Friday, September 15, 2017

This Could Be Rio Bravo Someday

Wow, so this is the kind of clout you have when you're one of the big boys of brewing. Bell's Brewery celebrates its New Mexico launch with no less than 9 events around the state today. From Taos to Las Cruces, stores and bars are hosting Bell's tastings and tap takeovers. Locally, Kelly liquors on Juan Tabo has a tasting from 4-6, as does the Total Wine on the west side. They will also make you feel like a criminal if you try to leave without buying anything, rest assured. Craft Republic, formerly the broke ass Fox and Hound, hosts four Bell's taps from 5-8. Sister Bar has a Bell's takeover with the standard Bell's lineup but with the added bonus of the new Kiwi Club Gose. And we know everyone loves those Goses.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

For Whom the Bell's Tolls

It tolls for thee. Yes, you! You've been asking for it for years, and now you've finally got it. Kalamazoo's finest, Bell's Brewery, will be filling up the beer shelves and taking over taps at stores and bars near you this week. Maybe Jubilation can get rid of the 10 or so facings of Golden Road and put Bell's there instead. They deserve it, right? After all, they have the NUMBER ONE RATED IPA, don't they???
Well, that's a big "sort of".

Yes, Zymurgy magazine readers voted Bell's Two Hearted Ale the best beer in the world, unseating perennial winner Pliny the Elder. Zymurgy magazine readers are a hard nut to crack when it comes to being a newer beer trying to make a name in the world. These older homebrewers are set on the classics like Anchor and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Classics for sure, and beers that have earned the recognition they get. But let's face it: Pliny hasn't been the beer I'd choose as the best in the world for years now, and I was a Pliny fanboy. Made multiple trips to Russian River, spent hundreds on bottles and growlers. Worked the parking lot trailer at Falling Rock and thought, "Cool, I'm pouring Pliny!" each time I filled a glass. And now Two Hearted unseats Pliny. Cool. It's a good beer. Maybe you'll think it's the best ever. And maybe some Zymurgy readers are still driving Oldsmobiles and grumbling that Teslas are just a flash in the pan.

But anyway, Bell's has a large portfolio of regulars and some great seasonals and specialty beers. While I may not be drooling at the thought of seeing Bell's Best Brown Ale on tap everywhere in town, there are a number of Bell's beers I look forward to drinking. May even pick up a sixer of Two Hearted for old times sake.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mosaic Promise: Made to Be Broken

Founders latest release to hit Albuquerque is Mosaic Promise, a 5.5% ABV single-hopped Pale Ale. The advertising for Mosaic Promise invites you to "Experience the art of aroma". I hate that phrase, hated typing it. I feel like the person who does the voice in the Jaguar commercials would be chosen to voice it if Founders did a commercial for this beer. So does the Mosaic Promise deliver as advertised? Well, yes, if all you're looking to "experience" is the smell. It smells amazing. But the taste doesn't live up to the smell. At 5.5%, I'd expect more body, but the beer comes off as more of a weak Session IPA. I'd actually take Easy Jack or Go To IPA over Mosaic Promise. The artwork is very nice, and if Founders told me to "experience the art of art" with this label I would gladly do so. However, Founders is more likely to tell me to go F myself, as I can't recommend this beer. I know Founders can make great hoppy beers: how about bringing back Double Trouble? Wake me up when Canadian Breakfast Stout gets released.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Benefit at Tractor Brewing

Hops for Harvey, an event benefiting victims of Hurricane Harvey, takes place at Tractor's Wells Park location on Wednesday, September 6 beginning at 3 pm. 24 NM Brewers Guild member breweries donated kegs for the event, where 100% of the proceeds from beers sold will go to help people affected by the hurricane. Remember Katrina in 2005? Did you know that a lot of the people in New Orleans put out by Katrina ended up making a new home in Houston? I don't know how many were hit again, but they had to be asking, "Um, God? What did I do to piss you off this much???" Just an awful situation where people are rendered helpless. I feel that way when the power goes out and I can't charge my phone. This is real tragedy, and kudos to Skye Devore at Tractor for organizing Hops for Harvey, and to the 24 NM breweries who donated kegs. The event goes until midnight.

Friday, September 1, 2017

There Once Was a Man From Nantucket

Rupture, Odell Brewing's latest Pale Ale release, takes me back to the elementary school days when kids would share classical pieces about the girls in France, diarrhea, and one that I never really understood the logistics of, but was unsettled by nonetheless: When you're walking down the hall and your balls hit the wall, it's a RUPTURE! It's a RUPTURE! I still can't figure out how a clothed person could pull off this feat, and the visual of someone trying gives me a headache, but I guarantee you this- I will NEVER stop thinking about it. Odell hurt no balls (that I know of), only whole cone hops, in the making of Rupture. They manufactured a machine that grinds the hops and they say that it essentially ruptures the lupulin, releasing those good oils and science stuff and blah blah blah. They claim to only grind what is needed to brew that day. Like a coffee place grinding coffee beans fresh to order. Or a Subway Sandwich Artist baking that disgusting bread daily. Soft, mushy bread. Rupture is a good beer, though. It has excellent aromatics, is low in bitterness, and has the hop forwardness of an IPA. Six-packs are available at your local liquor store for about $10. Be careful if you're walking there.