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Alpine Bad Boy Double Imperial Pale Ale, Bad Boys Go To Their Respective Hop Rooms.

This beer always comes up when the best Double IPAs in the world are discussed. Hell, it is on most top 100 lists and constantly spars with Ephraim and Citra. Let’s stop pussyfooting around and figure this shit out once and for all, how good is the crowning DIPA glory from San Diego’s finest hop masters? We shall see.

This particular 64oz growler, I did not skull to my dome piece, so my judgment was not impaired. Better than Hill Farmstead Ephraim? Sadly no. But still amazing. There, I said it.

Alpine Bad Boy, 9.5% abv, Double IPA

A: This has a radiant golden glow to it with a great clarity like majestic apple juice. The lacing looks like an abandoned haunted house and these a tons of webs all up in this piece. This be looking mad antiquated. The carbonation from the growler is solid and sticky throughout. This looks dangerous and somehow session able.

This beer has an amazing salad meets hop oil converging with pineapple and bunny musk going on.

S: The smell even on opening the growler is relentless. The hop presence detonates like pinecones galvanized all up in your dome piece. There is a grassy pineapple to it with some herbal grapefruit. I would deem this 60/40 herbal to fruit which is a solid balance. Hop Wallop needs to take some notes. This has more balance than a Chinese gymnast with an inner ear infection.

T: This is exactly what Alpine does so. Damn. Well. It just delivers a huge initial sweetness that fades into a freshly cut grassiness that makes you feel all elementary school for a second until, bam, honey sweetness that fades. This is like the more tactful version of Hopslam. A friend you can confide secrets in, a hoppy buddy you can take places and know he wont talk about when someone touched your no no. That kind of friend.

The scope of the undertaking is impressive, wait till you see the taste.

M: The mouthfeel is impossibly light. It is Pale Ale thin, imparts a huge herbal character that swirls a maple cape and fades into a loveable sweet note. It is David Blaine ass hop work. It leaves my mouth all astounded but wanting more. I suppose a growler is both an appropriate and inappropriate serving size, for obvious reasons. This will take a serious prestige amongst Ephraim and Citra. To be clear, this is far superior to Exponential Hoppiness in the way that Nightcrawler is superior to Colossus. It is just someone I would rather hang out with on a regular basis. This is nimble and bad ass, not some lumbering asshole who always asks you to save his sister from a tractor.

D: Holy jeez, this is the Live Oak of DIPA’s which is to say its drink ability is off the charts for the ABV and the complex character of the hop profile. I almost want to run my own tests to ascertain if this has any more than 4% abv but, the old liver test is sufficient. The fact that this is not in bottles has allegedly saved CalTrans millions in roadside clean ups. So there’s always that.

With a growler in tow, you can go on some epic San Diego adventures where you will no doubt lose your shoes and your entryway will be soaked in the morning.

Narrative: “Well? Did you find anything? All OF THE OPENINGS ARE SEALED!” Tarynn cried with the utmost agitation, Mark felt that a reference to ‘that’s what she said’ would be not apropos in the case of a spelunking disaster. “WE ARE GOING TO DIE DOWN HERE!” Tarynn exclaimed while running her fingers through her thinning hair. She fell to her knees in desperation and clutched the halogen lantern desperately. “We can’t be below the water table, so therefore, the sediment should push up some sustainable filtered water and, potentially some veget-” Mark tripped over a thick tuft of underground foliage. “What in the-” he discontinued his sentence in that staccato manner that characters in situation comedies do, despite not being interrupted. “HECK” he finished, but so much later that it didn’t seem canon with his previous sentence. “What is it Mark?” Tarynn called out. There was a fresh pool of water seeping through the floor but it was fully entwined by sticky, vinuous hop plants. The smell was overwhelming. “This-” he did it again, “is our only chance of survival.” The two nodded gravely and began to suck from the pools the sticky water and push raw hop flowers into their gullets. “If only we-” Mark declared before falling asleep. The geological team found them 8 days later, high out of their minds on raw hop flowers. Mark’s sentences have since been correc-

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Stillwater Barrel Aged Stateside Saison, Still Waters Run Deep, So Deep, Put the Ale’s Barrel to Sleep

Stillwater has this reputation, at least in beer print media that is untouchable. Maybe the brewer is just a PR master but I constantly see articles about this brewery and the wunderkind owner. This beer is a testament to their ability. Let’s get this out of the way, this beer is awesome, and the fact that it was commercially distributed is incredible, as is the fact the a 330ml bottle was $13.99, but let’s couch that discussion, GRAB YOUR -BALS FOR TODAY’S REVIEW.

