We took the new Hashbox munchies from Jack in the Box and did a Hashizontal with beers from Ale Apothecary and Skookum. The result was a mixed ferm we never intended.
We took the new Hashbox munchies from Jack in the Box and did a Hashizontal with beers from Ale Apothecary and Skookum. The result was a mixed ferm we never intended.
In a beer scene increasingly dominated by monoculture acid bombs, trubtastic slurrycans, and flabby batterwater, many iconic beers have fallen by the wayside. New palates have neither the time nor attention span for these outdated beers from the past. These beers represent the educational arc that many beer enthusiasts would imbibe on their way to honing their palate. We now exist in an instaRone paradigm, where learning is passe and not knowing is vulnerability. Now the beer journey begins and ends with a 16% double barrel pastry stout and new beer palates don a jaunty expert cap and instantly dislocate their rotator cuff patting themselves on the back.
As a result, these are the top 10 beers that New Money palates will never drink:
Brassiere D’Orval – Orval
Good luck trying to get someone from the 2017 BJCP class to open one of these. A Belgian beer that isn’t lambic hypewater? That will nerf your IG engagement. Once you tell them it is also a pale ale, watch their Supreme bucket hat sink lower as they try to reconcile why they would drink this classic, genre-defining beer, let alone age one.
Hair of the Dog – Adam
A hoppy old ale that isn’t even barrel aged? “So it’s like, J Wakefield Wilderness in Paradise? Where that fruit at tho?” They will inquire. This classic beer from the 90’s is akin to dusting off a Zip Disk and explaining that “AT THE TIME 100mb was quite a lot!” The layers flavors of tobacco and caramel are an old sage pressing a Zune into their palm and attempting to explain a pre-Wakefield existence.
Brouwerij van Steenberge – Gulden draak
If you thought getting someone who listens to Lil Xan to drink a BPA was hard, wait until you foist a Belgian Dark Triple on their unwilling palates. The nuance of a boozy ester-driven beer will confuse and disorient someone if LANGST was the closest thing they have enjoyed. Fold your arms and watch them start playing Fortnite on Switch as you try to explain how the beer is refermented with Bordeaux wine yeast. It’s too late, they’re recording a Music.ly lip synching Charlie Puth while chugging some Other Half cans. You’ve lost them.
Alesmith – Old Numbskull
A hoppy barleywine: your task is futile from the beginning. Modern palates want a 12 plato finishing “barleywine” that drinks like a caramel frap stout. It better be pitch black and taste like liquid turbinado sugar. Worse still, you’ll be subject to the tired refrain of “AGED IPAS ARE BARLEYWINES LOLOL TROOF #MOOD” as the new money ticker cackles in his Yeezy Boosts having employed a timeworn bit of levity passed down to him on high.
Fantome – Saison
A neophyte beer nerd will wince at Fantome saison and wonder what went so wrong because the pH isn’t even below 3.0. You will have to turn off CrunchyRoll and try to explain how esters are important and why the bottle is green. It’s too late, they don’t want to hear about the Ghost, they have already logged into Discord.
De Dolle – Oerbier
“This is a strong dark ale? It’s only 9.5%” they will scoff in their Diamond Supply Co. hoodie and dump the 2oz pour from a filthy taster glass. This beer that shaped so many intersubjective notions about aged beer and nuanced “high gravity” ales will not be compelling to anyone who grew up watching Ed Edd and Eddie. They will expertly describe this as an IMPERIAL RED on Untappd and drop a hot 120 character review before firing up Soundcloud and cracking some Hoof Hearted cans.
Great Lakes Brewing Company – Edmund Fitzgerald
One look at a “porter” and that paper thin abv and you already lost the modern consumer. What is even the point when porters are supposed to be at least 12%+ abv and component barrel aged. A nuevo dinero palate will likely correct you and note that this beer is actually a black IPA, another style they do not drink. The final nail will be the realization that this is sold in six packs, the death knell for any neo-cicerone hype beast who thrives on loss. “Mults drive secondary down bc then ppl have more products to flip, the 1pp stay on that stable gain”
BFM – Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien
First, attempt to explain what a Biere de Garde is. Second, watch them recoil when you explain that $22.00 used to be an “expensive” beer. Finally, break down that this is a beer for aging and they will respond by noting that razzle slot values drop over time. It will be a complete waste of your time to engage someone with a “sour” beer that doesn’t fully recede the gumline and compel twitching along the orbital socket.
Bassiere Du Di Ciel – Peche Mortel
The countenance of that jejune face will slide when the instaRone realizes that this coffee stout is not even barrel aged. NO KOPI LUWAK? NO GEISHA? He will protest as though he knows something about underlying coffee roasts. Watch this sad communications major drop to the knees of his Rag and Bone joggers when he sees this beer is only 9.5% abv, a session stout, a waste of Tumblr space.
