Gimme One’dem Cold Beers!

Gimme One’dem Cold Beers!

Posted on Mar, 25. 2011 by

Categories: Beer

Let me just cut to the chase: it’s been awhile since I waxed on about my other fermented passion (that would be beer), but I believe that the most exhilarating time for new drinks is as the seasons change…and there’s really no reason for any of you to be drinking “whatever beer the grocery store had on sale”. So, I’m writing about three of my very favorite brews for this time of year for you to try: the quintessential Bavarian Weissbier, the world’s best Belgian Tripel, and perhaps the hoppiest Imperial IPA on the market…

Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier (16.9oz bottle)
As I said above, this is my quintessential hefeweizen…I even use Weihenstephaner‘s yeast strain in all of my own homebrewed wheat beers. Now, to be fair, there are other, more obscure, more expensive German brewers that do a great job, but this is the best representation of what this style should be, and it just hits on all cylinders. It’s not too dark, it’s not too phenolic (think cloves), and it has the perfect amount of banana-ey fruity esters that I expect from a great Bavarian weizen. On top of that, it has a super-creamy mouthfeel, no astringency whatsoever, and a pleasantly spicy/citrusy finish…really, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more refreshing beer for the warmer seasons. This is your perfect house beer for the next 6 months, and to boot, it’s absolutely inspiring with food.
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $2.48 • Premier Cru: $2.59 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $3.50
Buy Now!

Gouden Carolus (Het Anker) Tripel (11.2oz Bottle)
I cannot throw enough superlatives at Gouden Carolus/Het Anker. As much as I Iove other beers, theirs are, I can say with great confidence, my absolute favorites. Beyond that, Belgian Tripel is such a lovely sensational experience all-around, because of how much complexity and power it brings to a blonde ale made with (typically) nothing but pilsner and aromatic malts, a touch of hops, and wonderful Belgian yeast. The genius behind this beer is that it packs a massive punch (9% ABV) without showing any of it; instead, what you are dealt is a refreshing, slightly cloudy, golden brew with a world of complexity. A bit of spice up front pairs very well with the heavy carbonation and silky foam, giving way to a slight touch of malty sweetness and Belgian funk in the middle of it all, and finished off with a crisp, fruity ending that leaves your palate electrified and demanding just one more glass…
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $3.16 • Premier Cru: $3.30 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $4.50
Buy Now!

Lagunitas Hop Stoopid (22oz)
Lagunitas has always been one of those “Wild West Outlaw” type of breweries that the left coast seems to breed like rabbits…but despite the brewery being busted on drug charges years ago, and their subsequent comedic defiance (all of which would seem like a bit of a publicity stunt if not for their awesome brewing skills), they really do make some of the best beers in the country. But don’t look here for restraint or calm reflection…even their Pils is wide-awake and ready for a game of grass-eating rugby. Which brings me to perhaps my favorite bottling that these crazy bastards have ever produced. The first time I had the Hop Stoopid, I was thrilled with how intense and fresh the hop character was, but certain that it would be another one of their wacky one-off experimental brews (yeah, they’ve done some marijuana and Frank Zappa-themed brews), but to my pleasant surprise it’s become part of their regular lineup. Parked somewhere between an Imperial IPA and a west coast amber ale, the showcase here is hops, hops and more hops. The best part about this stuff, though, is that while it has a purported 102 IBU (international bitterness units…most IPA’s top out around 60), it has such a meaty, amber malt backbone that it doesn’t leave you scraping your brutalized palate off with your steak knife. This is, quite frankly, the best expression of hoppiness you’ll find on the market. And it’s surprisingly inexpensive compared to most 22oz craft brews these days. Get on it!
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $3.58 • Premier Cru: $3.74 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $5.00
Buy Now!

Here’s to springtime, and to great beer! Cheers,

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