It’s a direct contradiction in terms of motivation and effect.
Most people drink coffee because it’s a stimulant. It’s what gets me moving in the morning. Without it I’m about as useful as tits on a lawnmower. I need that caffeine to function and, perhaps more importantly, not kill all of you where you stand for giving me that look. You know the look I’m talking about. There, you’re doing it right now! Lucky for you I had my coffee this morning.
Then there’s beer. Drank for the opposite effect, really, at least in my case. Alcohol is not what I turn to for a pick me up. It’s what I turn to for a lay me down, really. Sit on the deck, grab my guitar, pop open a cold one, and soak up some summer.
ITBMCBB*, this tasty libation is a “creamy oatmeal stout… infused with locally roasted, cold steeped coffee through our HopBack vessel releasing subtle hints of cocoa, roasted nuts and dark mocha.” You getting all of that?
The beer and coffee flavors meld together wonderfully. I drink a lot of dark beers, porters, stouts, and this is one of my favorites in terms of taste. It’s got a warm, rich flavor and the coffee is prevalent. It’s also certainly a stout beer. It’s got both the beer and coffee vibes working for it.
(Sorry, if you want notes, and hints, you need Ceetar. That’s not my bag.)
But when do I drink this thing?
I’m not having a beer in the morning. That’s for 3rd shift employees, and lifers, and fraternity guys who don’t have anything else to pour over their Golden Grahams.
I’m not having this beer with my weeknight dinner. As much as a good stout goes with beef, if I have one of these beers after 5 PM, I’ll be tossing and turning late into the night. Can’t have that, Poppa’s got to get up in the morning, run the miles, earn the bread, make Momma happy.
I’m not having this beer with my lunch on the weekend – I like to nap after lunch. It’s the weekend, after all. DON’T JUDGE ME.
So, the only time I’ve found to enjoy a coffee beer is Friday evening, after work. It’s not as big a deal if I am up late, because it’s the weekend and I’m going to nap the next day anyway.
A window of one night, one meal per week, to enjoy a coffee beer, doesn’t seem like enough. Perhaps I work too hard?
Sometimes you just need a burger and a beer. This would probably be my go-to for “chill out” food, when I just want to kick back and enjoy my meal, in this case lunch. I’d been dealing with some frustrations at work, and I just wanted to relax for an hour and put something tasty in my mouth.
Best place for this by me right now is the Dog & Cask on Rochelle Park, NJ. I’ve talked about it before in this series, and I’m sure I’ll talk about it again.
This time, to add to my frustrations, they had a few taps that had already been kicked, including my first two choices. I decided to finally try a house beer. Since Dog & Cask opened they’ve become a brewpub in a sense, having some beers that have been brewed by them. This always seems like a nice touch for a restaurant. On theme, the beer was called Pavlov’s Bell and it was a Double New England IPA.
It was good. Nothing to wow me, but I enjoyed drinking it and even more so that it was local to the restaurant. It had a little of that grassy hop burn that a lot of NE IPAs have, with maybe a bit more malt sweetness coming through. Mostly mango and orange on the nose. Taste is similar, some light sweetness, the mango and orange, maybe even something redder like cherry, and that juice burn. Finished sticky in the mouth, lip-smacking you might say. A good example of the style and an appropriate house beer.
I’d intended to finish this first, but my burger came pretty fast so I ended up drinking this one with my food and the next on on its own, but that worked out just fine. I got the standard “Dog & Cask” burger with cheddar, cooked medium, with fries. It really did hit the spot, and the fries are always good here.
For my next beer I went light–a Kölsch from Czig Meister called Huntsman.
I found this one oddly pillowy, in a way you’d usually ascribe to NE IPA. It reminded me of the little air pockets in bread, and the smell was deliciously similar. Fresh yeast bread filled my nostrils, and the taste matched. It had a hint of something I’d say was sourdough with a bit of lemon though the beer wasn’t sour at all. It was sweet, and pleasant, and full of flavors that I loved. I could drink this one all day and enjoyed savoring it after I finished my burger.
