3

Trillium Brewing Just Got 5 Hop Cones in the Source: Hot in those MA Streets

If you are like me, you are sick to your perineum of hearing about hoppy beers from the Northeast.  Every other week it’s some new whipped egg yolk looking DIPA pitched with London Ale III strain or something unclarified with tons of messy ropes like cum in a hot tub. I get it, everyone wants their own Huddy Trooper riff. Usually the coat tails are gripped so defiantly that it is hard to separate the cone from the chaff and the prospect of taking a fedex flyer on hoppy beers from across the continental U.S. is not an inviting prospect.

These Trillium beers though, God damn.

Without qualification I can say that these are absolutely worth your time and I would be shocked if your unknown local brewery crafting beers out of a revamped Red Robin on some shitty third owner brewpub system are making anything like this.

beers taste better bokehed

beers taste better bokehed

At the outset the innumerable list of hoppy beers from Trillium appear samey in execution,  but each shines in a distinct fashion. Melcher street is the more herbal and grassy companion on this Massachusetts stroll through dandelion fields.  This is a stern east coast response to the likes of Societe’s Pupil.  This pushes for angiosperms, conifers, and apricot on the closer.

trub a dub dub

trub a dub dub

No matter where you stand on the haze vs. isinglass debate, Melcher street tastes phenomenal and finishes creamy with a long sappy resin like a freshly stained deck. I can’t wait until someone with better distribution bites this style and does it marginally worse because I need this to be sitting on shelves, no courier intermediary needed.

the meringue whip

the meringue whip

Sleeper street is aptly named for much of the Trillium canon at this point.  Sure you see ISOs for these, but I usually wait for the galvanized steel of hoppy beers to cool before I go treading upon unproven paths. This beer is not as good as Melcher but it still shows a capacity for variety within even the style that doesn’t usually get praise for nuance or depth.  This has a kind of menthol and minty Sazerac 18 kind of woodiness going to it.  There is a leafy oiliness to the mid palate and it feels earthy but still wholly refreshing like a woodruff shot or a fernet branca spritzer.

poppin shots at them MA haters

poppin shots at them MA haters

So in sum, this is a throwback of sorts to the Hoptimum era of massively resinous IPAs but ensconced in the framework of the frothy turbidity of the modern era.  It’s like when Brendan Fraser emerges from the past in any one of his movies where he is a guy who is emerging from the past to adapt to new circumstances.  Pick one.

SHIT JUST GOT REAL

SHIT JUST GOT REAL

But is that DIPA game strong tho? A resounding affirming head nod shatters my c1 in this regard.  Upper Case is hands down my favorite offering from them and it heismans others squarely in the collarbone by taking the messy DIPA framework that HF Double Galaxy presented and presses it to an oddly refreshing realm.  Usually these are hardly what you would reach for when you seek satiation.

“We hear you guys are digging our hop forward beers…so we busted out another double IPA to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. UPPER CASE has a delicate, dry pilsner malt character with a smooth, soft, doughy mouthfeel from the raw wheat, oily hop resin which all serves as a canvas for this twice dry hopped 9% double IPA. Overipe mango, pineapple and passion fruit aromas leap out as the beer is poured. The impression of tropical fruit also takes the lead in the flavor which is layered further by white wine, pine resin and grapefruit zest. Hopped primarily with Mosaic with supporting roles played by Galaxy, Citra and Columbus. We figured there will be considerable interest, so brewed 3 batches!”

I mean, god damn it.  Sure this is not as balanced as the “perfect” DIPAs like Kern River Citra or HF Ephraim, but it is a novel entry into a sort of almost farmhouse meets ultra hopped 2 row realm.

just look ffs

just look ffs

I know your local realm has fresher, awesome DIPAs.  No one is contesting that, but it likely doesn’t have this guava and pine explosion, it doesn’t have this grapefruit puree pressed through autumnal foliage, the ride on mower sits absently longing for the grow season, and this beer is the reductio ad absurdum of those devices.  Absolutely top notch.

honorable mention

honorable mention

Not to appear one note: brewmaster Jack has been turning out some tasty beers as well.  I was not as huge a fan of this as the adamantium hard lineup from Trillium, but it is still very tasty.  You get grapefruit pith, mandarin oranges, pressed pineapple juice and a nice mineral clean finish without excessive oils.  If you have a MA guy, have him also toss some of this Brewmaster Jack action your way as the whole region seems to be in a hoppy arms race where only the consumer is the victor.

