Pliny the…Overrated?

Before you get your panties in a wad, I really did like this beer…

As in like, like…

Like going steady, asking it to the Sadie Hawkin’s dance kind of like. 


But…

When you’ve been pursuing and pining over something for so long, it can take on a life of its own, and the legend grows and grows. Once you get your hands on it, you’re expecting that legend to take a hold of you and whisk you away on a magical journey of dreams and delight. This was my hope as I took my first big sip. I sipped, I pondered, and then…

It was…just good. Don’t get me wrong, it was smooth, hoppy, and all around well balanced but it was just, if I dare to say it again, good. I didn’t want to be disappointed and felt bad that I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would’ve. Is that wrong? I asked myself, “should I like this more??”. I basically chalked it up to having dozens and dozens of different DIPA’s over the years that could be very comparable and/or better than Pliny. I had to get it in my head that this was basically the double IPA that started it all, and that all the DIPA’s I happen to enjoy more are a subtle variation of this very brew. 

In conclusion, I’m very elated that I tasted the nectar that is Pliny the Elder and can cross it off on my beer bucket list, or something I just made up, my “beer”cket list. The thing is, we’ve gone on our first date and it was great and fun, but it just wasn’t as good as I was hoping or thought it would be. This is where I leave you, don’t be upset, there’s somebody special out there waiting for you, but I’m not that person. 

Pliny…

It’s not you, it’s me. 

There will be Beer. 

#IPApril has been dank…

I couldn’t be hoppier trying any and all of the Pale Ales from India I can get my hands on…

I feel like my puns have been lacking lately, so there’s a couple for ya. 

13 days, 16 different IPA’s later, marks the inevitable ending of two magical quests I have embarked on. 

What quests you ask??

Well I thought you would never ask but they are my #questfor1000 unique beers on the fabulous application untappd and maybe even more important…

The quest that, as we speak, is making its way across this great nation by airways, but to dramatize the situation, I’ll go with magical and majestic steeds. Trundling through the moats of yesteryear, or in this case we’ll call it Cleveland, or taking in the breathtaking mountain views of East Bumfuck, this journey will come to a delicious and satisfying end, in my mouth. 

(mind out of the gutter please)

That quest is Pliny the Elder, the originated and often imitated beginning of the double IPA. Along for the ride will be his trusty side kick, Blind Pig, which maybe just a single version of the Elder but has the hops of a champion. 

(If you were reading that description and then pictured a beer riding a horse, then my work here is done.)

Two hard fought journeys of valor will enter my personal record books, and beer bucket list at the same moment and it will be bliss…

Oh yes, there will be bliss. 

Jekyll and hyde the juice.

respect

Disclaimer: This “juice bomb” trend is really getting out of control. They taste fucking delicious, i would never say they don’t, but it’s beer people…beer.  It’s not even the fault of the brewers themselves, but the juice lovers have it in their head that if beer doesn’t taste like juice, then it sucks or it’s a “malt bomb”. Man up and broaden your horizons.

Having said that, this post is actually about some southern attempts at the NE style IPA, so go figure.  The beer scene is quite different this side of the Mason/Dixie line as their isn’t many frequent releases to line up for or having to pay $20 for a four pack of 16oz cans, which I totally look at as a perk. The local breweries I frequent such as River Dog and Southern Barrel do have a rotating wide variety on draft but not much in the cans department so a couple pints and a to go growler it is.  The NE style IPA. or the aforementioned juice bombs, are slowly but surely making their way down the coast.turtle

Case in point is Jekyll Brewing of Alpharetta Georgia, with all around solid brews, they have a couple takes on the haze craze (more bitching about that later).  Not really advertised as an NE IPA, because frankly it isn’t one, but that’s what i tasted so I’m counting it.

So there.

Hoot’n & Holler’n (can’t get more southern than that) is a DIPA that as smooth as the day is long. The more I read about it, I heard it had more of a malt character, but I got a lot of similar characteristics to the always delicious, and expensive, Trillium and Treehouse. As some of you are reading this, I’m sure you are shouting “blasphemy!” or “did he just compare other beers to Trillium AND Treehouse, how dare he!”, but that’s my story and I’m stickin to it. Even at 94 IBU’s and 8.8% ABV I was mesmerized by the balance of flavors and it really went down, well…

like juice.

