Monday Beer Blogging – That Microbrew Taste

The other night I enjoyed a 22 oz. bomber of double-fermented IPA by the folks at Lagunitas in California and couldn’t shake the feeling of deja vu. Maybe I tried the Maximus IPA during my four-year stay in Colorado Springs, a microbrewing nirvana where most everything comes in a 22-oz. bomber. Probably not, Lagunitas only makes the Maximus for one month in the year and I don’t even know whether it was on the menu in ’99. The tan, medium-sized head retreated to a thin film and released a nose of slight caramel and serious hops, nudging my memory a bit more.

The strange thing was that the Maximus IPA did not remind me of any particular beer that I have tried, rather it reminded me of dozens at once. Despite being double-fermented the Maximus was more bitter than sweet, more hops and alcohol than malt and yeast protein, more classic American microbrew than Belgian dubbel.

In my view (and my palate couldn’t taste its way out of a paper bag lacks professional training, so take this with a grain of salt), American microbreweries harken back to a taste profile set by the grandaddy of them all and still one of the best, the pale ale from Sierra Nevada (brief history from Wikipedia). Although any brewery producing nearly 700,000 barrels a year is about as ‘micro’ as an Alaskan brown bear, the homebrewers who created Sierra Nevada started small and created a demand for the slightly-overhopped, medium-high ABV brews that thousands of American microbrews have since been more than pleased to fill. In my 22 oz. Lagunitas I tasted the brweing style that seems as authentically American as jazz and the blues. I do not know whether we invented the microbrewers’ rough-edged celebration of hoppiness and ABV but tasting it on tap is a good way to know that one is in the States, assuming that there are no other points of reference other than the inside of a bar. And that you cannot simply ask. Anyhow. Cheers to Lagunitas and American microbrewing in general, however gauche it might seem to do it on a monday. Blame it on work, and company for dinner and cards, and of course blame France. Or Canada.

***Update***

Say hello to Pandagon’s sex troop. Why they picked a beer post written by me to talk about John’s hotness will remain one of the unsolved mysteries of the universe.






57 replies
  1. 1
    QuickRob says:

    I cant possibly be the first

  2. 2
    QuickRob says:

    And while I’m at it I blame France for the fact that I, too, am drinking on a Monday evening.

    Damn the French..source of all my ills.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Andrew says:

    Oh my god. Where did you find that on the east coast?

    My favorite hoppy beer of all time is the Lagunitas Censored. It is exquisitely well balanced for a hoppy beer, far superior to Sierra Nevada. Their conventional IPA is quite good as well.

  5. 5
    Al Maviva says:

    My favorite hoppy beer of all time

    Gotta be Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA run through Randall the Ceramic Animal, a fresh hopping device, just prior to serving. The 90 Minute’s usual amazing hop blast, when combined with the oils and floral scent of a mix of fresh hops, is unbelievable – every sip tickles every section of tastebuds, one after the other, over a 30 second period. It compares well to the finest Bordeaux for complexity. Of course the balance leans a *little bit* towards the hoppy side, so if you’re a malty ale fan – if Newkie Brown and Tartan Ale and other sweet brown ales are your thing – you’d probably be desparately disappointed. Hopheads on the other hand… well, it’s worth a trip to Dewey Beach to catch Randall during happy hour, or worth the tickets to a tasting at RFD or the Brick in D.C. when the boys from Dogfish Head travel up. Yeah, Randall is pretty special. FWIW, the food at Dogfish Head is usually really good too…

  6. 6
    Tim F. says:

    I might have said somewhere that Dogfish Head’s 90-minute IPA is a freakishly good beer. Hands down my favorite IPA and very likely one of my top five favorite beers anywhere.

  7. 7
    Halffasthero says:

    Given the depth of your understanding and opinions on these beers, I am afraid to comment since all I know is what tastes good and have no idea why it does. That being said I came across “Ghostriders Ale” (appropriately at a biker bar)which was a little sweet and went down nicely.

    Too nicely. I called a cab. : )

    I am not sure if it was microbrewed or not, though. Anyone know?

