There's something about a long weekend that's tough. Maybe it's the kids (permacomplaint), or maybe it's just because I had a thing to do every day -- a minor league ballgame to go to, a college football game, a cookout at someone's house, and a cookout at my house -- but after people left my house Sunday, I was done. Maybe it was the Abraxas. I *did* have three-quarters of it.
East End Moonstomp Berliner Weisse
I knew the weekend would be long, so I took it easy Thursday night. The Moonstomp really reminded me of the German Berliner Weisses -- like a fermented lemon with honey, it had some body and thickness but also finished tart and was in that 4-5% ABV range where you can really just drink forever. Enjoyed this effort from Pittsburgh.
Firestone Walker Easy Jack
Kern River Hop Nookie Triple IPA
I'll the drink the first one forever and ever. The second one was a guess -- I had a "local IPA" from the tailgating stand outside Stanford Stadium, and it tasted like Lagunitas. That's fine. And the last was just a dressed up barleywine, even if it had that standard Kern excellence, but when you're headed into a stadium, you have to make the best use of your diaper bag allowance. As you can see from the header image, my Triple IPA in a sippy cup game was on point.
Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion No. 003
Draai Laag Cru Sour
Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA
Santa Clara Valley Electric Tower IPA
This Luponic Distortion was more stone fruity than 002's floral, but it's still great. Every brewery should have something like this, so that you know what it's like to go to their brewery. It's tough to get small batch things out into the world, but having a name and distribution process in place makes things easier. On the consumer end, it's a little weird not knowing that exactly the beer will taste like, but that's pretty much an issue with any beer.
The Cru was really nice. Old School. Euro. An Oud Brun really, a brown sour without the citrus sizzle. But if you know someone that likes Belgians but is unsure about sours -- I *think* that person exists -- then this is a good starting point. Actually, if you know someone that likes Belgians, Laag is the place to go in Pittsburgh. Really great stuff, from the two I got in my box. The yeast for this one was apparently captured in the wild:
The Hop Hunter was the best beer at the San Jose Giants game. Which is sort of amazing. Because it's better than the best beer in maybe 40% of the Major League Baseball stadiums out there, and San Jose is A ball. It's for 18 year olds mostly. They took a truck out between innings and had players try to break the headlights from twenty years away, and the players (mostly) couldn't do it. Just to give you an idea of what sort of baseball we're talking about.
The Electric Tower was supposedly an IPA, but it was hyuge. 7.1% ABV... but still huge. Tasted big and malty and floral, and you thought it just *had* to be a DIPA, but it wasn't. I don't think that's necessarily a great thing, but it is a thing.
Stone Enjoy By 9/5/16 Unfiltered IPA
Voodoo Brewing Wynona's Big Brown Ale
East End Homewood Reserve Imperial Stout
New World Ales Patience Wet Hop IPA
Prairie & Trve Red Sour
Always good, the Enjoy By was an easy beer to bring to a cookout. Thought I should bring something, but didn't want it to be all crazy and snobby. Nobody went for it, but I was glad to have that thick fuzzy fruity IPA with me as I chased the rugrats around.
After a bunch of people left, we settled down and talked about old times, and a smaller group had the next two beers that were left from my Pittsburgh box. I was very happy that the Wynona beer didn't go with the beaver reference in the name, and just had a somewhat mellow beaver in the label picture. I really enjoyed the mellow brown -- it had all the caramel and choco roasty malt flavor of a stout, and even some nice thick mouthfeel, but it didn't have the ABV or hugeness of an imp stout.
It was funny to put that up against the East End, because that beer had none of the roasty choco boozy thickness of a normal stout. It was wood and all wood. And when I said that on social media, I got a response from the brewery about how they also found that the last batch got a ton of oak character. Okay! We agree! Did you also think it was a meh beer or....
The Wet Hop didn't really register once I got home. Decently wet, green, earthy and floral, it didn't have the fruit that makes some of my favorite wet hop beers -- like Lagunitas Born Yesterday -- really hum. I like stone fruit to go up against the vegetable quality of the fresh hops.
A Prairie Sour! I'd decended into some madness by then. It was funky, and not super sour. That, and the fact that it was red in looks, is about all I remember. I was dragging a bit.
Firestone Walker Easy Jack
Tilquin Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L'Ancienne
Easy Jack again and again.
Wow was that Tilquin plum sour good. It had a real jammy plum thickness in the middle, but it ended just sour enough to make it an easy drinker. I've always had a space in my heart for Tilquin, which was pretty amazing early on, as good as Cantillon but priced at about half the duckets. But I paid top dollar for this one, so I guess the secret is out. Still worth buying them.
I finished my last St. Louis beer with that Abraxas, but I also finished myself. It was a long weekend in many respects. But at least I finished on top. Abraxas is amazing. Cocoa, cinnamon, booze, ancho chiles, wood... This one said it was a 10% double stout, but it tasted much easier in terms of alcohol content. I love how the chiles made for a bitter / spicey finish that kept it from bogging down. I mean, it wasn't beer in the same way that Easy Jack is beer, but it was beer-like, and perfect.
Did you have a perfect beer this weekend?