Normally I’m not much of a beer drinker, although I can become one after I’ve spent three hours hiking 7 1/2 miles up and down a mountain. My friend Ardal, a beer connoisseur, sensed an opportunity last weekend, which was how I ended up sitting in The Dutchess Biercafe two hours before the Super Bowl.

“It’s called a beer flight?” I said, in astonishment. “In that case, I must have one.”

But not so fast. As it turns out, you have to choose each beer. Which I did, not really following any rules. Banner photo, from the left: Allagash White, Duval Single, La Trappe Dubbel, Delirium Tremens. I don’t know what took me so long to get to La Trappe Dubbel, which turned out to be my favorite.

They were not lined up from light to dark, which is more common, but in order of their alcohol content. I started favoring the right hand side of the arrangement, which might be the reason all the beers eventually started to look like birds. Banner photo, from the left: American Goldfinch, Eastern Meadowlark, Harris’s Hawk, upside-down Moluccan Cockatoo.

As always, it then became difficult to draw the line.




Here is a Golden Eagle, perched in a decidedly beer-like position, looking like a robust stout.









Here is a pilsner-colored Cedar Waxwing, exhibiting the crispness of a summer lager.




graemeS.chapman zebrafinch



Here are what might look like Zebra Finches, but are really flights of beer lined up in a busy Biercafe.








And here is a flock of Rock Doves in beer flight formation.




You can try this at home.

As for the Super Bowl, it was the first one I’d ever watched start to finish … and to my great dismay, there was no Clydesdale commercial. Beer, here!

Photos, in order, by Suzie Gilbert; South Dakota DGFP; Jason Quinn; Graeme S. Chapman; Shaun Kardinal.

Written by Suzie
Suzie Gilbert is a wild bird rehabilitator whose shameful secret is that on more than one occasion she has received a female LBJ, or a fledgling whatever, and has been completely unable to ID it. Luckily she has birder friends who will rush to her aid, although she must then suffer their mockery. She is the author of her bird-rehabbing memoir Flyaway (HarperCollins) and the children's book Hawk Hill (Chronicle Books). Her recent suspenseful, bird-filled adventure novel Unflappable (Perch Press) was selected by Audubon Magazine as one of their Three Best Summer Reads of 2020. She lives in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley and is always up for a good hike.