Then back to work feeling refreshed and content. It’s always nice to break up a busy or stressful day with delicious food and drink.
I’ve been told that when you’re hosting a party, that’s not a bottle share among beer-nerds, you shouldn’t only have double IPAs available. Also leaving the 18% Dogfish Head Raison d’Extra with the normal strength beer is also not wise. That’s a really good beer though.
The composition of your crowd matters a bunch. If you know everyone pretty well, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what people like. Even if you just have a few people that you know are into beer as much as you, you can get away with some craftier beers in there, but if you don’t, people aren’t really going to know what to do with your bomber can of New England IPA with a name like 100K Juicebox.
In a recent situation, I was hosting a five year old’s birthday party, which would include some of her daycare friends and their parents. I had no idea of their drinking preferences. (The adults. The kids were fine with apple juice and water) I wanted to have beers on hand that were drinkable, somewhat light in ABV, but also still rich and flavorful and enticing. None of this “I’ll just have a seltzer or something” nonsense. Don’t even get me started on hard seltzer.
I probably went overboard. Every time I saw an interesting beer that seemed broadly appealing I told myself to get a six pack for the party. This led to the following list:
Jack’s Abby Smoke & Dagger Black Lager
Alementary #IslandLife Lime Gose
Alementary Literary Trope Raspberry Witbier
Dogfish Head SuperEIGHT Super Fruit Gose
21st Amendment Sparkale Sparkling Rosé Ale
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
I also made about five liters of sangria.
The last two were last minute additions, though you might say I was already going overboard. I wanted the 60 minute on hand to have an IPA, and I also want to do an experiment with it to try to recreate 61 minute IPA, a beer brewed with Syrah must that they’re not making anymore but was delicious. More on that in the future. I know Oktoberfests are pretty crowd pleasing, so despite it being early August I picked up a case.
When you have that much beer, and that much variety, you have to expect leftovers. You have to fine with leftovers. Or you have to be planning another get together soon. I’ve already talked about being an accidental beer hoarder, and the last thing I need is more beer collecting dust in my basement, especially beers like this that don’t seem like they’d age that well.
So let’s talk about taste, because I’ve rambling on too long about buying beer, and not enough about DRINKING beer. Though, to be fair, this IS a beer blog and rambling about beer is sorta what we do right? The Jack’s Abby is really good. Jack’s Abby is a top-flight brewery, making amazing lagers. Buy their stuff. Drink their stuff. I don’t have as much experience with their ale project, Springdale Beer, but I’m sure it’s excellent as well. America, even craft America, still seems to equate dark beer with winter and cold, but a deliciously roasty black ale like this is a joy.
I trust Alementary, my local brewery of which I’m a member of their exclusive Order of the Atom, to make good beer, and they’re particularly good with some of these lighter styles. The #IslandLife features Kalamansi lime, which gives the tartness a bolder more complex taste and is fun. The Literary Trope is standard raspberry wheat, something that always goes well together.
Dogfish Head. You know these guys right? Their SuperEIGHT is a gose, but loaded with super fruits. It’s red. It’s delicious. Drink it. 60 minute is a classic.
21st Amendment was one of breweries I really was into when I first started getting into craft beer. I really enjoyed their black IPA, and Hell or High Watermelon has been a great summer beer for decades. The Sparkale is very much like a white sangria. It’s fizzy and fruity. My wife likes it, and it’s very gentle and pleasing.
Oktoberfests rock. Sierra Nevada collaborates with a German brewery every year, and this year it’s Bitburger. I had this one later in the evening, and as such remember very little about it. But I’m sure it was delicious and on-style. I have more. I will be drinking them.
I’ve been drinking the sangria leftovers this week, as it’s going to go bad soon. This included spilling sangria all over my kitchen, and then spilling sangria IN the fridge when I opened the tap and set the cup down to refill while I was cleaning the floor. I’ll transition back to the beer shortly and I’ve got some work to do. Who wants to come over and help?
