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DOUBLE GEORGIA BREW REVIEW: @secondselfbeer Thai Wheat and Red Hop Rye

I know what you are thinking, “how in the fuck is DDB reviewing a Thai wheat beer? Red ales? What the shit is this?” In striving to keep my finger on the pounding pulse of Georgia beers, I must divine the Terrapin tea leaves to keep the South content. Second Self opened fall of last year and already has two flagship beers and a canning line. Ok, so far so good, but these days everyone from Tree House to Other Half is kicking out dank ass cans, so what’s the deal with this?

A homebrewer who used to work at Sweetwater teamed up with a foodie and here we are.  Let’s hit that Florida Georgia line and start Sippin on Fire accordingly

This is like exactly what life in the South is like.

No relation to THAI ME UP, the incredible brewery from Wyoming.

No relation to THAI ME UP, the incredible brewery from Wyoming.

Thai Wheat. Second Self, Georgia

Wheat Beer, commercial tug job:

“This SPICY American What beer is as EXOTIC as the country that inspired it. This beer uses both fresh LEMONGRASS and GINGER to give it a refreshing aroma and taste taking you on a trip access the globe. We keep the beer DRY letting the spices stand out on their own giving you a unique experience.
This flavorful wheat ale is great for an escape into your second self.
Pairings include: fish, chicken, pork loin, grilled vegetables, sushi, and Asian cuisine.”

The branding is pretty legit, but nothing as anus shattering as say 8 bit Pale ale

The branding is pretty legit, but nothing as anus shattering as say 8 bit Pale ale

Usually when I see “Thai” on the label, that means it’s gonna be some obnoxious shit with cardamom, tea, or coconut milk added. It is often the ultimate red flag for discordant palate clanging. I also had a disposition based upon the marketing to place this toe to toe with Modern Times Fortunate Island, which is a horrible stance from the start because FI is incredible and almost no sessionable beers can run at that clip.  If it wasn’t abundantly clear, this was a donation box.

Before I get yet another question about this god damn Teku: this is an old Tired Hands glass.  There you go.

Before I get yet another question about this god damn Teku: this is an old Tired Hands glass. There you go.

This fulfills neither of the expectations and goes a bit off book into a novel, food based sort of riff. The pour is turbid and has a hazy orange frothiness to it like a blended sherbert Flinstones pushpop. The nose is grassy and herbal, it leans closer to “lesbian closet” replete with Birkenstocks, Darjeeling, lemon zest, burnt floral incense, and crushed Rosemary.

The wheat struggle continues

The wheat struggle continues

This isn’t some hoppy banger, but it is an interesting enzyme that seems to be lacking its substrate complex, namely a food pairing. The lock and key of this shit is entirely predicated on serving this with a variety of dishes because the spice feels like a tow line with no tugboat. Those nontug feels are real. It is fun and whimsical on its own, albeit not earth shattering and God damn is this crushable in that humid disgusting weather Georgia residents continue to subject themselves to.

magic hour

magic hour

BUT WE WERE PROMISED A REVIEW OF THE RED RED HOP RYE WATDAFUQQQ
I don’t have a whole lot to say about the red hop rye. It is a by the numbers hoppy rye that is kinda sappy and resinous that is executed like a watered down Nugget Nectar with more spice and a caramel meets “scorched DME” finish if we have any negligent entry level home brewers in the audience.  I am not a fan of this style and usually for a red to get my cones wet it will need to be clean and restrained on maltiness, this is hazarding a more substantial execution and isn’t peppering my angus as result.

subconsciously this label made me want some Orange Whip.

subconsciously this label made me want some Orange Whip.

Second Self on the whole reminds me of a less inspired Modern Times, that courts higher mass appeal from less intense offerings. 4.5 trill units on the ultra trill trap scale (UTTS standard.)

So many of these will be consumed in Emory University parking lots

So many of these will be consumed in Emory University parking lots

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@thebruery Griffon Bruxellois, Adorable Toy Breeds and Banging Tart Cherries

This beer initially caused a row amongst the land owning barons in the Hoarders Society. The upper class magnates received the opportunity to buy two of these awesome bottles but then THE REGULAR ASS RESERVE SOCIETY MORELOCKS GOT TO BUY A SINGLE BOTTLE. Man that must be what it feels like to watch Firestone Walker release Parabola to all the mealy mouthed masses, them enjoying world class BA stouts without even trading. But in all SRS, this beer is damn good and if you were lucky enough to grab one of these bottles, your cherry has already been popped, leaking all sour on the entryway rug.

OH SHIT INTENTIONALLY ACCIDENTAL HOARDERS CARD CAMEO. like anyone gives a fuck.

OH SHIT INTENTIONALLY ACCIDENTAL HOARDERS CARD CAMEO. like anyone gives a fuck.

