Monday, February 22, 2010

Rogue Grows Hops and Harvests the Money

I'll be damned if those folks in Newport didn't get me again. I promised myself that I wasn't going to pay more than $5.99 for any Rogue beer again. Nothing really against the company, but some of their beers are expensive more because of the packaging than what is inside. And mom always said that it's what's inside that counts. She also said I was a rotten kid, but that's a topic for another time. Right now it's best if I drink those thoughts away with one of these new Rogue beers that I picked up. First is the Chatoe Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager, which immediately becomes more expensive just because of the name. But don't turn away from the fanciness of the name; it is just a play on vineyards who grow all their own ingredients. Like Sierra Nevada before them, Rogue has also used ingredients grown on their own land to craft a unique beer. The Dirtoir is in the Schwarzbier style, a flavorful and, as the name more than suggests, black lager that pours like a stout but has the body of a much lighter lager. It has a significant hop addition that give it 35 IBUs, but the dark malts are the star that make this 6% ABV beer. $7.99 (I broke my promise to myself, but jeez, these guys turned into farmers to make this one) at Jubilation.
The second new Rogue beer is also a play on the homegrown theme, this one the John John Ale. You Dead Guy Ale lovers out there will enjoy this one, as Rogue takes their biggest seller and ages it for three months in Rogue's own whiskey barrels (the whiskey is also called Dead Guy, but I don't want to confuse the slow learners out there, so just remember: beer---aged in whiskey barrels---good combo). The ABV stays about the same as in the original, at 6.4% ABV, but takes on flavors of vanilla and oak. And a higher price tag: $9.99 for a 22 oz. bottle. Or roughly $30.00 a six-pack! And yes, I bought one. Rogue took the time to pour the beer into an empty wooden barrel; I took the time to buy one. Barrel aging and marketing can move mountains, or at least get me to open my wallet.

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