Right, I'm sitting at our grey Formica table with its red rim. My legs are weary, in that pleasant way when you've done some exercise or physical work.
I've been chasing a black rubber ball being hit with a racket around a concrete room. When two of you do it, with a few rules to give some structure and to determine who's better at hitting a black rubber ball around a concrete room, it's called squash.
I'm not writing about my game of squash, however. That's the background story to the main event, which is the imposing 25cm high black bottle making a ringed puddle of condensation on the table in front of me.
It's a bottle of beer. Not just any beer, though, it's the world's best stout, according to judges of the 2020 World Beer Awards.
Cassels Milk Stout is made by a family brewery in Dunedin. They won the same award last year, so the beer must be good.
It cost me $9.95 for the 518 ml bottle.
I've saved it for this moment. To savour after my exertions on the squash court, but also to spur me to write handsome prose about the beer I'm about to drink.
How pretentious you say. It's only a beer.
Maybe. But disregarding its award-winning pedigree, this beer has a context which makes it special. It's after squash beer.
It's a reward. Its flavours and relaxing effect have been built up by what I've been doing prior.
The best beers are always like this. There's the beer after you've done the lawns on a hot summer's day. Oh, the kick of flavour when that beer hits your mouth!
There's the beer after a hard day at work, which has the sweet taste of at least it's over.
An occasion always adds to the enjoyment.
There's the first beer you drink in a pub with friends you haven't seen for an age. That's the taste of good conversation and humour. That's the beer which gives you a warm glowing feeling.
I've drunk many a first beer in situations like these which I didn't really like the taste of, yet it was still enjoyable. (The second beer can be a different story, but not one I'm telling here.)
The rise of craft beer has heightened the possibilities for enjoying one beer. You can spend a delicious 10-15 minutes slowly savouring the tastes of a beer that's been given distinctive qualities by an expert brewer.
And so, after suitably long suspense, now for the drinking…
I flick off the cap and pour into a high-stemmed glass. It pours like liquid black metal; truly obsidian in colour.
The froth is fine and slighted tanned, like the crema on top of a good espresso coffee.
I drink. The flavours mingle with the salty sweatiness still on my lips from the game of squash.
It goes down smooth and creamy, there's a perfect balance between sweetness (a result of the milk lactose used in the brewing) and bitterness.
The experience is not unlike eating dark chocolate between clean, fresh satin sheets.
There are taste hints of that last mouthful of a black coffee which has not-yet-dissolved grains of coffee-soaked raw sugar.
Definitely less bitter than Guinness. Not a take-your-head-off kind of beer at all. It's not Shane MacGowan of The Pogues singing Fiesta.
My music accompaniment would be Eric Burdon of The Animals singing We Gotta Get Out Of This Place in his Northern soul voice.
If you've ever seen footage of The Animals playing, and the working-class brawler Eric Burdon in a suit, then that's the balance that Cassels Milk Stout achieves. It's civilised, in a suit-and-tie kind of way, but there's still a hint of a rebellious dark side.
All comparisons aside, this a special beer worth investing your money and time.
Get the moment right — so important — and it will taste better even than it did to those judges who awarded it the top prize.