Three Chiefs Bean Grinder Alert: Café is Coming Get Your Chevron Folding Chair

Let’s just state this up top: Café is not as good a Fähä and contains half as many äccênted vøwels. That being noted, this is still a very good coffee stout. Things progressed as distressingly as I predicted for the last Three Chiefs release. In the misty petroleum twilight, under the sticky Chevron fog a cadre of folding chairs assembled to snag those 100 bottles of Coconut goodness. The bottles immediately started moving in the $700 realm and everyone went through the usual feigning dismay. Florida in particular was characteristically shitty, worrying that California oilyboiz were going to unseat their deep seated bottle flipping industry as the absolute worst. Be still my heart. It’s almost adorable to watch CA traders try to stumble through the foreign world of max profits dipshits, like a rural farmer who struck figurative and literal oil. Southern California hasn’t had anything remotely Whaley since like Chez Monus, so they have been content in their “poverty” just drinking their browdabbing spread of fantastic local options. Sucks to be them.

So now Three Chiefs is flooding the streets with 120 bottles once again and people are wondering just how many bottles are being held back. What manner of Wakefieldian economics throttles the BJCP collar this controllingly? I would be remiss to speculate. Thankfully, unlike many many landlocked hoodwinks or peninsular scams: this is a legitimately tasty beer. Aesthetically and aromatically the sheer heft of this beer reminds me a lot of those 1.050 finishing gravity THICCC stouts like BA Affogato. 

The coating on this is substantial but tempered by a massive coffee presence with low acidity but medium roast, like a Kenyan meets aeropress extraction. Here’s the rub though: there is too much god damn coffee presence. It’s like a dragonforce song where grinding guitar beans is mastered all the way up over the barrel aged vocals. Alesmith used to run into these issues and you wonder if it’s a question of priority or saturation. I don’t know the casking time but even an ultra-oaked beer would have a tough time dominating the fantastic espresso profile. The barrel presence exists as a light ribbon of praline dryness with wispy caramel hints on the swallow. Thankfully, the maple is a support character and does its best to stay out of the way. It provides window dressing and tempers the oak vs. coffee dispute with a loving IHOP hand.
The nose on this beer is absolutely spectacular and it is easily the best part of those beer. The polar ends of maple cruller sweetness and 14micron grinds, with wafty wafflecone is something to behold. As it warmed, the coffee subsided into a macaroon and bear claw interplay that I could huff under an overpass like the world’s classiest indigent barista.
When you let this beer open up to 60 degrees it improves a lot, the coffee settles down and it adopts a Maple Mocha Frap aspect and despite the intense coating, I licked the batter bowl and finished the entire bottle, chocotacoolship notwithstanding. Also, I got this bottle for free and didn’t stand in any lines so forgive me if I don’t have a dog in this fight or if my impressions aren’t tinted with oil-soaked goggles.
If you love coffee driven beers that are delicious and substantial, albeit not cask driven, this is the beer for you.
So is this worth the $700 that it will inevitably sell for? I don’t have your w-2, what am I supposed to say. For that secondary price you can blame insecure gatekeeping dipshits who thrive on exclusivity by way of consumption. When you have a “culture” obsessed with excising every last dime to respond to equally rapacious/predatory peers, then hey enjoy your beer scene.

Voodoo Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Big Black Voodoo Daddy is a vast improvement over BBVDs Past

Voodoo has a pretty wide aperture for amazing barrel-aged strong ales. Within their own library, some are better than others, but as a canon, they are universally solid.  From the best pumpkin beer in the god damn world, to the inimitable Black Magick series, or their shredding riffs on barleybangers: their legacy is secure.  That being said, I have never really enjoyed the Big Black Voodoo Daddy series.  Part of me always associated it with the base beer, which is a pretty okay treat, but I never felt it was a great canvas for barrel expression.  The malty confines of the interior do not lend itself to stavey aftermarket modifications. I know we joke around a lot about dudes in cargo shorts trudging up to taprooms complaining beers are “:::labored breathing:: TOO THIINNN” but that’s exactly my whole grip with BBVD as a platform.  When I say it’s svelte, I mean that it is dialed in akin to Central Waters or Beachwood in execution.  This isn’t a failing in the brewing execution, it’s a clear intent to make a separate line from the Magick series.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Not every brewery has to be some tired Floridian chocolate fondue with the only difference the order in which the candy was added to the boil. For that reason, I never LOVED Grande Negro Voodoo Papi or the different iterations, but I am in the minority here because most people are jazzed about those. 