The separate of church and Stateside involves a barrel.

Stillwater, Barrel Aged Stateside Saison, 6.7% abv

A: This has a nice yellow haziness with great apple juice notes at the edges. The carbonation is present but not oppressive as the time spent in the carbonation mines, we all remember those days bleakly. Kiss my illegitimate lacing child for me, for her wispy eyes wont remember my dissipate nature.

Call all your friends, tell them barrel aged saisons are happening, watch the crazy shit go down.

S: There’s a Belgian funk to it, with some oakiness, lemon, clove, and tannic esters. This has a slight chardonnay aspect to it and nice vinuous aspect to it, so far so good, like most RPG games.

T: Holy hell, this was not what I expected in an awesome way. This dries like chardonnay and just gives the gumline the business immediately. It is incredibly tart, almost gueuze tart at the outset and gets all peppery and chills out for a second, smashes your Virtual Boy and takes off leaving an intense dryness like you used Lubriderm CQ. That kinda dry.

Smell legit…taste is…WHAT THE FUUUUUU-

M: The mouthfeel is incredibly crisp like biting into fresh Fuji apples that aren’t ready just yet. It is really acidic but oaky at the same time. This is a phenomenal beer and a welcome surprise when I was expecting a by the numbers saison. The barrel made this thing into a crazy beast, like the last seasons of TMNT when they are all mutating and shit. Only me? Ok cool.

D: This is fantastic and almost belongs in a Berliner Weiss or wild ale category the way that this guy went all Temptation on us. It is rough to call it supremely dirnkable because of the $13.50 for a 12oz bottle price and just the dryness. I wont be immature and go for the vaginal joke but, ipso facto, I just did. Buy this, it is a weird but amazing hybrid. Might just give Fantome Saison a run for its ghostly butt hole.

You remember on Garbage Pail Kids where you thought you were approaching some hackneyed premise but then it ended up being one of the best things ever? Well that’s like this beer, Barrel PALE Kids: THE MOVIE.

Narrative: “IF YOU DON’T LEVEL THE GATHERING GOURD, then the souls will escape!” Plestinya pleaded with the sour Ivinicus. “Please, I want to see you make your way to becoming an arch-summoner, but, if we cannot gather souls in this area, replete with drought and death, we have failed as necrophytes.” Ivinicus hung his head ruefully and kicked a scrap of a tumbleweed in front of him. “It makes you think doesn’t it?” Ivinicus began, “I mean, here we are, searching for ourselves, while simultaneously harvesting souls.” “Sir?” “I am just saying, the piercing blue light from the interior of stage coaches loses its luster, slowly but surely, and look at what we have here.” He gestured to the soul gourd, a powerful mage barrel crafted in the Magi epoch of Nev’Naih. “Sometimes I, I just want to see. . .” he thumbed the tab of the tiny barrel, “Ivinicus NO!” Pelstinya cried out as he removed the tab from the gourd and let the souls spill out in a white hot azure light. Each figure presented themselves, changed, for the better. “LOOK! That local grifter has attained a degree in economics! And that failed cattle rustler has developed a Keynsian economic theory DECADES PRIOR TO ITS INCEPTION!” A tacit survey of every soul revealed that they had matured in the barrel and become something greater than the sum of their flaws. “We are basically the shittiest necrophytes ever,” Plestinya noted somberly.

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Hill Farmstead, What is Enlightenment? If not the Process of a Lager Being Lightened?

Alright, I took a week off to go hit up Cabo to learn about the beer culture down there and I am back on my grizzy with something as far away from Cabo as it gets in the Western Hemisphere, some down home enlightenment in today’s post. What is the nature of enlightenment? Isn’t that the age where the oppression from a liturgical society was cast off? Didn’t it promote science and intellectual interchange and oppose superstition, intolerance and abuses in church and state. Other haters say “oh that shit went down about 1650 to 1700, it was sparked by philosophers Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), John Locke (1632–1704), Pierre Bayle (1647–1706), physicist Isaac Newton (1643–1727), and philosopher Voltaire (1694–1778).” But fuck all that, today we figure out what enlightenment REALLY IS, for the haters.

Schopenhauer straight creepin on my Enlightenment. He just wants to Will that mouth up on this Representation.

