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Last Weekend's Beer, Today

Eno Sarris, October 05, 2015 -   

It's a sad weekend for me, the last weekend of the baseball season. I went to the park on Friday mostly to shake Tim Hudson's hand (possibly) one last time. I'll have more time for beer, and the postseason is fun, but there's still a tinge of sadness around the weekend. Coupled with the turning weather, it would have been easy to fall into melancholy. 

I chose to nurture it. I watched the excellent but upsetting Vice program on the prison system in America. I drank a truly terrible beer and felt badly for the human race. I watched a bad action flick (Lone Survivor). I wore my pajamas all day Sunday. I drank a big old double stout. I smiled, and I laughed, but I also accessed that more languid place in my soul.

Thursday

Karlsberg AC/DC Premium Lager
Prairie Standard Hoppy Farmhouse

That AC/DC beer was bad. But it was also stupid. Aggressively stupid, it turns out.

The Prairie Standard only got three stars from me the first time and I don't know why. It has that Citra juicy melon hoppiness along with the farmhouse funk, and that's a combo I like. Maybe I didn't like it as much the first time I had it because it was less familiar. Maybe I liked it  more because it came after such a bad beer. Either way, I like it now, and would recommend the beer. 

Friday

10 Barrel Apricot Crush Sour
HenHouse Stoked on Amarillo APA

Got these at the last (regular season) game I'll cover this year. Once I was done with my work, I headed down to the public house and picked these two up and sat with some friends briefly. The sour had good apricot, nice tartness, and then a flavor I didn't like. Metal is too harsh a word, maybe, but it does get at what I didn't like about this beer. People at Great American Beer Festival seemed to have really liked it, and I wasn't upset that I drank it or anything, but I'm not running out to get it again. 

I love single-hop beers because they help you understand what each hops tastes like. In the case of Amarillo, am I crazy to talk about nut butter? I mean it's fun enough to say the phrase nut butter, but maybe that's the wrong descriptor to attribute to the hops. The rest of the beer has something to say about the slickness and the 'butteriness.' But I do get a sort of nuttiness from Amarillo. Maybe I'm crazy though. The internets say it should be floral and orange. Maybe if that orange is a winter orange, that has been roasted in the oven. Any Amarillo fans get what I'm saying? It's a great, and probably underrated, hops. 

Saturday

Firestone Walker Easy Jack Session IPA
Pinkus Ur-Pils Organic Unfiltered Pilsner
High Water Hop Logic DIPA
Deschutes Black Butte XXVII Double Porter

Wife asked for 'beer for me' when I went to the store, so Easy Jack was an easy choice. Enough taste and aroma for me, low enough ABV that you can grab a couple without thinking too hard about who's going to watch the kids. It's on regular rotation here and could easily be my kegerator beer if I ever get one going.

After Colin took a look at Pilsners last week, I had to quench my thirst and buy a couple of my favorite Pilsners at the new BevMo. So thick and cloudy and nutty and refreshing at the same time.  

The High Water was floral and piney and utterly unremarkable. 

Wow. Black Butte is a monster most years, but the last two years, the beer as really separated itself from what's out there. Apricot puree, pomegranate molasses, and cocoa nibs in a double porter? If there is a way for a beer to be considered Big and Thick and Bourbon but also Fresh, this beer has nailed that description. You don't get overwhelmed even thought it's 11% ABV, it's not too thick to finish, and there are so many flavors in each sip that you are desperate, almost, to take your next sip. This is a great beer. Go get it.

Sunday

Hopf Helle Weisse 
Surly Pentagram (2015)
Deschutes Jubelale Winter Ale

The first was a really nice light German wheat white (not really tart) that I had with some Wing Stop spicy wings, and it was the perfect combo. I hope I'm not recommending a bad beer that I couldn't taste because my mouth was on fire. I'll have to try this one again.

The Pentagram was much-anticipated, but it didn't quite live up to the hype I gave it. I liked the cherry and red wine wood, for sure. I wanted it to be thicker and tarter at the same time, though. It didn't quite shake you by the lapel like a Rare Barrel sour. Didn't buy this for myself, so I can't compare price tags, but I think that would only make it worse. Decent amount of flavor in this one, but not a ton of assertiveness on any front. 

There's a Deschutes taste, almost like Anchor Steam, and in some of their beers, I don't like it. But in Red Chair, and Fresh Squeezed, and Black Butte, and maybe even in Jubelale, I still taste that taste and yet like the beers. When they turn up a lot of the sweetness and other flavors (in this case, chickory and malt), that background... dustiness?... actually thickens and strengthens the beer. Red Chair is one of my favorite beers. I don't really love Mirror Pond or Inversion. Still a great brewery. 

And another great weekend.

Thanks to CRRaysHead90 for the header image.

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