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Revisiting a familiar topic - BEER

Jan 9, 03:33 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

The New York Times did a story on “Extreme Beers” this morning, and of course I had to read it. There was also an interactive slide show with commentary by a very qualified panel of tasters.

Here’s a link to the article.

At one point, the article states that extreme beers are a genre that enthusiasts both love and hate. This is definitely true for me. The insanely hoppy beers can be insanely good if done right, but can often just WAY over-do it, making a concoction that is so blindingly bitter and high in alcohol that they’re almost painful to drink.

Just the other night I had a beer which fit this description. It was an Imperial IPA from Green Flash Brewing of California. A big 22 oz. bottle with a BIG hop flavor and high gravity. You’d think I’d love it, right? It was good, but the intensity of it overwhelmed me, making it hard to drink. I drank it anyway (of course) but don’t think I’ll buy it again.

One of the beers the NYT tasting panel liked was “Unearthly Imperial IPA,” by Southern Tier brewing, the same guys who make the Pumking that Andy introduced us to. I still haven’t found anything by Southern Tier in Richmond, but I checked out their website and was really impressed. Not only by their selection of tasty looking beers, but also by the design of it. The artwork is really beautiful, and the site design is surprisingly simple. Check it out: Andy, you’ll have to keep an eye out for the Unearthly and let us know if you try it.

Their favorite beer was Dogfishhead 90 Minute IPA, which I think we can all agree, is an excellent choice.

One other that they liked was Lagunitas MAXIMUS IPA Unlimited Release, which I picked up on my lunch break today. I’ll try it and report back tomorrow!


Comment [7]

  1. Tyler responds with:

    Interesting little find… While searching for an image of the Unearthly IPA, I discovered this little blog of one guy’s brewing experience, complete with pictures. Always fun to see other brewers in action!

    · Jan 9, 03:39 PM
  2. Tyler responds with:

    Holy Crap.

    While clicking around on the Dogfish Head site, I found something incredible. They call it Randall the Enamel Animal.

    What is it you ask? It’s a three foot tall cylinder of fresh hops that lives at the brew pub. They “filter” the 90 Minute IPA through it just prior to serving it, essentially infusing an already hoppy beer with one last glorious addition of fresh hop flavor before it pours into your glass.

    Wow, I wish they’d had that thing when we went there!

    · Jan 9, 03:57 PM
  3. Tyler responds with:

    As promised, I am reporting on my experience with the Lagunitas Maximus. It’s wonderful! Highly recommended. It had none of the overwhelming characteristics of the Green Flash Imperial IPA. It’s got a 7.5% alcohol level, so it packs a bit of a punch, but it doesn’t knock you out. And its hop flavor is front and center, without being unpleasantly strong. Yup, those New York Times folks know what they’re talking about.

    Interesting side note: All this talk about beer got me excited about brewing again. So I logged on to my local homebrew store’s webpage to purchase some ingredients, only to find out that there’s apparently a WORLDWIDE HOP SHORTAGE! They were sold out of many popular hop varieties, and have a 3-ounce maximum set on all orders. They seemed to think it had something to do with the recent popularity of these “extreme beers.” Crazy, huh? They said beer prices are likely to go up in the coming year as a result.


    · Jan 10, 02:05 PM
  4. andy responds with:

    Mmmmm….. this article put me in hop heaven!

    The Dogfish Head 90 minute imperial IPA was my last beer of 2007. It’s sooo good! But I suspect that they did actually Randall the Enamel Animal at the brewpub when we were there. I remember the 90 minute just screaming with hops coming off the tap like that. But out of the bottle, I find it quite a bit more reserved, with the sweet flavors coming to the fore much more than the hops. Maybe that’s because of Randall’s influence!

    The hop shortage will suck – I heard about it somewhere at the end of last year, though I can’t remember where… anyhow, I read more recently (perhaps also in the Times) that it’s not due to the profusion of extreme beers so much as reduced acreage for hop production. That should improve as people realize the demand for the stuff and grow it.

    I’ll keep you all posted on the presence of Southern Tier stuff. If that Pumking was any indication, their Unearthly should be a heavenly experience!

    · Jan 10, 11:16 PM
  5. Tyler responds with:

    I brewed a new beer!! I brewed a new beer!!

    It’s nice and hoppy, without being “extreme”. I haven’t done a classic hoppy ale in a while. I’ve been experimenting with stouts and earl greys and stuff recently, but I’m a hophead at heart, and this one satisfies that need.

    I hope.

    I haven’t actually tried it yet… it’s still in the fermenter, but it sure SMELLS good! :)

    · Jan 21, 01:53 PM
  6. andy responds with:

    I propose that you name it something that will be a play on the word “hop” and the fact that your family will be moving by the time it’s done. Like, “Eastern Seaboard Hop” or “East Coast Hop” or “Mason-Dixon Hop”.

    But I can’t wait to try it. I (finally) just put in the info about the Earl Grey, which I loved for its Belgian character. you’ve GOT to make that again!

    · Jan 21, 03:08 PM
  7. Iak responds with:

    Looks like I’ll have to do some updating to get rid of the recent SPAM.

    Update: What the heck, upgraded and we still get junk... Damn you spammers!

    · Jun 2, 10:15 AM

More Goofiness.