It had been a rough day and I was getting desperate. I was in Port Huron, MI and the beer quest was going very badly. A Kroger’s and three liquor stores and the wildest things I could find were a couple different six packs of Bell’s and the Sam Adams collection. I was so desperate that I ALMOST tried another Bud attempt at a microbrew. But there was one last place off to my right. It looked small and my hopes were hanging by a thread.
Then I walked in and found an oasis of beerness goodness. It may not be the best beer store I’ve ever been in but, based on my experience, it’s got to be one of the tops around Port Huron. The young man behind the counter was clearly a beer fan and knew what he was talking about. He informed me that they would be having a beer tasting at the end of March and that they would have tastings of Short’s beer. He gave me the good news that Short’s will be releasing Huma Lupa Licious in a bottle (we’ll see if that’s a good thing or not).
Check them out: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/14379/?view=beerfly
It was hard to choose because there were a fair number of beers I hadn’t seen before. I opted for two.
Sierra Nevada used to be one of my go-to beers when I found myself in a bar or restaurant that had a crap selection. For some reason, they would generally have the Pale Ale in a bottle or on draft. So, when I saw this, I had to try it. It was tough because there were several other beers that looked more interesting. This won because it promised hops. Lots of hops. I wanted to see what Sierra Nevada would do with it.
Be warned, to see these beers, I had to pour them into a hotel plastic cup. Not ideal but I wanted to see them.
Torpedo had a nice head. It quickly filled half the glass with fine bubbles. The color was lighter than I expected. It’s like a lager with a hint of red. The hops hits right away. Strong hops aroma, and it isn’t an overload of the citrus cascade scent. Cascade is not my favorite hops. It can be overwhelming to me and I don’t like the way the citrus overpowers the flowery/herbal nature of hops. They curbed that citrus a bit, in the smell and the taste. It’s still there on the tongue but the hops taste shines through. This is no Huma Lupa Licious but you don’t always need hops overkill (although it doesn’t hurt…).
It’s light in body for what I would expect from an “Extra IPA” but I liked it. A good drinking beer. Worth a try.
The Dogfish selection at Ryan’s had me drooling (except for that shitty raisin thing). I could have walked out with a number of Dogfish products. It was hard to choose because they offered so many interesting options and all I see where I live is the 60 Minute IPA, the 90 Minute IPA, and the raisin crap. It was hard to pass up the Golden Era (which I’ve just learned was once called Golden Shower — nice move on the name change) but I had to because I decided that I needed to step away from the holy hops for a few.
This bad boy is dark. Really dark. Black. But if you hold it up to the light you can see these beautiful flashes of red. It filled to about 1/3 head and 2/3 beer; a tan head that dissolves in short order. No hops in the bouquet of this one. You get an alcohol whiff like you would from a Double or Imperial IPA, or a Belgian Dubble or Tripple. You also get a hint of the vanilla that the wood brings to the mix. It has a medium body. The first taste is a mixture of the alcohol and the vanilla. Very different. Then the smoke begins to hit and you’re sure this is a brown ale. It isn’t a wimpy brown; I’m not as beer smart as I should be but I’m thinking I haven’t seen too many 12% brown ales. After all the wimpy browns I’ve had, I’m glad to have tried this one. The weird thing is, once you’ve processed that smokey brown ale flavor, you get that sweetness on the tongue like you’ve just had a Belgian Dubble or Tripple (so don’t overdo it). Another beer worth trying. Not a 60 Minute IPA but there are so many bland brown ales out there that this one kept my interest.