Get that deep cone pump, throbbing oils, zygotes straight tumescent at full bud.

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0

Highland Park Brewing made an Adjunct Stout for Woodshop 10th Anny and didn’t even screw it up. HOW?

DDB is full of inconsistencies. Sometimes breweries get lit up for using ingredients as a crutch, others get praise for the same shit.  Ideological conflicts rub like strike slip tectonic plates creating that magma friction rumbling that is too underlying to ignore.  The ultimate benchmark of the aesthetic valuations primarily lies in this amorphous conception of “net quality.”  This may be some cloud of invincibility to retreat within when the sky is blackened by projectiles alleging “HOMERISM” or “CONSUMER BIAS” or “GEOGRAPHICAL FAVORITISM” but there are instances where, regardless of the placement of the brite tank, some people are simply more skilled at metabolizing sugarwater into ethanol.

These are the trappings of deconstructive commentary, the thin veneer of objectivity predicated at all times upon an aggregate of subjective impressions. No amount of ground effects or aluminum triple tier wings converts a Dodge Neon Expresso into that which it is not.

That being said: Highland Park Brewing made a fucking awesome stout riddled to shit with adjunct ingredients. Allow me to elaborate.

the entry wound is sick but the exit wound is that of cyclopean nightmares

the entry wound is sick but the exit wound is that of cyclopean nightmares

So let’s lay some foundation for this shit before we bust out the triple beam and start bagging up the raw:

“Brewed for The 10th Annual Woodshop Tasting(s) in San Diego and Los Angeles, 10/3-10/4/15. A double oatmeal stout with Trystero Ethiopian Dry Process Yirga Cheffe Buufata Konga coffee, lactose, cinnamon, vanilla beans, and cedar.”

They sold these at the Woodshop blind rating/bottleshare.  Most people were too rekt to even buy these at the event or completely forgot because they left a toddler in their idling Pathfinder.

The carb is minimal, but you probably weren’t legitimately expecting some effervescent bubbler of mocha foam. If you remember my lengthy write up of the strengths and weaknesses of HPB you will recall this is a brewery that makes incredible saisons but bigger beers that are underwhelming because they are too fucking attenuated and thin.

But it's not tho

But it’s not tho

So on paper we have 1) non-barrel aged 2) adjunct stout 3) made by a brewery who exhibited difficulties making a hefty beer 4) cedar.  I was like “god fucking damnit” and almost bought zero. Thank god I did because this was a 12:1 runaway that cashed out hard.

The problems with other Highland Park Beers are decimated by the same thing that fucking RUINS stouts from Florida and the midwest: lactose.  You see, other breweries don’t have a program focused on dialing in dry/clean beers.  Highland park has TOO MUCH in this regard.  As a result the lactose fills in the hole of the mouthfeel like a decadent sex doll. The sweetness from the lactose is tempered by PHENOMENAL coffee, a dry roasty floral execution like Stumptown rounders.  The cinnamon, like a best friend “there for moral support while she picks up her things from your apartment” thankfully shuts the fuck up. It is a little crackle of spice that feels like rye oak and not some Cinnabon mall centerpiece.

No the DDB bullet openers aren't for sale, I'll do a post about that later.

No the DDB bullet openers aren’t for sale through DDB, I’ll do a post about that later.

The problem of lack of barrel aging loomed like them ships in ID4: WHAT WILL ADD THE DEPTH TO AMAZING MOUTHFEEL AND COFFEE BLASTS?  Shockingly, cedar helps to dry out the sweetness from the lactose and serves as a foundation in conjunction with the coffee to make a faux american oak taste.  This might be the singular example of these ingredients not completely fucking ruining a beer.  The vanilla rounds out the butterscotch/coldstone creamery GOTTA HAVE IT barrel experience.  It feels deceptively barrel aged, and I am content to drink the Kool-aid and put up with all of the bullshit because the net result is a fucking PHENOMENAL beer.