This post is my final project for an excellent class I took at Central New Mexico (CNM) Community College called Beer and Society. For the people in the class who have to read this post (sorry!), you can skip past this next part and rejoin after I describe the class for anyone else. For those not in the class, read on!
Class peeps, feel free to skip to END DETOUR below!
The name Beer and Society hints to exactly what the curriculum is. Each class is a series of two-pronged lessons where we first learn from history professor Dr. Brandon Morgan about the origin of a beer, its birthplace, which local ingredients were used and why those ingredients were chosen, as well as any social or political ramifications that helped shape why that beer was made at the time and place it was. Great stuff!
Then we taste!
(sorry for the amateurish vertical video)
The Advanced Cicerone, Dr. Asa Stone, then takes the helm and works with us to understand what we should be looking for in the beer we’re sampling, from its appearance to aroma, taste and mouthfeel, all the while looking for hints of the ingredients and backstory that we just learned about from Dr. Morgan.
Did I mention there are culturally appropriate food pairings? Cause there are.
Week 2 was a schnitzel (prepared by a CNM chef) that was paired with an array of German and Czech beers as the class explored the Early Modern Era and a handful of styles including the German Pils, the Festbier, the Dopplebock, Weissbier and others.
Needless to say, the Beer and Society class is super cool and I enthusiastically recommend it to anyone in the Albuquerque area.
Back to the matter at hand, my beer story. The previous week’s class, I think, was my favorite out of all the great classes, specifically the discussion on food and beer pairing that followed a scrumptious plate of Beef Wellington (which was accompanied by tasters of Stone IPA and New Belgium Fat Tire). Someone in class mentioned they would have paired the IPA with a green chile cheeseburger and it took me back to the 2018 New Mexico IPA Challenge, where I contemplated why New Mexicans love hop-forward IPAs so much, and pondered the synergistic intensites of New Mexico green chile and aggressive New Mexico IPAs.
I’m taking a kind of circuitous route to get to my point, but after thinking about spending the last few NMIPA challenges with friends, my brother and my girlfriend, I realized that my beer story is this: beer is no longer just a thing I drink while doing other things. It’s become, in many cases, the central focus for a lot of events I plan my life around.
It went from being just a lamp on a table at a party to the host of the damn thing.
Beer as a character in my life has grown in importance the more I got to appreciate it, same as my heart has grown fuller for people I’ve come to know more closely. Conversely, some lesser characters fade away in life, same as those (dirt cheap) 12-packs of Shaefer in college, but beer as a character in my life has gradually been basking under a larger and brighter spotlight.
For example, while we’ve all gone out to fill a growler, a friend and I turned a simple growler run into a capital “G”, capital “R”, Growler Run, a yearly motorcycle trip that’s taken us countless thousands of miles across 20 states in the US, up to and across Canada and down to the tip of Baja, Mexico in search of a local growler fill to take back to our campsite. The motorcycle trips would have happened regardless, but they’re built and centered around a thing we love in our lives – beer – but with a desire to experience a slightly different version of it made by different hands in a different place altogether.
Aside from running to another country with one of my best friends to fill a growler, my brother, Dan, and our good friend and neighbor, Jeff, have graduated from having beers while hanging out, to hanging out while trying to make our own beers. We’ve only finished three different batches to date, but as our appreciation for beer has increased over the years, so, too, has our desire to understand it (and make it taste a little better, while we’re at it).
It’s like I casually swiped right on beer years ago, and now realize beer has a toothbrush in the glass on the bathroom sink.
So what then, now that I’m shacking up with beer for good, it seems?
Well, beer school, naturally.
I bounced around a good many colleges after high school, getting (part of) an education so I could play some baseball, but I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Now, I’m 44, a Unix engineer for a massive telecom company, and I still don’t necessarily know what I want to be when I grow up. But instead of taking classes in this scripting language or that cloud computing technology, I’m taking classes at CNM to learn how to make freaking beer.
Alas, the thing I did at college has become thing I now go to college for.
For those not familiar or wanting more info, the Brewing and Beverage Management program at CNM offers industry certifications as well as an associates degree program. Info can be found here.
