Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hey, Tazio! What's in the Beermeister?

Is it `meister or `miser?--always wondered about that...

On Saturday, with the weather decidedly proclaiming that Winter had been left behind at last, I loaded up my beer wagon and carted my two empty sixtels back to my favorite distributor, Weyerbacher Winter Ale and Blue Moon may ye rest in peace, it's been nice knowing ye, and replaced them with Sam Adams Summer Ale (one for the ladies) and Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA. I was pleasantly surprised to see the IPA and leaped (ok, white guys can't jump, let's say I hopped) at the chance to try it. For the other, I was initially attracted to the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. I like the Cherry What myself but it's not been a beer that I've seen everyone taking a liking to in the past, even with only the hint of cherries, so I avoided it and settled for the Summer. I usually try for one keg destined for easy drinking and one for a treat and/or special occasions like a new day.

I knew that in general prices have been going up, but wow was I in for sticker shock this time. Discounting the $30 per keg deposit (thanks scrap bootleggers!), my total came to $182! Surely grounds for griping and grumping but since it's for a tall cool one aka good cause, I'll forgo that for now in deference to beer.

Brought them home and, salivating salaciously, regretfully stored them in the miser until I had a chance to tap them which arrived on the day of rest and relaxation. Before tapping, I took the opportunity to clean my beer lines and taps as I am want to do on these occasions. Note to self: one supply tap gasket going, gotta get a replacement at Beer Solutions next time... Another note to self: devise a circulating beer line cleaning system with sanitary valves that can automate the whole process including cleaning, rinsing and drying, to make periodic cleaning much easier.

Then, the moments had arrived in which I would first draw samples of my Spring treats. The Sam Summer Ale I've had before and is close in taste to the Blue Moon. Hey, I like `em tasting like breakfast cereal--wait the Breakfast of Champions! Except not clear like Blue Moon or clear as a Summer day, in fact, more like a clear Spring day, but mighty fine golden color and smooth taste nonetheless. Not really that distinctive to my buds but a nice quencher if you know what I mean. I was really looking forward to the IPA as I had read about it in a NYT article on extreme beers I think it was, a few months ago. It pours with very little head an opaque apple-ciderish color with medium aroma of Hop and a hint of Apricots? Very nice hop taste, not overwhelming like Victory Hop Wallop or even Hop Devil, but somewhere in between and excellent nonetheless. Balanced malt flavor and not much Hop aftertaste. Oh, It's 9% abv. Thrilling!

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