I will do some filthy things to tolerate awesome stouts.

So in sum, this is the Mad Max Fury Road of the beer world: you expect it to be some one dimensional stupid shit that shouldn’t hold your attention and it comes out of nowhere and rocks your tits off, inexplicably and amazingly.

1

These Brewers Gonna Make Me Unleash the Dragon: Passionate Dragon. Happy Barrel Aged Beer Day.

First thing’s first, happy Barrel Aged Beer Day, bump this in your lonely cubicle:

So after the shockwaves of Fundamental Observation continue to reverberate. the sweatjoweled world continues to await the sophomore release from these young OC upstarts. You might remember when I went to the Bruery anniversary and called Passionate Dragon the best beer of the entire festival, even better than Fundamental Observation.  So I went into this already knowing what type of dragon fist lay in store. Does this hold up in bottled format? Is there logic attendant to the bottle? From zero to R. Kelly, how much passion are we talking about in International Passion Units (IPUs)?

ALL QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED.

So much embarrassment to take low fstop photos like this outside of the home.  Such shame.

So much embarrassment to take low fstop photos like this outside of the home. Such shame.

“Passion and dragon fruit saison aged in wine barrels. In collaboration with Arizone Wilderness Brewing, this saison is brewed with passion fruit, dragon fruit, Centennial kumquats, Rosemary, fresh bay leaves, and White Sonora Wheat. It’s a mouthful, we know, but this beer showcases our shared passion to push craft beer forward.”

Alright at the outset you may be thinking:
“DDB you give other breweries a raft full of shit for using adjuncts in a saison, suddenly your homer instincts kick in and these guys get a fukn pass?”

Well, allow me to temper those objections by stating: this beer is fucking amazing.  If you want to add pink peppercorns each lovingly rubbed on the urethral tip of a BJCP master, then go for it, so long as the beer is amazing. I read the description and was like “oh god damn it” but then knew the incredible pedigree of Arizona Wilderness and the calm set in.  Those comforting chest pets to relieve anxiety.

First and foremost, the bottled version of this wasn’t as trubby and jammy in its tannic turbidity as the draft version.  It turns out, the bottled version is way fucking better.  If you wanted a slurry fruit mess, call Pizza Boy. The brewers elected to blend and allow the final version to ferment longer, giving it more of a nuanced barrel characater, less smuckers, more tannins, more structure, and this inimitable lingering bay leaf menthol added to the fruit that lasts and lasts underscoring the oak saturation.  For this reason, you don’t get the cliche MAGENTA OMFG that newmoney kids lose their shit over, tasting with their eyes pell mell.

These labels are still admittedly busy and obnoxious. Raygun nostalgia with like 9 diagrams, 500 words of text: too fucking much going on.

These labels are still admittedly busy and obnoxious. Raygun nostalgia with like 9 diagrams, 500 words of text: too fucking much going on.

Another note is that this beer is a full 1%  abv over the draft version and much much drier as a result.  The alcohol is seamlessly integrated into the fruit and barrel presence in a scary way.  Usually this dryness is accompanied with some sausage fingered acetic aeration, intense tartness.  That is not the case here, this beer bangs like Rockford Fosgate subs in a bandpass box but never gets too intense or acidic.  It is without comparison of recent memory, a single foot planted hard in the saison realm without letting monoculture emphasis denature the experience.

The taste never jumps completely to rely upon fruits like a crutch, nor does it expect the spices to bail them outta county either.  As a result you have a hardened saison criminal, who is a bit fruity from the time in captivity but in that hard way that you just have to respect.  In terms of analogues, this is less a saison and more of a Biere de Garde.  The whole affair drinks like a fruited, less acidic, cleaner Biere de Norma. Yes, I realize the implications of stating that something with this many ingredients is better than a Hill Farmstead beer, I stand by it.  The shit is like 2 tabs of Demerol that starts out normal enough and suddenly your face is being attacked by the sidewalk.  You be gripping parking meters tripping not an insubstantial number of balls, tryna make it out of this fruited farmhouse alive.

