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Temporal Artisan Ales Cosmic Syzygy: a barleywine you aren’t meant to understand or complete

Wait so am I the narrator. Who was even the, ok

There exists this strange Gift of the Magi pecking order in breweries that seemingly keeps each from having everything they want. Haze brewers secretly want to be saison masters. Stout blenders will curse the lack of lagers on draft. Lager powerhouses will often release “big ales” that are ironically fermented far too clean to appeal to the glucophile palates of the modern era. If you have a hit barleywine, often that’s the most remarkable thing you do at that brewery.

I love these cross-discipline attempts. Moonlight making a barleywine. Angry Chair making lagers. It’s that ambition that shirks expectation.

Temporal is a weird brewery north of the wall that makes fascinating gentle wild ales. But what happens when they re-spec their character to wield a massive opal malty club? Things get out of hand.

COSMIC SYZYGY was boiled for 8 hours then incarcerated in a hateful 12 year Caribbean rum cask for long time. One barrel, zero blending, 500 bottles, no margin for error.

Rum casks already are a huge gamble. They can become decadent bananas fosters, or pure astringent punitive juice siphoned from the stills of hell. Like freestyle rapping in mixed company, this can go only one of two ways.

Like Temporal, this beer is strange as hell. If the cliché hallmarks are a series of English brown sugar candy comparisons, this leans more towards Papa’s port cellar liquidation in a will execution. It both feels older and untamed than it should be.

It has muddled prune, but with a phenolic oddness to it, permanent marker, but then delicious iced wine. The swallow gives you a touch of unagi and then wait-it’s back to Fig Newton. The net experience feels intensely experimental, unique, and shredding sections of the fretboard with key signatures my liver was not ready for. Perhaps I am the outdated person still buying Leg Avenue Halloween costumes, illadapted to the swiftly modernizing sensibilities.

The execution feels layered, confusing and intentional, like I am the only one not understanding House of Leaves. I did not love this, but everyone else does: so I feel deficient. You should try this, just don’t expect a clear conclusion.

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Untitled Art NA Hazy IIPA, get it, it’s April fools day. Do you get it. Because. NA.

How can it be an imperial ipa if it is 0% abv

After much reflection on my contributions to the beer world over the past 12 years, I have decided that from this point onward, Don’t Drink Beer will now be a Non-Alcoholic Beer Blog. DDB has done nothing but harm people and encourage excess. In glorifying and damning the best and worst beers ever made, people have been enabled to become their worst selves.

On the surface it seems like pithy jokes about late night raviolis and unsolicited cyber sex, but who is laughing when 14 maladjusted people get together in a backyard and drink thimbleful pours of coconut caro syrup? Who laughs then? Uncle Ben once said, ”With great power comes a trade for Great Responsibility b2, but they need to add.” DDB needs to add some ethics to this entire endeavor.

In addition to NA beers, I will be providing episode recaps for The Black List, decoupage tips, golf swing assistance, and methods to ensure your souffles don’t collapse. Everyone will be better off.

Untitled Art is a project owned by Octopi Brewing who has thankfully disassembled the beer world with seltzers and now are finishing the job with NA beers. Levi Funk is overseeing the Latter Day Saintification of the fermented world and I place the utmost trust in the man who revolutionized American Lambic to now ensure our sobriety at family functions.

The issue I usually ran into with hazy IPAs was, wow this is great I sure would love to have five of these, but then who is gonna do all this precise data entry? Is anyone else in the household even forklift certified? Problem solved, now intoxication is a thing of the past. Even children can line up in Torrance and breath in refinery fumes wearing baby Bapes, toddler Etnies, with little infant Yeti coolers.

The beer has a watery body but a nice sustain on the swallow that prevents it from feeling like seltzer, there’s a fantastic replication of the hop profile like Stetson cologne, tangelo and satsuma, with a noticeably Dasani drag that doesn’t sustain the hop oils like real beer. This is as good as NA can get. Jokes aside, it is honestly extremely well done and Levi Funk will usher my blog into a bold new era of consciousness.