Hill Farmstead Brewery
Vermont, United States
American Pale Ale (APA) | 5.40% ABV

A: Alright, let’s try to be impartial here, every one knows about my past love affair with this rural gemstone quarry turning out hop bombs and barrel blasters on the reg. But the beer appears directly to style and comfortably shoulders next to Zombie Dust and Hoppy Birthday with that beautiful clarity and foamy radiance that you have come to expect from infant bath time and amazing APAs. The lacing is substantial, it just gets everywhere like when slimer gets blasted on by a proton pack. The legs look nice but I think the time in the growler may have tamed it a bit so you can put that on my set, I GUESS.

At first I thought this beer was too complicated, but as I continued on, the nuances showed themselves and entirely new concerns arose.

S: There’s an amazing sweet citrus without a huge bitterness to the backend that just screams grapefruit, lemon rind, apricot, and pineapple jams. The pine and other harrowing aspects that nudge their way into APA’s is gone, thank god, so no mountainous shit ruins this experience, just you and a lovely fruit hoptail to enjoy at your leisure. Where was this beer when I was draining Modelos hardcore during the entire last week? Thousands of miles away? Oh ok, cool, just peeping out the scene.

T: The taste doesn’t go aggro on the hops or the fruit aspect. You open the door and see a nice compact edible arrangement of hops and fruit assiduously arranged on your doorstep with a nice bottle of water to refresh your palate. Enough equivocating and circumlocution: This beer is refreshing. It isn’t the depths of free press or a direct challenge to the sans culottes, but it washes away clean with a nice tinge of fruits of the Tropical Skittles variety, except not derived from sucrose, just pure pineapple, mango, guava goodness from hop oils. The whole finish washes away clean in more of a shallow pantheism than the full spectrum of intellectual depths of say, Heidegger, but who has ever found Being and Nothingness refreshing? Fucking no one.

When a brewery half asses something, you can tell immediately, such is not the case here.

M: The mouthfeel is crisp and clean, imparts a nice watery tone that transfers into a mild hoppy stickiness and before you know it, the pleasure is over and it is time for the tip. Again, this cannot be construed as a diss when it is brewed exactly to style and shows such extreme balance and punishing hoppiness like the first three Ninja Gaiden games. This is a real good beer and, for the style, def in my top 5 APAs, hell make it top 3, but I am trying to be fair and balanced here.

D: Does anyone remember when Ford released the Taurus SHO and shit got nuts real quick? You take a balanced base and then push it to the limits with amazing (Yamaha/Vermont) craftsmanship and here we are. I am trying to go half throttle not to drain this old chestnut instantly but that’s how these forays into Vermont always seem to go. As I type this, my growler is gone, and I still feel like i can go kayaking or play handball, and that’s how I know the APA is working, maximum flavor without the beastly DIPA withdrawals. If Ephraim is a 911 Turbo, this is Hill Farmstead’s Lotus Elise.

It’s the smooth comfort of a well-done pale ale that comforts in a softly aggressive manner.

Narrative: The local islanders did not want to cause alarm to N’thraiku’s parents, but it was clear that something was a bit off with the archipelago youth but at a certain point you just have to call it out. N’thra stood a stately 1.5m tall at his tenth birthday, however, his triceps bulged with cuts almost .5m around. He assiduously scampered up trees and claimed even the highest hanging fruit, beyond the dietary needs of the tribe. “N’thra! COME!” the village elder, K’traikai called. “N’th, you have shown great discipline, but, seriously, you look like a bent tuning fork, let’s calm the aggressive climbing down a bit, ok?” N’thra kicked some of the obsidian black sand in front of him and looked far in the distance to the dormant fire God for solace. “I mean, sure we all enjoy local treats but, you need to ratchet it back some, we have way more almendra than anyone can eat-” suddenly N’th reached and crushed a balata in his palm and swung like a child’s swing in between his massive arms. The message was delivered loud and clear, N’th was going to keep reaping fruit, getting jacked, and juicing; dietary habits be damned.

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10 Barrel S1nist0r Black Ale, Soop3r L33Tz 4L3z !!11!!!!

SrslY S1nisT0rzzz!!!! guize srsly.

10 Barrel Brewing Co.
Oregon, United States
American Black ale Ale | 5.40% ABV

A: This appears like a regular stout with the mild khaki carbonation, deep brown/blackish hues and nice malty roasted character. But OH WAIT, this old chestnut where we call something a black ale so the consumer has no fucking clue what to expect. Hop bomb? Chocolate sex? Smokey ballsack? Who knows, it’s fucking black ale, that’s like how a sorority girl orders a beer, by color, shit tells me nothing about what is inside. Uinta made this same mistake on an incredible imperial stout and I feel bad that they did, Labyrinth was tits up. Anyway, nice foamy character and comes off like a watery porter.