Russian River Brewing Company – Consecration
At first when you mention “barrel aged sour” a new money floccboi will be all on board, pulling hard on that dual coil vape talking about these sick kettle sour berliners with unfermented fruit puree that his boy Trevin bought that blew up in his Scion TC. Then when you note that this hits shelves, the sadness will sink in. What’s even the point if other beta casuals have tasted it? You’ll likely be met with a rejoinder of “Honestly, I don’t fuck with Dark Sours ever since Pulling Nails 6 brah.” Any attempts at explaining the currant and pedio interplay will be drowned out by tattered Beats by Dre headphones pumping an Alesso playlist.
The upshot of the dystopian reality of dudes getting chondromalacia waiting for DDH trubcans is: things can steadily improve, breweries will continue to craft nuanced, amazing beers that none of this segment will ever drink. I for one welcome our new Razzle overlords.
Well as 2014 creaked to a close, the final bottle from the SARA Cellar program was the caress of death. This was the swan song and a single bottle was issued to 2014 members before all these 2015 SARA cellar gentrifiers come in pushing up property values, ruining the rich cultural heritage of the invite only society, driving out the original residents. Let’s see how this tart DARK farmhouse performs, whether you can slam this at a Bauhaus concert or if you should save it for the next Joy Division show.
Capitulation, Santa Cruz, CA
Black Barrel aged Saison, 5.6% abv
That commercial rubdown:
Everything ends. This simple fact reminds us to make the most of the things, to breath deeply, to chase inspiration, to live and love with abandon. With this in mind, we offer you the final installment of SARA’s Cellar 2014. Always in Death. A tart, barrel-aged, dark farmhouse ale, this single barrel selection stood out from the rest, and is now yours to memorialize in solitude or with friends. Everything ends, always, in death.
Put on The Spill Canvas, pour a glass of Grenache and sink into deep contemplation with your Sartre tome, WE ARE DISCUSSING DEATH.
A: Well true to form, this is a dark dark farmhouse that leaves you looking circumspectly at the jet black inky depths, that foam challenging you to a slap boxing fight in the old barn. I usually don’t enjoy this style or really any sours predicated entiretly on a porter base, but this is admittedly a pretty beer due to the bone dry lack of sheeting or residual sugars. This is like Natalie Portman in Black Swan, you come for the white swan, you stay to see her get stabbed.
S: The nose on this is phenomenal and reminds me of a baller version of Tart of Darkness, with a turbo charger and cat back exhaust. You get merlot and currant, tart cherry, craisins, oak and light cocoa. The closer is a sort of red wine Dr. Pepper aspect that again, feels agile and doesn’t leave its dark husks and tannins laying all around the living room its like HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THIS.
T: The taste sheds the Tart of Darkness robe and the ebony form glistens beautifully across the palate. You get the malbec and blackberry, tartness, a faint cheesiness, and a lingering intensely dry closer. I can confidently add this to a list of two other dark farmhouses REALLY worthy of your attention, next to Civil Disobedience 4 and Guillermo Prunus. Yes CD8, Shadows of their Eyes, and Edith are intentionally left off of that list. Dark saisons usually dont do it for me, but this exhibits the red grape and hay profile in such an elegant way, its worth your attention even though you might not give a shit about the style.
M: This is dry and presents a bouquet of tart floral goodness, its this odd melange of dry bakers chocolate a flanders red and a straight up saison. At warmer temps it feels a bit acetic but never enters a realm that someone would really complain about, I am just that prick who watches Whiplash and complains that the syncopation isnt timed with the frames of the drums. Nitpicking garbage because shit, otherwise why even read this.
D: This is this and you can easily crush the entire 750 without getting dry rot. It never becomes cloying or warrants splitting a million ways. Thankfully this doesn’t have any stonefruit in it, so dipshits on the trade boards will continue punching one another in the dick over the same tired lacto blonde ales and leave this well alone.
Hot on the heels of sifting through mountains of derivative garbage about the HARD WAY and PEACH PUMPKIN BEER, we have this week’s incendiary bullshit for the beer scene to address with baleful contemplation:
Now we can already take it as a solid premise that Thrillist is THE go-to spot for hot beer news. It is undisputed that this isn’t some shitty newsletter turned clickbait factory that pushes the consumeristic drives of the late 20’s male demographic. This is a company that purchased JACKTHREADS to ensure beer nerds have nicely tailored vests, corduroy suits, and email services to refer/mine any user data to drive readers into purchasing more and more shit that they don’t want or need: We are talking a srs authority on all things beer.
So who did they get to tackle this hot-button issue of GOSE RUINING THE ENTIRE CRAFT BEER SCENE? Zarathustra himself, JOE FUCKING KEOHANE. Now if you know anything about the beer world, this guy is practically the Jean Van Roy of beer palates and the neo-Charlie Papazian of unbridled beer knowledge. Thrillist would accept nothing less for a matter of such grave ethos and uncompromising importance. GOSE IS RUINING AN ENTIRE MARKET SEGMENT AND A NEEDLESSLY LENGTHY SERIES OF SUBJECTIVE IMPRESSIONS WILL PROVE IT.
