Strange Brew

Strange Brew

Why a fitness magazine is reporting on beer is beyond me. Sort of like a Wine Spectator reviewing exercise equipment. That will not stop me from commenting on the article. It's a brief about unique brews and why they are different. They picked some good ones and your's truly has had 3 out of 5 of them.

Sam Adams Utopias

I own this but have not yet opened it. I promised my benefactor I'd wait until he visited before I tried it. To say I've been anxious to try it would be like saying Hube was anxious to see Iron Man.

2.) THE SPICIEST: Cave Creek Chili Beer

I love spicy food. I love it when it makes my nose run and my eyes water. I love beer with a passion that is probably not normal. I have a dozen books on styles and brewing techniques. I used to brew (before kids) and even keg my own stuff. I experimented with recipes. One of which I still get requests for 10 years later. My second date with my wife was her coming to my apartment to make beer. (Yet another reason she's a keeper) All of that said: I hated this beer. Hated, hated, hated, hated it. There's a chili pepper stuffed in the bottle which should give you an idea of it's flavor. Picture the most bland InBev light lager like Buttwiper and pour 90 tons of mouth scorching flavorless hotness inside. It doesn't taste like beer, it doesn't taste like chilis. It tastes like liquid fizzy capsaicin. Avoid like the plague.

3.) THE MOST UN-BEERLIKE: Lindemans Kriek Cherry Lambic

Awesome. Whopping with flavor and sweetness followed by a tart finish. I love this beer for no other reason than I've won more bets with this than anything else in my life. If you ever meet someone who says "I don't like beer." Tell them you can guarantee they'll like this one. 99% of the people who try it say "that's beer?" and they love it. Women especially prefer it as it is sweeter and much less carbonated so you don't feel all bloaty. Like law and sausages however, don't do any research into how it's made. Just wallow in blissful ignorance. Seriously, don't.

4.) BEER WITH A KICK: Dogfish Head Chicory Stout

Sam is my favorite brewer evar. He has panache, skill and uncompromising integrity. He's shown a range in brewing skill that is nothing short of astonishing. I don't get star struck but I'd become a fawning schoolgirl if I ever met this guy. The beer is very well done. It's solid and balanced. I'm not wild about the hint of cloves but that takes nothing away from the quality or uniqueness of it.

5.) JUST PLAIN UNIQUE: Rogue Chipotle Ale
I've not tried this one but Rogue makes some very good ales. The main problem is supply. They're very hard to find on the East coast. If you see one, pick it up, you'll not be disappointed.

Some additions from me:

Fraoch ale. Made in Scotland with heather. A unique and earthy taste for a lighter ale. Given a special license by the UK to protect it from being replicated outside Scotland.

Brooklyn Chocolate Stout. I've sung it's praises before and Garrett Oliver is probably the second best brewer in America behind Sam. He's brought a renaissance of quality to craft brewing and righted the sinking ship of Brooklyn Brewing. He has been a passionate advocate for craft beers. Giving lectures, writing books and articles and did the yeoman's work on the bookends of the craft beer bubble. Also derives 100% of it's power from wind and recycles their mash as feed for nearby farm stock.

Old Fezziwig's Ale
. A winter warmer to keep you through the season. Deep copper color and thin rock head. Spicy and warm but not too high on the alcohol content. Festive and evocative of the season.

Storm King from Victory Brewing Company. Probably #3 on my favorite stout list. One and two are Brooklyn and Guinness though I'm fickle enough that the order of those two flip flop depending on whether I want an imperial stout or a dry stout.

Anything in a cask. Read the article for an extended version of "why". Simply put, it is more flavorful as it still has live yeast in the keg. The beer you have from that cask today is not the one you'll have from it tomorrow. It's aging, fermenting, breathing and changing. The carbonation is low and the flavor high. It's typically served a bit warmer than the near frozen crapfest you get at your chain restaurant especially when they put it in a frozen glass (sacrilige!).

Life it too short to drink crap beer.


Mike W. said…
Good choice with the Old Fezziwig.

I'm a big fan of Sam Smith's Oatmeal Stout myself.

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