Located at 17035 N 67th Ave #6, Glendale, AZ 85308
Open Tues-Thurs 3p-10p; Fri 3p-12a; Sat 11a-12a; Sun 11a-9p
On the morning of my visit to Dubina Brewing Co. I awoke from troubled dreams and found myself transformed in my bed into a horrible vermin. Like, with a brown belly, slightly domed and having six legs and shit. Once after a night of heavy drinking I woke up naked in my neighbor’s bathtub laying on top of seven stuffed teddy bears that were all wearing Spiderman masks for some reason. But even that wasn’t as weird as the morning I woke up as a beetle or roach or something.
I decided that my roachy appearance wasn’t going to derail my plans so I crawled out onto the streets of Glendale, Arizona. I couldn’t drive to the brewery because my weird, domed body and tiny little legs didn’t allow me to operate a vehicle so I decided to call an Uber instead. It was significantly easier to use the tips of my legs to type my address into the Uber app on my phone.
I eventually made it to Dubina Brewing Co. on 67th Ave, just north of W Bell Rd. I walked in expecting people to be disgusted or terrified by my horrible, vermin-like appearance.
There were a few folks in the brewery but it wasn’t overly busy this day. Everyone there noticed me crawling into the place but they hardly gave me a second look. Hmmm…I would’ve figured they’d be more taken aback by me.
I walked up to the bar and took about 45 minutes to crawl up onto a bar stool. My tiny little bug legs weren’t strong enough to pull myself up onto it. After about twenty tries I decided to crawl up the wall and onto the ceiling then position myself directly over the bar stool. I let go of the ceiling and landed on the stool with a crash but caused myself no damage. I finally wiggled myself upright and looked at the menu. The Bartender came up to me after having waited patiently for the 45 minutes or so that it took me to get my buggy ass up to the bar.
“Hey there,” he said, way more calmly than I would’ve expected him to address a giant bug-person. “Welcome to Dubina Brewing Company. We have six of our own beers on tap today as well as a few guest taps. We also have food if you’re hungry. Our menu has starters like wings, a basket of fries, and a jumbo pretzel. Our main dishes are steak or grilled cheese sandwiches, sliders and a Klobasa which is a Czech sausage.”
“Woah, hold on,” I said to the Bartender. “You’re not freaked out by me coming in here and looking like a giant bug creature?”
“Nah, man, I just figured you got a bit of the Roachism.”
“Yeah, this placed is called Dubina because the owners’ family heritage is from the Czech Republic. Their family has been in Arizona for half a century but the folks who opened this joint went back to the Czech town of Dubina to explore their roots and decided to bring some of the European influence to the craft beers they make here.”
“Okay but that doesn’t explain why you’re so nonchalant about my…’Roachism’ as you call it.”
“Come on, man, people have been getting affected by Roachism in the Czech Republic for at least a hundred years. It happens out of nowhere without explanation. It’s just a part of life. Hell, even one of the owners was walking around looking like a roach for about six months back when this place first opened in 2014.”
Holy shit. Knowing that I wasn’t the only human to ever turn into a giant, walking, talking roach creature actually made me feel a bit better. I ordered a flight of the six Dubina beers and the Bartender was perfectly happy to oblige.
The first beer in the flight was called the Wee Little Pale ale. It was a light beer, both in color and in taste. It had a slight bitterness to it that came and went at the beginning and at the finish. It was very refreshing and I was happy to be able to pick up the flight glass with my top two bug legs that most closely translated to arms.
“So how are you handling your Roachism, man?” the Bartender asked me.
“Eh, it kind of sucks. My family is totally freaked out about it. My dad basically kicked me out of the house. In his defense, he’s currently working for a pest control company so I think he takes my whole existence right now as a personal offense. My sister said the only good roach is a dead roach or at least one you can smoke. My mom wanted to keep me around but just to make money off of me. She wanted to switch out my bedroom door for a clear glass one and charge the neighbors to come see the amazing talking Roach man. Then she’d charge extra if they wanted to touch me, pee on me or throw apples at me.”
“Wow, dude, your family sounds like they’re the worst.”
Normally I’d defend my family if I heard someone say that but today I couldn’t muster up the energy. I decided to try the next beer. It was the Ziskov Kolsch. It was another light beer with a nice, understated hop flavor to it and some slight carbonation on the finish.
“So what did you do before you became a Roach?” the Bartender asked me.