Mashing so hard on a thin black ale not unlike a baby otter.

S: The nose has a very light smokiness to it with a mild sweetness. A bit watery, nothing to lose your mind over. A solid beer depending on how much you pay for it. I got this as an extra so who knows if this beer goes balls to the wall on price or if it nestles up against Green Flash and Lagunitas in the deals bin.

T: The taste is thin and refreshing with an almond sweetness to it. There’s a very faint bit of milkiness and maple syrup but the palate is so thin you don’t really have time to focus on it. There’s a good balance to it with some mild bittering. The hops present a cocoa dryness that rounds it out nicely.

If a kennel just said “Black dog” for adoption, I would be satisfied for this one.

M: This is very thin but it doesn’t feel like it came up short, it feels intentional, and that somehow makes it ok. The lacing is fantastic, but the coating is relatively minimal, which is a bit anomalous. Again, not disappointing though. I always feel like when someone presents a black ale, it is a genre that is so amorphous it is tough to really determine what you are about to get. Sometimes you get an imperial stout monster like Labyrinth, other times you get this dapper gentleperson. Who can ever tell. Anyway, not even mad tho, it was decent but nothing I would keep a picture of in my military footlocker. You know it would just be getting popped by every other dude in Oregon.

D: This is exceptionally drinkable and the color is the only thing that might be offputting to people. It is a strange hybrid that brings a bit of IPA to the table and a bit of Stout in the mix. Overall, pretty solid beer and I would recommend a bomber or two to any willing participant.

Not sure what their intent was with this one.

Narrative: The hackneyed carriage clipped along steadily over the cobblestone streets and the slick London night was further obfuscated by misty clouds. Sir Grimsly peered at his silver pocket watch and sighed at how long the opera had taken. His finely tailored suit of rich velvet fit precisely and his jet black hair was slicked with a fragrant pomade. “Carlton, please, slow a bit!” He called to the carriage driver. He lifted the lacy ebony curtain and looked out into the dark night and noticed a single cat, staring intently upon the carriage as it slid to a stop. The cat peered knowingly and its obsidian coat shined in the night. It appeared to nod and signal to the magistrate. With a blink it disappeared. Sir Grimsley looked up and noted the mandate from today’s proceedings laying on the adjacent seat, unexecuted. With a forceful sigh, Sir Grimsley signed the stay of execution and set the prisoner free. The night shone with a furious depth, the slick streets ploshed with knowing applause.

2

Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA, A Pretty Core Foreign Exchange sTEAdent

Maybe I just don’t get it, but why does Stone need to collaborate with so many fucking people on each collaboration brew? Three breweries at once? Four? What did Ishii do for this one? Select the Tea in the online cart? Anyway, so here’s another crazy Stone threesome. Their standard IPA offerings are decent and a gentle hand of reprieve at B.J.’s so let’s see if this ups the ante into an axis of tea meets hops domination.

Time to play that classic game where you point out something in the background of my picture and make a clever quip about the vintage or rarity. Ah, never gets old.

Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States
American Double / Imperial IPA | 9.20% ABV

A: Bright orange huges with gold tones at the edges. There is minimal lacing and moderate carbonation. No middle carbonation. The legs aren’t broken, but they hobble along with an antalgic limp. This literally looks almost identical to Ruination, not that it’s a bad thing, but you figure with three entire breweries on deck, shit would get mixed up a little bit.

With several small elements in play, you can accomplish big things.

S: Big hop nose to it with citra and Amarillo, grapefruit rind and lemon zest. Lots of herbal backing but predominately Pliny/Sculpin-esque juiciness. Really great smell to this. It is akin to a refined Ruination, man, really wearing out that analogy here aren’t we? I don’t get much tea and I drank this crazy fresh.

T: There is a slight juiciness but a sharp crispness to it on the herbal note. It isn’t quite pine but it has a distinct grassiness to it. The tea notes are very faint but present. If the taste stuck to the aromatic lines it would have been exceptional, however, it is a bit divergent once you actually taste it. I imagine the board meeting being something like Stone letting them know that they had plans to put tea in a Stone IPA/Ruination cuvee and Baird and Ishii would be allowed to toss some tea in the boil.

Impressive. (C:/run_notracist.exe)

M: The mouthfeel is thin and crisp, on point with the style and very reminiscent of the regular Stone IPA with less maltiness. Hardly any coating is present but that is a good thing given the juicy and herbal notes. If a huge malt backbone were present it would be distracting, but then maybe this would be that hipster darjeeling treat that I was anticipating.

