Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Tractor Bets on Old School and Remember Rogue?

I paid a visit to Jubilation the other day to see what was new on the shelves. While there were a few new beers, what stood out was the number of old. Barrel-aged Stouts of years past are abound on the shelf near the register. How times have changed from when we were grabbing every last bottle of KBS or Parabola, if we could even find any. But onto newer beers!
Bucking the trend of the NE IPA can release, Tractor Brewing has released Acreage IPA to the Albuquerque market. It's a curious move for a couple of obvious reasons. 1. It's not hazy. 2. It's not meant to be served with a lime. But hand it to Tractor, they're willing to take chances. I've never found IPAs to be a strong style for them, as I think they've had consistency issues. They have excelled at cider making, having just won five medals at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. Every time I try cider I am thankful that I can drink beer. Acreage is probably the best IPA I have had from Tractor, though I'm curious to see if future batches keep the same quality. With four locations across the "metro" area, Tractor is a force in the local scene. I picked up a single can of Acreage at Jubilation (it sells in a 4-pack of 16 oz. cans) for $2.50.

Remember Rogue? That brewery that people who weren't in the know would bring up when you talked about going to Portland? "Oh, did you guys go to ROGUE???" Well, they're still around, though canned craft cocktails is their new big thing. But they're trying their hand at the hazy IPA. Batsquatch hazy IPA, named for something that is like the Chupacabra of the Pacific Northwest. Maybe the person who came up with the beer names "Rhubard Schmubarb" and "Combat Wombat" was busy, or Rogue did market research and found that one word beer names make for better sellers. Beer names are getting more annoying as they become harder to create, aren't they? Hill Farmstead is going to run out of old dead relatives to name beer after at some point. I could never relate to the naming of those beers anyway- "made with honey from our own beehives and hand-pulled arugula, this is the beer I dreamed of sharing with my Great-Aunt Margaret." And here I am feeling like shit because I used to hate having to go see Great-Uncle Jimmy with no legs. But anyway, Rogue hazy: it's comparable to the class of large breweries making hazies like Boston Beer, Sierra Nevada, Deschutes, etc. It's not bad. Very drinkable. An interesting taste that I would have pegged as coming from Summit hops, as it reminded me of the old Green Flash Imperial IPA. But no, Rogue lists the hops as Mosaic, El Dorado, and Belma. Good old Aunt Belma.

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