You knew Thrillist was serious, they don’t just toss content onto their site hoping to sell you shitty barware or gawdy apparrel, I mean, just look at the gravitas of this incredible exposé: THE 13 NAUGHTIEST THINGS YOU CAN DO IN ATLANTA
So we know the site has unimpeachable credibility in its intentions, but what about the monolith of authority, Mr. Joe Keohane, the master of all Cicerones?
Well not only does he have an extensive background in beer and beer culture (don’t worry, he doesn’t) he also has penned these gems:
But enough about KNOWLEDGE and CREDENTIALS and EXPERIENCE, let’s examine why this one ignorant dumbass has predicated the death of all craft beer on hasty generalizations and opaque vapid observations. Let’s do that.
Alright so you get three solid entry paragraphs of fondant with a zero calorie breakdown of the history of craft beer, and then finally Mr. Keohane, grand vicar of all ales gives a sketchy history of the gose style. The entire article reads less like some derivative opinion piece and more like your mailman trying to tell you about this segment he saw on Hardcopy, and then does a shitty job of it. The author notes that he did some extensive research though, dont worry, “[he] went to three craft beer stores today in search of more varieties to cement (or rebut) [his] opinion, and the first two were completely sold out. The third had two left.”
Is the budget of the $1 billon Thrillist really that paper thin? IS the author really that fucking lazy? Then the entire article is drawn from a trip to three whole stores and then generalizations leveled predicated upon sampling TWO fucking goses? That would be like if I wanted to write a piece for Jezebel on male hegemony and privilege in the workplace and then I went to Barnes and Noble and looked at the covers of some Betty Friedan and Kate Millett books and called it a day.
At its core, the author lacks the one thing that you would expect from an article about, well, anything: authority. If this were a shitty livejounral entry entitled “TODAY I TRIED A SALTY THING I DIDNT LIKE” we could dual list it under homoeroticism and stupid uninformed rant that you could readily dismiss. Instead it is presented as a legitimate inquiry into an entire style of beer and the mechanics of destruction attendant to an entire economy and culture. Or wait, maybe it is a horrible broad generalization about shit that the author has not idea about. Maybe the title served to drive up referral links, responses, and watered down alexa traffic to pump this shitlord of a website trying to sell you tacky Ben Sherman messenger bags. NAH I AM SUER THAT JOE KEOHANE TRIED HIS BEST THAT’S WHAT MATTERS.
In case you couldn’t tell by his run on sentences, multiple independent clauses and irrelevant comparisons to other areas of culture: Joe Keohane doesn’t know shit about beer and his opinion is as irrelevant as a 9th grader’s stance on sub-prime mortgages.
So taking that with a grain of gose, you can read laughably faulty logic like “If Gose was that worthy of so much excitement and attention from America’s world-class brewers and drinkers, we simply would have gotten to it by now” with a wry smile like seeing a Nascar fan in the adult literacy school: he is just trying his best. Because that’s what craft beer is, a sweaty neckbeard with a clipboard just combing through old styles to revitalize, AND WE JUST DIDNT GET TO GOSE FAST ENOUGH. Shit why not “SAISONS HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR CENTURIES THEY HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO BECOME POPULAR BUT THEY ARENT AS POPULAR AS IPAS THEREFORE, HERE ARE 900 WORDS OF MISGUIDED BULLSHIT, MY OPINION PRESENTED AS LEGITIMATE RESEARCHED FACTS.”
I don’t mind if someone is an ignorant dipshit, as long as they are entertaining. IF they are not entertaining, then at least be informative. If not informative, at least be well written. Joe Keohane is the furthest bottom right segment of the Punnett square of beer writing, comletely undesirable recessive traits: boring, unfunny, incorrect, shitty writing presented from a pulpit of stern earnestness. It really is as bad as the beer game gets.
I guess in being exceptionally shitty Joe Keohane can show us all how to draw tired irrelevant parallels to Prince and foodie culture, and in the sheer lack of merit, we are all edified by peering at how trifling beer journalism can be.
Some cicerones complained that ddb did not actually blend it, or did not taste it. SO this is the blu-ray criterion edition directors cut with behind the scenes coovie blending for posterity tones.
It was disgusting and tasted like malort, cigar butts, and oily lipid cheese notes. One of the worst blends to date.
Whoa, whoa, let’s put the pitchforks down and extinguish those torches. BOTH BEERS ARE WORLD CLASS. Focal Banger just goes hard and crushes it out of the park in a totally different and admittedly superior manner almost across the board. Let’s start oiling those cones and get back to them entry level hoppy palate roots in today’s roots.
