Sunday, February 16, 2014

You Have to be Scholastic to Spell Stochastic

...but you don't have to be scholastic to drink it. You should be well-versed in bitter IPAs, however, for the new Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA is as bitter as the project itself is pretentious. Or seems pretentious, I should say. "Stochasticity Project Grapefruit Slam IPA seems natural in its cohesive perfection, but it is a beer birthed from iterations both numerous and varied." That's an actual quote from the press release. I had to consult an Ivy League professor to decipher the entire release, but here's what the project seems to boil down to: It's beer releases for brewing science nerds, and for those who want to learn the science involved in the beers they drink. It's a product of Stone Brewing Co. (claimed to be brewed by KoochenVagner Brewing Co., but that's just a play on Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, founders of Stone), a brewery that already has enough quality product out there but wants to go beyond what others are already doing. They want to bring the science to you, going so far as to hire famed crime scene detective Lincoln Rhyme, who brings his gas chromatograph to dig deep into the brewing process to discover off-favors and why they occur in your beer. I didn't detect any in Grapefruit Slam, which combines Centennial, Chinook, and Magnum hops along with hand-zested grapefruit peel in this 8.2% ABV, 95 IBU DIPA. Jubilation has the 22 oz. beer for under $10, a bargain when you consider that the budget for research into the project is higher than NASAs. But then again, who's isn't these days? Look for future releases from the Stochasticity Project in coming months.

500 B.C. A number that makes one think back to the classic film Caveman, starring adequate Beatles drummer Ringo Starr. It's also the name of the DIPA from Humboldt Brewing Company, available now in stores for around $8 per 22 oz. Since Firestone Walker contract-brews the beer, I had high hopes- up until I took my first sip. "Tastes old", I said. Glanced at the mirror. "Looks old", I said. Looked at the bottle, noticed the 9/27/13 bottled on date. Five months doesn't a bad DIPA make, but it can change into a beer that isn't necessarily what I'm looking for in an IPA-DIPA. I want more of the bright, punchy hop flavor that a fresh bottle can give you. If you like a sweeter DIPA, the age on 500 B.C may just please you. Total lapse of any kind of sense on my part not to have looked for a bottling date while in the store. Beer geek, indeed.

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