Lousy situations call for stronger beers. You can’t combat dealing with lice with a sessionable lager–break out the good stuff.
So far it looks like we only had the initial signs of an issue, and we’ve all been doused with medication and we washed clothes and towels and all that. Still, after that sort of panic and frantic washing, you can’t get away with sipping a gose, you need something with some heft.
Bring on Terrapin’s Wake-n-Bake. Specifically Raspberry Truffle W-n-B, an imperial stout with coffee, oatmeal, cacao, and raspberry. Smooooooth. Delicious. There was almost no alcohol or stout burn to this, though it was sweet and thick and lovely. You could tell it was strong, but it was so full flavored that it was all balanced nicely. What a great stout, what a great way to unwind.
Day 2, everything seems fine but we still have to comb and check and are wary about everything. It’s still fresh on our mind. My hair still itches out of anxiety. Tequila. Tequila is definitely the way to go.
I opened up my bottle of Founders Mas Agave, an imperial gose brewed with agave, lime and sea salt. Margarita, clearly. It certainly smelled like it. I’d had a bottle of a similar beer from The Alementary a few months ago called Escape From Oaxaca which was less sweet, and more tequila-flavored than this, but this one was still fun to drink. In fact, it may have been easier to drink, even if I preferred the taste of the other one.
It’s sweet, from the agave, so if sweet isn’t your thing probably avoid both these beers. Apparently my ‘comfort beer’ tastes veer into the trope of single lady downing ice cream after a breakup. Something I think tequila would also be appropriate for, though I have been known to say tequila gose (haha) with everything.
Anyhow, this beer tasted like a margarita, but a sweeter one. One heavy on the lime juice and sweetener. I personally would’ve enjoyed more barrel aging on it, more tequila taste. This was 10% and went down easy. The salt balances the sweetness nicely, keeps it from being cloying, much like it might do in a similar margarita, but really the tequila should be the showpiece in a cocktail, or a cocktail-themed beer.
Drinking beer does not kill lice, but it sure does make a lousy situation more manageable. Until next time, because #kids, cheers!
What if you found yourself a thousand miles from home, with nothing but the kindness of strangers, and the beer they bestowed upon you, to comfort you in your hour of need?
Would you hold up?
Would you gird up your loins and take deep breaths and soak up the majesty of this fine land? Would you be sufficiently able to appreciate and respect the unforseen, the unplanned, the heretofore unknown path and revel in the newness and uncertainty of it?
Or would you wilt and suffer in it?
This intrepid blogger, quite involuntarily, had to walk this path and determine this through the only way that an individual truly can. He had to live it. He had to walk this road and determine, upon emergence at the terminus of the path, whether he was better or worse for wear.
This, friends, is my story.
I spent this past week on travel, for work, in beautiful Dallas, Texas. It was “July in Texas” warm, which is to say, it was hotter than butts stuffed up inside of other butts, the way that mozzarella gets sometimes stuffed inside of a pizza crust. But, as they say, a “dry heat.”
The week included meetings, and Uber rides, and Mexican and Thai food, and even an MLB game.
A game in which I partook of a local Texas Amber and another local IPA. They were both delicious, by delicious, meaning, they were cold and caused me to feel less sober than I did at the onset of each one. Because ultimately, that’s the thing, right there.
Our journey home is where things took a turn.
This trip, meant to be from Dallas, to a connecting flight in Boston, and then on to Syracuse, did not go as planned. An audible was called. Thunderstorms, and the kindly guidance of friends in the airline industry, suggested and then imposed the revised itinerary of a detour through Chicago.
It did not go as planned.
Luckily, we made friends. And not just the pleasant, pass the time making idle chit chat type of friends, but “friends with benefits.”
(Bloggers’ note: Non sexual benefits.)
Our new friends, Syracuse residents like ourselves, on business travel also, suggested we share an Uber downtown, as we all called the same “take the train” audible in the absence of concrete air travel plans. “Come,” they said, “live with us, in forests of azure,” to paraphrase the Lizard King himself. In this case, this non travel detour included a couple of key highlights. One being delicious local Chicago pizza (not “Deep Dish Pizzer,” a la the Bill Swerski Super Fans show), and another being local Chicago beers.