Vermont, United States
Style | ABV
American IPA | 7.00% ABV
A: This has that same turbid, milky, Sunny D meets Tampico sort of radiance that the Cicerone schools gnash their teeth over: SUCH A LACK OF CLARITY. This was to be expected, as the farmhouse game is pervasive and not everyone subscribes to the crystal clear SRM of generations past. That’s chill. The carb is ample but doesn’t get in the way with excessive head or entendres connected thereto. It reminds me of how HF Double Galaxy Looks, except this shit only gots one galaxy, NEED TO UP THAT GALAXY COUNT SON.
S: This is an earth shattering limit break of olfactory delights, I am left mashing X to execute an ever expanding combo. There is of course the Citra aspects of tangerine and grapefruit zest, sure like you didn’t expect that, but HOLD UP, there is also a sort of Honeydew and a crisp watery melon profile that starts chopping up alpha rails real quick on a jewel case. This is overwhelming in scope and capacity but also adds depth to the old Bells’ hop overload formula. Balanced and excessive concurrently, a work of staggering brilliance.
T: The taste is intensely bright and nimble in a way that heady feels yeasty and sluggish by contrast. If Horny Tubbler is the Tank, this is a nimble rogue casting hoppy DPS all over the place. There is lemon cirtus, peach, apricot, a watery panache that buttresses and fires shots like Ocelot Revolver right into your bittering zones on the swallow. The intense citrus closes a touch minty and herbal with a bittering juniper mixing with the pithy juiciness. I can’t eke out punchlines when beers are this phenomenal, DDB just turns into one of those basic ticker 50 hits a day fan service pages. IT IS NOT MY FAULT.
M: This is more thin and malleable than Heady by a long shot and feels dynamic as a result, closer to Pupil or Nelson really, and those are exceptional ranks to shoulder. It sallies delicately from zone to zone on your palate and cascades crisp like an Anjou pear upon the swallow, like Deadpool backflipping and laying a trail of explosive citrus clusterbombs. UR MOUTH JUST GOT DOMED UP BY DEADPOOL.
D: When asked how Michaelangelo created David, he replied “I looked at the marble and removed material until only David remained.” This does the same thing, except it strips down all the extraneous flabby water profiles, the excessive yeasty profiles, the overload od dry hopping, the needless crystal malt, excised honey and all the other bullshit and stripped this down like a roll-caged MR2 ready for the track. It is phenomenal without qualification and you are doing yourself a great disservice by skipping this one, even if it means dealing with rapacious Vermont traders who want Chez $4$ with cans of this, or whateverthefuck.
Narrative: Alfred Hopsdam clutched the radiant emerald amulet with trepidation as the train approached the platform, wisps of steam filling the air with wafts from the local orchards in the swing of harvest season. “Waterb…Waterburry…” Alfred stammered as he presented his entry forms to the elite Alpha Work Academy. The conductor glanced hurriedly at his pocketwatch and nodded, motioning for Alfred to pick up his forest green equipage and enter the cabin. The air inside of the Academy tram reeked of dabber oils, Jamba Juice smoothies, and herbal apertifs being decadently enjoyed by the senior members of the Hop Warriors Guild. One corpulent ranking official dropped his substantial mass onto the bench beside Alfred, “NAMES HOPSLAM, January class, BEEN AROUND HERE FOREVER, sayyyyy, you lookin a lil too thin to ride with us, you sure you on the right train bud? HAR HAR HAR!” His foul honey laden breath belied his true nature, sticky and coniferous. Alfred shook his head and gripped the amulet tightly and felt the clicking of the wheels onto adjoining rails as he watched the apricot trees buzz by with increasing celerity, he thought “they will see soon enough, I will show them all.”
I know what you are thinking, “Gewurztraminer? Why are you doing this DDB. We aren’t post-menopausal homies with subscriptions to Sunset magazine.” Just stay with me here. You don’t have to be an empty nester who watches Mike and Molly to appreciate this phenomenal beer, just dig in for this farmhouse ride. It’s a bumpy, musky lil pumpkin patch, don’t fall out of the truck.
Council Brewing Co., San Diego, CA
6% abv Saison
CAPPED AND CORKED OH SHIT FANCIER THAN IGGY AZALEA
The commercial rub-down:
“650, 750ml bottles of Nicene were released on September 13, 2014. Nicene was brewed with traditional Saison ingredients to provide a rustic, bready malt backbone and paired with the tropical fruit forward wine and French oak notes achieved from the Gewurztraminer wine barrels. Over time, Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus will continue to develop the gentle sourness and earthy flavors. This Sour Saison was manually packaged with tremendous care and bottle conditioned with high carbonation for optimal enjoyment in a tulip glass.”
DONT TELL ME WHAT FUKN GLASS TO USE.
A: Whenever I pop a cap and then see a cork it’s like SORRY YOUR PRINCESS IS IN ANOTHER CASTLE. Once I got past the defenses, things got overridingly real. This cascades out with a silky fine carb that crackles forth like a broken washing machine and lingers with wispy frothiness not unlike those filipino foam parties you would attend in your youth. The malt profile looks like straight wheat + belgian pils, nothing too apeshit here. You have a mildly turbid creaminess to the appearance that looks like Sunny D, and everyone knows you want the D. Everyone already knows it.
