Monday, December 5, 2016

Quick Quiz For You...

Question 1 of 1: What has been sold in stores in the states bordering us to the east, west, and north of us for years but never sold here, with trucks dropping off the product in Texas, then driving right on through our state to deliver the product to Arizona? If you said condoms, well, that's funny but wrong. Magnums have been here forever, and I guess they sell other kinds, I don't know. But the correct answer is: Dogfish Head beer. AND WE ARE FINALLY getting beer from Dogfish Head. Yes, the brewery who once sold a malt liquor that came in its own brown paper bag. The brewery that made a beer using ingredients from every continent. The brewery that has made a beer that utilizes lobster. The brewery that has made a beer that utilizes saliva. But the Milton, DE is probably better known for its 60 Minute and 90 Minute IPAs. And 120 Minute IPA. And Chicory Stout. And a bunch of high ABV beers that were extraordinary if only (but not only) for the fact that they were 6+% higher than some of the biggest Barleywines being brewed at the time. And they're on their way to NM. Not sure if Beer Superstar/ Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione will be coming here as well (that's him in the photo, pouring me a glass of My Antonia Pilsner at an event in 2010...What's up brother?...You getting my emails?...I still have the glass you filled for me, never washed!) The news has been around for a bit, but I didn't feel right writing about it until I saw someone had posted it online, so the cat's out of the bag- and probably on its way into a Dogfish Head beer. You'll see their beers hitting the shelves in the weeks to come, but start calling Jubilation five times a day just to ensure you get yours. The Jubilation employees never get tired of people asking if they sell Dogfish Head, and it will be interesting to see if they are able to form and say the word "yes" with their mouths after so many years of replying in the negative.

I'm curious to see how long Dogfish Head sells like crazy before they level out here. Will they live up to the hype/people's memories of the beer? Remember that first 90 Minute that you had years ago on that east coast trip? The one Esquire named "The best beer in America"? The one people lined up for at GABF (that's the Dogfish Head line in the photo, and the closest I am now allowed to get to Sam Calagione). Well, it's still chugging along, though you may find it a bit maltier than the DIPAs you have grown accustomed to in the years since it first opened your eyes to DIPAs. And that's not to say it isn't good; it's a classic beer. But while still Dogfish is still hugely innovative in the beers they are brewing, they aren't necessarily trying to keep up with the latest IPA fad (Though their Indian Brown Ale, formerly referred to as a "well-hopped brown", is now labeled as a "Dark IPA"). Gotta sell those Brown Ales somehow!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Can and Growler Choices Expand

Torrance, California's The Dudes' Brewing Company quietly rolled into town recently, with at least five styles hitting the Kelly Liquors on Wyoming. Four-pack cans include the almost obligatory IPA (CalifornIPA) and DIPA (Double Trunk) styles, but they also offer a Berliner Weisse. Not a whole lot of canned Berliner Weisse to stock up on in Albuquerque, so give these Dudes a try.

Billy's Long Bar has started filling growlers. They have their own logo growlers for $5, or they will fill your growler of choice. "They" apparently referring to one of the managers; when I asked the bartenders about the process, I was directed to two non-bartenders who were working. Whatever the case, you should be able to walk out of there with a filled growler with a wide range of beers to choose from. Growler of Backwoods Bastard, growler of Union Jack, growler of Project Dank even! Just don't ask for the Firestone Walker XX or the Bourbon County Stout in a growler. Super premium beers not available for fills. Also, don't expect to be able to get a sample of Firestone XX, as "We don't do samples of it because of the high ABV." Which makes no sense, obviously. You want to tell me you won't do a sample because of the high cost of the keg, fine. I can understand that. In which case I'd be willing to pay $1 for a sample if that keeps me from paying $9.50 for a 10 oz. pour of something I don't like. In the end, I had to be satisfied with a Bourbon County draft served in a MUG. M-U-G.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Black Friday. Black Beer. Don't Blackout.