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Vision Quest Brewing is Making Czech Amber Lagers Cool [again?]

Slow pour stepdad

If you are a white man over the age of 59 you are legally required to start being interested in military history. That piquant mix of self-entitlement coupled with erudition, it’s universal.

There’s a beer version of that. This solipsistic regression to old things, WHAT I KNEW WAS BEST. If most of your touchstones are prescriptive instead descriptive statements, you might be turning into a boomer. Sometimes, through a natural progression, old things just organically become cool again, and not just to guys who drive orthopedic Dodge Challengers.

Watching dark Czech lagers become the 2022 hotness has been strange. So imagine my jaw dropping when the amber versions now started to take hold. It is like when the school collectively rejects the popularity caste system and votes a nice person as homecoming king. Making amber lagers popular undermines the reserve society based, raffle driven, waxed bottle, marginally different lambic, fruit puree smoothie enthusiast side of current beer.

I am here for it. Every taproom should have a LUKR faucet and mliko should be actively encouraged. Start stocking Underberg bandoliers while you are at it. They added Czech ambers to the BJCP style guides in 2015 and homebrew nerds chortled in that “listening to an audiobook isn’t the same as READING a book” way that jowly entitlement feels. They are here to stay.

This beer is like an altbier with water added to it, or a heftier Vienna lager, a breadier ESB? If any of that is in your wheelhouse, then you had a CD cassette adapter in your car and downloaded things off of limewire. It’s a barmat shot of the mid-malt offerings in the lager world. Hops have mild hallertau/Mount Hood zing. The can really doesn’t do it justice but like the Wayfinder example or the insanely good Cohesion variant, this style is a hidden gem.

Insouciantly declaring people SHOULD drink this style is that same self-centered dude rattling off Seven Years War facts unprompted. I merely suggest you try it. Like how you lightly suggest to the guy with the cauliflowered ear that he is uh standing on your jacket. Just please, like im sorry, this is probably my fault, just uh, Czech amber? No? Ok.

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Humble Sea DD HELLES, misleading hazy palates seeking ddh

BRIGHT

With the ice melting on soil and hazy palates, Helles season is upon us. Just tell someone this Double Decocted Helles is DDH and they will immediately start guessing RIWAKA and single digit IBUs. The recent surge of pilsner popularity has seen a rise in crispy-adjacents like Helles and Kolsch. What a time for Bavarian hypebeasts.

The surefire way mediocre breweries ruin all their lagers these days is by “italianizing” the hell out of them with resinous dry hops. That awe shucks rolling the toe in the sand, unconfident in that naked malty approach, we see breweries consistently turn things into IPLs out of insecurity. It is the palate equivalent of all these companies turning to simplified logos. People want the complexity of a biscuity bright helles.

This beer has as the soft nuance and subtle range. The challah bread and clean water cracker is front and center with a touch of Ritz on the swallow complimenting the whisper of itchy fescue in your pastoriAnus. It is focused, direct, and less distracting than people who just took a Myers-Briggs personality test. You just enjoy lagers, you aren’t an empath.

The carbonation is good but could use some residual body to the mouthfeel. It provides increased crushability but loses complexity in the swallow. The result is this watery sort of nothingness that you forget until you chain your next sip. It’s very enjoyable and the sheer volume that you can put away speaks volumes.

If you’re a dude who predicates his self esteem on his Spotify Wrapped, then this simple joy isn’t for you. Oh wow Da Baby and IDLES, a true renaissance man. Those people are too performative, seek validation from external sources. The simple helles is clean and drillable. It presents the actual stylistic reduction that people who wear Aime Leon Dore claim they want, but without the logos. It is post-minimalism in a glass.