The beer itself is inversely good to the quality of this shitty pic.

The beer itself is inversely good to the quality of this shitty pic.

If you went to the Stone Anniversary/Sourfest and had the immeasurably shittier “YOUNG DRAGON” rest assured, this is a completely different beer that stomps out that squad until they turn the lights on.  The nose is a phrenetic Hungry Hungry Hippos match wherein kumquat and tropical fruits compete with oak and lingering saison esters to gobble up your white BALs with their wanting maws.

The mouthfeel initially has a Welch’s Passionfruit juice that serves as an opening band to warm things up for the main event when the dry tannic skins spit hot bars over a kumquat instrumental. Bay leaf is in the back providing bitter structure with sick beatboxing.

This sold out immediately online and there was some degree of chaos from a unilaterally reschedule sale, switched to a Sunday morning.  I can foresee the degree of butthurt being noteworthy once the reviews for the bottled version start pouring in.  The sweet punishment of success, an ambrosial delight endemic to the beer industry.

All said, I enjoyed this more than Fundamental Observation and this beer brings something I seldom encounter in items with this much taking place concurrently: pirouettes of vinous balance. If this isn’t in the DDB top 10 of 2015 I would be surprised, you would be remiss to skip this one as I can’t identify a clear analogue in recent memory.

Electric currant: currant saison.  These guys continue to load shells into that bullpup ambidextrous cellar

Electric currant: currant saison. These guys continue to load shells into that bullpup ambidextrous cellar, stoked to see if these guys can sustain success beyond these first two homeruns.

We shall see.

3

Everything You Need to Know About Highland Park Brewing BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK!

I have been deferring on talking about this year old brewery for a multitude of reasons: first and foremost, the second I say anything even moderately favorable about any beer made south of Fresno, people have a shit conniption and accuse old DDB of favoritism despite ripping on the innumerable shitty California beers being pumped out.

Second, as a new brewery who seems to have a heavy emphasis on saisons, I wanted to tread lightly and get a wider idea of their offerings beyond the first couple non-BA forays into the realm. When I first had Nebraska, I was like “myeh, that’s pretty legit.” And it tasted essentially like Tank 7 and Saison Brett mixed.  Nothing to scoff at or go apeshit over.

But in the past four months they keep pushing into the interstices of “wait, damn” to “ok, this is really fucking good.”  So I have to say SOMETHING, even if it means a cadre of dipshits accuse me of favoritism from a brewery that couldn’t give a fuck less about an irrelevant beer blog. So let’s get into the anal fisting already:

Horn rimmed glasses galore, Portlandia sticky hot edition

Horn rimmed glasses galore, Portlandia sticky hot edition

The brewery itself is housed in this neo-hipster mecca, a faux divey bar that happens to have awesome food. If Silverlake is LA’s mission/Williamsburg, then Highland Park is the next hipster spawning pool for the budding fixie riding asshole carrying a Drive Like Jehu vinyl. That’s who you will be drinking saisons with.

PTSD every time i see an overhead projector.

PTSD every time i see an overhead projector.

So what is this, fucking ZillowAdvocate.com? Let’s talk about the beers.  At the outset: you want their saisons, you will want all of them.  However, this brewery has a sort of Sante Adairitis that makes them a spectacular one trick pony, for reasons that will become clear shortly.

The proud FG 1.000000002 lineup

The proud FG 1.000000002 lineup

The first thing you will notice is that every beer has been attenuated into decimation.  This makes their saisons intensely refreshing, dry, crisp like an anjou pear, but really fucks with every other style. Refresh is just that, but dialed down so far that it is insubstantial and if they used pilsner malt it has been drilled into the fucking primary pavement.  Greyhound Vacation has similar Kallista Flockhart thin body, but for a Belgian Pale it almost doesn’t have enough floorspace to demonstrate esters or a hop profile, the ultra svelte body is TOO lean.

I want you to ruminate on how highly attenuated a hoppy beer has to be for DDB to complain about a lack of malt underpinning.  They are still crushable and delicious, albeit lacking complexity. I would certainly rather have this problem than flabby midwest crystal malt “clean” offerings.