Black Friday fight day! Take a break from wrestling grandma for that 4K TV and head over to O'Niell's Pub on Central Avenue for a black beer Black Friday event. The good people there have gathered a number of dark beers to take the edge off of what was once just another good day because you didn't have to work. Then it became a day to get good deals on presents. Then it became a day to buy yourself all the cool electronics. I'll be at Sears. Nobody goes there anymore. Probably because Craftsman tools aren't exclusively made in the USA like thy used to be. Is that on Trump's list of things to do in the first 100 days mandate? Should be. Anyway, kegs being tapped at O'Niell's include:

Boxing Bear's multiple medal winning Chocolate Milk Stout
Oskar Blues - Death By Coconut - Irish Porter w/ chocolate and coconut, a GABF silver medal winner
La Cumbre 2015 La Llorana Baltic Porter
Full Sail Black Gold (bourbon barrel-aged Imperial Stout)
Boulder Nitro Chocolate Porter
Deschutes 2015 The Abyss barrel-aged Imperial Stout

The fun begins at 11 am.

Nob Hill Bar and Grill will be tapping both the 2016 and 2015 Bourbon County Brand Stout on Friday. Or maybe that 2015 is the same keg that was sitting on tap for a long time earlier this year...but now that it's an "event", people will be packing the place for it. Funny how that happens.

Jubilation knows you've been making room in your beer fridge just for this day. If you wake up and line up outside early enough, you can take your pick from these limited edition goodies, listed courtesy of Jubilation's Adam Auden:
Limit 1 bottle per customer unless otherwise stated.
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout 2016 (Limit 2)
BCBS 2015
BCBS 2014
BCBS 2013 (Limit 2)
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine 2016
BCBW 2013 (Limit 2)
Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout 2013 (Limit 2)
Goose Island Bourbon County Regal Rye 2015
Goose Island Bourbon County Backyard Rye 2013
North Coast Cellar Reserve Series:
Old Rasputin XIX Bourbon Whiskey
Old Rasputin XVIII Wheat Whiskey
Old Rasputin XVIII Rye Whiskey
Old Rasputin XVII Bourbon Whiskey
Old Stock 2014 Wheat Whiskey
Old Stock 2014 Rye Whiskey
Old Stock 2013 Bourbon Whiskey
Bosque Scotia Limited 2014
Santa Fe Sour Porter
Founders Lizard of Koz (Limit 2)
Firestone Walker XX
Firestone Walker Barrelworks Agrestic
Evil Twin Maple Bourbon Jesus
Blackberry Farm Brewery Brett Red Wine Barrel (GABF Silver Medal!)
Deschutes Dissident 2016
Deschutes Collage #1 2012
Moylan's Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout 2013
Black Diamond Bourbon Barrel Peak XV Imperial Porter 2014
Green Flash Silva Stout 2015

Friday, October 28, 2016

Lagunitas Generates Fresh Hop Hype

Lots of praise being heaped upon this year's Lagunitas Born Yesterday Fresh Hop Pale Ale, not to be confused with Lagunitas Born Again Yesterday Pale Ale. Or maybe they wanted you to be confused when Born Again was released some months after Born Yesterday since the Yesterday was so good that they figured you would buy the Again again and again. Anyway...

Born Yesterday is the wet or fresh hop Pale Ale that everyone is going nuts over, again. The recipe varies each year but the premise is the same: get those freshly harvested hops straight from Yakima and get brewing. This year's version is heavy on the Mosaic, Amarillo, and Equinox hops and is 7% ABV, up a half percent from last year. Investors will be pleased. This year's version also is unfiltered, which I take as Lagunitas' nod to the fact that the New England hazy IPAs are all the rage. Remember when Stone came out with their unfiltered Enjoy By? Rumor has it that 95% of their workforce enjoyed it. And the Lagunitas Born Yesterday is in that Enjoy By category in the fact that they want you to drink it NOW, which is why it was shipped to and available in just about all of their markets by today. Born Yesterday was bottled on 10.17, so while it seems like it could have made it the 1,100 miles from Petaluma, CA to Albuquerque a little faster, it's still not bad. Maybe the driver stopped at In N' Out.

This beer has disappeared quickly in previous years, though I saw a substantial stack of it at Whole Foods on Carlisle. You can get a six-pack of 12 oz. bottles at the reasonable price of $9.99.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

GABF Wrap Up

From the Brewers Association:

"During competition registration, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. self-identified their San Diego location as a Mid-Size Brewpub. After the award ceremony, GABF competition staff realized that this was inaccurate: this location is, in fact, a Mid-Size Brewing Company. Karl Strauss, while it operates brewpubs, is classified as a production facility by GABF competition guidelines.

After reassigning Karl Strauss to the Mid-Size Brewing Company category, and recalculating the Brewery of the Year results, it resulted that Karl Strauss was the winner of the Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year category. In addition, Boxing Bear Brewing Co. is the resulting winner of the Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year category.

