Sunday, October 15, 2006

I'm ruined...

According to the guys at Leaf & Ale, my supply of Mash House Hoppy Hour IPA was cut off for good. This was a horrible thing, because after the bitter hoppy character of my new favorite beer, going back to Sierra or Bridgeport tasted like drinking Michelob Light (or tapwater. Same thing, really.) The closest approximations I could find readily were Cottonwood's Endo IPA and Snake Dog IPA.

Last night after work, Bob & I stopped by McScrooge's instead of Leaf & Ale. We had to do this because Tennessee's bizarro alcohol laws keep beer above a certain alcohol content, I think something like 6 or 7% ABV, from being sold outside of liquor stores (and, incidentally, liquor stores in TN can't sell anything but liquor; no cokes, no mixers, no chips, no smokes. Weird.) We were on a mission. Bob was still looking for some Tucher beer or another, and had given up trying to find it in grocery stores or even specialty beer joints like Leaf & Ale. Maybe its alcohol content was high enough to keep it confined to the booze-a-rama?

Anyway, hallelujah, but did they have a pretty good beer selection. Bob tried the Delirium Tremens Belgian Ale, and pronounced it good. I finally picked up some of Stone Brewing Company's Ruination IPA, and "they" were right: hop-head nirvana. I'm ruined. They also have plenty of Dogfish Head's products for sale there, so I forsee it being a while until I've run out of new beers to try.


Mulliga said...

Sorta-related question - how do you feel about drinking and carrying concealed? I've had a bottle of beer now and then when carrying, but I know many people say you should stay totally dry.

Kevin said...

I had no idea there were that many horse stables around the world. ;-)

Standard Mischief said...

weird laws:

Montgomery County Maryland- except for beer and whine, the county run stores sell all the booze, and they all close at 6pm. They even (or at least use to) sell their own generic “County Crest” brand liquor. You could buy beer at the grocery stores, but only one store of each chain could get the beer license. That means only one Safeway in the county can sell beer. No word on exactly how much cash they lose from the high taxes and restricted hours. Virginia is only a few minutes away via interstate.

P.G. County- much more liberal laws, even 24 hour liquor stores, but no hard liquor on Sundays (I suppose the logic is that the 40oz won't keep anyone from attending church, but that Everclear will do the trick). I remember, more than once, waiting until after midnight on Sunday so's we could buy the hard stuff at 12:01 am Monday morning.

Heartless Libertarian said...

I got so spoiled growing up and going to college in Kalifornia. One are where they're not obnoxious and statist is booze. You can buy everything from wine coolers to Everclear at the grocery store.

Now, here in WA, you have to buy hard stuff from liquor stores run by the state, but you can buy beer and wine at the grocery store.

Of course, at the Class VI on post, you can buy just about anything, but their selection is the best (although Ft Lewis is better than most), since Pvt Snuffie's tastes tend to be somewhat limited.

Oh, and don't even think of trying Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale. You're Not Worthy.

markhb said...

Ahhhh... I noticed on Tuesday that the pub just down the way from where I do my British Library stuff served Delerium Tremens. My cohort and I were both taken by the name.

And that pub is equidistant between my place of work and my tube station.

Oh, bum. That's another half-billion braincells for the chop.

Anonymous said...

Well Tam,
You could always just go ahead and start home brewing... It's actually quite easy and you get to brew what you want when you want.

My wife foolishly got me a basic equipment kit last Christmas, which she regrets to this day.

Now I have a british bitter, a milf brown ale, a mead ale, and a belgian style ale all on tap in the comfort of my own kitchen. Oh, and an irish stout bottled in the basement with a steam style doppelbock and a scots irish ale fermenting in the basement.

-The mad homebrewer

Matt G said...

Ah, Kevin-- you're unfortunately predisposed toward such thought because your mind has been warped by the taste and influence of the corn-and-rice infused yellow water known as the American Lager. The height of perfection in the American Lager is NO lingering flavor at the finish, and very little flavor during the draught. Witness the most common phrase in American beer advertisements: "Crisp and smooth, with no aftertaste." You mean, club soda over ice? (I like that, too, with a slice of lemon, but it's cheaper and doesn't get me drunk.)

To really appreciate IPA's (India Pale Ales), one must appreciate the distinctive taste of the 4 ingredients in beer: Water, barley malt (Not rice. Not corn. Barley. In some instances wheat may be appropriate, and oats may provide a nice flavoring in some stouts.), yeast, and hops. Hops are by far the most important feature to an IPA.

IPAs were originally brewed in Great Britain to send to the troops in Inja's sunny clime (where they used to spend their time, a-servin' for 'er Majesty the Queen...). Because the beer had to make the journey through the tropics and the doldrums to southern Asia, the brewmeisters did what they could to preserve it with higher alcohol contents, which required more malt. Correspondingly, more hops (bittering agent) were required to make it more bitter. Also, it was believed (and is in fact the case) that the hops helped preserve the beer for the journey, so even MORE of the little green flowers were brewed into the beer for a longer time, and the casks were "dry-hopped"-- that is, a large handful of hops were tossed into the the casks before they were sealed for the journey. The alpha acids in the hops, which make 'em bitter, helped stabilize the beer so it had that nice Brit pale ale taste to enjoy after a hard day of keeping the wogs at bay. (!)

IPAs grew to become greatly appreciated by those who associate "bitter beer face" with a big, big grin. :)

--Matt (whose best weekend job evar was working part time at the local brewing supply shop, where he was expected to drink homemade beer on duty.)

Zendo Deb said...

IPA? Can't wrap myself around that at all. (It doesn't quite taste like horse-piss, Kevin!)

I'm back on the Bombay Saphire. Mmmm. Extra-dry martinis, or on the rocks.

Not that the Makers Mark wasn't tasty.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I have learned to have no expectations at all when it comes to microbreweries' India Pale Ales. No wo taste anything similar, it seems.

Not that that's a bad thing. It makes life interesting.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Um, that should have been "no two..."

Todd said...

MMmmmmmmm.... IPA... Hoppy... What about Sweetwater 420? Can you get that in TN?

Last weekend I was in OK where you can buy beer at the Qwickie Mart, but only 3.2 beer. If you want the good stuff, you have to go to a liquor store. Of course, in the small town I was in the only liquor store is about the size of my closet (seriously) and the beer selection consisted of dusty bottles of Heineken or Becks. And if they're dusty, more than likely they're skunked (thanks to the green bottles).

Rustmeister said...

Dogfish Heads 60 and 90 minute IPA's rock.

The 90 is better, of course, but for the price, the 60 can't be beat.

I tried one recently in Colorado called Mojo IPA. I thought I was gonna sprout hops outta my scalp. Mmmmmmm hops.

Tam said...

"What about Sweetwater 420? Can you get that in TN?"

I miss being able to stroll from my apartment down to the Taco Mac's on the corner of Virginia and N. Highland, and sit there sipping a Sweetwater 420 on draft while reading a book from the little used book store next door.

What I don't miss is Atlanta traffic.

I'm kind of afraid that if I go back and drink a Sweetwater now, I'll find that it's not as hoppy as I remember it... :(

T.Stahl said...

As I told Marko: 'It's about time they build a bridge. Then the next time I can come with my car and spare myself the TSA hassle.' ;-)

Not only that, I could also bring Marko half a cwt of Kinderschokolade and you a crate or two of real beer. :-D