The Bruery
California, United States
American Wild Ale | 6.10% ABV

A: This is not as “dark” as I was expecting from the description, and it isn’t exactly as flat as the sad panda marketing description set forth. If you were in Hoarders, this was the email you got describing it:

We debuted Griffon Bruxellois late in 2012 at a few of our events and it was quite a hit. This dark, sour ale was aged in oak barrels on cherries, giving it an incredible fruit flavor, balanced by the roasted malt and lactic tartness. We must admit, this bottle-conditioned beer didn’t turn out quite as carbonated as we were hoping for, but it is still an incredible beer, 100% worthy of our high standards to be sold, served, shared and enjoyed!

So I was like “oh so like Otiose but flat? Carmen on cherries?” boy was I fucking wrong, this has an amazing deep crimson tone that transitions into fuscia, magenta, Lisa Frank binder pinks and….god damnit…I don’t even want to say it

robey tones.

embrace the delcious cherry hugs, no matter how tart and scratchy they may be

embrace the delcious cherry hugs, no matter how tart and scratchy they may be

S: This has an incredible blast of lactic fruit roll ups, Gushers juice, tart cherry skins, red Fun Dip dust, and a raspberry finish to it. The acidity is there but complimented by a robust fruit profile. Again, this beer exceeded expectations, one of the best Bruery sours that I have had since Filmishmish.

T: This delivers on complexity beyond simple acidity, you get this round tartness at the outset like shocktarts, no acetic vinegar aspects to speak of, a deep dryness on the gumline, raspberry, black cherry, fruit by the foot, tropical skittles, and uncut pom juice, that white brick raw moving hard in the streets. This is kinda like if you cut Sch. Kriek with a more substantial sour like Consecration, really well done and balanced for days.

Bust this out at a bottle share, people be like

Bust this out at a bottle share, people be like

M: This is a bit too dry in some aspects because it is incredibly tart, but if it did not have that aspect it would likely be too sweet from the nice fruit profile so I feel that this is a happy medium that has a tannic finish like a full bodied merlot. Drink water with this and hope those old HSV sores dont be blasting open. wait wut.

D: This is like in movies when a cop is chasing a criminal and he is always like tipping over trashcans and shit, like that is a real obstacle come on. This beer is worth the chase and incredibly drinkable but the dryness and acidity is tossing these tiny obstacles in your way slowing you down slightly from going into 750ml+ levels, but this is a beer that is incredibly easy to take down solo if you have some tums and some Smart Water handy. I wish the allocation was bigger on this so I could freeze it or do some dumb shit, but srs, nicely done beer.

Try to take down a couple bottles of this, be a hero.

Try to take down a couple bottles of this, be a hero.

Narrative: It was not a lively existence sitting in a Chicago highrise apartment all day long. Brixie received the same general care and attention that other dogs in the area received, daily walks, beard combing, and strolls through gentrified areas for defecation. Somehow Brixie felt that she was missing out on something more. The twinge of her heritage pounded in her hindquarters and she constantly looked east over Lake Michigan and wondered just what was happening in Brussels. She felt like an exemplary demonstration of her heritage, yet some short sighted assholes living in a Corn Cob shaped building might fault her for not BEING FROM BELGIUM. It was their loss, her deep amber coat and tart disposition made her a favorite at all of the AKC competitions. Even the most stringent hater had to respect a Griffon with such poise and depth, that did not even shit on the hardwood floors. Brixie was worthy of veneration, no matter what some narrowminded shit head from the 312 area code might think.

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Alpine Brewing Company, McIlHenney’s Irish Red, Gettin Some Red, Get Getting Some Red

I seldom go off the hoppy path with Alpine. Their hoppy offerings are beyond reproach and represent the cadre of the best that each style has to offer: Hoppy Bday, Bad Boy, Pure Hoppiness, Exponential Hoppiness- ALL AMAZING. Their less hoppy offerings can be a bit questionable. Today’s we turn to the red side to see what they have to offer in the way of hoppiness, everlasting hoppiness.

Alpine McIlHenney’s Irish Red
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States
Irish Red Ale | 6.00% ABV

A: Big shocker here, the appearance has a deep rub red note with a solid amber that resonates throughout. It is a little light on the lacing and carbonation, but it isn’t entirely a drawback. Again, I strongly dislike this style so it could be dead on and I would still be a shitwaffle complaining about the inherent qualities.

CARAMAWL MAWLTS AND HAWPS, now kith.

S: Huge caramel sweetness and dry hop bitterness. There’s some belgianesque turbinado dark sugar notes but it is more caramel than dark fruits. The resins from the hops are nice but ultimately wish I was drinking one of the other Alpine hop warheads.