  8. 8
    Andrew says:

    I think the 90 minute IPA is terribly overrated. The Tim F./Al Maviva conspiracy will not convince me oterwise.

  9. 9
    Punchy says:

    OT: Why is Miller High Life called the “Champagne of Beers”? It’s not champagne, and barely qualifies as beer. More like Ass In A Can.

  10. 10
    Phillip J. Birmingham says:

    I think the 90 minute IPA is terribly overrated. The Tim F./Al Maviva conspiracy will not convince me oterwise.

    I think it’s really, really good, but I’m not sure it goes in my personal top five, or even that it’s my favorite IPA. First, there’s New Glarus Hop Hearty to consider (though it’s a standard-gravity IPA) and Three Floyds Dreadnought is another double-IPA that I remember fondly.

  11. 11
    Janet says:

    What’s up with all this John is HOTT stuff? He can’t even spell. I restrict my between-the-sheets activity to partners who are literate, thanks.

  12. 12
    Perry Como says:

    I spent the last week in what may be considered the microbrew capital of the US: Portland. And while the selection of beers is staggering, even in the dankest hole in the wall, the best beer I had was actually up in Washington at a little place called Walkingman Brewery. If anyone is ever in the area, grab a couple growlers and fill ’em up. Seriously good stuff (Crosswalk Wheat, mmmm).

  13. 13
    tBone says:

    Tim/John, if you’re going to spoof on your own blog, please stick to politics. This is creepy.

  14. 14
    Tim F. says:

    I have no more idea what’s up than you do. Sounds to me like some sort of special-ed flash mob.

  15. 15
    Krista says:

    Yeah, this is really weird. Who the hell are these people?

  16. 16
    Tim F. says:

    The flash mob sounds to me like one person with a stable of sock puppets, an IP spoofer and a third-grade sense of humor. Normally I would not give a shit but the volume of nonsense became unacceptable, so I removed it. Anybody who thinks that I am a totalitarian comments Nazi is free to complain by email.

  17. 17
    Bob says:

    Well, at least you’re a “hot comments Nazi”!

  18. 18
    Antinomianism says:

    You’re a totalitarian comments Nazi. Oh, and anti-sex.

  19. 19
    Sarah says:

    Isnt it funny how it is always the guys who arent very hot who end up deleting comments about their much hotter and more fuckable peers. I sense some jealousy

  20. 20
    Chris Clarke says:

    Sounds to me like some sort of special-ed flash mob.

    Tim, I think you’re confused. Just because Blog Against Disablism Day ended yesterday, that doesn’t mean today is Gratuitous Ugly Slurs Based On Insults Of Disabled People Day.

    Of course, I’m the kind of person who finds most Special Ed students better company than most conservatives, so you may add grains of salt to taste.

  21. 21
    Tim F. says:

    Ah. I was wrong about the spoofer, right about the flash mob. Say hello to the newest thing in performance art.

  22. 22
    Chris Clarke says:

    Although you do have laudable taste in beer.

  23. 23
    kat says:

    Hey Tim, post a picture of your ass. I’m curious to see how it looks after drinking all those beers.

  24. 24
    Patsy says:

    No kidding. Claiming not to “get it” when he gets it loud and clear–he’s uptight because he’s just not hot enough. Don’t hate the players, Tim.

  25. 25
    Tim F. says:

    Chris, the last time I was conservative was…never. Welcome to Balloon Juice for the first time, apparently. And since my picture is unavailable online you will forgive me for filing comments about my hawtness in the troll bin.

  26. 26
    Kimberly says:

    Laudable taste in beer is sexy in a man. The beer-lovers generally have a little extra to hang on to which is nice.

  27. 27
    Antinomianism says:

    See, this is the thing I don’t get… why would people immediately assume that discussions of somebody’s hotness are so totally outside the norm as to require the heavy hand of the mod?

  28. 28
    Antinomianism says:

    Besides, Tim, I think this was about John’s hotness mostly, not yours.

