And a double dry-hopped beer is a great way to prove that my ol’ nose still has the goods. This brew has such intense tropical fruit aromas, I can confirm that my schnoz still works. I can tell my brain still works because I made the connection that “Is This The Real Life?” is a lyric from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and this brewery is in Queens, New York. Also, their brewmaster is named Freddie Mercury! ….Wait. I’m sorry, it’s not? Got it. Yep, my brain is going now, too.

credits:"SingleCut Beersmiths / Facebook"

Outer Range Brewing Company Blocks of Light

6.2% ABV (Frisco, CO)
I’m drinking this beer while fondly recalling the days when I used to see objects clearly, and not just blobs that look like giant sunspots. I guess the name of this beer speaks to me. Also, this citrusy American IPA from a brewery about 20 minutes outside the ski resort/town of Breckenridge, Colorado, provides a brief respite from the hell that is now my life. I think I might relocate to Breckenridge. No one knows me there. No one will make fun of me for staring into the sun with 2006 glasses. I’ll grow old there in solitude, and die in peace. ….Or I could just go to the ER right now and pray that they can help me. Either/or.


Note: Wicked Weed Brewing is a member of The High End, owned by Anheuser-Busch.