What about discernible problems?

More like singed eyebrows.

More like singed eyebrows.

With a brewery that has highly effective yeast that dismantles fucking everything, there’s gonna be some issues with packaging.  Raised eyebrows was tasty, clean and basically a less demanding Cuddlebug on draft.  The bottles were a 4th of July sparklers and sulphur massacre.  Your drunk uncle gripping his palms coughing up smoke. The taste was tasty, saharan, stone fruity goodness but the nose was straight bottleshock and clearly needed time to metabolize either the secondary refermentation going on, or just to rest to get its shit together.

Let's Talk About Their Other AMAZING SHIT

Let’s Talk About Their Other AMAZING SHIT

That’s not to say that all of their bottles are deficient in any way.  If you enjoyed Cellarman, this multistrain puncheon fermented beer has all the makings of a phenomenal saison classic.  It is creamy, orangey, juicy with tangerine and cut cardboard paper, a certain fabrics store musk.  If this is not the best thing they have made to date, I would be shocked.  This is absolutely incredible and your tradebuxxxx cannot find a better power to weight ratio.

Yeast infections are amazing when it is 6 at a time.

Yeast infections are amazing when it is 6 at a time.

So we have seen the worst, heard the stroke session about the best, what about those middle times? Those times when you are just watching Bachelor in Paradise because GOD BREWERY ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE GOING ON AMAZING DATES EVERY SINGLE NIGHT? Those times.

Time for some certified whiptixxx in the SubbyDooBaru

Time for some certified whiptixxx in the SubbyDooBaru

Uncultured is in that realm of component blended/recent batches of Arthur.  It has a great grassiness, some rope and twine must to the nose, a long fernet meets clementines finish to the brett C and L profile.  Their “normal” shit is head and shoulders above most of the things that come across the desk inside of my liver.  These trade for nothing right now, you are wasting time reading this and not ISOing.

Did you enjoy Sante Adairius Fruit Punch 1? Well this is a 10% worse version, which is to say it is really juicy, fantastic, bursting with life and acidity.  It's like when diet Dr. Pepper is actually better than regular Dr. Pepper, because it is.

Did you enjoy Sante Adairius Fruit Punch 1? Well this is a 10% worse version, which is to say it is really juicy, fantastic, bursting with life and acidity. It’s like when diet Dr. Pepper is actually better than regular Dr. Pepper, because it is.

Pushin Carts, collabo with Monkish

Pushin Carts, collabo with Monkish

This is another spritzer farmhouse table beer meets a sort of Biere Du Pays, fucking drillable with lemon and lime zest, like a sort of zero calorie Printempts with a few years on it.  This type of spectacular beer is just sitting on draft, no one giving a fuck about top tier barrel aged, puncheon fermented saisons. For every Texas dipshit peddling JK 750mls hard, there are uncelebrated kegs like these being secretly enjoyed.

Posts like there ruin the fuck our of a brewery for a consumer base gentrifying the tits off of a proud Hispanic neighborhood.  The circle unbroken, you want artisan donut shops? That’s fine, prepare to enjoy them near entry level BeerAdvocate tier dumbfucks talking about how “brett makes the beer sour.”

Dishonorable mention: this grainy, boring, estery gem just kept throwing rocks in the lake while you are trying to fish for real saison tastes.

Dishonorable mention: this grainy, boring, estery gem just kept throwing rocks in the lake while you are trying to fish for real saison tastes.

JOUNRALSLETIC ENTEGRITY

JOUNRALSLETIC ENTEGRITY

I don’t feel like breaking down each and every one of their bigger and hoppier beers but let me state is succinctly this way: saisons and pales are their clear wheelhouse.  This is not some dynamic Prairie that rolls out adjunct stouts and weird farmhouse beers in tandem.  Their IPA/DIPA core is so so attenuated that they are intensely refreshing at the expense of complexity.  If you have had hoppy beers from Sante Adairius you know how something like a hard as fuck water recipe makes some styles great and other neglected.  They are like that, and I am totally fine with that. If these guys joined forces with Beachwood, the voltron of LA catalogs would be complete.