All of us with the Great American Beer Festival and the Brewers Association deeply regret this error. Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon, which had originally been identified as the Mid-Size Brewing Company of the Year, had a very strong performance in the competition, winning a gold medal in the German-Style Wheat Ale category, a silver medal in Other Strong Beer, and a bronze medal in Fresh or Wet Hop Ale. They were among the top medal-winning breweries in the 2016 competition.

Congratulations to all of the winners in the most-entered Great American Beer Festival competition ever.”

Well, it sucks to be Fat Head's. How does the Brewers Association go about getting the award back? Is someone knocking on a Fat Head brewer's hotel room door Sunday morning and saying, "Heeyyy. So I know you're probably hung over after all that celebrating, but I wanted to catch you before your flight. Anyway, about that Mid-Size Brewing Company award...."

Great that Boxing Bear was able to scoop up that Mid-Size Brewpub award. Their golds for Double Red and Chocolate Milk Stout were the only gold medals awarded NM breweries. La Cumbre's Siberian Silk took a bronze in the Baltic-Style Porter category. Bosque scored big again with two silvers for Bosque Lager and the almost expected to win Acequia Wet Hop. I say "almost expected" because it seems routine now, though none of these medals should be expected. And I'm guilty of thinking this way too, expecting that Marble would win for their Pilsner, which they did take a bronze for. But the competition is so fierce anymore, with 7,227 entries in 2016 (up 9% just from last year!), that no brewery should expect anything, nor should they leave feeling like they failed in some way.

Some other stuff from the week:

If you can get tickets to GABF, you should also treat yourself to the Paired event that coincides with GABF. 21 chefs paired with 21 breweries this year, with two dishes served with two beers at each booth. Mostly high-end stuff, which you'd expect when you have celebrity chefs like Marc Vetri participating. Dishes such as "wild salmon tataki, chimichurri, blistered shishito pepper, lavosh cracker" or "svizzerana beef brisket tartare, dandelion marmalade, cured egg yolk". And then you had Chicago's Haymarket Brewery along with Russell's Smokehouse, pairing beer with hot dogs and sloppy joes. Guess which table I went back to for seconds?

Star Bar held "The Curiosity Ball" in their adjacent parking lot Friday night. The curiosity was whether they were actually going to get the damn thing started, as they didn't let people in until nearly an hour after the scheduled start time (well, there was the NM contingent of BrewsBanner and friends who were even more eager than me and were in the lot waiting before someone who worked there stopped letting people wait there). Even when it got going, they were having trouble with the jockey boxes and some of the beers weren't pouring. But what they did have was great, including what may have been the best beer of the week: Other Half's Double Dry Hopped Double Mosaic Dreams.

I liked that Avery was pouring beer straight from barrels at GABF on Saturday. Their booth is always amazing, even if they are one of the breweries that staggers their pouring times. I feel like a shout out is necessary for the breweries that were pouring their rarer beers all the time at the four sessions (at least until they ran out): Dark Horse Barrel Aged Plead the Fifth, Bell's Black Note, Lost Abbey Cable Car, Goose Island BCBS and Regal Rye.
The highlight of the Saturday session was probably the Coastal Evacuation DIPA from Cape May Brewing Company. I wish I had the luxury of hitting all four sessions just so I could try the breweries without hype behind them. Let's be honest- as much as New Mexicans know the worth of the breweries here, how many of those breweries are getting national recognition to where people are lining up for them at GABF? Taos Mesa made a great IPA for the NM Challenge this year, and they were on my list of breweries to try, but in the rush to get all the big names, I passed them by. I don't expect to be able to get to all 3,800 beers on the festival floor, but I know there has to be be good beer waiting to be discovered if I went to the little known guys. Stephen Hawking did some kind of equation to prove it.

Yes, Melvin Brewing guys. You make excellent DIPAs. But it doesn't help much when I'm trying to discern the differences between Couchlock, Asterisk, and 2x4 when you say, "Yup. Hops. Lots of hops." Somehow, your beer isn't as appealing anymore.

Freshcraft has to be a claustrophobic's nightmare during GABF. During the Surly tap event especially. Can't they take over the ever-changing business next door?