D: This is an exceptionally drinkable beer, with the proviso that you must enjoy the herbal notes going on. If the grassy bite does not turn you away, this could easily become your session beer. The high abv is not noticeable at all and leaves nothing to be desired for back to back drinking. Easily the best part of this beer, but I drank this like 9 months ago or something so it WOULD PRLY BE A SHELL OF ITS FERMER SELF.

OMG. TEA AND HOPS IN A- wait, this is almost just a regular DIPA. Sealion remains unimpressed.

Narrative: The rocking of the vessel in the Atlantic was rhythmic at times, and maddening at others. Cameron Brackish wondered if his profession was a bit out of place in this modern bustling economy, however, that blast of crisp ocean spray in his face won him over more so than any woman ever could. “Sir! The cargo of Darjeeling has come unfastened, I-” Mr. Brackish threw up a single threadbare palm and deftly gripped the thick rope and descended into the galley to inspect the tea shipment. There was the stank odor of sopping wet tea leaves, mixing with the misty air, creating a chokingly herbal intoxicating air. “Calibrate the GPS to embrace all headwinds!” He called to his first mate. Life was hard when you refused to embrace modern technology and embraced antiquated professions. “WE NEED TO GET THIS EARL GREY TO INDIAN PORTS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!” It certainly was no tea party.

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Finch’s Beer Company, Cut Throat Pale Ale, Pale Ale Competition is Fierce These Days.

Here’s a nice herbal gem from Chicagoland. I know, the silver can, the hops presence, you get your jimmies all rankled thinking this is gonna be like Heady Topper.

Spoiler Alert: It isn’t.

I wouldn't cut a convicted rapists throat for this beer. Maybe a ponzi scheme engineer or the inventor of pop-under ads.

Finch’s Beer Company
Illinois, United States
American Pale Ale (APA) | 5.50% ABV

So you crack this open and it pours a little more amber and deep orange than I like my (negative -I) PA’s. But hey, the lacing is there and the can looks pretty legit so I continue. At first blush the smell seems legit and there’s a slight Brazilian food cart fruitiness to it but then, wait a second, you get a juniper, that same herbal aspect that reminds you of the bushes your older brother pushed you into, the one with the wasp nest. Then it’s maple leaves and yard trimmings. Things went awry quickly here.

The taste begins with a watery crescendo and I suddenly wonder how many lawns there are to mow in Joliet and then BAM! LEAVES. So this is decidedly a fall beer for imposed labor in the form of raking, not a lawnmower beer. It isn’t necessarily a pale and switch, but I was expecting something gentle and instead you get water and a deep floral aspect. I wanted some juicy juice, instead I got a nature hike, the kind where you get your no no touched.

The Verdict: better than other pale ale offerings, but don’t give up a pack of KOOLs to lock this down in the pen.

When you can, opt for the Super Swiss, don't eat babbies.

2

Portsmouth Brewing Wheat Wine, When You Can Make Wine This Good With Wheat, I Ain’t Even Trifling With Grapes

I wish I had a crazy anecdote to tell you about this one but, it was a sheer stroke of luck that this was sent to me. Mad props to Ryan S. for pulling this elusive beast into my cellar not unlike so many neighborhood children before it- I digress. So this is the famed Portsmouth brewery that rolls out the Greatest Kate that I am aware of (Mary-Kates dont count) and this is their beastly Wheat Wine. Let’s get it.

If all those mid-30s divorcees would drink wheat wines, maybe we would have something to discuss beyond Lane Bryant and Better than Ezra albums.

Portsmouth Wheat Wine, 11% abv

A: The appearance looks like a rubierer barleywhine with an almost deep orange at the edges. The carbonation was light and wispy with no lacing to speak of. The sheeting on the glass leaves this nice pallor of clear armor that you know protects the rageful abv deep inside. The microbubbles look inviting and you just want to split splash around in that co-ed foaminess. Braces kisses for all.

This beer was mesmerizing and complex.

S: I get a huge initial sweetness that reminds me of a candy coated date or a sticky caramel plum. The wheat is subdued and you could trick the shit out of someone and just tell them that it’s a barleywine with a ton of Maris Otter malts and THAT ASSHOLE WOULD PROBABLY BELIEVE YOU.

T: The taste has no wheat aspect to speak of and pulls the mask off and the big real is the barleywine sweetness and brandy character. The sweetness goes to work on your palate’s gentials while the sticky malt base restrains the ball gag. Secretly, you enjoy the abuse, but your palate has too much dignity to admit it. There’s some incredible sour notes in the middle that reminds me a bit of apricot and again, honeycomb, it finally finishes with a juicy clementine juiciness and the assault is over.