It's totally acceptable to shamelessly order 15 tasters from a bartender. They love that, you shouldn't feel like a self indulgent asshole at all.

It’s totally acceptable to shamelessly order 15 tasters from a bartender. They love that, you shouldn’t feel like a self indulgent asshole at all.

So what is the takeaway? Get every single bottled saison possible from this brewery.  You will not be disappointed, and I would be shocked if you weren’t outright impressed from a brand new upstart.  Their farmhouse game is just what the doctor ordered and they are lying silently in the 323 weeds sniping customers from comely Los Angeles terrain.

Knowing CA dipshits you will be getting extra-ed these 900 bottle brewery only runs, so buckle in, and be sure to send them some Daisy Cutter cans as a thank you.

2

First We Feast Is Back, With the Same Old Tired Aaron Goldfarb Content Even DDB Would Be Ashamed Of.

Some of you might remember less than a year ago when writer Aaron Goldfarb and those master cicerones paraded out this tired, hyperbolic article on beer muling:

oh wow no way such information

So then in response, DDB rolled out this old chestnut:

HARD HITTING Exposé: BEER MULES UNMASKED, srs beer journalisms

Welp, no less than ten months later, those content farmers at First We Feast and that indefatigable Aaron Goldfab have posted essentially, the exact same cake of bungtrub:

THE GUDE TO GETING LIMITED BER RELEASES!!!1!!

Sure, DDB is the last place to complain about shitty derivative content, but the problem is FirstWeFeast is your aunt’s website for pseudo gourmands and I will have this stupid garbage sent to me at least 20 times.  It celebrates the shitlord paradigm of hoarding, truck chasing, coveting limited releases, and introduces beta casuals to an already teeming market of filthy manchildren who derive their self esteem from bottles of sugarwater.

Hot gems of wisdom:

“track the cargo relentlessly”

“Buy More than Is Reasonable…or Allowed”

“Form a Beer Nerd Coalition…[and act like total covetous pricks.]”

among other erudite pearls of knowledge.

Sure, maybe the article is being written ironically, or maybe it is needling the culture for comically rapacious habits: but it should make that clear at the outset. Once BeerAdvocate silenced all of the morally reprehensible and ethically bankrupt traders who are new to the scene, every other beer site/group has had to pick up the slack.  Articles like these just reinforce the greed and bottle maximizing that is going to full secondary valuations.

HE SAID HE WANTED TO TICK RARES AND NETFLIX AND CHILL

HE SAID HE WANTED TO TICK RARES AND NETFLIX AND CHILL

This article might have been more relevant say, six years ago, when your local store didn’t have incredible barrel aged stouts, saisons and wild ales turding it up on the shelves.  At that time you actually HAD to trade if you wanted an approximation of a beer.  Now it is filled with FirstWeHoard assholes attempting to excise every last drop out of their ethanol portfolios.

that one time a guy posted sick bottles on facebook and everyone was v imprsd

that one time a guy posted sick bottles on facebook and everyone was v imprsd

Less articles like this.  Less people like this. BA please allow comments again and remove the trade restrictions, the rest of the craft beer world simply cannot deal with the ignorant dipshits you have cultivated in the turd filled child pool and now they are spilling into other backyards, turds in hand.

#RespectBeer [profiteering.]

0

PEACH PIT SHOOTOUT: Bruery vs. August Schell Peach Berliner Cagematch, Hottenroth vs. Starkeller FIGHT TO THE DEATH

The dog days of summer are upon us. Between oppressive temperatures and people steaming mad over DDB writing for other sites, neckbeard taints are getting braised like osso bucco this August. Let’s bring things down to a more temperate climate and review some fruited Berliners. Relax, have a capri sun, talk shit anonymously on old DDB and savor some sweet fruit juices. Let’s avoid inclement nutsack heat and embrace ice cold refreshing peach scrotums for a change.

KelleRoth Cuvee, MANDATORY

KelleRoth Cuvee, MANDATORY

Today we have a new upstart from Minnesota that I have high hopes for, and a Dickensian underdog from Placentia that I expect to be a sulfuric mess. Let’s squeeze them peaches until the juice runs down your leg.