I-25 from Denver where it goes down to two lanes until Colorado Springs has to be some of the most treacherous highway driving there is. I feel like I can be on autopilot most of the way home after that, but there is always some RV that everyone has to pass that all of a sudden slows down the left lane almost to a stop. It's rough enough driving home after a week of GABF without having to test my weakened reflexes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Four Peaks Hits the Rio Grande Valley

Shelf space just got a little tighter in NM markets with the addition of beers from Four Peaks Brewing out of Tempe, AZ. Considering they are our neighbor to the west, Arizona beers are not very well represented in NM. Far less than beers from our neighbors to the south, and that's with that giant wall to get over.
Four Peaks has been a mainstay in Arizona stores and beer bars for years. You may have downed their flagship Kilt Lifter Scottish Style Ale while enjoying a night among the crazy partiers on Mill Ave. near ASU. I always thought it was weird that a Scottish Ale would sell so well in a city that sits above the 100 degree mark so many days of the year, but it works. I've long been a fan of their 8th St. Pale Ale, but we won't be getting that one, at least not right away. Instead. look for Kilt Lifter, Peach Ale (yes, peaches actually do grow in AZ), and their solid Hop Knot IPA. Also, there will be a limited run of their popular seasonal Pumpkin Porter in stores and on tap, though only 8 kegs made it to the entire state.

Friday, October 7, 2016

GABF Thursday Session

Usually, when you're in bed by 11 pm after a GABF session, it's because you passed out. But I promised to take it easy, and, thanks to the breweries on the floor, it wasn't so hard to do.

You see, many of the breweries have adopted a practice that (I think) originated with Firestone Walker a few years ago, where they hold off on pouring their rarer beers until a certain time of evening. When Firestone Walker began doing it, it was with Parabola. I then noticed it at The Bruery, who had a certain time for Chocolate Rain. Avery also, pouring Tweak a one time, Rumpkin at another, and so on. It's become common practice, and I can understand the reasoning. Thousands of pours add up, even at one ounce at a time. But it's easy to lose track of the time when you're sampling, then you realize, "Oh shit! They're pouring XXX beer at such-and-such brewery at 7!" And it's in section O, and you're in section E now, and you have to trudge through the crowd, and you get there with ten minutes to spare, and there's already 100 people in line ahead of you. For a one ounce pour. Such is the modern craft beer world, right? But wait: now breweries are taking it to a new level by pouring rare beers on certain DAYS of the fest. Case in point Bottle Logic. This Anaheim, CA brewery makes one of the most sought after barrel aged Imperial Stouts in Fundamental Observation. And, tho their credit, they brought it to GABF. However, they are only pouring it on FRIDAY NIGHT at 7. That's it. Lucky enough to get tickets to the Thursday session? Sorry, pal!

Bashing the Bottle Logic pouring practices aside, they did bring (and pour!) one of the highlights of the fest for me, Stronger Than Fiction. A 14.3% barrel aged Strong Ale with coconut and coffee that had me going back for seconds and second seconds. Another highlight was Greeley, Colorado's Weldwerks and their Juicy Bits IPA. I was hoping for a showing from the hot New England breweries like Treehouse, Trillium, Hill Farmstead, or PA's Tired Hands, but none of them were at the fest. I guess when you're selling out of beer, there isn't a need to promote it more, but it would be nice to share with the rest of the country. I felt bad for the guy at the Cigar City booth, who didn't realize that the GABF app had Double Barrel Hunahpu listed as one of the beers they were pouring. I guess I was the first to ask when they would be pouring it, as it wasn't listed at their booth. He was dismayed when I showed him the listing, and walked off saying, "I need a captain here now to fix this!" Still isn't fixed in the app though. Poor guy must have been asked about that beer all night!
I love Columbus Brewing out of Ohio, but they didn't have any info about the beer they brought, and the volunteers were not any help. "And what is this beer?" "Oh this one? Uh, it's more pineapple than this other one." Well, thanks for that!

The NM breweries all seemed to draw a nice crowd, though it's a shame that we didn't have a brewers guild booth this year. I saw Taos Mesa with a decent line. Marble and Bosque also. La Cumbre represented well with an endcap booth, complete with La Cumbre label artist Chris McAfee there doing a live painting that would go to a lucky festival participant. An unlucky festival participant would have to let Chris crash in their room for the night.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

GABF 2016

8 years of covering GABF. That's a lot of hangovers. A lot of Pedialyte. But so I persevere, trying to keep up with all the hot new breweries to visit and all the Albuquerque locals pouring their wares to the world. It's gotten harder to try all the beers I want to try now that there are so many more breweries on the floor, thanks to an astounding 100,000 sq. ft. added to the event last year.