S: This has a phenomenal nose to it and presents a sort of riesling spilled on Berber carpet. There is a musk of leather and saddle but nectarine and a sweet Chardonnay oakiness. I had never tried a GERWERTEZMENDER barrel aged ANYTHING before and I was suspect from the outset. I didn’t know if a saison would be the based candidate just because the overridingly sweet profile from the grapes COULD TAKE SHIT OVER LIKE WHEN DRAKE DROPS A LACKLUSTER 16 BUT THAT’S THE ONLY VERSE ANYONE REMEMBERS. This just soars on the olfactory profile and presents a welcoming peach pie cooling in the barn, straw and faint acidity while you do whip its and lay in the hay bales. Things are ultra cutty.
T: Again, the G-spot barrels are phenomenal and present just the right balance of sweetness for the incredibly balanced acidity to make this drink like aged Temptation. If you have opened a batch 4 large format Temptation you will have an excellent idea of what I am talking about. This doesn’t go ultra lactic, it doesn’t put its pedio foot forward, it opts for a massive drinkability and leaves your gumline unmolested. The creaminess and anjou pear leaves a sort of fondue muskiness on the gumline that is difficult to approximate. It just works so well.
M: Again the cheesy creaminess and silky carb just makes this whole thing gentle as a basket of laundry fresh out the hamper; because that musk, homie. It doesn’t wipe out your jaw or recede your bitter zones, or give you rumble guts after a 750ml. If you have had some of the more nuanced american Farmhouse beers: Florence, Bernice, Jester King Biere de Miel; you will know exactly what I mean. It doesn’t need to hit you with a throbbing blue veined shaft of acidity or his that sub 3.0 ph to make its point. The whole experience is intensely pleasant and refreshing with a faintly alkaline hardness to the water profile that is awesome, gypsum on deck throwing up B’s and C’s.
D: This is highly crushable and a 750ml is easy to take down. If you have ever opened anything from Blaugies and then been like “where dafuq did all the ounces go?” you will know the saison sitch. Their base saison was tasty, a touch sweet and presented a pretty standard high ferm temp Dupont strain sort of profile but this takes things to a whole new realm. If this is characteristic of GERWAMSTRAINER barrels, then god damn, breweries need to start sourcing them hard, like Galoob ripping off NES code with Gamie Genie: THIS IS NO DERIVATIVE WORK.
FOR OLD TIMES SAKE, LET’S DO A NARRATIVE:
Narrative: It had been so long since the four arbiters of the canonical saison world had met. The yeast harbinger so adaptive, ever changing and immutably difficult to locate would seemingly never find time in his schedule to discuss the earthy matters and gristy concerns of the wheat delegate. Even less likely would be the union of the diplomate of Water, hard and pure, with the porous affiliate from the Barrel kingdom. Dire circomstances required a clarification of the saison creed. So many faiths and splinter sects had denatured the Wallonian teachings from the initial farmhouse apostles and the populace was crying for clarity and canonical guidance. The musky gavel rapped the wood lightly and Water brought the counsel to Order, “ggeetttnnnllleeemennn, weee neeedd too dessshcccieeddeee-” he began and was immediately interrupted by Yeast, “oh for fucks sake, can anyone but Water preside over these proceedings? Listen to him. COME ON.” The gathering had begun with a glacier paced discussion of monoculture additions to secondary fermentations, enough to put even Barrel to rest. The faith in Farmhouse Culture was dying, and people were increasingly converting to a acetic faith. Something needed to be done to restore the Wallonian truths set forth some 325 years prior. Finally, after days of grueling work, and the interjection of sweet servant grapes, the Council of Saison had developed an immutable creed for the masses to adhere to without question:
“We believe in one Saison, the Farmhouse almighty, fermenter of all things visible and insoluble
and in one strain, the Son of yeast, the essence of the Father, wheat of wheat, water of water,
housed in earthly sanctity of oak, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the first Saison.
By whom all saisons were made, in primary and secondary fermentation, Heaven and Earth,
who for us, Saisons were made incarnate and sent to earth for man
Through high fermentation temps, which would kill or denature ordinary Sacchromyeces, yeast suffered and after the 21st day, rose again
From thence all saisons shall come to judge the quick and the dead ales, the impure libations, those weak of spirit and character
and in the holy fermentation Ghost.”
Less than 60 years later brewers would again engage in sectarian violence over the meaning of “fermentation Ghost,” but that is a tale for another tome.