August Schell Starkeller Peach

7.2% abv, fruited “berliner”

“Starkbier Berliner Weisse aged on Peaches. This strong Berliner Weisse was brewed with an extensive decoction mash schedule and fermented with an authentic mixed culture then aged it for nearly a year in our original 1936 cypress wood lagering tanks before 5,500 pounds of peaches were added for a four month, tertiary fermentation.

The Bruery Hottenroth with Peaches

3.7 % abv

mmmm such turbid clarity

mmmm such turbid clarity

The look of the Starkeller is a complete trub cake mess. It is almost like they tossed the top 85% and racked only the bottom yeast slurry, replete with peach tannins. When people first were ISO this beer I was like “here we go another Pizza Boy trainwreck” and held my breath for that Jamba Juice fruit fingering.

The Peach Hotty surprisingly has its shit completely together this time around and is nothing like the Mango hoarders only treat from last year. After the mango mess and the warning emails I prepared for the worst and then Bruery trolled the fuck out of me by making a beautiful beer with ample carb. OC breweries always pulling DDBs pants down and slapping them peaches. WHEN WILL I LEARN.

The nose on the starkeller is overwhelming peach purée, waves upon waves of not only peach blossom but the pithy fruit almost going to this autolyzed over-fruited/over-saturated level. It feels like the platonic form of Peach, upper case “P.” Emerging from the dogmatic berliner cave attempting to apprehend this stone fruit blast is too much truth to apprehend.

inb4 "nice groutwork u poor fuk"

inb4 “nice groutwork u poor fuk”

The hottenroth is nimble and presents a fantastic degree of peach but never overshadows the base beer, which is both awesome and atypical of Bruery to exhibit balance and poise in fruited wild ales. There is the lemon and brackish salinity of the base Hotty and then a Haribo peach ring and Orange jolly rancher blast acting in tandem and not screaming over one another like some Ann Coulter peach debate.

The mouthfeel of the Starkeller is creamy and frothy with a heft that coats layers upon layers of sticky sherwin williams peachy discharge. It is magnificent and almost too much at the same time, taking down a whole bottle of this is like binge watching Kurosawa films where the pure unbridled focus becomes draining in longer sessions. I wonder if the massive grist and pith of the fruit will metabolize down over time, but when enjoyed fresh it almost feels like Peach Bu with a 12 hour boil. It is berliner concentrate. It is a Denny’s soup at 3 am, fruit soup DISTILLED to a powerful new form.

The Hottenroth is less impressive in the mouthfeel and feels watery and insubstantial by contrast. Then again, it has HALF THE FUCKING ALCOHOL CONTENT.  Some might argue “hey, how about a 7.2% abv beer isn’t a berliner at all? How about that shit?”  Then Southampton would step in with their UBERLINER and the discussion would go off the rails.

#basicberliners

#basicberliners

Both seem to be coextensive poles of peach extremities. If you mixed the two you would have the flawless Fruit Megazord but both leave something wanting by themselves. The peach in the taste profile is present but the Hottenroth seems to embrace a berliner first while wearing a Peach carnation in its lapel so you can recognize it on the railway platform.
So what is the verdict between these two stoners? I think overall peach hottenroth is unquestionably the better beer overall and exhibits better balance and crushability. The starkeller is more “memorable” and extreme so if you have those palate widening inclinations, It will take you into its peach room of pain. They both trade at completely reasonable sub de Garde levels and are well worth your time, and knowing CA traders, they will probably fuqqqn extra away this delicious society only beer and MN traders give an equally low amount of fucks. Deals abound.

1

GROCERY STORE WHALES: @weihenstephan Weihenstephaner Hefe, a Gem from the Paleozoic Papazian Era

If you have been following DDB for long enough, you might remember that in 2011 the big joke was to review top 100 beers from BA and RB and take them down a peg, and we were gonna do all of them, until I remembered that Kaggen was on that list and was like LOL fuqqq that.