Once I found out that this was a barleywine in disguise, I was like-

M: The outside is candy but it aint sweet, the AR-15 is on the passenger seat. The coating isn’t intense and really the hops are the only notes who overstay their welcome when the party is clearly over. The lingering citrus notes almost make you forget the panoply of tastes you just took head on. Godspeed you Black Palate.

D: This is sticky, abusive, hoppy, and then gone. It is a bit too cacophonous to be a long term girlfriend as the fights just become too frequent and the periods of rest are just interludes wherein this beer will ask you what you REALLY meant concerning previous statements. As it warms, the beer gets more and more abrasive and complex, like each head of a hydra awakening, you, let’s just say your tongue is gonna need some fucking argonauts because this beer is not for the weak willed. Me and this beer are homies, but I def. put it on limited profile on Facebook.

They gave me a wheatwine, I TOOK THEIR FUCKING MINTS.

Narrative: “Hey, it’s me Devin, thought I felt a vibrate and, no? Ok, Metro PCS is weird, just call me back, it’s like a…15 to ZERO ratio haha so YOU’RE IT! BEEEEEP” God, just his voice harrows the core of your soul. Ever since you met Devin, he wouldn’t leave you alone. You were dropping your cousin off at a children’s martial arts tournament and of course, Devin approached you and wanted to show you the appropriate defense from someone with a scimitar. In between your bout, he stumbled into traffic and you saved his awkward gangly frame from being crushed by a street sweeper. Now this persistent asshole thinks you guys are best chums. But hell, he’s an eclectic guy, purple belts in several disciplines, extensive geode collection, a competent fencer, and lauded tobacconist. Sure he has told you all about himself but, you can’t shake that feeling that you secretly wish Devin would get run over by a Fiat, or drown in a swarm of beers. Something hilarious that would bookend his existence, but not make you too sad. You start to feel bad because really deep down he’s a-“HEY! It’s Devin again, YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THIS LOSER ON CRUTCHES AT THE ICE RINK HE THI-” No. You’ve had enough of Devin.

0

Crooked Stave Fertile Soil, Casting Fertile Seeds on Even More Fertile Soil

My friend Sean sent me this in a huge box of Colorado’s finest and I had to give a nod to this well-done beer. Got me feeling more fertile than a 32 chamber indoor growing system in Chico, California.

DIFFERENT SETTING, don't worry, you're still on the same shitty pedantic website, no cause for alarm.

Crooked Stave Fertile Soil, Dry Hopped Belgian Golden Ale, 7%

A: This has a nice golden sheen to it but the real star here is the carbonation, holy hell, so pleasing the the eye and palate. Nice wispy lacing like a Victorian antechamber.

This beer is strange, but complex. The level of refreshment indicates craftsmanship from serious ale healers.

S: There’s a great hop presence with aserose, pine, mild grassiness and some sweet honey backing from the malt. If I had a lawn, I would watch it grow while enjoying this beer.

T: This has a great woody/herbal character to it that doesn’t distract from the base beer. I dont know if the yeasty esters were supposed to shine through, because they don’t really, but it is still spectacular as a result.

I didn't expect a whole lot initially, but then this beer blew me away when it slapped my shit.

M: This has a nice crackly bubbliness to it that washes away clean only leaving some residual crackery notes and a huge pinecone for you to ruminate on. Extreme Mouth Makeover, your mouth is now a green house, enjoy.

D: This is incredibly drinkable and I wish I had another bottle, but oh well, mo brewin mo problems. I ain’t even mad though. The 750ml seems spot on and I don’t think this would be out of place in 6 packs. This was one of like 850 bottles so giving it unqualified praise is kinda a dick move but, seek it out I GUESS.

This beer is mature, yet light and refreshing at the same time. Adult tea party libations.


Narrative: The days at the Ring Pop factory were unremarkable. The ongoings of average plastic ring fabrication and the precious experience needed to craft saccharine jewels were something that lost its luster early in Waylon Winters’s terminally boring factory job. He always saw himself as more of a Pushpop sort of jeweler, or hell, he was musically inclined and Melody Pops were not entirely out of the question either. One day while performing his routine tank cleaning a case of watermelon gems spilled and he went about recollecting this precious bounty. One jewel rolled behind a corn syrup tank and, upon further reflection, he noticed a heavy door left ajar. Waylon walked with quiet reverence into this private chamber and looked in awe upon the sheer motherload of confectionary jewels adorning the chamber. It was like the Aladdin of diabetes and he looked with baited breath at a 7lbs blue raspberry Heart of the Ocean replica. “So you like what you see?” a voice boomed into the chamber and Waylon turned around to see the master jeweler, Ralph Stickery, sucking lazily upon a sticky candy broach on his shirt. “Well, you will probably want to know how all this is possible Waylon, this magic plant-” he produced a tiny bougainvellia-looking plant that was quickly budding and producing a series of candy gem buds. “It is the plants that make the sweetness and the herbs that control the craft, I trust this floral secret will remain between us.” Waylon nodded and licked a candy scepter in an unsuggestive manner.

