I have a slight infatuation with craft beer.
Wait, that’s a total lie. I love beer. We’re total buds. Craft beer is currently to a drinking habit what wine has been for years. It’s an excuse to drink under the guise of a hobby. Guzzle a case of Bud Lights over the weekend and you’re going to be called redneck with a drinking problem. Down a few stouts and IPAs and you’re an enthusiast! It’s a drinker’s perfect disguise!
Craft beer is also similar to wine because you’re always in collecting mode. You HAVE to try them all. Every brewery. Oh, the rare stuff. The one offs. The stuff that you need to “know a guy” to find. It’s fun because it’s like a yummy, boozy hunt!
Recently I received a
major award cool prize at our local hangout Taco Mac. They have a program that encourages spending drinking at their fine establishment: The Brewniversity. There are all kinds of levels and prizes for drinking/collecting unique brews. I just hit 125 and thus graduated with my Bachelor’s. I get my name on a plaque and some goodies, but the big prize is the big mug. Now I get 20 oz pours. My “problem” just got bigger by 4 oz.
So in honor of this major accomplishment, I’d like to dedicate today’s Five for Friday post to beer. This will likely be an ongoing series that pops up when I feel the need to push 5 deserving brews on your unsuspecting palate. Here are 5 beers I’m really into right now.
Number 5: New Belgium– Coconut Curry Hefeweizen 8%
A Hefe I like! This is major folks! I traditionally am not a fan of the wheats, but I love this one. Our bartender introduced this to me as “the nastiest f$&#ing beer I’ve tasted in a really long time”. Well, I had to try it after that. Delicious! Now he winces every time I ask for one.
The aroma is bold and big with coconut and curry tones and a hint of banana from the hefe yeast. With a vast spice list of cinnamon, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, kaffir lime, and cayenne pepper this beer carries a bit of heat but the alcohol soothes the finish. Coconut Curry Hefe will leave an inquisitive smile on the drinker’s mug.
Number 4: Southern Tier– Pumking 8.5%
Holy deliciousness in a glass. I’ve been obsessed with this one since my first sip. Since fall has come and gone, it’s getting harder and harder to find. We’re hording a bomber in our pantry.
All Hallow’s Eve is a time of the year when spirits can make contact with the physical world, and when magic is most potent. It is thought that we harness this magic to brew our powerful pumpkin ale. Not so, but it is with great respect to the magic of their trade that our brewers produce this fine beer. Take a whiff of this complex ale and your journey has just begun. At first sip, a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds, yet another victim enraptured by the Pumking.
Number 3: Samuel Smith- Organic Chocolate Stout 5%
A beer that appeals to the beer snob and hippie in me! I force this beer on everyone I meet. Usually the organic garners an eye roll…..and then they taste it. Chocolate bar in a mug. It’s insanely yummy! And at 5%, it’s super drinkable for a stout.
Brewed with well water (the original well, sunk in 1758, is still in use with the hard water is drawn from 85 feet underground), the gently roasted organic chocolate malt and organic cocoa impart a delicious, smooth and creamy character, with inviting deep flavours and a delightful finish – this is the perfect marriage of satisfying stout and luxurious chocolate.
Number 2: Ballast Point– Indra Kunindra 7%
Another curry beer….or should I say THE curry beer. I’m on the hunt for this one. It’s super hard to find. Matt and I found it at Hopjack’s Filling Station in Pensacola (they rock so hard!) and took a growler home to make sure we had another taste.
A burst of Madras Curry, Cumin, Cayenne, Coconut, and Kaffir Lime Leaf. An India-style Export Stout is Ballast Point’s unique collaboration with award-winning homebrewer Alex Tweet. Released in limited quantities, this explosion of South Asian flavors is reason enough to kneel down and thank the heavens.
Number 1: Jekyll– Hop Dang Diggity 6.7%
This is currently my favorite IPA and that’s saying a lot with the sheer number of IPAs available. I love that it’s local too! Atlanta’s craft beer scene is insanely incredible. Some crazy good beers coming out of this area!
Our Hop Dang Diggity Southern IPA will give you a full nose of Georgia pine aroma while the malty backbone provides for a perfectly balanced sweetness. Hopped up like a one legged chicken, this is not your standard “economical” IPA.
It is entirely likely that you may choose to not drink this IPA, but only breathe in it’s wonderful aromas… snap out of it and take a sip. Not too dry, but having just the right amount of sweetness to balance the bitter, then finishing with a refreshing clean that begs for the next taste. This hoppy style pairs well with any of your favorite spicy foods.
Stay positive & love your life!
Listening to: Queens Of The Stone Age – 3’s & 7’s
Random fact: I find beer knowledge sexy.