(Shit! I told myself I wasn’t going to say that!)

(Maybe they didn’t see it?)

***Who said that??***

Sorry for the interruption folks, they won’t stop talking sometimes. Getting back to the task at hand, the next brew is (and I’m not making this up) called Southern Juice.  This being directly inspired by the NE (New England/Northeast) style didn’t really hit me over the head as much with juice, as I was expecting from the name.  Still delicious in its own right with a run of the mill 6.3% ABV, the color, haze, and look was there but I was missing something.  When something is in the juicy style and then calls itself juice in the name of said beer, i was expecting a little bit more. Maybe if I just tasted without reading the label I would’ve been pleasantly surprised, as I was with H&H, not expecting the taste of my former home (Massholes stand up!).

Whether the juice is loose or the malt bomb is ticking, I love IPA’s for what they are.

Damn good beer.

#IPApril

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#IPApril

A wise man once said, “If something doesn’t work, say fuck it and come up with something else.”

Or something like that. 

#maniamarch is over and done with and maybe I only did eleven out of thirty two, but it’s my blog and I can kind of do what I want so the kibosh was put on. I will still enjoy the hell out of WrestleMania 33 tonight and put down some beers with my lovely lady. 

Another month means another hashtag and more beer. My affinity for India Pale Ales has been well documented, so it just seemed to fit (that’s what she said) that this month is now #IPApril. I focused on the double IPA back in December with the epic battle that was #dipadecember with Treehouse “Haze” coming out on top, but this April is open to any and all comers. Be it a single, double, American (gross), Imperial, black, single hop (not a fan), or the rare but always delicious triple IPA, this will be one for the ages and I’m thirsty already. 

What are your favorite IPA’s?? 

Let me hear it!!
…and for all the ‘Merica people that might have been offended with gross by America, stop it. It’s the American IPA that’s gross. Use your head. 

Never 11. Never

The number 11 aka the horrible number aka the Rebecca Black of numbers aka nobody wants to see two ones next to each other or aka the equivalent of this…

I needed a little sunshine in my life for this main event. Sip of Sunshine that is. This Lawson’s Finest Liquids specialty was a welcomed addition to the worst WrestleMania ever. The “main event”, quotes were necessary, was Bam Bam Bigelow going up against Lawrence Taylor. Lawrence Taylor is and was at the time a retired football player with no wrestling experience. This same man is in the main event in WrestleMania, and I repeat, no wrestling experience at all. Zero. Nada. Zilch. With fellow WWF superstars and NFL stars surrounding the ring to bring some star power to this monstrosity did little to heighten the drama. 

The Sunshine of Sip helped just a little bit as it is another taste of home. I’ve heard a lot about this beer and I will say it’s a wee bit overrated but in the same token is magically delicious. The 8%, as with many NE style IPA’s, is easily drinkable and simply fabulous. I wouldn’t wait three hours in line for this but getting it delivered right to your doorstep, I’ll take it. Always. 

Yep. Main event material, don’t you think? The only redeeming quality of this much is that LT is just hammering Bam Bam with stiff blows. No wrestling finesse here, he’s just laying it in with no apologies. After about ten minutes of incessant nonsense Taylor climbs to the second rope to deliver a forearm for the ages and in turn getting the 1…2…3. 

No title on the line, poor buildup, and just everything that is wrong was this main event. Luckily for me I had some sunshine to brighten this dark cloud called a match. 

P.S. I promise this is the most bitching I will do in a post. 

P.P.S Hold that thought…

Dress to the 9’s in a Toga. 

#9…

#9…

With the Beatles reference out of the way, the ninth installment of this wrestling extravaganza was once again a head scratcher. Held in Vegas for the first time, it was all Caesar and Cleopatra, camels, togas and everything in between. The event of the night was Bret Hart, reigning WWF champion, going up against the 505 pound Japan phenom, Yokozuna. Fun fact is that Yokozuna was from Hawaii the whole time, so… fuck me right? 

Keeping with the sweetest of water theme is their flagship Pale Ale, 420. I have phases between 420 and the IPA and I just might be back on the Pale bandwagon. 

I also had phases between smooth and crunchy peanut butter but that’s beside the point. I can go either way on pale ales but in this case, it’s right up there with the IPA. Weighing in at 5.7 ABV, it has a great hop kick, but with a smoother citrus finish. A green can with a blue top opener thingy, how can you go wrong. 