If you have ever gone to a Hinge date’s apartment and seen the same Scandinavian wood and lack of possessions, that’s this helles. It is always uniquely the same. Oh look one small fern for a splash of color. A jar with sticks in it. Interior design is my passion. In reducing the clutter, the clean soft bucolic tones are emphasized. This lager doesn’t have a tapestry over its bed though because that would be corny

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Firestone Hopnosis updates the old with the new

Cones leaking

irestone Walker is ambitious and sometimes their cocktail wax wings fly too close to the sun. Thankfully, their core lineup remains solid, dynamic, and accessible. Out the gates I will say seeing a fresh new west coast IPA during the dark days of creamy French dressing IPAs is already amazing.

Firestone is big enough, with a wide enough shadow of influence to change hearts and minds based solely on what they decide to stamp with SKUs, so seeing Hopnosis, an old school beer with new school innovation is refreshing. Some grocery store stepdad may very well have his cryo seal busted wide open and fall backwards into his Living Spaces sectional, Tommy Bahama shirt just dripping in alpha acids. I am here for it.

Being huge means you can cut insane contracts with Yakima. Buy massive BELL printed can orders, use pricey trendy cryo hops like talus, Idaho 7, cashmere, riwaka. These are the Supreme Hoodies of hops that you see industry people scrambling in facebook groups to swap. Heavy is the head that wears the rhizome crown.

But how does it taste? Firestone has to thread the needle with cryo of not overdoing it and going so resinous that it alienates dudes in Nike Dunks and Filson Mackinaw jackets who think IPAs should taste like push pops. It also cant make it so soft that homebrew nerds with Moleskins complain about the “LYCHEE dominant pear affronted swallow.” They do both masterfully. Aserose merged with clementine.

The dry hopping secures the aromatics: melon, cantaloupe, opaque life savers. The body with a snap of carapils/munich almost feels like watery crystal but is so clean and drilled in, it sticks the landing like OG San Diego offerings from the 2000s. THANKS BIDEN NO ONE WANTS TO WORKS NOW MY IPA HAS TWO JOBS.

Boomers can leave the house for six hours without their phones. This old school rugged character seems out of place, but they also cant add a signature to a PDF. This beer is that tech savy grandpa who quips with old radio era bromides and current “NOT ME” tiktok witticisms. It not only tastes good but will be a net benefit to palates due to their insane reach and budget. Nitrofreeze my glands daddy.

Show up in the tasting room like Solid Cryo Snake
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Buried Acorn is like drinking beer in a time machine: Porter Hill Porter

HILL FARMSTEAD C AND D INCOMING

Brendan Fraser movies used to always be the same: some fish out of water guy has to adapt to modern life. He’s a caveman, he’s from the jungle, he’s…Canadian? The entirety of Buried Acorn has a Blast From the Past simplicity to it. Our collective palates are Alicia Silverstone’s onlooking support.

A few years ago, an “old fashioned brewery” would be pejorative. In the wake of drinking literal aseptic 2% abv fruit puree from frosted $190 borosilicate bowls, simple sounds good. Buried Acorn makes beer like if you pulled a 2004 tome off the shelf and looked up the style guidelines during the G W Bush administration.

That coy naivety of flip phones and Myspace RaNdOmNesS feels winsome. Sure, many of the beers will feel so standard that you can almost overlook an over the plate Belgian single, but one stood out.

This porter is so well done, and a call back to ::commences whittling:: simpler times. The mocha carb and frothy sustain is there. The toasty roast of overcooked flapjacks is present. The creamy clean mouthfeel nodding lovingly to Edmund Fitz practically pulls you into the CRT television era.

It’s a weird zone to be praising a relatively low alcohol dark beer that tastes lightly scorched, but it beats drinking Caro syrup. It seems to lean closer to black patent than chocolate malt, but the important thing is that it doesn’t beg for barrel treatment, it isn’t distracting, you can drink this in a movie theater and if you don’t take a photo of this or check it into your portermon database your life will go on.

Alexander Wang designed for Balenciaga and no one wanted his clothes because they were all either extreme or monochrome. This porter is a return to the luxurious simplicity of Debna, a chocolate courduroy thrift store jacket you enjoy for years no one asks you about. Sometimes the best pleasures are those secret throwback pleasures, the furtive judgmental glances from strangers as you eat a Filet O Fish during lent.

