Halfway Crooks Play Against Type with BA Stout Sickles

It’s just another stout love song

Halfway Crooks are on a short list of absolute god tier lager producers and they are flooding the streets of the South with attenuated oyster crackers. What happens when a stickier palm is required?

I love seeing breweries play against type. Like Robin Williams in One Hour Photo, there’s something chilling seeing characters occupy a different space. Halfway Crooks are not stoutlords, they spend their days avoiding residual sugars, but when their daughter if abducted they get pulled back into a life that they tried to leave behind FOR ONE LAST MISSION.

It feels strange. You see dudes wearing Soccer jerseys and Adidas sambas doing this Blokecore cosplay and you know that’s not them. It is not what they want for themselves deep down. HCB almost seem to be doing this in a performative way.

I can see their forehead veins bulging at being required to kick that ABV up, to produce a viscous body. It’s like when the engineers at Dodge get the memo telling them that their new electric Hellcat has to make totally unnecessary loud revving noises for guys with VA loans. There’s no reason for this. It is pure vanity. It is unbridled power in the form of barrel aged negligence.

The body has residual sheeting and contradicts all the accomplishments they made with pilsners. This was built to stand bourbon confinement. The carb is minimal and provides enough to support the lofty ambitions for the glucophiles. It is perfunctory correct and hits all the right notes but it doesn’t feel like its heart is in it. If Kuhnhenn made a helles you’d be like, come on, we know what you really want to be doing.

The raw talent carries this through but it is lacking a degree of excess and messiness required for flabby stouts of the modern era. The cask profile is fantastic and leverages graham cracker, shortbread, and See’s scotch kisses. Something about the intent feels misaligned. When you see someone still wearing Carhartt double knee pants and dunks you want to grip their shoulders lovingly and tell them “this isn’t you.”

It’s good because they are good. Deep down, the heart wants what it wants, kellerbier and open mouth kisses listening to Toni Braxton.

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