Between PIRATE BOMB, and BA MEXICAN CAKE SETS and BA ABRAXAS and BIGGELESWADE DERK LERD AND STONE’S NEW CINNAMON TOAST AFTERBIRTH PLACENTA EXTRAVAGANZA: we have been perineum deep in adjunct stouts. There is something about the allure of all them ingredients on the label that drive basic tickers absolutely banana sandwich. Today I try to sum up why n00bs and sundollar nippled basement dwellers LOVE THEM ADJUNTIFIED STOUTS:
1. THE ABV
Most people attempting to stretch their anuses in the beer game go micro -> hop head -> stouts -> big barrel aged beers -> and end up as the permavirgin lambic coveter you take pity on wearing a tribly scribbling in a Moleskin, shit people should never read. Those journals look like Kevin Spacey’s from Se7en. But in the middle of this degenerative reverse evolution, pussy tickers get it into their heads that a high abv is something difficult to pull off, and they are forged from the cauldron of Hephaestus just because they can slam a 13% abv beer. If you go to any basic bitch bottle share there will always be one dude talking about taking down HUUUUGE BEERS, his swampy armpits redolent with pasta water. Adjunct stouts serve up some high abv and that is anomalously a point of pride for people who don’t know shit. They eat it up.
2. THE COLOR, BRO
If you add chocolate or black patent malt to 168 degree water, you are a fucking genius and god among men. I know most people see you as a sugar water stirring fuckup who was dishonorably discharged from the Coast Guard, but you learned HOW TO MAKE WATER DARK AS FUCK. Basic tickers love this shit. They use tired ass adjectives and sheet it on the glass to get those furrowed foreskins pull taut. To their even more basic friends, its a sign of bragadocio when they get to pop wheelies with adjunct laden dark liquids. SOMEDAY YOULL GET ON THIS LEVEL MAN “OH WOW I DONT EVEN SEE HOW YOU CAN DRINK THAT, ALSO YOUR TEETH LOOK LIKE BAKED BEANS, WOW.”
3. Flavors Any Dipshit Could Identify
If you haven’t tried that many beers, life can be a dizzying mystery of tastes and smells. NO ONE CALL TELL ME WHAT I SUBJECTIVELY TASTE IS WRONG. Is usually what someone who is completely fucking wrong will say. The basic bitch ticker loves adjunct stouts because the label says it right there. It’s like life insurance for their shitty impressions, no one can tell them that vanilla is not in there BECAUSE IT SAYS VANILLA RIGHT THERE ON THE LABEL MOM, GOD TELL ME BEFORE YOU COME DOWN HERE TO DO LAUNDRY. FUCK. Also, adding a fuck ton of an identifiable flavor makes it so they don’t need to learn about things like yeast strains, fermenting temps, or any nuances monoculture aspects. THEY JUST GET TO POINT OUT THE FUKN CINNAMEN BRUH!!!!
4. Loose Familiarity with the Base Beer
Usually a barrel aged adjunct stout has some sibling that the local dipshit picked up at the local Binny’s. It makes them feel safe and secure knowing that not only will they have tepid observations BUT THEY GET TO MAKE OBVIOUS CONTRASTS AS WELL. While the regular stout was chocolate, the one filled with a shitload of Ancho Peppers TASTES LIKE ANCHO PEPPERS HOLY FUCK 100/100 BJCP SCORE. It is also this grounding in the pedestrian that makes these tickers want the EVEN RARERER VERSION SO MUCH MOARRRR. Sometimes the adjunct versions are even shittier, but that doesn’t matter. Just imagine the look on that Birmingham Homebrew Club’s faces when you roll up with the LIMITED VERSION of some shit they got at the grocery store. King among sleep apnea afflicted men, indeed.
5. U GET TO BE THE BIG MAN AT A BOTTLE SHAER
Most beers that you can drink by yourself don’t lend themselves exclusively to sharing it amongst your 13 closest degenerates. If someone asked me to split a Fantome Ete 13 ways I would LOL and show them where the Hennepin is located. However, if you have a 15% adjunct stout, it begs to be shared like a Burning Angel model. The guy whose personal life is in shambles get to feel special and relevant for a fleeting moment for pouring 1oz into a semi-stranger’s glass. Transitions lenses be fogging up hard when that cocoa version comes out, oh shit AND THE PEANUT BUTTER ONE TOO GUYS LETS ALWAYS INVITE THIS SOCIAL MAVEN.
6. Low Bottle Counts
Plenty of styles have low bottle counts, but who the fuck is trying to drink a SAISON AMIRITE? That’s barely a step above a hef. But when it comes to produce laden stouts, those bottle counts are gospel, regardless of what is inside of them. Often times, someone will tell you the bottle count before they even tell you what the fuck the beer is, as though that’s some MSRP necessary information. Again, we can chalk this up to two parts feelings of inadequacy and one part wanting to have the most tumescent beer pud while standing in line for, you guessed it, more fucking beer.
