Every new beer release should feature rollerskating acrobats

Elysian's new Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale took over Burbank's Moonlight Rollerway.

Elysian's new Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale took over Burbank's Moonlight Rollerway.

When I landed in Burbank, I only had about an hour to get to the roller rink.

Typical opening line, right?

Having just come from a quick weekend at a chilly beach with my family, I knew my shorts and boat shoes were not the right fit for the disco-themed beer release party I was heading to next. As I ducked into the men’s room to change into real clothes, I also realized I had failed to pack any real socks. I only had a single pair of toe socks, and no: I’m not going to explain that to you. So I slid my toe-socked feet into my rather respectable chukkas, and headed out to call a ride.

A short time later, I pulled up to Moonlight Rollerway with my rollerbag luggage in tow. It was time to enter Superfuzz Funk Night, where Elysian Brewing was unveiling its new release: Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale.

Let me get this out of the way: I’m not a fan of fruit-infused beers. I’m not into sours or goses, either (though I will argue with you ardently about how to pronounce gose). This is all to say: I was skeptical.

Elysian Co-Founder Joe Bisacca and friends kept the pints flowing.

Elysian Co-Founder Joe Bisacca and friends kept the pints flowing.

As I checked into the event, one of my hosts clued me in on a little secret: there were two beers available tonight. Not only were they serving the new Superfuzz, they were also offering up the Space Dust IPA. And if I asked very nicely, they might let me try the Fuzz Dusters, a half-and-half mixture of the two brews.

I weaved through the brightly-colored crowd, past the roller skate rental counter and the soft pretzel display. Then, I approached the simple two-tap setup where Elysian Co-Founder Joe Bisacca himself was pouring cold pints. Despite my fruit aversion, I decided to start with the unadulterated Blood Orange Pale.

I’m glad I did.

The blood orange flavor was actually quite subtle, serving as more of a backdrop to what is otherwise a hoppy, citrusy, West coast pale ale. I gulped it down and decided this was the best roller-disco I’d ever been to. And it was just getting started.

I'm not a person who should ever have wheels attached to his feet.

I'm not a person who should ever have wheels attached to his feet.

That’s when my friend Lindsay arrived and informed me that I needed to finish my beer so we could start skating. Here’s a fact: I’m a terrible roller skater and I abhor the very idea of strapping wheels to my feet to slide around an oval track full of strangers. But you know what? I’m a team player so I drank up and laced up.

I WAS SO AWKWARD OUT THERE. I almost fell over so many times. And even though I did ultimately manage to stay upright, every one of my toes was curling with discomfort inside my toe socks.

Fortunately, it was a short run. I soon retreated to remove the wheels from my feet, then grabbed a sample of the Fuzz Dusters blend, which was bracing and delicious. It was around that time that an announcement was made: it was time for a special performance.

A pair of professional roller skaters named Kim Manning and Trey Knight took the floor. Music started to play. They began to dance. And skate. And dance. And the next thing I knew, Kim had locked her ankles around Trey’s neck while he spun her around at break-neck speed. I cringed in fear and applauded profusely. 

Skating wizards Kim Manning and Trey Knight showed us all a thing or two.

Skating wizards Kim Manning and Trey Knight showed us all a thing or two.

Afterwards, I learned that Kim was not only a roller-skating acrobat, but was also a former vocalist for George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars. So I did what anyone who’s currently producing a short film with an outrageous psychedelic party scene would do: I asked her to be in my movie. Which is why I now really need to make sure I have some decent beer on set—so here’s hoping I can snag a keg from Elysian.

Either way: it was a successful evening. And I hope I don’t have to put roller skates on again for another ten years, at least. Oh, the things we do for good beer.