If you haven’t visited this robust style in a while, crack one of these in a Balenciaga store and watch them just let you drink it. Kardashians are heavy into porters now.

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Can Zymarium Make a Mead So Weird Even They Can’t Lift It?

JJ and the crew posted up

Usually when something is ambitious, it has to also be good. Like if you throw on 1916 classic silent film, INTOLERANCE, as we do, you might be like “wow an entire set of a Babylon palace” while also saying “holy shit this movie sucks and is kinda…boring?”

Sometimes things are just ambitious, full stop. Zymarium runs at such a small scale that they can attempt weird things, fail, dust the Sauv Blanc pomace off of their Carhartt t shirts and keep on pressing those honeycombs.

Crucible of Worlds III was not delicious, not in the strictest sense. Maybe doing a 51% honey and 49% mead/wine hybrid is for the type of person whose favorite dish is Cioppino. I’m sure they exist but, do we really need to do all this to cater to those weirdos?

Take a musky funky Sancerre, and beat it up with Febreeze floral linen blasts. Then pump out the body of a usually svelte pouilly fuisse, and give it that flabby skinny fat aesthetic, tucking your lower “abs” into your leggings. It’s all honey knees and elbows.

If we view this as 49% wine, it is 49% a complete failure. If a Somm served you this bizarre fortified experiment, you would do that hemming and hawing windup to asking for “literally anything else im so sorry I never do this. House white even.” But because this is ostensibly a mead, it is judged within the framework of people who wear Warby Parkers and sigh loudly when you change the YouTube video they showed you too quickly. Finnicky sensitive cross body bag types. Scribbling away their Chardonnay affirmations before drinking a 32oz glass of water and intermittent fasting.

At a certain point you have to be successful enough to justify your eccentricities otherwise you’re just the friend people have to explain before you show up in a swoopy hat. This doesn’t justify all the bonkers madness it presents. It is both extremely dry but also with a creamy strange dustiness to it, like if you ate a Pineapple scented car air freshener. There’s probably no calories, but at what cost?

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Can Zymarium Make a Mead So Weird Even They Can’t Lift It?

JJ and the crew posted up

Usually when something is ambitious, it has to also be good. Like if you throw on 1916 classic silent film, INTOLERANCE, as we do, you might be like “wow an entire set of a Babylon palace” while also saying “holy shit this movie sucks and is kinda…boring?”

Sometimes things are just ambitious, full stop. Zymarium runs at such a small scale that they can attempt weird things, fail, dust the Sauv Blanc pomace off of their Carhartt t shirts and keep on pressing those honeycombs.

Crucible of Worlds III was not delicious, not in the strictest sense. Maybe doing a 51% honey and 49% mead/wine hybrid is for the type of person whose favorite dish is Cioppino. I’m sure they exist but, do we really need to do all this to cater to those weirdos?

Take a musky funky Sancerre, and beat it up with Febreeze floral linen blasts. Then pump out the body of a usually svelte pouilly fuisse, and give it that flabby skinny fat aesthetic, tucking your lower “abs” into your leggings. It’s all honey knees and elbows.

If we view this as 49% wine, it is 49% a complete failure. If a Somm served you this bizarre fortified experiment, you would do that hemming and hawing windup to asking for “literally anything else im so sorry I never do this. House white even.” But because this is ostensibly a mead, it is judged within the framework of people who wear Warby Parkers and sigh loudly when you change the YouTube video they showed you too quickly. Finnicky sensitive cross body bag types. Scribbling away their Chardonnay affirmations before drinking a 32oz glass of water and intermittent fasting.

At a certain point you have to be successful enough to justify your eccentricities otherwise you’re just the friend people have to explain before you show up in a swoopy hat. This doesn’t justify all the bonkers madness it presents. It is both extremely dry but also with a creamy strange dustiness to it, like if you ate a Pineapple scented car air freshener. There’s probably no calories, but at what cost?