This, my friends, is the Revolution Brewing “Eugene Robust Porter.” I cannot tell you what the brewmasters may have intended, not without internet, but I can tell you that it’s a classic porter style beer, dark and rich and yet smooth and satisfying. Like watching a lumberjack bleed out into the snow while humming a CSNY song.
Somehow, my 14 hour detour of a train ride home included these two things.
And yet, wait. The story gets better.
“Come with us,” my new friends implored. “Take advantage of the hospitality of our employer, we have a fully stocked bar.” These fantastic sassy Chicago/Syracuse gals happened to work for an organization that feels (rightfully, mayhaps) that the best way to ensure their employees’ happiness is to keep them fully stocked with not only beer, and wine, but a vending machine full of free dental supplies.
We felt the need to “pre game” this 14 hour bus ride. On account of the fact that, well, we didn’t have a ton else to do, and the price was right. So we dipped into the “office stash.”
The beer on the right is a Ballast Point “sculpin IPA.” I have knocked back my fair share of these. Grapefruit, tangerine, and others. They all go down nice, like a free beer should.
The beer on the left is a 10% kick ass “double IPA.” My travelling companion, not being the drunk-tional beer blogger sort, found this one to be a bit strong for his liking. I gave it a proper home.
This next one was another “Revolution” brewery beer. I do not have a specific recollection of it, having knocked most of it back in the very brief interval of waiting for my third Uber of the day (from my new besties’ work to the train station).
We headed off to the train station.
But not before getting a couple of brewskis for the long ride home (seriously, how great is my new friends’ work fridge? I might have to update my resume when I get home).
Part 2 to be posted shortly, and, by shortly, I mean, over the next 13 hours of train travel and sneaky IPA drinking. Plus, we have leftover pizza left to consume. So much left to tell!
We have settled comfortably into July, and sizzling days giving way to warm summer nights has become the norm here in New Mexico. In my hand, I hold a can of the Enter Night Pilsner by Stone, which I suspect might be a nice, crisp pilsner perfect to combat the current searing temps. Let me tell you a little about this one…
/holds up can
It’s on. It’s time to get started. To crank things up. To get loud.
That thumping you feel in your chest isn’t your imagination. It’s your heart. It’s life. It’s the rockin’ tunes. It’s your inspiration wanting to break out. It ain’t gonna sit there waiting, so mutherf**king grab it.
Is this the intro to an MLM seminar? Or a lost Fyre Festival ad?? What is happening?
This is a Collaboration in the truest sense between two entities that were born on the fringes. We’ve navigated life from a different perspective. We imagined things differently from what they were, and set about using our art to change the world according to our vision. We started being misunderstood by many, and loved by few. Today that’s the same…but that ‘few’ has become ‘more.’ A LOT more. That’s you, my friend, and we’re stoked you’re with us on this journey.
The day is winding down. It’s time to get started. No more waiting. It’s time to get LOUD. It’s time to Enter Night.
I still have zero idea what I’m about to drink, but that is one hell of an ITBMCBB*.
Let me check the ol’ Stone website:
In collaboration with Metallica, this beer represents the cataclysmic collision of two uncompromising supernatural forces. It’ s a crisp and refreshing Pilsner that, much like the band, transcends genres, shatters preconceptions and challenges convention.
Ah, I get it now. First opinion: Much like Metallica in 2k19, that description is trying way too hard to be bad-ass.
If I were to describe the beer, not with all the Hit Parader platitudes, but as if I were simply evaluating, you know, the beer, I’d characterize it as a safe and conventional pils, with a straw-colored appearance, a soft, floral aroma, and a muted and gentle bitterness. Which is to say there’s nothing edgy or genre-bending or perception-shattering about it. In fact, it’s eminently accessible, flirting with prosaic.
TL:DR: it’s fine. The beer is fine.
