A little under two years ago I wrote about some trends in craft beer that I was noticing. You can read the full thing here, but the skinny of it is that oak aged and sour beers were making a mark in the craft beer world. I still think that the trend that I talked about then is true now, but there seems to be a bigger emphasis on “big” beers and frankly, I’m tired of it.
I do dig the occasional bourbon aged imperial stout, but they are becoming a dime a dozen. They aren’t special anymore and they ones that I have had range from decent to poor. Consumers seem to be getting caught up in these “special” release beers and I’m not sure that it is having a positive effect on the craft beer industry. I’ve fallen victim to this type of ploy as well, but I’m learning to shy away from it.
How many 10% bourbon aged imperial stouts can one drink and how different can they all really be? I’m getting tired of big and bold, I would prefer smaller beers with more delicate flavors. There is something to be said for a solid 5% beer. I think it shows a level of skill in brewing that a 10% stout just doesn’t showcase. As any homebrewer which style of beer is easiest to make consistently. I bet stout would be the number one answer.
Hopefully this trend starts to calm down and we can return to more “normal” beers. There is still plenty of room for experimentation, but the bourbon and barrel aging has run its course. Am I alone in this?
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope that you have a safe and happy holiday. Thank you so much for visiting BreweryReviewery. I hope Santa brought all of the beers that you were looking for this year.
It’s not often that a beer comes along that demands lines out of the front of the brewery, but Victory Dark Intrigue is one of those beers. Victory released their bourbon barrel aged version of Storm King Stout today for only the second time. If you believe their posts, this will be the last time this beer is ever made. Call me a skeptic, but I think we will see it return in a few years once they have some more room at the brewery.
Victory started selling cases and individual bottles of the beer at 11:30 AM but they mentioned that you could start lining up at 9:00 AM. I heard a few say there people were there at 7:00 AM. I had to work, so that wasn’t in my plan, but I did have a half day, and I work 15 minutes from the brewery, so I headed over as soon as I got out of work. When I got there a line went from the entrance all the way to the second loading dock, no small distance. A worker was handing out brackets and numbering them. I was number 340. Just for reference they were only giving out 300 cases of the beer so my chances we no good to terrible.
As the first hour passed a few behind me gave up hope as case after case entered different cars and drove away. One person behind me was keeping tally of every case that went out of the front doors. In hour one, about 100 cases had been sold.
Hour two saw some light rain and worsening spirits. Anyone past the magic number of 300 was given a Victory sticker. For reference they cost 50 cents in the gift store. I was beginning to lose hope, but the line was slowly drudging on.
Hour three had some moments of worry and excitement. Because not everyone bought full cases (at $180 a pop!) the magic number for a guaranteed chance at beer was at 320. That number quickly went above my number and I knew I was in good shape. After three full hours I paid for my beer and had it in my hands. It comes in 750 ml caged and corked bottles, each bottle costing 15 bucks. I overheard one of the works saying that they took some of their distributor cases out of the shipping area to ensure that everyone had a chance to get some beer. I only purchased three bottles which drew some strange looks from those who purchased full cases.
I have no plans on hoarding this beer. Even if it is the last time they ever make it, beer is meant to be enjoyed, not worshiped. It wasn’t that fun of an experience and I’m not sure if I would do it again. I also haven’t tasted the beer yet, so my opinion of the whole thing could change. I have a few other thoughts about the day that I will share in a later post, but I got a bottle (and two for a friend) and I accomplished my mission of the day.
I was at Victory Brewing Company earlier this week to have dinner with some friends and my wife, all of who had never visited the brewery before. My wife banned the camera from taking any pictures while eating or anything like that, but I did have some wonderful beer and burgers. As is my custom at a brewery, I purchased a burger and a sampler. I had a glass or two of Uncle Teddy’s Bitter as well which is a great beer if you are the driver for the evening. It comes in at 3.7% and is still a sipper. I wish more breweries had some super low ABV offerings.
One of my favorite things to do before leaving Victory is to visit their gift shop and make sure that there isn’t any single bottles that I can’t take home. I did pick up a bottle of their new beer, Otto, which will be reviewed shortly. Victory is now making their own beer inspired ice cream. They offer three flavors using the wort (pre-hop) from Golden Monkey, Hop Devil, and Storm King Stout.
Judging by the title of this post I bet you can figure out which ice cream we took home. Hopped up Devil is an ice cream that has ingredients such as cayenne, cinnamon, and chocolate covered coffee beans.
The mix of ingredients goes really well together. The cinnamon gets a bit burred out of all of the flavors but the cayenne is a stand out. The heat from it slowly builds as you eat the ice cream. It isn’t intense at all, but gives a soft burn on the back-end. It make a cycle of eat ice cream, cool down mouth, cayenne heats mouth, eat more ice cream. A wonderful and dangerous cycle. As I have mentioned before, I’m no coffee fan except in beer, but add ice cream to that list. The chocolate covered beans provided some nice punches of flavor as well as a different texture. I think the ice cream is only available at the brewery, so stop in if you are ever close and try some beer ice cream. Continue reading
As if you needed another reason to drink good beer, today is International Stout Day. Why have an International Stout Day? Why not? This is the first year that this is happening and I hope that it is a success. There is nothing like a solid stout to make a beer drinker happy. My stouts are going to be coming from Sam Adams (Boston Beer) where I plan on having their Imperial Stout as well as the coffee stout that came in the Winter Variety Pack this year. Are you drinking anything special?