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Barrell Seagrass is pushing the limits of finishing casks

Just make sure my rye don’t taste like rye

There’s this old bromide that goes “never yuck someone else’s yum” and if you like Seagrass Rye, please, don’t let me yuck on your yum. In most cases, secondary or finishing casking sets my bullshit alarms off. Four different types of finishing casks shoots me into the suspicion stratosphere.

This looks like a very young rye from undisclosed distilleries in Indiana, Tennessee, Canada, anywhere but Kentucky. The chin scratching intensifies. I am a huge fan of Barrell and since they dropped they offer some high age statements without hype, no allocation, just good stuff at a reasonable [ relative to secondary ] price.

With rye, I usually just want transparency and age. I almost never want finishing in both Martinique Rhum Agricole casks, apricot brandy casks, and Madeira barrels as a rule of thumb. But is it good?

First you will need to sift through so many piles of hard candies, dots, geriatric red raspberry dollars, spun sugar, and an almost saltwater taffy aspect. It doesn’t feel like rye, it aligns like that sweet corn pops waft from the shiny aluminum bag.

The rye is present in the taste but the crisp mint and eucalyptus is weirdly covered in confectioner’s sugar. Try chewing Wrigley’s wintergreen and juicy fruit at the same time. People who like this listen to The Antlers and Mount Eerie and brag about not owning a TV.

This feels novel and strange for a strictly wheelie sense. If E.H. Taylor released this it would come with a 14 page PDF explaining some nonsense mythology about how an antebellum past distillery owner was sipping apricot brandy and madeira or something and it would sell for $3200. The end result feels cloying and strange, like when people Snapchat themselves going through the car wash. Who is the intended audience here.

If you like that sticky sweet airhead flavor with your herbal disgestif, here you go. It’s thin, it’s young, it has #wanderlust in its IG bio with city > codes > like anyone cares where you used to live.

At least it feels novel and classy, but maybe not to the usual bourbon bro who looks like he was just released from spending time inside of a Jumanji board game.

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Cellarmaker db brew 1000, the next in a proud b1000 barley lineage

Rasinette extract

In “Sunday in the Park with George” Stephen Sondheim sets forth a tragic song Finishing the Hat, in which an artist, George Seurat, becomes so obsessed with his art that he loses touch with other aspects of his life.

Barleywine can be gripping and powerful, waking up to a cold Doordash order you fell asleep and never retrieved. Art can be all consuming.

The thing about pointillism is that small distinct dots are meticulously applied. It takes forever, and in the process you create a larger work. This works for lagers and main line beers but the barleywine world needs a cohesive whole. When I heard that Cellarmaker was throwing its hat into the ring, I immediately wondered if they could finish the hat.

The name Batch 1000 tips the brim to the likes of Midnight Sun M, for their 1000th batch, but also echoes Fremont’s B1k which set the barleyworld ablaze in more modernity. It’s a loaded beer name. It’s like naming an album “Self-Titled” or “The White Album” people are gonna have some expectations.

Thankfully, this doesn’t get mired on Seurat pointillism and presents a cohesive whole. At points, too much a whole. This is a collaboration with Anchorage Brewing, but it feels leaner and more spirit driven than the Devil line, despite the 17% abv callback. The fig jam is dolloped on rye bread, burned bagel chips provide the structure for the absolutely intense sheeting in the form of bruised plum, overripe peach, butterscotch, with a wafty Madeira meets fortified wine finish.

Finishing the Hat involves sacrificing experience to finish your art. You may be unable to finish this beer. The taste is sinewy and firey like DOMS, rye Manhattan crackling in your veins like speakeasy C4 pre-workout. The swallow provides a wave of fruit leather and slight unagi sauce.

It’s a beer for people who pretentiously back into parking spots. For dudes who take hoodies off overhead and slovenly show their entire abdomen. The bottle equivalent of the Fight Club assignment to start a fight and then lose on purpose. It is fantastic, but a loose cannon.

[drunk, to MS Paint] “Look, I made a hat. Where there was never was a hat. I called my ex nine times.”