Tröegs Hop Knife Harvest Ale: Tröegs defies yet another law of the Universe.

Next up, Troegs Hop Knife Harvest Ale:IMG_3604

OK, sheeple, listen up. Beerbecue uncovered Troegs’ Nugget Nectar mind-control project. Beerbecue exposed Sierra Nevada Hoptimum’s secret hop collider under Chico, CA. And Beerbecue busted Troegs Perpetual IPA’s blatant defiance of the laws of thermodynamics and the theory that time is finite. Nobody took me seriously. Hopefully, this time you’ll listen.

Sure, Hop Knife looks innocent enough. However, the small print on the neck label reveals that Troegs uses a HopCyclone to create an “inward spiral of hop dispersal during fermentation”. Fair enough. But when I asked them on Twitter whether the HopCyclone spun clockwise or counterclockwise there was only damning silence.

See, in the Northern Hemisphere, free moving objects apparently deflect to the right due to the Earth’s rotation, and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s known as the Coriolis effect. Don’t ask me. Some shit about conservation of momentum and differences in the rotational velocity of the Earth.

Or, if you're a poli sci major: Witchcraft.

Or, if you’re a poli sci major: Witchcraft.

In the case of liquid and air in the Northern Hemisphere, when opposing currents or pressures meet, there is a rightward deflection and sometimes a resultant equilibrium-seeking counterclockwise cyclonic flow (like a Northern Hemisphere hurricane). This effect gets stronger the further one gets from the equator. Thus, any differences in currents in a Troegs fermenter should create a counterclockwise cyclone. Ohhh, but not Troegs…

OK, so the little martini olive looking thingie at the end is Hershey, PA's latitude...Oh, fuck it.

So if the little martini olive looking thingie at the end is Troegs’ latitude and the frat letter to the right of the 2 is…Oh, fuck it.

Troegs’ silence is a clear admission that they have figured out how to create a clockwise rotating cyclone in the Northern Hemisphere, thus violating the laws of physics in the name of imparting more hop character. Beerbecue demands that Troegs comes clean, shares this secret with the world, and sends me more Hop Knife so that I might recreate this clockwise cyclonic flow down my pie hole.

It pours clear amber with a beautiful, fluffy white head. It smells like its going to be a juicy, hoppy love affair. And it is. It’s chocked full of bright and ripe citrusy, tropical, and resinous hops. It kinda has a fall/harvesty malt backbone with some lightly sweet caramel, but this beer is all about hop harvest, people. Get some while it lasts.

The Haybag: It was a very good beer. Now stop bothering me while Nashville is on.


Tröegs Mad Elf and Elf on the Shelf

Next up, Tröegs Mad Elf:Mad Elf

elfChristmas looms on the horizon. That means the triumphant return of Elf on the Shelf. For those of you not familiar with Elf on the Shelf, he is an effeminate-looking elf that shows up between Thanksgiving and Christmas to watch over the kids during the day. Every night, Elf flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa. Then Elf returns to sit in a new vantage point the next morning (sometimes with a treat in hand to reward good behavior). Quite frankly, it’s lazy parenting at its best. December is littered with hollow threats about how Elf is watching.

Eh, Elf will take care of it.

Eh, Elf will take care of it.

Another thing: Unreasonable Christmas lists from the kids. This is my 4-year-old daughter’s list:

Hula hoop, OK. Scoter/Scooter, OK. Cell Phone! WTF?!

Hula hoop, OK. Scoter (Scooter), check. Cell Phone! WTF?!

Item #3 had me particularly concerned. I needed to get some leverage over Elf so I could influence his daily Naughty/Nice Threat Assessment with the Big Guy. Thus, I stalked Elf after-hours (when he was supposed to be reporting back to Santa)…



This could be the leverage I needed, but based on the smell of some Santas I’ve encountered, Saint Nick seems to be OK with drinking on the job. Plus, Elf told me that he had been down lately because he hadn’t seen snow in days. That seemed fair, until the next night when I discovered he wasn’t jonesing for frozen precipitation…

Bad Elf!

Bad Elf!

It pours ruby-red with a white head that recedes to a ring (and eventually to nearly nothing). The smell is big. I’ve never heard anyone say this, but I think it smells like booze-soaked cake, which is good. It also smells like cherries and an unspecified, phenolic spiciness. It starts out fairly sweet, with some cherries. It’s all like candied fruit up in here. The middle brings some spice; and it ends sweet, a little spicy, and with a hint of boozy heat. As it warms, it opens up even more, and I swear you can smell and taste a bit of honey. It’s not heavy, but it’s definitely something to drink slowly.

This beer can be divisive. I like it, though, and loyally get it every year. It’s not sweet enough to wire you like an Elf on an 8-ball bender, but you do have to be able to hack sweetness to enjoy it.

The Haybag (from her shot glass sized pregnancy portion)I like it. I wish I could have more. I blame you.

Tröegs Nugget Nectar (Anti)Imperial(ist) Amber

Next up, Tröegs Nugget Nectar (Imperial Amber):

This beer is supposed to be an homage to the Nugget hop, which is a variety of hop engineered in 1970 by some mad geneticist at the USDA, probably while laughing maniacally in the bowels of the USDA’s 2.2 million sq. ft. building in DC.

The hop’s lineage is listed as Brewers Gold, Early Green, Canterbury Golding, Bavarian, and “5/32 unknown”. Ummm, what?

Let me get this straight, it is a hop: (1) handed down from the agrarian department of the Federal Government, (2) produced in an over-employed, imposing government building, (3) partly derived from “unknown” lineage, and (4) used to make an amber ale (a color that is 75% yellow and 25% red) with a propaganda-esque clenched fist label. This can only mean one thing: Communist government mind-control project.

You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to fool me, dammit.

It pours on the reddish side of amber. It has an off-white head that retreats to a thin layer, but there are some tiny foam islands that hold-out and conspire to leave behind a little lacy evidence of the resistance on the walls of your glass. The smell is orange citrus, with notes of sweet nectar fruits, and an herbal pungentness plotting in the background. The taste marches lock-step with the nose; but it is here that you can truly appreciate how smooth this beer is. Often, hoppy beers are a hegemonic battle between distinct and alienated malt and hop character. But Nugget Nectar sheds the shackles of this paradigm and perfectly blends the two in communal harmony. At the finish, there is a lingering herbal and spicy bitterness hinting at an underlying discord in this heretofore utopian fellowship of flavors. However, you quickly realize that Tröegs is in control, and this is not a call to step back, rather a now inculcated drive to continue forward on the path to more soma…er, Nugget Nectar.

I can tell you one thing, though. Those bastards at the USDA and Tröegs aren’t going to get inside my head. I’ve taken precautions.

The Haybag: It’s way smooth and it tastes nectar-like. I feel like a hop-headed hummingbird drinking this.