I’m starting off a Benedict Beer Blog post talking about beer.
I know. I’m surprised too, brother!
I drank a few good beers today.
I was at C’est Cheese in Port Jefferson this afternoon. I ordered a glass of Grimm Artisinal Ales Rainbow Dome.
Just look at it. Rainbow Dome is a hazy, golden, juicy, gorgeous looking beer. This is a dry-hopped, oak aged wild/sour beer, brewed with apricots. I can’t stop looking at this picture. It’s unbelievably CRUSHABLE at 5%ABV.
One sniff and you’re smacked in the face by fruit and citrus (this is dry-hopped with El Dorado, Cascade, and Columbus). Taste is tart, lemon zest, mango, peach, apricot. It’s not too acidic and the mouthfeel is creamy. If it wasn’t too hard to come by, I would make this my summer go-to brew. Throw me poolside, on a shaded recliner (is that a thing? I think I could be a millionaire), with a glass of this. Heaven.
I sat down at C’est Cheese to write today, but that went out the window. A minute or two after I ordered, Bryan, a fellow C’est Beer member (it’s $20 for the membership and you get discounts on draft beer, and special bottles and cans), who we had met a few weeks back, sat down, and we chatted about our mutual Long Island beer friends, Matt and Lauri from Moustache Brewing Company (go back and read my love letter to these two cuties, if you haven’t!).
What’s amazing is that everyone who meet Matt and Lauri talk about how passionate they are, and what amazing beer they’re making. What’s interesting is, in every conversation I have about them, their passion is always mentioned first. I think that’s why Holly and I gravitated towards them when we lived out here, because they are hard working people who laid it all on the line to do what they’re passionate about, and that is so admirable. Ok, I’m gushing again.
Bryan and I also discussed my trip to Boston with Holly, and the amazing, juicy IPAs coming out of the Northeast. He often travels to Tree House Brewing Company to pick up their insanely out of control juice bomb IPAs (as well as their top of the heap stouts). This dude is all about beer, and all about community, so I’m so glad we got to spend an hour or so chatting.
I also ordered a Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union, an India Pale Lager from this Lager-only brewery in Framingham, Massachusetts. This is a lager brewed with “classic American hops” (it doesn’t list which ones, but I’m sure the C hops, like Cascade and Columbus, are in there). What I love about India Pale Lagers, or IPLs, is that the malt balances out the hops, so it finishes with a smooth malty sweetness that you find in a great lager. I’m sad Holly and I didn’t make it to this brewery, because I don’t believe I give lagers enough credit (Brooklyn Brewery and Sam Adams Brewery are really the only two lagers I will see on a regular basis), and from reviews I’ve read and hearing them talk on podcasts, these guys have perfected the style and are taking it to the next level. Cheers to them!
Last weekend, for Fathers Day, we bought my Dad a few beers, one was Central Waters Brewing Company Rye Barrel Aged Chocolate Porter, and the other, a Great Divide Brewing Company Chocolate Oak-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. Dad had a little left over of the Yeti (he has yet to open the Porter), so I poured an ounce or two into a wine glass to try it.
It poured out viscous and jet-black. Smells like you’ve just walked into a chocolate shop, like sweet oak and bakers chocolate. Taste is similar, it envelops your mouth and evokes flavors of bitter chocolate, dark roasted coffee, with a little heat on the back end from the addition of cayenne pepper. What a fantastic beer. Be careful, all you out there in Internetland, this baby clocks in at 9.5%, so, as rapper Iced Cube would say, “prior to wrecking yourself, please check yourself.” (I’m 99% sure that’s right.)
Later in the evening, we went to my Grandparents’ house in Port Jeff Station, and I drank… A Bud Light. Yup.
“One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong…”
Choicest hops (sure…), Best Barley Malt (you know it ain’t the best because they’re telling you it’s the best) and RICE?
I’m just as surprised as you, brother.
Why rice? I’m still not really sure. What I’ve heard forever is that it’s cheaper, and you don’t become a multi-billion dollar company by using expensive ingredients, I guess. But, Anheuser-Busch’s website says it’s more expensive, and helps give the beer a lighter, crisper taste. So who knows.
So yeah, I drank one of these tonight. I drank one of these because, when your 87 year old Grandpa, who’s dealing with a particularly nasty bout of skin cancer, says “Beer man! Have a beer with your Grandpa!”, you pop open that ice cold brew and drink it with a couple of slices of pizza. I could say that this was the best beer of the day (it wasn’t), but pizza, a cold beer, and conversation with family always makes for an amazing experience. Also, it was like 72 degrees outside, so that didn’t hurt, either.
Poolside dinner with a… Beer?
Yeah I threw cold cheese on that slice because TREAT YO’SELF!
My Aunt Mary said to me at dinner, “Patrick, you’re going to be so mad at me. All I drink is Coors Light.” I prepared in my head some pilsners she could drink instead (Victory Brewing Prima Pils and Sixpoint The Crisp stick out), and I said “I can give you a few alternatives.” And she responded “But I don’t want any!” And I said “That’s ok. That’s the whole point of my blog, is you should drink what you like. Beer should be fun.”
I don’t like that Anheuser-Busch, Miller-Coors, etc. are trying to run smaller breweries, like our dear ones at Moustache, out of town, and are buying up Craft Breweries like crazy, but I’m not going to pontificate or force my Aunt to change her beer choice at an awesome dinner with family. I might pick up a six pack of Prima Pils at the next party, and have her try it, but I’m certainly not going to spoil anyone else’s experience if they’re not interested. I drink Goose Island. I drink Lagunitas (who are in partnership with Heinekin), and I drink Ballast Point (who are in partnership with Constellation Beer, who produce Corona). I don’t think, if you’re having fun with it, you should have to apologize for what you like to drink. If you can change someone’s mind with an experience, it’s much better than telling them what NOT to drink.
Anheuser-Busch needs to apologize if they change their name to America, though. That’s for sure. Because that’s absolute nonsense.
Till next week! Cheers!