7. GOTTA COMPLETE THAT FUKN SETTTT
The compulsive behavior exhibited by the mid-tier beer nerd lends itself nicely to collecting: most nerds went from pogs, to pokemon, to magic the gathering, to fake numbers from women who were repulsed by them, to setlists from bands no one gives a shit about, until finally that completionist glow of having three slightly different versions of the same beer. Beyond just letting them rot in an Ohio basement, which is sick as fuck in itself, you also get to show them off when one of your 4 friends from the bowling league comes over. Tucked in glass cases like aborginal artifacts, too esoteric for the common guzzler to wrap his mind around. NO YOU FUKN IDIOT THAT ISN’T BOURBON BARREL …that’s the RYE BARREL. I await the day that the holofoil vvariant labels are released and shit gets really real in the field.
8. Become a Master of Comparing Shit No One Cares About
If you have 5 minutes to burn while sitting in your cell on death row, ask a beer nerd which variant he liked best from the 4 versions of the recent adjunct stout. I hope you brought a blankie and some snacks, that monologue will feel endlessly long, like chain smoking Salvia end on end. If you have ever heard one of these philippics you will know that cascading waves of “bourbon had more…but brandy was a touch sweeeter…we all agreed that tequila was too…oddly I loved the malort barrel…” just whipping through the air like a gawdy baton of wasted calories. It would be like if there was a Koren War for decadent dipshits and these people enlisted HARD on those one way missions. Then they return with some stories to tell, real gourmand shit that will chill your soul, you aint heard cardinal or ordinal lists like these before motherfucker, that goateed warrior HAS TASTED SOME THINGS YOU CANT EVEN IMAGINE.
9. FOMO Immunity
If a brewery releases a limited beer that most people miss out on, you can expect that shit to be alluded to a million times over as the benchmark of human progress and palate calibration. If you never tried Southampton Black Raspberry Lambic, then you don’t know SHIT and can’t comment on anything until you do. Take that paradigm and make it tenfold worse because stout aficionados are the absolute fucking worst in this regard. If you miss out on one of the 84 BOTTLES of Apple Brandy Huna, then, why should I even fucking listen to this person, it’s like he lives in a stinky cave and subsists off of hearts of palm. Ok you had CALI BRANDY but whoa whoa, easy buddy, the adults are talking about APPLE BRANDY, why don’t you return to your duplo blocks or whatever it is you put in your mouth. Ticking rare stouts gives you an immunization from anyone being able to ever reference something YOU MAY NOT HAVE TRIED. The shield also works as a weapon in case someone is pulling rank, you just cut their asses down to size by referencing OH YOU HAVENT HAD JUST RUM BARREL HUNA? ONLY THE DOUBLE BARREL ONE EVERY TRIED? OH WELL I CANT EXPECT YOU TO UNDERSTAND. Then disappear in a cloud of black malty smoke like Altair.
10. Insightful 1oz Blending by Drunk Assholes
If merely trying the beer wasn’t sufficient, be sure to instagram a bunch of pics of you and your 14 closest homies pouring nominal amounts from the bottom of the bottles to make THE ULTIMATE BLEND. Because then if people tried them individually, you can always piggy back on the ULTIMATE blend of adjunct stouts, to one up anyone. Basic bitch tickers love this because it makes them feel novel, like if Armand or Uli got into a severe car accident and acted like a complete asshole for the rest of his life. And the thought of being a part of that creative process is like Marcel Proust dipping his madeline into tea, a wave of bitch ticker memories wash over these pedestrian ass traders like a Remembrance of Things Past.
So there you have it. If you didn’t understand it before, now you see why the world of meaningless adjunct liquids is so meaningful to people who have little and predicate their self values upon 1%er limited consumables.
Alright, whenever I bring up the dark sour lineage from Rare Barrel, some dipshit wants 1) demonstrate he knows that Jay Goodwin worked at the Bruery and 2) flex his peen and let everyone know that he has had Wanderer. At the Bruery anniversary festival, all I fucking heard was chortled comparisons from the sweaty jowls of attendees about “ERMAGERD ITS…basically…the…same…Wandere…” which I assumed was a comparison, since that “standing in direct sunlight” must have taken a lot of out the husky attendees.
So let’s settle this shit. Which one is better? Is there a difference? Can you approximate a vagina with a lukewarm cantaloupe? These questions answered today.
The Rare Barrel Ensorcelled
Berkeley, California, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 5.80% ABV
“Dark Sour Beer Aged in Oak Barrels with Rasperries” laconic as fuck.
The Bruery THE WANDERER
California, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 8.00% ABV
The Wanderer is a special blend of oak aged ales that we made with Craig and Beth from San Francisco’s City Beer Store. Blending a mix of sour ales and our anniversary ale the base of this beer has a delightfully sour tinge on top of a hearty malt backbone. To add to the flavor, Craig and Beth selected blackberries and bing cherries to be added to the ale adding to it’s already fruity complexity. This ale went on to win the silver medal for wood & barrel aged sour fruited ales at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.
