Where In Town: RedRocks Firebrick Pizzeria, 1036 Park Rd. NW

Price: $7.50/12 ounces

Glass Struggle

Beer lovers of the world, unite! The imperialists have controlled our means of consumption for too long, making everything boozier, bigger, and more extreme—imperial India pale ales, imperial porters, and, thickest and most intense of all, Russian imperial stouts. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a RIS, the darkness of which approximates that of Dostoyevsky’s soul, but drinking too many can feel like crime and punishment. At the other end of the stout spectrum, a Guinness often seems like a watery, everyday opiate of the masses. What’s a craft beer proletariat to do? Overthrow the imperialists, dodge the Guinness, and grab a solid, dependable, American stout. Obsidian is one of the best.

The Mild West

Compared to an imperial stout, Obsidian, at just over 6 percent alcohol by volume, is a wimp, but its flavor is still supersized. Portland-based Deschutes Brewery calls this a “beer to linger over.” I prefer “beer to eat pizza with,” since it can stand up to garlic and pepperoni. The smell is dark and roasty with a whiff of hops. It tastes like roasted barley and coffee, without much sweetness, and it’s rich enough to satisfy but light enough that you can have more than one. Revolutionary, you might say.