WHAT? Two beer posts in one week? Yeah, deal with it. With the amount of beer I drink, you babies are lucky you don’t get a beer post every hour.
We have discussed some gimmicky beers. We have discussed how a gimmick is only acceptable if it is done well and with the utmost respect for the beer itself. I’m not sure that is what is going on here, but we are about to find out.
Many months ago, I saw that the gimmick factory known as Rogue was producing a beer using the “wild” yeast found in their brewmaster’s beard.
LET’S BE CLEAR. I fucking love a good beard.
Look at this face carpet. I’m married to it.
I mean. Technically, this is just a beer brewed with wild yeast. AND WHAT’S WILDER THAN A BEARD?
A bear. A bear is wilder than a beard. Kittens, I am drunk. I drank a lot of beer for you.
What we are going to do in this post is a compare and contrast. We shall compare two types of hype. The gimmick and the legend. The stunt and the industry darling.
The Beard Beer and Pliny the Elder.
Let’s start as I did. With Pliny. This beer is as hyped as the fucking cronut. It has a rating of 100 on Beer Advocate, and those snobs make me look like a PBR-swilling poseur. My good friend G from BlumGum brought me a much-coveted bottle of Pliny the Elder. This liquid is quite difficult to obtain. He was only allowed to purchase two bottles per Whole Foods he visited. He brought back ten bottles so he had to go to like, five Whole Foods.
That is a lot of Whole Foods, even for Los Angeles, which is where he was. Because he is bi-coastal.
ANYWAY. This is the type of thing we should all be drinking in these summer months. BRIGHT. HOPPY. ALES. This is what I crave when I am sweaty and disgusting and just done mowing my lawn.
Just kidding, bibbles. I've never mowed a lawn in my life. But you get what I mean. I find hops to be refreshing and life affirming and I need them, because during the summer months (April-October, in FL) I feel like this here squirrel.
Pliny the Elder:
Appearance: Beautiful golden color with a white, frothy head. Really nice level or carbonation.
Aroma: Hoppy, obviously. Floral and citrusy.
Flavor: Fucking perfect balance between hops and malt. For the amount of hop flavor you get, this beer is smoother than smooth. Really clean flavors. Pleasant hoppy aftertaste. It is entirely too easy to get through a glass. For the amount of alcohol (8%) and the amount of hops (a generous amount), this beer is JUST SO SMOOTH.
Mouthfeel: Frankly? It's perfect. The mouthfeel is perfect. I don’t get a weird “sticky” feeling that I sometimes get with high alcohol beers. It’s just clean clean clean. AND SO EASY TO DRINK.
Overall: This is a flawlessly done Double IPA. So perfectly balanced.
Obviously, if you live on the West coast, go buy a bottle. Or, better yet, go find it on tap. OHHHHHH, I bet it really sings on tap. Find it and report back, westcoasters.
Let’s talk about this gimmick. I have been super disappointed with Rogue recently. What with their donut beers which, as far as I’m concerned, have been unacceptable.
When I first hear about this Beard Beer I was all, “Fuck straight off, Rogue. Get out of here with this noise.”
But then I heard that it was actually getting okay reviews and my curiosity got the best of me.
I ordered four bottles, because if I’m going to pay thirty dollars in shipping, I am going to make it worth my while.
Let’s review this brew.
Appearance: Also a beautiful golden color with a lovely amount of white head!
Aroma: Uh, oh, guys. This smells like a Belgian. In the best way possible. It smells like a single (or maybeeee a triple). Color me excited, because those are my favorite Belgians. It’s a little fruity too!
Flavor: IT IS A BELGIAN SINGLE. At least that is what it tastes like to me. Sweet and bready and kinda pineapple-y, this beer is a delight. What a pleasant surprise. I was expecting this to be very whatever.
Mouthfeel: Nice. A little thicker and not as clean as the Pliny. But all Belgians feel this way to me.
Overall: I’m surprised that no other reviews I have read have mentioned anything about Belgians. This tastes exactly like a Belgian single to me. When I first got into craft beer, Belgians were my gateway, and I was fascinated by wild and spontaneous yeast.
This is actually a very fantastic beer. What a delight. I am super excited about the other three bottles I have.
BUT WHO IS THE WINNER?
ME. I am the winner. I win. You win, too, because now you have two fantastically drinkable beers to choose from. Both of these lived up to their hype, and that is refreshing.
If you're a hophead, get the Pliny. If you like a sweeter ale with Belgian flavors, try this beard beer. Don't let the fact that they found the yeast in someone's beard prevent you from having this. They didn't put actual hair in the beer.
Have you guys had either one of these? Will you? Go drink one and then drunk tweet me.
Drunk tweet Claire: @clairelizzie.