Now enter the vanillazone.  In a strange twist, the sylphlike body actually works in tandem with those niller tonez.  For the reason that 16 plato finishing beers can seem excessive when you add ANOTHER confectionary item to them, Vanilla BBVD uses it as a supporting character.  This beer has a lovely roasted pumpernickel and toasted caraway seed and low sweetness. It feels european in execution and the relatively high carb makes the waft of the vanilla oils more prominent and actually counter balances what would be a thinner, roastier stout. The end result is the final cakefinity gem that is balanced, as all things should be. You can crush the entire bottle no problem and it never feels excessive. This is one instance where it feels like vanilla in ZANGIEF would be too much, but when draped over the shoulders of BBVD, the magazine slides into place. It isn’t American excess, nor is it a stoic Swedish adherence to tradition, these Meadville hucksters occupy somewhere in between that penumbra and it’s an extremely tasty beer, even if it doesn’t wholly bisect your bean with DME, lactose, and pure cane sugar.

Malt Couture: Live Fermented in San Francisco show, 11/2/18! Get your tickets now

🚨 Attention Bay Area malt mavens 🚨

The @toronadosf barleywine festival is this Saturday 11/3. The night before, Friday 11/2/18, the @thejugshop is hosting “Malt Couture: Live Fermented in San Francisco.” This is an extremely small comedy show with a live taping of the podcast, Q and A, and a janky bottleshare afterwards.

Bring an awkward bumble date, this event will sell out faster than a Bierstick chug.



Batch 19 of Malt Couture is on draft! The spOoOoOOOoKy Halloween episode!

Oh man. We have pulled out all the god damn jack-o-lanterns 🎃 for this week’s batch of Malt Couture ! Spoooopy labels, skelly doots, Candy coovies, trick or treat water, and all manner of 2spooky4me discussions. Extremely rare sour patch kids variant of Revolution Brewing straight jacket! 👻 we also discover the ghost within the machine with Parish, and idk PMG subjects me to some terrible poisoned apples 🍎

lRate and review, tell ur stepmom.



Central State Brewing Farmhouse Barleywine is a weird funky foray into Life

I had my doubts about a farmhouse style barleywine, and when I saw the color my wheatwine alarms 🚨 went off. It seems like central state brewing took an old stock, classic barleywine approach in that they fermented a clean, albeit a touch estery barleywine and then drilled down the residual sugars using a brett B. It has the wafter thin remainder of malt and a lightly bitter tangelo and zested tangerine hop presence that in a weird way kinda reminds me of a Tripel. This could have been much more bizarre. This is a fun little riff on the style and worse permutations have happened in the name of Life.


Revolution is like the Plymouth Prowler of imperial strong ales, some people will love this bizarre offering

Lets get this out of the way: this is in no way Lifelike. And that’s fine. What we have here is some insane procedurally generated berry monster like a No Mans Sky planet dripping in tannins. It’s not sour, it’s not cask driven, it’s not sweet, it’s not flabby. The dating profile would be somewhere between “Nutella mead” and “peanut butter Syrah.” It’s so god damn dialed in and when I saw that 14.5% I tightened my O ring for a bucking blackberry bronco. I predict that the fruit addition kickstarted this ba anny blend and made it pacman chomp all the residual sugars leaving this fucking weird pastry, mead, Grenache chimera. If you wanted a much more attenuated Kuhnhenn raspberry eisbock, here it is. It’s so fruit forward but also there’s rolos smashed in the Beaujolais. Is that, I mean if you need this, then switch your code. This is like turning clipping off and reaching parts of the brewhouse that weren’t in the final build of the game. It’s cheating in an odd way. NBA Jam Hilary Clinton unlocks.