Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm a great lover of beer, and a great lover of GOOD beer.  I especially adore IPAs (that's India Pale Ales for you non-beer-connoisseurs).  They're hoppy, bold, and sweet, tangy and full of character.  To me, drinking a good IPA is akin to drinking a good cab-sav.  They're great with just about anything big and bold, from a steak or fried chicken, to even a spicy curry.  And there are a handful of IPAs that I've tried lately that have been really quite good.

Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA

I was perusing my local Kroger one day when this lovely beer just jumped off the shelf and into my cart.  While definitely not my favorite IPA in the world, it does stand up and get your attention.  Really, this is a very artfully crafted beer, as I have come to expect from Sam Adams.  This beer is brewed using hops from the 48th latitude, otherwise known as the "hop belt" in Germany, England, and America.  If you find this in your grocery store, and like IPAs, I'd highly recommend picking up a 6 pack.

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
This is another beer you can find in the grocery store.  Of course, for me, if it has the name "Dogfish Head" it ends up in my cart.  Man I love this brewery.  This is my second favorite IPA in the whole world.  It's smooth and bold and full of flavor.  After a hard day of work, this is how I relax.  So yummy.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA

The 60 minute beer is yummy.  The 90 minute is divine.  This is even bigger and even bolder than the 60 minute, and at 9% alcohol it'll knock you on the floor if you drink too many of them.  Fantastic, fantastic, FANTASTIC beer.

Now it's important to note that there is also a 120 minute IPA that is about 18% alcohol.  Yes...  18%.  I've never seen one, and I've ALWAYS wanted to try one.  Oh MAN what I would give to try one.  If anybody reading this knows where I can get my hands on a 4 pack please let me know...  

Ok, now for the list of beer that's sitting in my refrigerator that I haven't tried yet.

Dogfish Head Squall IPA
This badboy is another 90 minute, but different in some way.   What that is for certain, I don't know yet.  The guy at the liquor store told me the there's little difference between the regular 90 minute IPA and the Squall 90 minute IPA.  The Squall is a little cloudier and has hints of cannabis.  I said, "Cannabis?  Well shit, I may need to buy two!"  I have a 90 minute IPA sitting in my fridge, and I'd like to try them side to side to compare them. 

Dogfish Head - Chateau Jiahu

Another one that I have no idea about.  It looks tasty though.  I'll let the guys from Dogfish cover this one:  "Let's travel back in time 9000 years.  Preserved pottery jars found in the Neolithic villiage of Jiahu, in Henan province, Northern China, has revealed that a mixed fermented beverage of rice, honey and fruit was being produced that long ago - right around the same time that barley beer and grape wine were beginning to be made in the Middle East!  Fast forward to 2005.  Molecular Archeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology calls on Dogfish Head to re-create their second ancient beverage and Chateau Jiahu is born.  In keeping with historic evidence, Dogfish brewers used pre-gelatinized rice flakes, Wildflower honey, Muscat grapes, barley malt, hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers.  The rice and barley malt were added together to make the mash for starch conversion and degredation.  The resulting sweet wort was then run into the kettle.  The honey, grapes, Hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers were then added.  The entire mixture was boiled for 45 minutes, then cooled.  The resulting sweet liquid was pitched with a fresh culture of Sake yeast and allowed to ferment a month before the transfer into a chilled secondary tank."  Also, at 10% alcohol, this is no lightweight either.

So throughout the course of writing this blog I've been sipping on this:

This is the craziest shit I've ever seen in my liquor store.  So, ok...  normal bourbon is 80-90 proof, about 40-45% alcohol.  This shit is 125 proof, 62.5% alcohol.  Sipping on this is like getting punched in the face by Chuck Norris.  It's very similar to moonshine in taste and in color.  And it burns.  Oh dear god does it burn.  So if you want a punch in the face and want to get drunk fast, this is your ticket. 


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