Top 3 Reasons the Haybag Thinks Green Flash Road Warrior IPA is a Patrick Swayze Tribute Beer

Next up, Green Flash Road Warrior Rye IPA.

road warriorThe Haybag can be best described as Patrick Swayze Crazy, and she considers Dirty Dancing to be his Magnum Opus. This affects me, too, unfortunately. For I have “had the time of my life” more than any other man. I have seen the director’s cut, the director’s commentary version, and VH1 pop-up version. When I hear the album, I know which song goes with which scene. And the other day after unflinchingly answering a trivia question about the movie’s “I carried a watermelon” line, I had executed 2.5 fist pumps before I realized my male co-workers were all blankly staring at me in disgust.

disappointed turtleNow the Haybag is convinced that Green Flash Road Warrior is a posthumous tribute to Patrick Swayze. I tried to convince her to write about it, but she thinks blogging is a supreme waste of time. So, a summary of her thesis on the matter is all you Haybag fanboys are going to get. So, I give you the top three reasons the Haybag thinks Green Flash Road Warrior IPA is a Patrick Swayze Tribute Beer:

1. “The rye of your life” line on the label.
Any reference to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” requires little explanation. Who could forget the forward-thinking prescience of Baby and Johnny? They shook things up at the Summer of ’63 Kellerman’s Final Dance by dancing to a ditty with an 80s synth bass line that would have been sung by a then 16-year-old Jennifer Warnes and an as-yet undiscovered, college-attending Righteous Brother.

seems legit2. Road Warrior is clearly a reference to Roadhouse. 
Roadhouse is a movie so manly that men use it to justify sitting through other Patrick Swayze movies. But who could argue with its allegory. Patrick Swayze confronts a force of evil strong enough to defeat Sam Elliott’s mustache…a mustache so glorious, its defeat clearly represents a redemptive Christ-like martyrdom, which ultimately fuels Patrick Swayze’s triumph over evil. Quite simply, it’s one of the finest American films ever made.

roadhouse3. The beer’s dark amber that hints of red is clear nod to Red Dawn.
Of course, Red Dawn includes Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey battling invading Soviets in 1980s rural Colorado. This essentially makes it a sequel to Dirty Dancing, except Baby and Johnny are operating under their noms de guerre, Toni and Jed. The movie has rightly been called “a Republican wet dream manifested into a surrealistic Orwellian nightmare”. But quite frankly, Red Dawn taps into the deeply held belief of all American men: Given access to a decent sporting goods store, we can surmount any obstacle…including mounting a relatively successful armed resistance behind enemy lines against the world’s second largest military.


As for the beer, Road Warrior is a beast. It’s big and malty with a spicy rye kick, yet still chock-full of juicy citrus and resiny hop character. Unfortunately, it’s near the end of its release window (available May-August); but if you like big hoppy beers and the union of rye and hops, this is a must have.

Me: Yes, dear.

Green Flash Green Bullet Triple IPA: Steve McQueen would approve

Next up, Green Flash’s Green Bullet:

green bullet

A beer sets a high bar for itself by bearing a name reminiscent of the coolest badass of all time: Steve McQueen. Indeed, it’s hard to measure up to Detective Frank Bullitt in a green ’68 Mustang GT chasing a ’68 Charger R/T through the streets of San Francisco, and leaving in his wake six suspiciously similar green VW Beetles, 20 lost hubcaps, a bottomed-out oil pan, and a trail of masculinity so strong that nine female bystanders became spontaneously pregnant from a sideways glance as he sped by. Indeed, Steve McQueen is the man by whom the rest of us hold our manhood cheap.

Steve McQueen looking cooler backing up than you ever have going forward.

Steve McQueen looking cooler backing up than you ever have driving forward.

And you might think that Steve McQueen is dead, made to look depressingly mortal by the ravages of mesothelioma. But no. Steve McQueen lives. Steve McQueen is the brief moment of daylight under the tires of a car that speeds over the crest of a hill. Every time a man chooses not to carry an umbrella? That’s Steve McQueen. The voice in the back of your head telling you not to wear skinny jeans? Ha, Steve McQueen tricked you. Why the fuck would you even consider skinny jeans? The satisfying sound of a punch to your face for considering skinny jeans? You guessed it…Steve motherfucking McQueen.

Let’s see how Green Bullet measures up. Originally brewed in 2011 for Green Flash’s 9th Anniversary, they decided to release bottles as a seasonal this year from September to December. And despite my effort to link it to Steve McQueen, it’s actually named for its New Zealand Green Bullet hops.

