Allagash Avancé: A High Ball Stepper video music review

Next up, Allagash Avancé. This is beerbecue’s first video music beer review. The idea has been bouncing around my noodle for awhile. Based on the reception, there may be more.

Avancé is a strong, sour ale aged with strawberries for three years in bourbon barrels. Three damn years, people. Allgash says it “has the aroma of strawberry preserves and toasted oak. The oak and berries continue their presence in flavor, and compliment the sweet, warm finish.”

When I think of strawberries, I think of their sweetness AND tartness. I also think of their distinct strawberry smell: A little caramel and this slight funk you get when you pass by an unwashed container of them on the kitchen counter…kinda like they’re up to no good. This beer captures that essence well. And it’s sour…quite sour. Oh, and at 10.8% ABV, it brings the heat.

Out of the bottle, this little fella kinda needs to breathe a little. Hey, if you spent three years in a bourbon barrel, you’d be a little cranky, too. Ok maybe you wouldn’t. Additionally, use a glass with a little more open mouth than I used. This beer has a potent nose. It doesn’t need to be concentrated with a highly-tapered glass.

Now, without further adieu, Jack White’s High Ball Stepper and Allgash Avancé:

 

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Beerbecue Exposé: Food Babe advocates tetrafluoroethane in food

The Food Babe is in the news again. About a year ago she made some outlandish claims about beer ingredients and why you should be afraid to drink the stuff.heston

She is back in the limelight again, demanding that big brewers disclose the ingredients in their beer (which they really already do). You can find an excellent rundown of her hackery at Brookston Beer Bulletin.

Suffice to say, she is clearly more interested in self-promotion and click-baiting than truth. Interestingly, she appears not to know (or care) what high fructose corn syrup is. Perhaps worse, she is unable to differentiate between what is IN beer and what is merely used in the process of making beer (never touching it). One such highly irresponsible claim is that beer contains propylene glycol.

facepalm

OK, Food Babe Army, put down your organic pitchforks and gluten-free torches. There is no anti-freeze/airplane de-icer in beer. Apart from the fact that it is generally considered safe anyway, propylene glycol never touches the damn beer!

To control the temperature of fermenting beer, fermentation tanks have a cooling jacket (especially for lagers, which generally ferment at lower temperatures than ales and have to chill out in a second conditioning phase). This self-contained jacket encircles a fermentation tank and cycles a food-grade glycol and water mixture through to maintain the temperature of the beer inside the tank. BEER INSIDE THE TANK. GLYCOL OUTSIDE THE TANK.

Sorry, I only do magnifying glass research.

Oops. Sorry, I only do magnifying glass research.

Interestingly, Food Babe has never corrected this glaring oversight. So, I can only assume that she knows something I don’t. There must be propylene glycol in beer. And it must follow that fridges impart refrigerant (tetrafluoroethane) on food. Hold up. Tetrafluoroethane can cause asphyxiation when inhaled, blindness with eye contact, and frostbite with skin contact. Food Babe wouldn’t advocate something that dangerous, would she?

Wait for it, Charlton.

Wait for it, Charlton.

Holy shyte! Her 4.6-out-of-5 star rated Food Babe’s Parfait Porridge recipe has been a little slice of oat groat, muesli, and chia seed heaven for the Food Babe Army since August 2011. But the instructions state, “Let mixture sit in fridge overnight or up to three days in fridge.” Human sacrifice! Cats and dogs living together! Mass hysteria! Who can I trust anymore!!??

No, Charlton. I'm employing reduction ad...oh, nevermind.

No, Charlton. I’m employing reductio ad…oh, nevermind.

Tell Food Babe on Facebook and Twitter to stop advocating the ingestion of tetrafluoroethane. Think of the children!

Eerie Brewing Co. Misery Bay IPA

Next up, Misery Bay IPA from Eerie Brewing:

misery bay

Eerie Brewing likes historical references for its beer names. I like grossly distorting history for the sake of beer reviews. Seemingly, this is a match made in heaven.

Misery Bay is a reference to the Battle of Lake Eerie, the biggest naval battle of the War of 1812 (also known as the Everybody Wins Except the Indians War). British North America (Canada) got to keep the Queen of England on their currency and continue pretending they are more than just cold Americans. The Americans wrote their National Anthem, got to think they won a second war of independence, and convinced the Brits to stop being insecure, passive-aggresive twats about American growth. And while the Brits for years after gnawed their fingernails about defending Canada from another American incursion, during the war they were so busy dicking around with Napoleon that they could fill in the English Channel with the number of fucks they didn’t give about skirmishing with Americans.

warof1812

Actually, everybody just realized that the reasons for bickering had become largely irrelevant. So, everyone started playing nice again and got their stolen game pieces back…well, except for the Indians. They became inconvenient in this new scheme, and thus no longer had backing to frustrate United States western expansion. Pesky Indians. Although, they did get some sports teams named after them…

Lucky Indians.

