Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beer America

A recent foray into the upper-Midwest United States of awesome beer garnered the usual choice fatigue that comes along with such great options.   However this was a special trip  to a special place where liquor stores dot the landscape like that of an expelled colony of ants. I was prepared to spend on what my eyes feasted upon.  Caution was thrown to the competitively priced winds, undaunted by national restrictions and penny pinching.  Some old favorites are in there, some new researched bottles and then some that just said drink me.  My purchases came from several different stores, predominantly Blue Max Liquors which is the best beer store in Minnesota, bar none.  Next is Haskalls, which is a chain and meh, but usually they have seasonals in the South Metro because nobody goes there for beer when Blue Max serves the seeker. The Liquor Barrel in SLP had a few unseen imported rarities that I was stoked to pick up unexpectedly. And finally, my usual keg provider, Zipp's Liquor on East Franklin Ave. 

Cans

From L-R
Surly: Cynic Ale - a great saison summer beer with a belgian yeast and a black pepper finish.  Soo good.

Surly: Furious - Look, there's no way you go to the twin cities and not drink this. Grapefruit crammed right up the wazoo. If you havent had this, its time to get Surly.

Tallgrass: 8-bit - I love most of what this brewery has done, especially having done it in my people's state of Kansas.  If it sucks, the can is to blame.

Tallgrass: Oasis - This beer is awesome.  Super malty ESB, even maltier than Furious which really does a seemingly unrivaled job of it.  When it comes to ESB, this is my choice.  We can talk about Red Racer only after talking about Oasis from Tallgrass. 
   
Bottles

Half Pints: Queer Beer 2012 - This is not from the US, but it does represent a transnational celebration of the Queer movement in all shapes and sizes - even the dry sectors.  This beer is very much a shandy that has undergone some consternation, more so for its flavoring.  Last year's benchmark used raspberry juice to an unsatisfying effect.  This year, raspberry extract was used.  It does have the aroma of more 'fruity fabulousness' but it could still be more more more.  But, it is what it is and im proud to drink it.


Yeastie Boys: Digital IPA - This came highly recommended by the fellow beer drinker from his insightful post at the Liquor Barrel.  Cheers.

Schells: Maifest - Thanks Brian (happy birthday), for turning me onto this one.  I do like me some Summit Maibock, but this does a hop lover a bit more service. Love you Minnesota.

North Coast: Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - The dopest Imp Stout I have had.  Major points for using an accurate historical figure whom equals the darkness of this beer. 

Verhaeghe-Vichte: Duchess de Bourgogne - boom, my favorite Flander's Red Ale.  Sour like i like.

Bombers

New Belgium: La Folie (Lips of Faith Series) - This ol'boy set me back a piece, but after falling in love with sour ales, and knowing how well New Belgium is at getting me as a beer drinker, I went all in.  However, now it will go all closet for as long as I can hold out (1-3 years already in oak barrels).

Breckenridge: Extra ESB - After reading a pretty positive review of this in All About Beer mag May 2012 , it looked good enough to try.  Will have to set it down with a crew and run the ESB gauntlet.


Rogue: Younger's Special Bitter Ale - Again, it scored well and im hoping to expand my palate in that style.  Rogue who?

Unibroue: Quelque Chose - I'm not sure if my discouragement at the fact that this Canadian beer (and many other Unibroue's) is more readily available in a country other than where I live in Canada is warranted.  But seriously, lets get on this people.  A kriek/brown cross reserve, this cage and cork 750ml looks to be a beer to let age (best by date is 2025!).

Coney Island: Steel Hop Lager -  Ive seen these around far too long to not have an opinion on them.  Yes the graphics are in your face, yes they scream judge me, and yes they may in fact be all hype.  But this one boasts Steel Hops!

If you go somewhere, drink what they drink.  But when you leave somewhere, take what you can't get here.
    



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