Most people know @cigarcitybrewing for Hunahpu or Jai Alai, and that’s fine. It’s kinda like only knowing Nirvana for Nevermind and not listening to Unplugged in New York: you’re missing out on something amazing. Their barleywine program runs deep. Cigar City crushes the strong ale game and has had a resurgence in the malt game as of late that Catador Members have been secretly sucking down like teens polishing off champagne glasses at a wedding. We all know what you are up to.
Charleywine is a collab with @magnanimousbrewing brewing. The eponymous Charlie Meers rocks drug rugs, probably wears Vibrams and looks like he wants to discuss Phish phantasy tours from the mid-2000s with you. You can close your eyes, see the System of a Down blacklight poster and just know what that 8th grade bedroom smells like.
Magnanimous is right next to Garagiste and Hidden Springs, so you would assume they are dripping in residual sugar and epipens. Paradoxically, they pivot to make resinous haze and strong ales that have a drier finish. It’s sheer irony that Magnanimous is in the same state notorious for some of the greediest beer traders this side of St. Louis.
But is this real Life? Yes, it is so so well done. If you had CCB Cyclopaedia and hit those waves of caramel apple sucker, you know this boozey treat is warming up your clavicle. Sees butterscotch lolipops will cut your mouth, but its worth it. Apple brandy and rye barrels push/pull to add this peach fritter, floral, potpourri aspect to a tightly wound pumpernickle body. It’s waves of flavor in a compact package. The Jon Snow of barleywines.
It’s the type of barleywine for the dude who has consistent unprotected sex with bumble dates and says “not looking for anything serious” then orders a Deleuze and Guattari book he will never read. It’s the cool mom who lets kids get ripped on apple pie moonshine in the basement because “as long as they’re doing in under my roof it makes me feel better.” It’s complex but unrefined.
Beers like this demonstrate barleywine’s superiority over adjunct stouts in a way that almost makes you feel bad for people who haven’t gotten there yet. Barleywine is for us.