Lucky Indians. They catch all the breaks.

Misery Bay IPA is a pretty ubiquitous-tasting IPA. There’s some citrus and pine floating around, but nothing big. It doesn’t offend. It doesn’t astound. The only interesting thing about it, really, is that the hops have a distinct mint character. Do what you will with that little nugget.

I should note that this review is representative of my new outlook on the beer review portion of beerbecue posts. Starting several weeks ago, I decided to only include funny stuff and impressions that I think will help you decide whether you want to drink it. Like anyone reads this blog anyway…

The Haybag: Oh, great. You’re finally going to include funny stuff. Are you starting next post?

Ithaca Beer Co. Flower Power IPA: Mario, Donkey Kong, and Smelly Hippies

Next up, Ithaca Beer Company’s Flower Power IPA:flower

When I hear Flower Power, I only imagine dirty, smelly hippies. All the beer store cashier could talk about, though, was Super Mario and flower power-ups. And I have to admit, nothing chafes my hide more than misplaced love for Mario. No video game character is more beloved, yet more deserving of our outrage than that fascist-mustachioed, overall-wearing, mushroom-tripping prick.

Just sayin'.

And I’m just throwin’ it out there…terrorist.

Even the Haybag, who thinks video games are a monumental waste of time, played Super Mario. But everybody seems to forget that Mario first busted on to the scene as the hero in Donkey Kong. Fair enough. What’s so bad about a working-man rescuing his haybag from the hairy mitts of a filthy, barrel-tossing ape? Well, everybody conveniently forgets the game’s backstory.

It's OK, big fella.

It’s OK, big fella. We’ll tell them.

That filthy ape is actually Mario’s pet. Now, before passing judgment, let’s set aside the improbability and questionable moral underpinnings of owning an ape as a pet. What we can’t look past, however, is the reason Donkey Kong snapped: Mario abused his monkey…and not in the euphemistic sense, either.

flounder

While the particular type of mistreatment is unclear, several sources indicate that Mario forced Donkey Kong to perform in the circus by balancing on barrels, while juggling pineapples and avoiding flaming torches. That’s some serious Michael Vick shit right there. No wonder the ape is pissed.

The beer pours as pictured above, without the pansies. It’s got a nice, white, fluffy head. It doesn’t leave much lace, but I ain’t gonna hate for that. It smells like peaches, pineapple, and citrus, with some floral in the backseat. The taste is orange and grapefruit with a kiss of honey. It finishes nice with a pleasant bitterness and a slight, lingering resin that hopheads will dig. It’s kind of like crossing Hopslam with Two Hearted; but less sweet and heavy than the Hopslam, less floral than the Two Hearted, and a little more resinous on the finish. I likey.

The Haybag: It’s fine, but get this post away from me. That Ron Jeremy terrorist guy’s picture totally creeps me out.

Victory DirtWolf: Earth Day SodWolf

Next up, Victory DirtWolf Double IPA:

dirtwolf

When looking for a new beerbecue HQ, one of the cool things about the HQ we bought was the 430 sq. ft. fenced-off garden in the back. That’s a lot of dirt.

Srsly?

Srsly?

The Haybag, perhaps seeing yet another object of preoccupation for me, immediately proclaimed it would be sodded over. I put up a half-hearted fight to keep it. Perhaps I was looking to mitigate capitalism’s further erosion of my humanity. Or maybe it was to remain in touch with my family’s farming roots. Most likely, however, it was to escape changing shitty diapers under the guise of a heavier landscaping/gardening workload and to hit the bottle of George Dickel Rye I stashed in the shed. Perfectly classless.

I see what you did there. Very funny.

“I see what you did there. Very funny.”

Eventually I relented. It’s 430 damn sq. ft., after all; and we’re moving from a townhome. I already have to buy a lawn mower, I don’t want to figure out squeezing a fucking Harvester combine into the family budget, too.

So, we had sod delivered on April 22nd (Earth Day). I laid it like the sod-laying boss that I am. 1.0 even came home after school to help. Then I proceeded to water the shit out of it.

Look like she's got it handled. Time for a beer.

Look like she’s got it handled. Time for a beer.

Now, environmentally, I’m a middle of the road guy, but the irony of doing this on Earth Day is not lost on me. So, proud to have imparted upon my issue my vast and generationally vital sod-laying knowledge, I was a little troubled to later find her drawing her “What you did for Earth Day” homework (with gleeful encouragement from the Earth-raping Haybag): A picture of her and daddy sodding over a large and once fertile garden and spraying enough water to lower the Chesapeake watershed mean high tide by several inches. I am a terrible person.

"One might say, classless."

