Monday, April 9, 2012

falcon punch of bitter

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Tree Brewing Hophead Double India Pale Ale | Kelowna | British Columbia

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Southern Tier Brewing Company Unearthly Imperial India Pale Ale | New York

One East Coast, one West. One American, one American-wannabe. Oops . . . meant to say Canadian. But that's ok. We all (to some degree) want to stand under Old Glory.

The beers are delicious, clear proof that the most exciting beer in the world is being brewed by North Americans. But these incredibly hoppy brews that really slap you around a bit have the effect of altogether making you more aggressive, even slightly combative, than say, if you were drinking a Guinness. It's almost all a bit too much. It's a great thing that the pendulum is swinging back from the horrid, tasteless, fizz water that Bud, Coors and the rest of those fuckers sell, but one has to remember that it can swing too hard the other way as well. Certainly depends on your point of view of why you're drinking, but knock-out beers require a particular state of mind to enjoy.

But I need to go back and make clear that the beers are stunning. Vibrant and penetratingly well made, that seam of hops just roaring and tearing at your palate. Certain not for lovers of subtlety. With food? I wouldn't chance it, unless it was in the dead heat of summer and in front of the grill. There's no finesse here, just sheer power, although both beers do manage to stay agile, despite the high alcohols. Think Dwight Howard instead of (Lakers) Shaq. Really impressive beers, but I'm yet to be sold on this kind of style. I'll be meeting with a British brewer this weekend - really looking forward to having some of my beer questions answered. We'll keep it under wraps until then, but please come back for updates.

We'd all like for certain things to be knock-outs, and that takes into account the area of women as well. But on occasion, you want what's in your glass to be a bit more calm, a bit more mellow, and just a bit less . . . American. Should I make a Napa cab/Barossa Valley shiraz stereotype?

DF

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