1

Hill Farmstead, Society and Solitude, Ralph Waldeezy Emerseezy would be proud

If you haven’t caught the vibe just yet, I ride Hill Farmstead’s jock like a Sybian. I will seek out anything and everything that they release for the simple reason that every, single, thing that I have had from them has been nothing short of amazing. The only beer that was a B+ to me was Jim and that was still an amazing beer, just not suited to my palate. So here we go, another world class Double Black IPA, inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Some prefer Society, others prefer Solitude, and then some people prefer both and have to issue apologies for Party Rockin.

Hill Farmstead, Society and Solitude, Black Double IPA, 9.5% abv

A: At first glance this looks like someone fucked up and sent me Everett and I am about to spend 25oz in Porterville. Not the central California mountain town. Then you pour a little bit and shit turns arboreal very quickly. The beer cascades from the swingtop growler in a needlessly descriptive stream of jet black with mellow mahogany at the edges and the user ponders where the line between charred malt and hop usage places his palate in this penumbra of capricious tastes. The carbonation is dead on, not too much, not too sparse and the lacing looks like a monochromatic Jackson Pollack work. She is a thing of beauty, fuck Stella.

Just the smell and look of this beer takes you to a magical far away place of verdant fields and floral culture, Didney Worl.

S: This is interesting beyond belief. Most black IPAs I shirk off in a cantankerous manner, upturning my mandible and tightening my lips. This thing is the real deal. I thought double dry hopped Stone Sublimely Self Righteous did not have fuck arounds to spare, but this thing is in the poor house if fuck arounds were currency. It comes right out with a pine that subsides into a chocolate waft, just when you think shit is tame: a MINT NOTE. I am dead serious, then some juniper and finally the citrus grapefruit I was looking for, all in all its like the craft aisle of Michaels went into a blender and then was coated in Godiva chocolate, and it is fucking amazing.

T: The taste just carries out the complexity and the bitter and sweet zones of your mouth are already dividing up the tenancy in common because they can’t agree on shit. It starts with a nice english stout or american porter charred chocolate roastiness that, upon swallow turns into this epic Mars Volta solo of herbal notes and again, fucking MINT and juniper are present. To bookend the experience, the chocolate delivers a nice eulogy to the sip and your tastebuds mourn the loss. But shit is on again real soon, to the tune of 24oz more.

This beer gives me so many feels. Feels like I am in gay Paree, feels like Vermont, feels like Chocolate Factoree.

M: The mouthfeel is similar to a heavy DIPA or a thin imperial porter. God damn, if I wasn’t so lazy I would make a line graph but, just use your imagination, I shouldn’t have to make an App for every aspect of description. The bitterness from the hops lingers far longer than the bakers chocolate aspect and I like it more that way, the coating feels lighter as a result and suddenly a 750ml growler seems pretty insubstantial. It’s like if you’ve ever dated a girl who just gets on your nerves and you bemoan every visit to Chick Fil-A with her, but when she goes away to her Mormon mission, you have a tiny Latter Day Saint Shaped hole in your heart. You know the feeling.

D: This beer is incredibly drinkable for how ambitious the flavor palate is. For all the mint, chocolate, pine, grapefruit madness going on, the glass seems to have a mild leak, directly into my mouth. However, I don’t know if I should rate this relative to the other Hill Farmstead offerings since the 2 Liter growler of Galaxy that I drank, by myself, was gone instantly and all my characters were power leveled when I woke up the next morning. It was like the RPG fairy just changed the game on me. So yeah, super drinkable.

Hill Farmstead beers always strike me as so distinctly American and I am always left with that lingering suspicion and sadness when the growler is empty. Get beers from Vermont they said, pay Fedex bills from California they said.