Back before the world became obsessed with ultra acidic 300 bottle count wild ales parading around as “saisons,” this beer used to itch that wheaty yeasty patch for tickers who weren’t obsessing over hops.  Hops were super big in the late 2000’s, go look it up.  People actually had debates on BA regarding Pliny vs.- wait fuk. HOW FAR WE HAVE COME.

Anyway, this is the archetypical Hefe by which all others are measured.  Honestly, I am glad that is the case because this beer is still phenomenal, refreshing, and a pillar of classic execution.  In five years some brewery from Florida will make FLORIDAWEISEN and it will be like ph3.0 with a series of different barrel treatments and the annoying traders from the 2021 class will be like “I NEVR LIKED HEFS TIL I TRIED THIS WON!!!”

So let’s preemptively lament that fate by reviewing one of the standard greats, before it is uncool to laud praise on nice things:

No one sent me this, I totally just have all this Weihenstephaner merch laying around

No one sent me this, I totally just have all this Weihenstephaner merch laying around

Weihenstephan (WHY-HEN-STEPHAN or if you want to show people you studied abroad like a condescending dickhead, VAI-EN-SCCCCHTEPAN)

Hefeweizen 5.4% abv

A:  This is the king of ropey turbidity before brewers started emptying their monoculture loads in the secondary.  The wheat grist is frothy and allows a radiant burnt honey and muddled biscuit through with ample carbonation cascading upwards like a malfunctioning sprinklerhead.  The lacing is generous and sheets in rings like a deliciously flithy bubble bath.  In Plato’s analogy of the cave, this is the archetypical FORM of the Hef.  Adjust your eyes and look upon it in reverence.

NO ONE HAS EVER EVEN SEEN THIS BEER BEFORE GET A GOOD LOOK

NO ONE HAS EVER EVEN SEEN THIS BEER BEFORE GET A GOOD LOOK

S:  This is the mold from which all others were cast, not just chronologically, but in logical influence and scope.  It is the Mario of the Hef world, balanced and nimble in execution without stupid shit like honey, coriander, orange slices, or other garbage.  The drawback of drinking this is some middle-aged Stepdad with a fermenting bucket will try to talk to you about Reinheitsgebot and that is the worst of all fates.  You get fresh Grand’s biscuits, esters like clove and fennel, obviously a huge navel orange and tangerine presence and a lemongrass finish to the yeasty profile.  It is refreshing, approachable, a pick up and play console before the current wave of beer nerds started acting like condescending PC assholes playing Witcher 3 on full resolution.

T:  This has a creamy mouthfeel to it that is a great platform for the baking spices and lighly herbal saazy dryness to the finish.  Someone will invariably be like I THINK ITS ACTUALLY HAUERTALLER or HEY I LIKE VITUS MORE LETS TALK ABOUT VITUS, and those people need to get vasectomies asap.  The typical thing to review this beer is to just repeat the words “BANANAS AND ORANGES” six times in a row, but to be honest to my geriatric palate, I feel this is more yeasty and estery than anything else.  Those aren’t mutally exclusive, but I get allspice and clove, huge wheat grist, and a kinda pineapple swallow to it.  Inb4 everyone says DDB likes frothy pineapple swallows.  I get it.  Jizz.  We all get it.

the KRISTAL is also noteworthy, but let's not get too off-course here.

the KRISTAL is also noteworthy, but let’s not get too off-course here.

Candidly my favorite Hefe of all time is made by Live Oak brewing, but this is easily top 3 and it stands like the classic lines of a C4 Corvette which can stand the test of time and still have even the most seasoned vets come back to enjoy.  It is the arms of a comforting Bavarian wench after you are impressed by a naval crew of beer shitlords.  You escape that Melville scenario and remember that you don’t need a Fedex account to get day drunk and watch Storage Wars on an ipad in your backyard.

NO FEDEX ACCOUNT AT ALL!

If you haven’t had this, be prepared for your beta casual friends to bring you a bottle of this around October because LOL UR MY BEER FRIEND AND U LIKE OCTOBERFEST RIGHT THE GUY IN THE WINE AISLE SAID THIS WAS OCTOBERFESTIVALS ALSO HERE’S A PRETZEL NECKLACE K