“I was a popular blogger reviewing every single microbrewery and vineyard in the state of Arizona. You may have heard of me; I called myself The Classy Alcoholic. It was a good gig but it’s a pretty strenuous career that requires traveling day in and day out. I contact all kinds of different people all the time so I never get to know anyone or become friendly with them. Plus I have to make enough money to pay my entire family’s rent. They won’t downgrade from their seven bedroom house because they’re used to a certain lifestyle. My mom needs at least two bedrooms to hide all the Mexicans she sneaks across the border before their families pay for their release and my dad will resent me if I don’t keep his ass in Gucci and gold.”
I drank the next beer in the flight. It was called the Jack of Tarts. It was a sour gose that was very reminiscent of the Citrana Sour from Borderlands Brewing Co. down in Tucson. It was getting easier and easier to use my bug legs as hands. In fact, I picked up the Jack of Tarts glass with just one bug leg. This beer had a very sour kick to it right up front. It quickly made your mouth pucker up but had a smooth finish. It packed a stronger punch than the last two beers and was easily my favorite of Dubina’s brews.
The Bartender gasped and pointed at me. He wasn’t scared when I walked in looking like a giant roach. I couldn’t imagine what was shocking him now.
“Holy crap!” the Bartender said. “You’re growing hair! And fingers!”
I looked at myself in the large mirror behind the bar. He was right. My antennae had transformed into my normal head of dark, thick, shiny, gorgeous hair and the bug legs that I was using as arms started to morph into actual fingers…and then hands.
“Am I morphing back into a human?” I asked. “How is this happening?”
“It’s gotta be the beer! You seemed so miserable when you walked in and were totally bumming me out when you were telling me about your family. But the more you drink the more you’re looking like yourself.”
He might’ve been right. I looked at the awesome beer menu that Dubina had drawn on a chalkboard – easily the coolest beer menu I had seen in a long while – and saw that the next beer in the flight was the Hopology IPA. It was light on the hops which I liked because it allowed its citrusy flavor to shine. It was very smooth, not bitter and hopheads will probably be underwhelmed. But people who like their IPAs less intense, like I do, will likely enjoy this.
I looked down at my body and saw my necktie hanging over the brown bug belly. Most of the top half of me was back to its human form. The Bartender seemed pleased.
“You’re curing your own Roachism, man!” he said. “You probably made yourself into a Roach because you were so bummed and stressed about your life and your family. When’s the last time you had a beer?”
“It’s been at least a week. I’ve been so busy with work and with trying to make sure my family was okay and with driving by my ex-girlfriend Haley’s house every night that I couldn’t even take time for myself.”
“That’s your problem, dude. When you don’t focus on yourself you become Roachified. Keep drinking and see what happens.”
The next beer was a milk stout on nitro. I normally don’t like beers on nitro at all. They’re too weak for my tastes. I’m also not really into milk stouts. But Dubina’s Milk Stout Nitro was actually good! The milky taste wasn’t overwhelming and there was enough heavy flavor to the beer that it didn’t taste watery. I looked down and saw that my legs were back. There was hardly any bug aspects left to me.
“Wow, I didn’t realize that I succumbed to Roachism because I was so miserable and sober. But…I’m kinda worried about what this means.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Well, I overcame my Roachism thanks to these great beers at Dubina. But does this mean that I’m gonna go back to being Roachified if I ever get depressed and sober again? My first though was that I reverted to my normal human self by dispelling the Roach. But…what if the Roach is what’s normal? What if deep down I’m actually supposed to be a terrifying, giant Roach creature and this handsome, charming human form is the mask? I don’t know what’s real. Am I supposed to be wearing a suit, necktie and pocket square? Or am I supposed to be bug-shaped with six legs and antennae?”
“Woah. You just blew my fucking mind, dude. I can’t tell you if you’re supposed to be a man or a roach. All I can do is answer your question with another question: which one do you prefer to be?”
I had one more beer left on my flight. It was an ale that was soaked in whisky oak chips. As a whisky lover, I really enjoyed this beer. The whisky taste really amplified the flavor. I can’t say this beer is for everyone but I loved it. I looked at myself again in the large mirror behind the bar. I was back to my regular, well-dressed human self. Or maybe I was temporarily dressed in a human suit and would someday be back to my Roach self permanently. It didn’t matter though. I knew the answer to the bartender’s question. I wanted to be The Classy Alcoholic. I wanted to be the guy I saw in the mirror at that moment.
I took my last sip of the final beer and paid for my flight.
“Thanks for your advice,” I told the Bartender. “I guess the good thing about not knowing quite what you are is that you have options on what you can be.”
“That’s the spirit, dude!”
I opened to the door to Dubina Brewing Company and was about to walk out onto the parking lot. But first I decided to take one last look back at the brewery. All the customers in the place looked at me through their bug eyes with their antennae wiggling and waving their bug legs that they used like arms. They all nodded at me with their Roach heads and I nodded back.