  29. 29
    Andrew says:

    Hmm. These guys are rank amateurs compared to the pro-spoofers already here.

  30. 30
    RumpRadarRange says:

    Yeh, if John is gonna put up the homoerotic shower pics and the big bangbang guns stuff, he should know better. The slut deserves it!

  31. 31
    Jack Roy says:

    RRR, don’t be dense. The photoes Amanda posted at her site are of Doug Giles, a Townhall contributor. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pic of either John or Tim.

  32. 32
    Krista says:

    Yeah…I don’t know. I approve of the sentiment behind a bawdy group prank, but to ruin a perfectly good beer posting? That just seems wrong somehow.

  33. 33
    Andrew says:

    Furthermore, once Jeff Dougstein deploys his spoof army to invade Pandagon, they will wish they had never spent so much time thinking about John Cole going bear huntin’ in a speedo.

  34. 34
    canuckistani says:

    They don’t do their research, do they? If they wanted to stir up a shitstorm, they could have brought up gay scout leaders, or Valerie Plame, or Terry Schiavo’s mouldering corpse. But the idea that someone here is HOT? Pffft.

  35. 35
    Krista says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pic of either John or Tim.

    Me neither. Just Tunch, who in the cat world, is definitely teh haute. (Did I say that right? I’m still getting used to this weird “teh” slang…I must keep up, as I’m mentoring a high-school group, and don’t want to look hopelessly out of touch.)

  36. 36
    Jack Roy says:

    Canuckistani, you gotta understand the whole Pandagon styz: Amanda organized this as some trippy inversion of the gender power dynamics and yada yada yada. Unfortunately, that would require reading Pandagon, which is the psychiatric equivalent of taking up smoking.

  37. 37
    Perry Como says:

    Furthermore, once Jeff Dougstein deploys his spoof army to invade Pandagon, they will wish they had never spent so much time thinking about John Cole going bear huntin’ in a speedo.

    The mind shudders on so many levels.

  38. 38
    Egg says:

    Why would any man have a problem with being called hot, with or without two Ts? It’s a compliment, for God’s sake!

  39. 39
    molly says:

    Come on, you should be FLATTERED by all this attention. Why are you getting so uptight about women flocking to your blog to talk about how hot you are?

    If you have a blog, it means you wanted the attention anyway. I don’t understand why you’re acting all offended about women discussing you. If you cared that much about it, you wouldn’t have a blog in the first place.

  40. 40
    Ken says:

    Oh Yeah can’t imagine any relationship between beer and percieved sex appeal (He’s/She’s looking better every beer).

    Everybody who has never had a beer fueled sex adventure ( consumated or embaressingly turn off doesn’t matter) raise your digital hands. – No one under 21 or professional rethuglican virgins allowed to vote.

    Beer and sexual appeal seem to go hand in hand.

    Since sexual appeal (like sanity) is in the eye of the beholder I scorn all who wish to ignore, degrinate or sublimate this one of the most basic of human’s reactions to alcohol. Let us rejoice in the freedom that a lager frenzy gives us.

  41. 41
    kat says:

    God, what’s the big deal? Can’t a girl wonder how a dude looks naked and ask him for photographic proof every once in a while?

  42. 42
    Patsy says:

    I don’t see what anyone’s politics has to do with anything. I think smart political geek boys are super-hot, and I don’t really care where they fall on the political spectrum.

    So, do you think John wears glasses?

  43. 43
    Bill says:

    He’d have to wear beer goggles to think you’re hot, Patsy:)

    Anyway, I guess this was an attempt to demonstrate the ad hominem fallacy. You’re wrong/right because you’re hot/ugly is a poor argument. This fallacy is too often applied to women with opinions.

  44. 44
    Tim F. says:

    Anyway, I guess this was an attempt to demonstrate the ad hominem fallacy.

    That raises the question of why choose John Cole, who has never appealed to sexism in the year-plus that I have read him, and then why start it on a post written by me about beer, and why post pictures of somebody else and then invite comments about him on John’s blog. The whole exercise comes off smelling half-assed and lazy.

