Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday Was Alpine Day

Finished up my final at school around 11am and bolted straight down to Alpine. Got down there around 1:30 and was told I was only the 2nd person to come in for growlers of their "golden rye IPA" Nelson. Nelson is 7% ABV and described by Alpine...

"An outstanding hop from New Zealand, Nelson Sauvin, is generously used throughout the brewing and dry-hopping of this unique beer. European rye is added for a smooth, malty addition to flavor."
I found out about this beer on a Pacific Brew News podcast , the guys just raved about it (it's titled Younger, Nelson and a Huge Large Pils from Feb 1, 2008... check 38:37 into the show for Nelson). I had a quick taster just to make sure it was good (like there was ever any doubt) and quickly proceeded to order up 3 growler fills.

Here is where it gets good- Alpine charges UNDER $9 for a fill of Nelson. Seriously. This is a super-hoppy, limited rotating release and they charge $8.75 for a half gallon. That is almost unheard of in today's beer business. A pretty comparable beer, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (same ABV as Nelson), was $20 just for a fill. Alpine is just amazing when it comes to pricing. Even their hop-lover's dream double IPA Pure Hoppiness is is only $9-something a growler fill. EDIT: This will soon change :-( Gotta hand it to them and their awesome crew there.

Afterwards I headed over to O'Brien's to kill a couple hours waiting for the Alpine Bad Boy which was to be on cask at 5pm. Bad Boy is a double IPA and per JRhode and his crew Alpine did a great job of drying this beer out (the way a good West Coast IPA should be), whereas in the past it's finished a little sweet. Started off with a Blind Pig during lunch but found something new- Ballast Point Sextant Oatmeal Stout. This beer was being served on nitro and it was fairly good. Had a nice mildly roasty nose to it, a mildly roasty and chocolaty taste, but I thought it really lacked in body. It was almost watery.

Finally the Bad Boy cask was tapped (picture on the left). They also put a draft version of Bad Boy on too (picture on the right). Just to compare, I now understand why I don't like hoppy cask beers. To me the flavors just become muted. I like my hoppy beers to be snappy, punch me in the mouth, but the cask just rounds (dulls) things out way too much. Bad Boy cask wasn't horrible. It did have a nice fruity hoppiness to it, lots of tropical fruit going on with it, but it was too rounded out and not sharp enough. I did get a 10oz pour of the draft version before I left and wow was that a good beer. Flavor was totally different... it wasn't citrusy, it wasn't piney, it was somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, maybe like dead leaves or something. I know that sounds weird. But it was good, and dry.

1 comment:

J.Rhode said...

You got me on this one. I never thought that casking Bad Boy would round it too much. Draft was way better.