Saturday, December 20, 2008

Always a pleasure

If there's one thing I enjoy more than drinking my own beer, it's enjoying the beer of others--especially if it's well made. If the 'other' in particular has managed to make the leap to commercial brewing, there's not just the beer, but also the reminder that 'yes, it can be done.'

My office had its holiday luncheon, in combination with the class graduation luncheon, yesterday at DuClaw's. I've met their brewer, Bo Lenck, and he was very nice--even gave me a tour of the brewery, one-on-one, impromptu. Bo 'used to' be a homebrewer (a successful one, if the rumors I hear are true), and moved on to brew at DuClaw (I'm not sure if he's one of the founders, but it wouldn't surprise me). DuClaw's brewery up towards Aberdeen will even give away yeast to homebrewers (WLP-001, for the most part; that's their house strain). Nothing like coming away with a quart or two of yeast slurry...

Anyway, one of the students ordered the beer sampler yesterday. Now, I've seen the beer sampler before--it always seemed to be six or seven taster-size glasses of their 'usual' lineup. What they brought out yesterday, though, was fully twelve sampler-glasses, with one of everything they have on tap right now... Venom, HellRazer, Alchemy, Blackjack, Full Moon, Misfit, Kangaroo, Bare Ass Blonde, everything. Eep!

I went for what used to be my favorite, back before the hop shortage (ah, the good old days!), and ordered a Venom. Wow! They tweaked the hop profile; obviously, they still can't get everything the way they used to. It had a harsher, back-of-the-tongue bitterness that's difficult to describe; regardless, for all that it's still like chewing on a hop, it's not as smooth as it once was. I guess it's back to the Misfit Red, for me...

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