A more apropos band tie-in would have been Coldplay, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily. A lot of people like Coldplay because, like this beer, they’re easy enough to drink down and completely inoffensive, if not a bit unimaginative. I own no Coldplay records, but shit, I can get with “Clocks”.
So, I say try it or don’t. You may like it, you definitely won’t hate it, and a small few of you will curiously, ravenously love it.
Pondering some less popular styles and how good they are to drink in the summer heat.
When I think marketed Summer beers, I think wheat and lemon and basically Sam Adams Summer Ale, which is described thus:
This hazy golden unfiltered brew combines crisp wheat with the bright citrus of lemon peel and the subtle spice of Grains of Paradise.
That’s fine. Flowing fields of wheat, bright yellow citrus, grains. That certainly is a summer image, but that’s not really what I’m looking for. That’s Summer Beer 101. I’ve never been a huge wheat beer fan, I prefer wheat on my plate and barley in my glass.
Saison. Often partially misrepresented as ‘farmhouse ale’, Saison is a great beer to represent the season. It’s a broad style, it’s typically low alcohol, it’s well carbonated, it’s got flavor but they’re not particularly out there flavors so it should appeal to a broad range of drinkers. Typically there is fruit flavors from the hops, which gives the impression of sweetness in an otherwise dryer style that’s easy to drink in the heat.
I’d bring saison to every barbecue and gathering this summer if I could find enough interesting quality and quantity in cans and bottles, but not enough brewers are making it in Northern New Jersey. I’m picking up a six pack of one from The Alementary today though, I’m excited about that.
Kölsch is another style that’s well suited to summer. This one is even more friendly to a wide variety of drinkers. It’s a fairly light lagered ale, with a lot of bready notes. Light fruit maybe, light hop spice. It’s delicate, but it’s also a good canvas for creative American brewing. Smoked Peach, Coffee, or any of your favorite fruits or fruity hops that you want to really accent go really well here.
Keep an eye out for some of these more delicate styles. Bring a Kölsch to try at your next family gathering. Next time you have friends over for some burgers, toss a few cans of saison into the cooler. You won’t regret stocking a few Helles lagers this summer. There is an insane amount of gose out there these days, but that salty, slightly sour, style is another solid option to quaff in between hot dogs.
Two Ton Brewing just tweeted this:
Ginger-Lime Kolsch – 7% ABV ‘The Style-Ale’ bursting with ginger and key lime flavors that make this the perfect summer beverage.
Two beers, one lunch. It’s fast becoming a theme around these parts. Kilgore Stout has enjoyed many, and it’s my term to regale you with the tale of my meal.
My favorite spot to grab a pint when I need one for lunch during the week is The Dog and Cask in Rochelle Park, New Jersey. It’s located on route 17, directly across from what used to be a Sears warehouse, and is now a pile of rubble. It is what you might describe as a gastropub, though I’m not sure we still use that term. It’s got pretty good food, generally in the standard American Grill form–burgers and fries and the like. Good appetizers. Not too many menu items, but ones that were well thought out.
And of course, beer. The Dog & Cask pushes local New Jersey beer pretty heavily, something I appreciate as I’m located in the north part of the state, in a county that seemingly frowns on breweries opening. Most of them are farther away than I typically get to, and it’s nice to be able to try some of these beers fresh and on tap.
My typical approach to the two beers, one lunch format is to order the first beer to drink and enjoy on its own, and then order a second to drink with the meal. I started with the Carton Brewing Mexican Coffee. This is a pro move and I can’t recommend you try it at home. Well, I CAN recommend you try it at _HOME_, but for a lunch hour where you want to be productive afterwards, starting with a 12% imperial cream stout is not recommended.
The beer is recommended though. Highly. The original form of this beer is Carton Regular Coffee, which is meant to mimic coffee with ‘milk and 2 sugars’. This is apparently a Jersey-ism, though one I’m not familiar with having moved here when I was 25. I drink my coffee black anyway. Mexican Coffee is that same style of beer, only with coffee syrup and aged in tequila barrels. This one’s more meant to mimic an after-dinner drink. Or, in my case, a pre-lunch drink. Oops.