T: The caramel has a mild sweetness on the front end that is very refreshing. The middle body has a pleasant hop profile that is a careful balance between the agro hops that alpine is famous for and a swift drink ability that is exceptional.

The perfect beer for a moment of calm reflection.

M: The mouthfeel is very light and gives less coating than even the standard pale ale. Given the purpose of this beer, it is fantastic as a result. If this beer were chewier, it would miss the mark. Again, the sweetness, hops, and thin crisp finish give it a solid lineup.

D: This is very drinkable and is strangely memorable for how subtlety it imparts its presence and then give you a calm high five and takes off. It comes off like a friend you haven’t seen in a while that doesn’t hang around all morning after a night of solid drinking. I don’t know if this is representative of most irish people, but it seems like a pretty solid homie.

You can come from a proud crew, but that doesn’t make you amazing by proxy.

Narrative: The family knew Uncle McHenney had a serious problem, but they addressed it with that sort of amiable sweetness that you could expect from relatives in denial. “I mean, who hasn’t brought a flask to a funeral and thrown up at the wake?” Aunt Marjorie questioned the group. The family all nodded and chuckled playfully at Uncle Mc in the bathtub, gurgling gaelic swears to himself. “I don’t want to start pointing fingers here and ‘oh you defecated in my boss’s fish tank’ there, I love old Uncle Mc, and that’s all there is to it.” Like a magical irish spell, Uncle McHenney rose to his feet and gave all the onlookers sticky high fives. “Ehh foyour te toif? Yeah, yeah, that’s when yafakking knoew the knackers to have the noids!” Uncle McHenney exclaimed as he bolted out of the room, leaving sticky boot prints across the new berber carpet. “OH UNCLE MC!” the youngest exclaimed, shrugging her shoulders.

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Troegs Nugget Nectar, Would an IIPA By Any Other Name Taste This Dank?

Whenever I am confronted with an exceptional red ale, I always scratch my head and wonder who this hybrid style is aimed at. If you like hops, why not just brew a dank IPA? This top 100 red ale just crushes any other beers that approach the throne in this style. I guess variety is the spice of life and there are even degenerates who enjoy hoppy porters, so anything can happen if 50 fucked Vivica. Let’s grind some nuggets up and sip this sweet nectar.

If you have been fiending for hops, this will cure your blue nuggets.

Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
American Amber / Red Ale | 7.50% ABV

A: Guess what, this has ruby notes at the edges and a medium mocha center to it. I bet you didn’t see the red notes nestled in there did you? A good looking beer with no lacing and solid carbonation.

This beer throws so many pinecones.

S: great big hop profile pine grapefruit, orange rind, the red is hidden in the malt in what would otherwise be an exceptional ipa, but if they say it is a red, shoot, who am I to object? Would a red by any other name, etc.

T: I have a hard time accepting this as a red given its hop profile. They should just call this an exceptional IPA and stop with the pageantry. Sure, you have the malts and all this yeast run around but I feel it is like when they put glasses and a ponytail on a really hot girl to set her out as a nerd. Problem is, beer drinkers, and adolescent youth (sometimes aligned) can see through these tactics. I want an unadulterated IPA, not this Red with her paint splattered overalls and beguiling Freddy Prinze Jr. crush. Call an IPA for what it is and she will love you more.

“Red ales are a fun style to enjo-” I don’t remember asking you a God damn thing. Red ales are for people who eat at B.J.’s not real binge drinkers.

M: Again, guess what, it has the mouthfeel of an IPA. This review feels like what Car and Driver must go through in reviewing the Firebird and the Camaro concurrently. It tastes like an IPA, it is an IPA, it’s here, it’s clear, get over it.

D: Picture a solid IPA, then add some mellowing malts to it and call it a red. There you go. It is exceptionally drinkable but its identity crisis warrants mentioning, over and over. I don’t know that this compels me to squeeze any nuggets, specifically, but its does make me wonder why this beer is not shipped to the California and we are left to sift through…oh wait…I see why this is not shipped to California.

“I like red ales because they are from Ireland, and so am I!!!” My face when-

Narrative: Jacob Walters could have showed up at Bull Run. He could have showed up at Appamaddox. As a union solider he basically could have enlisted wherever he was needed but, no, he held to his pride. You see, Jacob Walters preemptively joined the United State Air Force, a squadron that would not form until almost 100 years after he signed up for a union military. As a result, Jacob refused to fight in Antetam without aircraft, would not serve on Sherman’s march, absent air support, and was disinterested in any carpet bagging reconstruction unless he were flying a zepplin or a plane. He was a staunch air pilot and no civil unrest would wrench that from his grasp. If someone on the streets of Burmingham saluted him as an officer he would waft his hand and lightly reply “Red…I am a red…ale? Just call me RED ALE!” He was batshit crazy, but the military let him fly his ornithopter just the same.