And since you can't just go into GABF without having some major warm up work, we arrived on Wednesday afternoon after a hassle-free drive up from Albuquerque. Hit up a couple of beer shops, where plenty of beers not normally distributed to CO were available on the shelves. Saw Half Acre, Westbrook, lots of Wicked Weed...picked up some Surly Todd the Axe Man and Lawson's Sip of Sunshine. Checked into the hotel along the 16th St. Mall, a.k.a. 10+ blocks of chain restaurants and people trying to get you to donate to Greenpeace. Fidgeted in the hotel until 8:30 and finally walked over to the old standby, Falling Rock Taphouse. Falling Rock is the unofficial home to everyone visiting GABF, and they were all there on Wednesday, to the point where I didn't even try to get a beer at the bar. I was there for the East Coast vs. West Coast IPA event anyway, so I fidgeted in the Falling Rock parking lot instead. Staked out what I thought was a strategically superior spot for when they started pouring, but it still took 10 minutes to get my order in, and I was at the front!
There were 20 taps of great IPAs/DIPAs, so it was hard to choose from this list:
Fort George 3 Way IPA, Beachwood Amalgamator, Societe the Pupil, Faction Hop Soup, Breakside Back to the Future, Crux Gimme Mo, Boneyard Notorious, La Cumbre Project Dank (never heard of it), Cannonball Creek Project Alpha 10, Comrade Superdamp, Lawson's Sip of Sunshine, Maine Lunch, Two Roads Two Juicy, Kane Head High, Carton 077XX, New England Beer Co G-Bot, Singlecut Bon Bon 2x TNT, Three Floyds Dreadnaught, Wicked Weed Juiceless, and Creature Comforts Tropicalia. Whew. Ended up hanging out with some cool locals and we all shared our beers, to were I tried way too many good beers the first night. Lawson's Sip of Sunshine kicked first, to nobody's surprise. What was a surprise was that they then tapped the rare Double Sunshine, so I had to order one of those as well. As far as what was best? Hard to say. I really like the Singlecut and Two Roads hazy East Coast thing they have going on. Dreadnaught still hung in there as an old timer DIPA. I feel like a winner for waking up today. Now on to GABF session 1 in a few hours. Gonna pace myself. Gonna pace myself.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Vegas Spot Worth the Trip

Hey! Who's up for a trip to Vegas? Me neither. The city didn't click for me in the whole two times I visited, for a number of reasons: gambling, while thrilling when you are winning, becomes a math-to-life equation as soon as I start losing. "Well, I lost at that hand of 21, so that's X amount of hours I'll have to work to make up for it..." Algebra comes in handy after all! And you try to get away from the gambling and look for a good beer on the strip, but no dice. Yeah, there's the place in the Monte Carlo with a ton of taps, but the best thing you're going to find is Union Jack or Sculpin that has been sitting in kegs forever. And pools are fun for awhile, but laying out at one all day? You ever see that video of the people at the resort at like 6 in the morning, waiting for the lounge chairs to be put out so they can stake their spot near the pool? It looks like the Cabbage Patch Doll rampages from the 80's. Just to lay by chlorinated water. There is, however, something rational-minded people like you will should find appealing if stuck in Vegas: CraftHaus, an up and coming brewery that you should visit instead of the "beer bars" with a chef's name attached. CraftHaus recently celebrated their 2nd anniversary, and with it came a 13% Triple IPA named Hop Bomb, a Mosaic heavy beer that somehow managed to feature the hops prominently without being overly sweet (hear that, Devil Dancer? What have the stores reduced the price on that one to, like $10 a four-pack now?). CraftHaus has a couple of canned offerings, with Resinate IPA and Evocation Saison available in stores around the city and state. Seek this brewery out instead of that four-foot tall bong of Jack and Coke!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Stone's Enjoy by 14 Years Ago

