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  • Paige Latham Didora

a beer-lovers table

Did you know that there are websites where you can learn what death-row inmates requested for their last meal? Everything from steak dinners to cans of classic soda has been provided for prisoners. Most of the requests are honored (except in Texas, that is). I find the list morbidly fascinating.

Stone Enjoy By

First to go around was Stone’s Enjoy By 9.13.13 IPA. I’ve always found this series somewhat confusing. While I understand that Stone is a big supporter of fresh beer that makes it into consumer hands very quickly after it is brewed, the idea of an IPA being quick to “expire” or go bad just doesn’t make sense. After all, India Pale Ales were originally brewed to be shipped long distances without going bad.

The brewery posted a video about the series, and I have to say that the part I find most interesting is not the date when the beer evidently turns to dust, but that different batches are going to different areas. As for the date thing, what am I not getting here? Yes, some aromas and flavors imparted by hops may fade over time, but that is why beers have expiration dates in the first place. It was a very good IPA with detectable freshness, all numbers aside.

ST back burner

next was an out-of-season Southern Tier. At first we all struggled to grasp the concept of an “imperial barley wine”, but after one sip we didn’t really care. We all agreed that this beer from Southern Tier was excellent despite the hot temperatures.

Nutty and vanilla notes are strong as the moderate head quickly fades.

It’s quite sweet with brown sugar and dark fruit hitting the palate immediately. The aging is evident in the refined vanilla notes and smoothness. I could have done with a bit more body for the style, but the thinness was actually nice on such a hot day.

The last beer that went around was so starkly different from the Oak Aged Imperial Barely Wine that side-by-side you may not think that both of these beverages are classified as beer.

Berliner Weisse is a beloved style among the Bitches Brew Crew, and the Hottenroth by California’s The Bruery was no exception.


The bottle suggests to pair it with raspberry or woodruff syrup as desired but we drank it straight. The super tart taste and high carbonation is highly refreshing and invigorating.

We use lactobacillus and a hint of brettanomyces to sour this very unusual, low gravity wheat beer.” -The Bruery

Berliner Weisse is a very old style of beer. According to the BJCP website, only two traditional breweries still produce the style. The Bruery, out of California, is hoping to revive the classic style which has been referred to historically as “The Champagne of the North”

Well, each of the beers we passed around this weekend earned high marks from us and scored 90+ on the Beer Advocate website. Had these been my last beers on earth, I would be a happy woman.

Here is to hoping our Hopalicious clone, now fermenting, is half as good.


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