Alright enough cyber sexing, let’s bring this resolution to full completion:
A: Them Berkeley boys come out the gates with a slicker and more nimble offering that has more substantial carb and deeper darker tones serving to underpin the frothy mochawhip carbonation. The Rare Barrel offering LOOKS outright more attenuated and seems to straddle more genres in appearance than the paint by numbers AWA you may be expecting. By contrast Wanderer has deep garnet and ROBEY-esque tones with burnt sienna, dark amber and red brick frothiness in the head that seems more focused and calls to the fruits from within to harness their tannic nature like an acidic Captain Planet, unity through divested parts.
WINRAR: Wanderer, I just wanna get my mouth all up on that burnt red lipstick, red rocket session.
S: Ensorcelled puts forward an amazing, stripped down approach that is a decidedly jammy, raspberry banger that adds nuance and a level of complexity with caramel, toasted creme brulee top, almond, and an acidic closer that doesn’t toe the line into acetic. It knows the limits and pats co-workers on the low back, doesn’t grip their acidic asses. Wanderer, for all its charms is more like a RT Dodge Challenger in this regard and deliver MOARRRRR acidity, but with substantially less poise and grace. The fruit is there and you get almost a touch of Oud Bruin in there with a black cherry and currant appeal, however, there are sick burnout slicks tossing almost vinegar and acetic notes from overclocking that sour processor. For novice sour lovers, this will hit harder and light up their erogenous zones more completely, but if someone has been in that jammy jam game for a while, they will likely prefer Ensorcelled for its subtle wit and slow approach, like neck misses and an Oscar Wilde novel while Newsroom is on in the background.
WINRAR: Ensorcelled, because that slow palm up the inner berry thigh, straight juicy clearances.
T: Ensorcelled builds upon the nasal endeavors in much the same way, a dry tart opener with ratcheted acidic aspects, just enough to let the fruit shine through. It’s like in death metal breakdowns when the double kick pulls back to let those face melting hammer ons through, that’s how things progress with this delicate face melter. You get that framboise meets brown ale sort of execution, like walnut and caramel but covered in Smucker’s jammy goodness. The acidity compliments and doesn’t dominate the gentle fruit tannins. Wanderer has been doing sick dips and the acidic serratus is shredded, at full berry pump. The blackberry is present in the taste in a huge way and those tart cherries come through not unlike C&C old school La Folie. Which is ironic because Rare Barrel would be the low hanging La Folie comparison, I know, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. However, with great power comes great acidity, Uncle Ben taught me that. The red wine vinegar notes are only present at higher temps and there is a touch of diacetyl if you sip this at room temperature. It’s more like if you are the consumer who buys the reasonable 2 cup Reese’s or if you go malty balls to the wall with a straight up 4 CUP session. I am not here to tell you how to live your life.
WINRAR: Wanderer, while more aggressive, your palate secretly likes its hair pulled by them blackberries.
M: Ensorcelled is more of a gentle fawn, presenting a nice berry basket of jams and welcoming you to the neighborhood. Wanderer walks right into your housewarming party and starts gripping your cousin’s titties and shes not even of age yet. The dryness of Wanderer is over the top and the acidity is that type of hegemony that some prefer because it lets the palate relax as the dominate notes are apparent. Bitch level cicerones will prefer Wanderer because they can point out pronounced aspects to their home brew club and feel like they don’t have an eraser dick. However, Ensorcelled has that poise and grace of the incredibly attractive mormon girl that everyone can appreciate and we all respect for her values and nuanced airs. Sure she isn’t tossing dome shots in the backseat of a Dodge Inrepid, but maybe you will like Rare Barrel more as a result, for taking that higher road and not just gripping your berries outright.
WinRARER: Encsorcelled, the ethereal feel of a CTR ring in your soft palm carries the day.
D: Ensorcelled is as soft as the Charmin bear and equally loveable, You can drink it before a Wake and no one will be all JUDGEY. Wanderer is more of a solo commitment. It demands more, it provides more, but compels all the same maintenance problems attendant with those extremes. Your jaw will hurt, you will be drunker, you will be more fatigued, like performing cunnilingus for minutes on end with a girl who is out of your league. But is the pain worth it? I cannot answer that for you, but to my own sensibilities, I enjoyed the frolic in the berry patch with the modest company of the berry hued sorceress. That doesn’t mean you wont like paying top dollar to get your blackberries stepped on. Hell some people pay a ton for that. It just comes down to preference in that regard and I prefer my berries intact.
WinRurerercellor: Tie for drinkability. Just depends on your tolerance and personal tastes.
OVERALL WINNER: Ensorcelled. Something needs to be said for the nuanced and stripped down approach to this baby bunny in the dark sour patch. While both are equally compelling, my personal tastes align more with this end of the Goldilocks spectrum. Both are exceptional beers, all that bullshit beer blog guarded language, etc, but Ensorcelled is better. I don’t think Patrick Rue is gonna lose any sleep over these 1210 words, plus I am a shameless Bruery apologist, remember.
I drank 8 ghosts last night and forgot all about this top tier, hard-hitting beer journalism: a Fantome coovie revue.
Inb4 “all those vintage fantomes were clearly faked” or some beta-tier 9gag shit.