“One might say, classless.”

It pours like it looks in the picture above, except imagine I used proper lighting and something other than a camera phone. It smells like a double IPA should: Dank and citrusy. And the taste doesn’t disappoint. But it’s less a “wolf among sheep” as the bottle claims. It’s more the wolf’s lazy, stoner cousin who wakes up at noon, drinks from his roommate’s carton of orange-grapefruit juice, puts it back in the fridge empty, decides to forego a shower to wallow in his earthiness, and fires off a fat spliff on the couch to play Call of Duty till nap time. I like it.

The Haybag: This was OK. The earthiness was a little too pronounced for me, but that’s a personal preference. Now, get the George Dickel bottle back in the house and make us some Manhattans.

(Wadsworth) Longfellow Winter Ale: Porn star or poet?

Next up, Longfellow Winter Ale from Shipyard Brewing:

longfellow

This beer’s namesake is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Of course, anyone named Wadsworth Longfellow could have only been one of two things in life: A 19th Century porn star or a poet. By most accounts, he chose the latter.

You'll never know.

Maybe. You’ll never know.

In fact, Longfellow (hee hee) is one of the most popular American poets evar. And apparently even when poets gain mainstream popularity, the haters follow. Edgar Allen Poe accused him of plagiarism, and others essentially claimed that he wrote populist garbage and poetry for children.

Granted, I don’t know what the hell 19th Century kids were like. I do know that between shows about ponies, princesses, and Doc McStuffins, I’m not getting many requests for dactylic hexameter about a girl’s search for her betrothed (separated in the expulsion of the Acadians, of course) that ends in a brief, chance meeting in old age at the betrothed’s death bed.

They were lucky. Most people die sad and alone. Night. Night.

“They were lucky, dear. Most people die sad and alone. Night. Night.”

Now, before you get on me for reviewing a “winter ale” in spring, let me clear the air. Screw spring. Screw spring right in the ear. It was like 30 degrees the other night. Also, this thing isn’t even really a winter ale. It’s more like a cross between a porter and a scotch ale…which might make for an interesting winter ale. Wait. Screw spring. Screw spring right in the ear.

It pours a pretty damn dark brown with a nice tan head. It smells like chocolate and toffee, with some roast…almost a little smoke like a scotch ale. The taste follows the nose with some fruitiness, a little bitterness, and some citrusy hop character sneaking in. No heat to speak of, but of course it’s only 5.6%. This is a porter. A tasty porter. But a porter.

The Haybag: Um, you’re suspended from bedtime story telling. And I do think this was the best of the Lightly Distributed Beer of the Month Club (a.ka. The Lightly Distributed for a Reason Club).

 

Yo-Ho Tokyo Black: A Japanese fridge holdout

Next up, Tokyo Black Porter from Yo-Ho Brewing Company:
tokyo black
I’ve been away. But with a Tokyo Black burning a hole in my fridge waiting to be reviewed and the recent death of one of the last Japanese Holdouts, Hiroo Onoda, how could I not write a review?
And sumo ass.

And there’s sumo ass.

Now when I say Japanese holdout, I’m not talking about the Japanese who signed up with other countries’ armed forces to fight Westerners. They’re just dicks. And I’m not talking about the ones who just decided not to go home. They probably just had really naggy wives. I’m talking about the real hard-asses who, without orders to the contrary, insisted the war was still on.
It’s hard to believe in this age of instant communication, but there used to be so many Japanese holdouts in Southeast Asia, for so long, that the Philippines were like a deadly Asian version of Colonial Williamsburg. Hell, Hiroo Onoda didn’t surrender until 1974. 19 freaking 74. 30 years after the war ended. 30 years without seeing a paycheck. 30 years of dismissing numerous air-dropped “The war is over!” leaflets as dastardly Allied trickeration. For 30 years, Hiroo persistently executed guerrilla “raids” on incredulous Philippine fisherman and farmers until his (former) commanding officer, now a bookstore owner, tracked him down in the Philippine mountains and ordered him to stand down. Only then did Hiroo surrender his sword, still-working rifle, 500 rounds of ammunition, grenades, and knife that his mom gave him to kill himself if he was captured.
Seriously, Mom.  I'm only going to the grocery store!

No, Mom. I don’t need the Seppuku knife. I’m only going to the grocery store!

Tokyo Black Porter pours dark, dark brown with a small khaki head that recedes to ring. It smells like chocolate, molasses, cream, and rich roasty coffee. It tastes like chocolate, cream, and char, and it’s a little drier than the nose indicated. The finish somewhat dry with a bit of lingering roast. It’s got pretty big flavor and fullness for a 5% ABV beer. I liked it.

The Haybag: Ah, so we’re at it again. I guess I’ll have to start paying attention now. I can’t even remember this beer.