It nails it though. It’s strong obviously, and two sips in my shoulders and neck are aching, which is something that happens to me occasionally. I take it as a gentle reminder that I’m tense and need to relax, and I take another sip. It’s got that creamy lactose taste, and mouthfeel, to it at first. Quiet notes of tequila and Kahlua, and they linger and build as I drink. It’s that first taste of tequila, the one you get before the burn. There’s no burn beyond the richness of the alcohol, it’s a sweet coffee taste. The coffee sticks around, like when you drink a good latte and it feels like the foam is sticking to all corners of your mouth and hitting every taste bud. It’s that sweet coffee taste that comes through on the nose, hint of tequila and Kahlua but mostly just delicious coffee and sweetness. By the time my burger arrives and I finish the beer as my fries cool, the tequila has really built up to a very noticeable level and I’m digging it. It has me thinking of sticky tables after a good dinner at a Mexican restaurant, with salt and margarita splashed all over the table.
The burger arrives. Did I mention I ordered a burger? I usually order a burger at this joint, as they’re pretty delicious. This one is the Burning Love Burger, fried onions, jalapenos, guacamole, etc. It probably would’ve gone well with the Mexican Coffee, but to pair with it I go with a pretty standard NE IPA from Bolero Snort called Seeing Doubull. All their beers are cow puns, which is awesome. The burger is, as I alluded to, excellent. It’s juicy and got all that crunch from the onions, and the jalapenos give a little flavor to cut through all the fat. The fries are well salted, which would’ve gone well with the tequila from the first beer, but that’s gone, deliciously warming my stomach with alcohol.
The Seeing Doubull goes well, as the hop burn and crisp flavor cuts into the burger flavors in a pleasant way. It’s using a newer hop variety called Strata. I get all sorts of tropical notes, particularly pink grapefruit. It’s very drinkable, soft mouthfeel and all, and I continue to enjoy it after I finish the burger and still have a few ounces left.
I finish my beer, tip my server/bartender, and drive back to work to sit at a desk until five before I can enjoy a nightcap and some pizza at home. At least it’s Friday.
I need to get this post up before we run out of dragons!
Inspired by Daenerys Targaryen, this blend of a smoked porter and a Belgian kriek represents the smoke and fire that Daenerys has unleashed on her opponents during her ascent to conquer and rule the seven kingdoms. The beer will be available nationwide on September 28.
So it was only 7 months or so old when I had it, which shouldn’t have adversely affected it much. I didn’t get the heat from it I was expecting, and I was worried age had played a factor.
I still enjoyed the beer. I do like smoked beers, I like porters, I like Kriek, so there was really no doubt I would enjoy this one. It’s just more Kriek than smoke. The cherry is present on the nose, with sweet dark malt underneath, and just a hint of that smoke.
It tastes great. It was mouth watering cherry flavor, and not in that overly medicinal way. Needs more char. I need to feel like I’m drinking this in the ashes of something the dragons just burned down, but there’s merely a whisper. Dracarys, gimme more heat. This probably could’ve done with a bit of cinnamon or chili to complement the dragon theme.
Mother of Dragons pours a deep ruby-tinted mahogany with a creamy tan head. Aromas of chocolate covered cherries intertwine with subtle smoke and roasted malt. The flavor is rich with tart cherry up front leading to a center palate of semi-sweet chocolate then resolving to subtle smoke and mild sweetness. The mouthfeel is luxuriously creamy and full, and the finish is semi-dry with lingering notes of smoke and cherry sweetness. Mother of Dragons is 6.5% ABV and pairs well with smoked gouda and charcuterie, braised meats, and rich desserts like flourless chocolate cake and cherry cheese cake.
So I guess the subtle nature of the smoke is intentional, but they missed the mark imo. Those pairing make sense though. Does mozzarella and pepperoni in pizza form count among them? I’d say so, even if I wasn’t particularly taking note of how they complemented each other as I consumed them.
Overall this beer was pretty good, and I enjoyed it, but I wanted more from it. You might say the same about these last few episodes of the show as well.