It pours a slightly hazy orange-amber, with a thick and persistent off-white head. It smells like a monster…like its going to be a bitter, boozy, dank, and resinous affair along the lines of Devil Dancer. Of course, the taste is big with resinous, dank, mango, and citrus hop character. But while Devil Dancer gets a little violent, Green Bullet manages some harmony. The malt backbone is strong, but not too sweet; it’s got some booziness, but never too much; and it’s bitter for sure, but never harsh. It’s less like Devil Dancer’s ultra-violent hop hate crime, and more like Steve McQueen punching you in the nose one time. Sure, it stings and makes you woozy, but you got punched by Bullitt. How cool is that?

The Haybag: This beer is excellent. As for getting punched in the nose, from the looks of your beak, I think I’ll just take your word for it.

Thanksgiving Beer Pairings: We be all classy ‘n s$%t

As I mentioned, dangermenparenting sent out the bat signal to beerbecue to come up with some good beers for Thanksgiving. That’s right…I said beer for Thanksgiving. What? Do you think Pilgrims and Indians had a bunch of Chateau Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux at the first Thanksgiving? That’s not what I learned in grade school. They had beer, dammit….and this:I received several suggestions from friends on past successes. I will try to give credit to them where possible. So, here we go..

We need something that can hang with heartiness, but not overpower earthy comfort. So for Thanksgiving, beerbecue says: screw the hop bombs for one day out of the year, and go with earthy, sweet, lightly spicy or fruity, or a combination thereof. There are several beers that can fit this bill, and I will throw a couple variations for turkey prep differences, and some dessert selections.

Pretty safe, but very tasty: Latch on to the sweet, earthy, and caramel with a Dogfish Head Indian Brown, a Brooklyn Brown, or, as Tom suggested, a good German Marzen. Or even go a little darker with New Belgium’s 1554 Enlightened Black Ale.

A little more adventurous: Belgian Tripels. These little beauties have a light to moderate sweetness, some fruit (like apple, banana, pear, or oranges), earthiness, and sometimes a slight peppery, clovey, or spicey flavor from the Belgian yeast. The carbonation does a good job of clearing the palate, but the high carbonation can turn some off…like the Haybag. Also, they usually manage to mask their high ABV, even though they aren’t correspondingly heavy. And we all know high ABV can help in dealing with in-laws.

Try any of the following tripels: Allagash (a suggestion from Tony (not the DMP Tony) in the comments to the previous post); Unibroue La Fin Du Monde; Westmalle, St. Bernardus, or even New Belgium’s Trippel, which is now pretty easy to find in the DC-area. Also, some sweeter variations include Gouden Carolus, Weyerbacher Merry Monks, and Green Flash Trippel.

Perhaps even more adventurous: Although typically a Spring and Summer beer, the Saison/Farmhouse style would work. These will be dry, earthy, spicy, crisp, and light-bodied. You can try Saison Dupont (see the poetic description from Tony on Beer Advocate that says its all). Or I can also vouch for Ommegang’s Hennepin. The Dupont has a passing, but typical, barn funk (wet earth and hay), that is worth giving a shot. The Hennepin, on the other hand, lacks da funk.

What funk? I don

Smoked turkey curveball: I think the above suggestions work for roasted or fried turkey. But for smoked turkey (like the beerbecue residence) you might could go for something to stand-up to and compliment the smoke, like Founder’s Dirty Bastard or Oskar Blues Old Chub.

Additional curiosities: Tom suggested Troeg’s Mad Elf (cloves, honey, and cherries…not a bad Turkey Day combo). Ommegang’s Three Philosophers has dark fruit, cherries, and brown sugar (slight sourness from the cherries). Tony suggested Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse, which apparently paired very well with a thyme-roasted chicken his wife made (I imagine the Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen-Weisse would work well, too). And Chris suggested Guinness with a Jameson chaser, which gets the prize for most efficient.

Dessert: For dessert, you can go with Founder’s Breakfast Stout, Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, or any of Southern Tier’s Blackwater Series Imperial Stouts or their Backburner Barleywine. Alternatively, if you don’t want guests sleeping on your couch, you could try Tony’s “lighter” suggestions for dessert: Chimay Blue (fruit, spice, rich malt) or a Unibroue Noire de Chambly (fruits, spice, and slight chocolate).

Uncle Sal had the Chocolate Stout...and a Budweiser.

The Haybag: I give a thumbs up on those Browns. Also, even though ruling out hop bombs is blasphemy in this house, I think we are going to roll with Oskar Blues Old Chub to complement the smoked turkey. And I am cooking, so keep ’em coming, “Uncle Sal”.