I did almost all of my beer drinking for the weekend on Saturday night. And I had fellow Beergraphs writer Brad Blackburn as a cohort. It was a lot like college in the early ‘90s for me, except the selection of beer was off the charts. At some point in the evening, one could potentially describe the situation as throwing pearls at swine, but I refuse to accept that.
On Friday for the beer chat, our fearless leader Eno wrote about a beer trade heading to the Southeast. Brad and I were to be the recipients of the amazing package coming from the West. We though the package would arrive on Friday, so we could enjoy it on Saturday. Alas, the tracking informed us during the course of the day on Friday that the goodies from Russian River wouldn’t arrive until Monday. We were disappointed, but Brad and I had been meaning to get together for a while and had plenty of beers to trade amongst ourselves and sample.
I went to the German Club Christmas Party and had one mug of Glühwein. The party was fun, and I went to be earlier than normal in order to get ready for the 2.5 hour drive up I-85 to Concord, NC just north of Charlotte.
Saturday Part 1
Unknown Brewing El Corazón Que Sangra Morado
Boulevard/Cigar City Collaboration No. 5-Tropical Pale Ale
Unknown Brewing Garage Warrior Supercollab
As Eno’s package would not be arriving until Monday, I proposed we start the day off with a taste test between Nelson and Duet. I had just recently had my first Alpines, and this was Brad’s first time. Separately, I loved both and wasn’t sure how the test would go, but we both ruled in favor of the Nelson over the Duet without much discussion.
I am not a fan of most spiced beers but the El Corazón was good and I gave it a rousing olé on my check-in. I hadn’t seen the Boulevard/Cigar City collab until that morning at the beer store, but I am a fan of both breweries and the “tropical” description caught my eye. I’ll have to try it again, but I found it to be a bit too tropical, i.e., sweet.
Brad wrote about the event that spawned the Garage Warrior Supercollab and had been saving me a 4-pack for a few weeks. It was a fine IPA, and the story behind it makes it even better.
Saturday Part 2
At some point in the proceedings, the doorbell rang. Lo and behold, the FedEx man was there with a package from California. Brad had an inkling it might show up, but didn’t want to get my hopes up in case it didn’t. As a result, it was a complete surprise to me. After we opened the box, this is what we found. Isn’t it glorious?
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Russian River Blind Pig
Russian River Supplication
Russian River Consecration
Wicked Weed Incorangeible IPA
Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin
Wicked Weed Freak of Nature
Fullsteam First Frost
Pliny has the name recognition, and that is what we started off with. I had had about 5 ounces over the summer and was equally impressed this go around. That is, we both agreed it is transcendent. The Blind Pig was also nothing to sneeze at. But then we were both blown away by the Supplication and the Consecration. Wow! I have had several of Wicked Weed’s sour beers at the Funkatorium in Asheville, but otherwise I am not much of sour/funky drinker. These were game changing, however, and I can see why they are so loved.
The Incorangeible was fine, but the orange and cocoa nibs, two flavors I don’t especially like together anyway, didn’t quite work for me. Neither Brad nor I are big stout drinkers and the Velvet Merkin, while super interesting, ultimately was too sweet by the end. That led us back to the Freak of Nature DIPA and all was well again. The First Frost was too sweet, but my ability to taste properly might have been compromised by this point.
Benford/Evil Twin Problem Problem Solver collaboration.
Remarkably I felt pretty good on Sunday. When I got back to Clemson, I turned on the Panthers’ game and opened up the Benford/Evil Twin Problem collaboration. At 11.5 ABV, it is big and bold but wasn’t too boozy. It was a good sipper during the game. The story of how the collaboration came to pass is also a good one, and you can read about it here.
It was a great Saturday with a like-minded beer drinker. This was what we woke up to on Sunday. That is a lot of amazing beers (that weren’t all mentioned above) for an all day, college football beer drinking session. Perhaps it was a bit too much, but I am good with it. What about you?
Harris is most definitely too old for what is described above. You can follow him on Twitter for baseball, beer and music talk.