  45. 45
    Perry Como says:

    You’re wrong/right because you’re hot/ugly is a poor argument. This fallacy is too often applied to women with opinions.

    The validity of a woman’s opinion is directly proportional to the quantity of beer consumed by the listener (exponentially so, if that beer is a trappist ale).

  46. 46
    John Cole says:

    I honestly have no idea what has happened here, and am too lazy to read the whole thread. It does seem like this thread is a touch odd.

    FYI- I wear glasses and/or contacts.

  47. 47
    Krista says:

    FYI- I wear glasses and/or contacts.

    and/or? The “or” I understand. But the “and”? You must bump into a lot of stuff, my friend.

  48. 48
    Dia sin cerveza!!!! says:

    Did someone say free beer?

  49. 49
    BlueInRedTx says:

    I think glasses and/or contacts are HOT and extremely fuckable. Who cares about trappist ale?

  50. 50
    Patsy says:

    The glasses/contacts combo gives one X-ray vision.

  51. 51
    Geuze Without Sayin' says:

    I thought Trappists were supposed to be celibate.

  52. 52
    canuckistani says:

    Canuckistani, you gotta understand the whole Pandagon styz: Amanda organized this as some trippy inversion of the gender power dynamics and yada yada yada. Unfortunately, that would require reading Pandagon, which is the psychiatric equivalent of taking up smoking.

    Instead, you got a bunch of beer-drinking nerds saying “Huh?”. Well, rock on anyway. Smash that dominant paradigm.

  53. 53
    Wrye says:

    That raises the question of why choose John Cole, who has never appealed to sexism in the year-plus that I have read him, and then why start it on a post written by me about beer, and why post pictures of somebody else and then invite comments about him on John’s blog.

    I think…I’m wandering in late, here–that it’s because John has a sense of humor. I suspect the poor aim (Tim and Beer) was due to haste in wanting to spring the prank before someone found out. I kind of approve of the added accidental surrealism caused by the poor aim–Dada would be proud.

  54. 54
    Bob says:

    Please spray your balloon juice on me! Oh, yeah baby. Give it to me. You have the juiciest balloon of anyone.

  55. 55
  56. 56

    […] A few hours later I remembered my review of the Maximus IPA, another filtered multi-fermented ale (double rather than triple) from Lagunitas in California. I wrote then: […]

  57. 57

    […] First on the menu, you can hardly resist picking up a pint with a name like Hoppus Maximus, from Thirsty Dog in Independence, OH. Going by the name alone I expected another contestand in the American hop wars, but in fact the beer went down fairly smooth with none of the hoppy pyrotechnics like you find in the Maximus IPA from Lagunitas, or the bombastic, orchestral hops arrangement that you find showcased in Hop Devil. Some could say that those super-hopped beers have become the show dogs of the beer world, exquisite and pure of purpose but not practical for your day-to-day drinking needs. Hoppus Maximus leaves a pleasant mix of citrus and malt on the palate, not sweet like an unfiltered trippel but without any of the bitterness that its name seems to advertise. Just about perfect for a happy hour beer that you don’t plan on nursing for two hours. BAers approve. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] First on the menu, you can hardly resist picking up a pint with a name like Hoppus Maximus, from Thirsty Dog in Independence, OH. Going by the name alone I expected another contestand in the American hop wars, but in fact the beer went down fairly smooth with none of the hoppy pyrotechnics like you find in the Maximus IPA from Lagunitas, or the bombastic, orchestral hops arrangement that you find showcased in Hop Devil. Some could say that those super-hopped beers have become the show dogs of the beer world, exquisite and pure of purpose but not practical for your day-to-day drinking needs. Hoppus Maximus leaves a pleasant mix of citrus and malt on the palate, not sweet like an unfiltered trippel but without any of the bitterness that its name seems to advertise. Just about perfect for a happy hour beer that you don’t plan on nursing for two hours. BAers approve. […]

  2. […] A few hours later I remembered my review of the Maximus IPA, another filtered multi-fermented ale (double rather than triple) from Lagunitas in California. I wrote then: […]

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