Never expecting a wrestling lesson from a 500+ pounder, so moves were minimal and agility was basically non existent. I’ll give Bret Hart all the credit in the world for carrying (or not carrying) the big monster through this matchup. A missed corner splash lead to a second rope bulldog by the challenger but only a 1 count with an extreme kick out. Using all the brains he can, Hart exposes a turnbuckle, all the while throwing Yokozuna into it. The big man is down and the sharpshooter submission move is in!! Mr. Fuji has a substance in his hand…

It’s salt in the eyes!! Salt in the eyes!!!

Yokuna gets the 1…2…3 and the NEEEEW WWF CHAMPION…YOKOZUNA!!! 

In the most shocking (meaning the most unshocking) moment ever, Hulk Hogan comes to the aide of the cheated ex-champion to avenge his loss. Fuji then sets a challenge to the Hulkster to fight Yoko with the title on the line. Spoiler Alert: Hogan gets in and foils the plans of the bad guys and heroingly (totally a word) wins the WWF Championship for the fifth time. The silver lining in this is that I will not utter the name Hogan till WrestleMania 18. 

Hallelujah!!

WrestleMania on the 8’s…

“I sell out arenas, I call that getting dome.” – Jay Z

April was once again upon us and WWF, much like Stella, got their groove back. With a crowd of 62,167 at the Hoosier Dome in Indiana, they righted the wrongs of yesteryear with not one, but…

TWO MAIN EVENTS!!!

The WWF Championship was on the line as Ric Flair (I know you just woo’ed in your head) was pitted against the Macho Man. The build for this match was sublime as Flair stated, and had doctored photo proof, of himself and Savage’s wife Elizabeth in compromised positions with a horse. No bullshit, I said a fucking horse. 

                                                                                 Told ya.

Segueing from a horse to a fish, we go to one of my favorite southern breweries in Sweetwater out of Athens, GA. The flagship IPA is delicious and no, it’s not juicy. It’s just a great hop forward smooth drinking IPA that goes down fabulously. The 6.3% ABV is a little low for more modern IPA’s but if you have 8 at 6% or 6 at 8% then it all equals out right? Thought so. 

Savage, who was retired the year before, was back because in wrestling not much can be taken seriously or literally. Macho came out in all gold, which I’m pretty sure always means that you win the championship. It’s taken me a while to come to this conclusion, but I think I’m on to something. As I’m blabbering on, Savage starts this fight on the outside and is a whirlwind of fisticuffs. As many title matches go, there are ebs and flows of momentum and now Flair is battering the back of Macho, literally from pillar to post. Mr.Perfect is running interference on the outside which just leads to more suplexes and of course plenty of chops from Flair. Savage catches the Nature Boy snoozing on the top rope and BAM, Flair is down & he is in a world of hurt, as seen below…

 

In just about every Flair match he dawns the crimson mask and this one is no different. Flair is down and seemingly out as Savage goes up for his patented elbow and he… HITS IT!! 1…2…NO!! Perfect makes the save and in a weasel move throws in brass knuckles and wallops the Macho one with them. The three count will not be had here and to try to preserve justice, as well as the voice of reason, is Miss Elizabeth. Some pelvic thrusts and air kisses from Ric to Liz can only boil the blood of his opponent. The writing was on the wall but just when you thought it was safe to air pelvic thrust, Savage rolls up (with a fistful of tights) and get the 1..2..3… AAND NEW WWF CHAMPION, MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE!!!  This was one of my favorite bouts so far and remains to be to this day. 

Well, I’ve nerded out long enough and still have some tasty Sweetwater IPA left, so I’ll give you the abridged version of the other main event that was touted as the potential last match of the Hulkster. Another snoozer of a match against Sid Justice was the true main event that went last on the card, which still bugs me. Hulk basically gets beat down, you think he’s out, but he no sells to kingdom come all while the mouthpiece of Sid causes a disqualification. The real rub of the post match beat down of Hogan, with a little help from Papa Shango, was the return of…THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR!!! HES BACK!! The newly mulleted Warrior cleaned house which lead to a pose off in the middle of the ring with all the adoring fans taking it all in. 

So nice, I have to… watch another WrestleMania?? Pretty sure that’s how it goes. Here we go…

#9…

#9…

#9…