Narrative: After losing his job at the pencil factory Gunnar Taylorson was at a loss with what to do with himself. His degree in American Studies did not seem to evoke the sense of awe and prestige that he had predicted, despite graduating from the inimitable University of Florida, an institution practically enshrined in American Study. After long hard thought and several days at the EDD and unemployment offices, Gunnar resolved to set forth into the everglades and open a boutique herboreum. His business plan was simple, venture deep into protected government lands, uproot rare plants, grind them down into a consumable paste without FDA approval, and then sell it within interstate commerce: a bulletproof scheme. The first concoctions largely just caused blindness and erections that lasted more than 4 hours, and he felt like a failure. “GOD DAMNIT GUNNAR, the hell were you thinking, a deep south apothecary? You should have just went and worked at the Waffle House fer fucks sake!” he would think to himself. One day, while speeding about on his stolen pontoon boat he came across a rare hibiscus flower in the shape of someone flipping you off. “Well fuck you flower,” he quipped as he pulled the lot of them from the roots. He sold them piecemeal to passers by and it soon became apparent that Gunnar had stumbled upon a tactile halucinogen. The south never seemed so interesting or so racist as when you viewed the scope of nature with your fingertips in a Baton Rouge AMPM.

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Bear Republic Racer X, My X Racer Took All of My Staind CDs.

This beer has FINALLY been bottled, after many requests but then they go and don’t ship it outside of the bay area, so oh well for the rest of us UNLESS YOU GOT MAD SOLDIERS IN THE TRAP SHORTY. I once bought a growler of this and the girl serving it told me that it would hold up well over time because there are a lot of hops in it and hops are used to preserve beer. It was the most clear example of fail I have encountered in the field.

This beer is completely Racerist.

Bear Republic, Racer X Double IPA, 8.XX% abv (not looking it up, bottle is in the trash)

A: This beer has a nice amber hue to it with deep orange like that sunset you watched after seeing Human Centipede, special moment. The carbonation is fair, nothing to get tatted on your body but doesn’t leave you wanting. The jets are set to low on the lacing and she’s wearing a one piece. A tame affair.

Me and all my pimp ass friends used to drink this up in Healdsberg and pull so many bitches.

S: There’s an awesome honey and apricot zest to this that brings a radical pineapple closer. The relief pitcher has notes of some light grassiness but the nose is just phenomenal, real spit.

T: The taste is a bit more herbal and medicinal than the exemplary nose would suggest, but it’s still very refreshing. The herbal note subsides into a mild sweetness and the whole ruse about citrus just exits through the gift shop. Overall, the taste is a middle class worker in a Michael Kors ensemble. I hate it when that happens.

Just reviewing another amazing, rare beer, U mad.

M: The mouthfeel is crisp and light and nails it for the style. The bottle says this beer is all about balance and I would say that’s pretty accurate, the maltiness doesn’t press its balls on or around the wall, but the hops don’t really use overdrive either. Everyone is getting good gas mileage in the number 3 lane. The coating is gentle and the carbonation doesn’t overpower things.

D: Aside from this weird Jasmine/floral note at the end, this is pretty smooth sailing considering the ABV and profile of the hops. For all the Lindy Hopping that the east coast does to their “balanced” approach, this nails it with much more clarity. It’s like Rosie O Donnell at a bisexual bridal shower. The bottle was gone pretty quickly and I am glad they finally decided to make some serious COIN by bottling up this extreme Racerist.

I told Bear Republic they could bottle anything. They finally followed my dreams.

Narrative: “What the, oh come on, she’s entering the Nestle Cup? Come on!” the judges looked onward at Thomas Dillery’s frustration. Kaitlyn knew that this race meant so much to him, but apparently he didn’t care about that or her hopes and her wants. “Listen, we broke up ok? You don’t need to stalk me and enter every heat and semi-pro circuit to garner my attention, give it up,” Thomas stated entreatingly. She pushed her hefty size 14 backside within the confines of the racing cage and quipped “well maybe if you spent less time focusing on Jimmy Johnson and cared to address my needs, we wouldn’t be in this situation, and I know what you are going to say, the cabin incident notwithstanding, you have always had communication problems.” She strapped her Marlboro helmet on and began priming the engine. “I am competing today and I will do it with the poise and grace that I held when I supported you when you were out of work, remember that time? Yeah, that’s what I thought, and for your information my metabolism has slowed naturally so-” Thomas’s head felt like a bucket of shark chum hearing her incessant droning. All those days of pretending to care about her stories about her co-workers, the relentless barrage of mundane, now he had to square off for 300 laps against this harlot. “And Sheila said you went to Twist last night and said you talking to some red headed slut, funny, you always said that you hated red heads because of your mo-” Thomas fired up his balanced engine, smelt the herbal oily burn, and prepared himself for 300 laps of hell.