Friday, November 13, 2015

Stone Doesn't Care What You Think

Yes, I'm a cranky old curmudgeon. We all know that. But what do you expect when you have a social media world of whiny little pussies and their smarmy sayings like tl/dr? Your attention span is that short that a paragraph has become too much for you to deal with in your important life? And hashtags, while certainly useful for gathering data together, are also tainted by the equally smarmy hashtags such as sorrynotsorry. Hey, I said something shitty about you, but this hashtag makes it funny and therefore acceptable now. Unless you go to college in Missouri. Nothing is acceptable there right now.
So, the rant, of course, has to do with Stone Brewing's latest release, Sorry Not Sorry IPA. This irritatingly named beer no doubt is a reply to all the people who think Stone focuses too much on making IPAs. Personaly, I don't think Stone can make enough of them. Plus they colloborate with lesser known breweries that we may not ordinarily have the chance to try. This latest, a DIPA with peaches, is a collaboration with 4 Hands and Bale Breaker. 4 Hands is one of a number of quality St. Louis breweries on the scene right now, and is probably best known for its variety of stouts. Bale Breaker is a brewery having the luxury of being located in hop heaven: Yakima, Washington. They also have the luxury of coming from a family of hop farmers. It's been rumored that the 7-11 stores there dispense hop slurpees, and it's no surprise that Bale Breaker's best known beer is their Topcutter IPA. Sorry Not Sorry, though listing peaches as an ingredient, thankfully doesn't come off as a can of sweet peaches, which is what I got out of Tree Shaker from Odell. Sorry Not Sorry is more of a straight DIPA, with the wonderful Simcoe hop playing a prominent role, along with experimental hops HBC 342 and 344. Add in some Warrior (a brewery other than Left Hand still uses that hop?) and some Mosaic, and you've got yourself a 9.3% ABV, 70 IBU beer. Refreshing to see a DIPA that isn't trying to tout itself as having 150 IBUs. $8.99 per bomber at Jubilation and other fine stores. Also on tap at Sister right now, but save me some because I can't get there till tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bastards of Young

Been buying up all the Founders beers since the New Mexico release? Me, not so much. Not a big fan of the Centennial IPA,or Red Rye, though I'd put the All Day IPA as probably second to Firestone Walker's Easy Jack in the Session IPA category. I get more excited for the Founders seasonal releases such as Double Trouble DIPA, KBS (naturally), and the most recent, Backwoods Bastard. Backwoods Bastard is a Scotch Ale aged in bourbon barrels, though I don't get much of the usual Scotch Ale notes, like the peatiness or unpleasant band aid that is especially prevalent in the Scotch Ale at a certain local brewery that is best known for its patio. It's somewhat reminiscent of Marble's Reserve Ale, with an amber hue and less viscosity than a barrel-aged stout or barleywine. Backwoods Bastard has been tweaked a bit for this year, with the ABV rising from 10.2 to 11.6%. A four-pack goes for around $13, and I first spotted it at the Whole Foods on Wyoming.

Anyone else been underwhelmed by Lagunitas lately? Forget that we couldn't get fresh Sucks! here when it was available, or that fresh Hop Stoopid doesn't seem to exist (and you can't decipher the bottled on date without one of those watchmaker's eye loupes), but their IPAs, from Sucks to Stoopid to Maximus to Sumpin' Extra, had a candy-like sweetness that seemed to appear in each of the different beers. But I'm happy to report that Born Yesterday, their Fresh Hop Pale Ale, is the best beer they have made this year. No candy in this one, just fresh Mosaic, Amarillo, Equinox, Simcoe, and Citra (which comes through heavily) that will have you welcoming Lagunitas back as one of the major players in the hop-forward beer category. Hop-forward, as in 11 lbs. per barrel in this beer! And they've switched to a regular old 10/26/15 bottled on dating, so you don't have to get your phone out and look up the Julian calendar to find out when your beer was made. $9 a six pack, bought repeatedly at Jubilation.