You'll get the concept of the Whiskey Soda Lounge's new bia wun ("jelly beer") pretty quickly if you've ever forgotten a beer in the freezer. It's basically beer slush, with a performative twist. Bottles of the Thai national beer, Singha, are cooled in a machine imported by owner Andy Ricker. The machines (there are two) look like plastic wine barrels frocked in elephants, perched on a tree stump. A windshield wiper motor powers a twisting motion, which keeps ice, salt and your beer in motion (salt lowers the beer's freezing temperature, and the motion keeps the system in equilibrium). After removing an extremely cold-looking 22-ounce bottle ($8, 12 ounces is $5), our waitress taps it hard on the floor and flips it upside-down—the liquid inside the bottle immediately turns to a white, downy ice when she does this (magic!)—then she opens the bottle with a quick flick and says, "You'll want to start drinking that pretty quick." Within seconds I am sucking a slowly overflowing beer through a straw (which I subsequently keep losing into the bottle—longer straws, please). Somehow the ice isn't icy, just fabulously cold. Singha, like most national beers, tastes like undergarments. But once "jellied," it's tastelessly cold and excellent patio fun for a summer day.
Whiskey Soda Lounge, 3131 SE Division St., 232-0102. 5 PM-Midnight Sunday-Thursday, 5 PM-1 AM Friday-Saturday. $ Inexpensive.