Maybe it's because my parents were divorced, or maybe it's because I lived in so many different places, or maybe it's because I'm an only child, or maybe it's because I'm narcissistic and self-involved, but I usually have a string of birthday parties. A thing there, a thing here, a thing with those cats, and a thing with work people, that sort of thing.
So, yeah, I had three birthday parties this weekend, and each one was grand. One with just the nuclear family, with cake and sushi. That easy. Then a night on the town with friends and a sitter, a stop at an art bar and a barcade, super fun. Sunday was the bigger family, grilling outdoors, kids running under our feet.
And momma cooked a breakfast with no hog.
Other Half Boogie Board Stuntz "Koelsch"
Drake's Hopocalypse Red Label IPA
The can says Koelsch but that ain't no Koelsch. Can't even see through it.
A Koelsch ale from Other Half you can't see your fingers through. (It's still p good, this Boogie Board Stuntz). pic.twitter.com/5MntLZ90lU— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) June 24, 2016
I tasted something that was more like a stone-fruit forward Firestone Walker Easy Jack. More nose than thick taste, Stuntz was enjoyable but not life changing. It does well on the crushability scale, though.
The needle on the record scratched when we switched to the Drake's, which is a much bigger beer, something like a blood orange Nugget Nectar almost. The orange was really strong for me this time, and cut through the thick amber IPA. It bordered on too sweet for me this time, but in the past there have been times when this was balanced almost perfectly for me. It's available in Northern California and I recommend it. The White Label (grapes) and the Red Lable are my favorites so far.
Singlecut Weird And Gilly IPA
Threes Chronic Myopia IPA
Knee Deep Lupulin River DIPA
Birthday day, so I drank exactly what I wanted to out of the beer fridge. I'd been eyeing that Singlecut since it showed up at the meetup, and it didn't dissapoint. It wasn't as grassy or hazy as some New England IPAs, but it did have some grass and vegetable from the mosaic. Tons of fruit with a nice mouthfeel and a dank grassy citrus finish. Instead of grassy I might call this one fuzzy. You can see your fingers through this one but it's a mouthfeel and taste winner.
The Threes was one of the best of last week's New York jaunt. Just a great pineapple grassy hazy NEIPA.
I've called Lupulin River a Pliny the Elder clone, but this weekend I was actually able to have both and Lupulin doesn't quite get that piny bite even if it does well on the floral/fruit aspects. Still, that beer is generally available and really good, even if it doesn't finish as crisp as Pliny.
Barrier Brewing O-Ren Rishi
Modern Times Strawberry Fruitlands Gose
Societe The Coachman IPA
Marin Three Flowers IPA
The O-Ren Rishi was a peach white tea IPA and that perfectly describes it. The nose was full of peach, and the finish was herbal with that dry tea kick. A really nice IPA that didn't change my world and isn't doing what everyone else is doing.
The Gose was a miss. I know Goses aren't supposed to be as tart as sours, but this one just ended up falling flat and watery on the pallet. Like a strawberry water. Really meh.
Societe is amazing. I really dig their stuff. I said I would take any of their pales over Pliny but maybe that was just hot takery. I had a Pliny Sunday, you see. But the Coachman was another in a long string of great Societe pales. Fieldwork and them are pumping out really great pales that aren't falling in line with the grassy hazy fruity thing, but are still great in their own rights. If there is a West Coast vs East Coast IPA thing going on still, Societe and Fieldwork would be early picks in the draft.
Fieldwork River Cliff Pale Ale
Russian River Pliny the Elder IPA
Fresh and bright and crisp on the Fieldwork. Super easy to drink. And then cuz comes by with the Pliny, which is always good. The third best beer in America on our leaderboards is just a really big piney citrus floral bomb at heart. I'd put in in with Heady Topper, maybe ahead, on that top ten list of classic IPAs that transcended. But if you put a King Julius or a Fort Point or a Dobis in front of me right now, I'm not taking the Pliny. That list might be about ten deep even. That's about has hot as I can make the take after being reminded that's it's a pretty f'in good beer.
Were you reminded of a great beer this weekend?