Once upon a time, Stone Brewing Co. released a Belgian Wit style beer. On February 2nd, 2002, to be exact. Brad Meltzer can have a field day looking into the significance of that date, but it did start a yearly event for Stone: releasing a Belgian-inspired beer each year through 12.12.12 (03.03.03, 04.04.04, and so on), known as the Vertical Epic series of beers. Some old-timers in the beer world even had the foresight to save that 02.02.02 and on to drink in a vertical tasting at the end of the series. The bottles were few and far between by the time 12.12.12 rolled around. I knew a couple who had a bottle that got stolen when their house was robbed. I came across a few bottles of the 03.03.03 Vertical Epic in a liquor store in San Diego just last year. But that 02.02.02 was elusive with only 300 cases produced, and though novel in its appeal to acquire to drink each year in order, it was not exactly a beer I was going to give up a lot for by the time 2012 arrived. A 7.5% Belgian Wit with ten years on it is really only worth drinking in a situation like the Vertical Epic tasting. It's not going to win prize pig at the state fair...aannndd I tried but couldn't get a damn bottle, ok?
But Stone has rolled back the clock to let you see what the 02.02.02 was like if you had been old enough to drink at the time(though you probably would have been drinking Icehouse) as part of their 20th Anniversary Encore Series. At 7.5%, the 02.02.02 encore is higher in ABV than a typical Wit, and Stone puts their signature hoppiness into the beer with the addition of Centennial hops, along with the requisite orange peel and coriander. And a 22 oz. is $7.99, not far off what you would have paid back in 2002. I think. What were we even doing back then? Watching Malcolm in the Middle? Driving with both hands on the wheel and our eyes on the road?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hopfest Ticket Party Tonight

From its humble beginnings in the parking lot next to NYPD Pizza, to a parking lot behind O'Niell's, to Isleta/Hard Rock/Isleta again, Hopfest has become arguably the best beer fest in New Mexico. But what about the one at the zoo that time, you might say. But most likely not. Some fests are better (much, much, better) than others, and Hopfest has stood out to me for a number of reasons: The number of breweries represented is unmatched, with breweries I forgot still distribute here. For instance, Durango Brewing. How often do you see their stuff in stores? Also, thanks to Pueblo laws, the pours are more generous. No complaints here!
I will miss the "Extreme" part that was introduced last year, with the BMX freestyle show, but I won't miss the massive dust storm that kicked up in that area.
The VIP area is sweet, like you're hanging out in a fancy spa (because that's my kind of place) with hard to find beers.
You can get a discounted room and drink/gamble the night away at the Isleta hotel casino.
At 9 years old, this is a fest that has all the kinks of a brewfest ironed out.

There is a ticket party tonight at Quarter Celtic Brewpub. And here is the info on it, directly copied and pasted from the email. Hey, I'm going away tomorrow. Lots of laundry to do.
1. Join Coren at Quarter Celtic Brewpub on Monday and get 10% off GA & EH tickets, no online fees, & a FREE Hopfest Pint Glass - Monday Aug 22nd 5-8pm. Quarter Celtic has a Hopfest Special - 1/2 order of Fish & Chips and a pint of beer for $9. Also, it is Mor Buck Monday - $4 pint of Rye IPA or 13 oz Imperial GFE. Look for Coren with the Hopfest Tee.

2. Not available at that time? Head over to Tractor Brewing Co. to purchase your tickets, and skip the online fees. Bring cash = no fees, pay with a card = $1 fee.

3. Buy your tickets online from the comfort of your own couch (beer of choice in hand). Save 5% on GA or Extra Hoppy tickets with the code COUCH valid through 8/26.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Best Beer Value Out There?

"Best beer value" is a subjective term. You could argue that something like Bigfoot Barleywine is the best value, considering the high ABV and Sierra Nevada's pricing. Or the New Belgium 12-packs. The freshness of a local six-pack could factor into what you consider beer value, sure. The macro 30-packs have a place in the argument, but I'm looking for something with more body. There's an argument to be made for Who You Callin' Wussie, Stone, errr. Arrogant Brewing's rare attempt at a lager. I think "Wussie" is spelled "wussy", but since the beer is in 16 oz. cans, they went for the longer version of the word. I thank Fast Times at Ridgemont High's Damone for introducing the word to me in the first place. And for selling me those Earth, Wind, and Fire tickets.

Anyway, Arrogant Brewing does a fine job of the German Pilsner style, albeit with a few Stone-like touches, such as a higher than usual Pilsner ABV of 5.8%, and 47 IBUs to boot. That's Pale Ale ABV, but the taste is decidedly Pilsner. The best part of Wussie may be the value. A six-pack of 16 oz. cans is selling for as low as $9.99! 16 oz. cans! That's 96 oz. of beer at Natty Light prices. Who needs a job when you have Wussie available?? And I was this close to working at 7-11.