I will apologize in advance for the blatant themery that will be going on in [AA] this week, and this is because this is the seven-day advent that not only commemorates my wedding anniversary, but also contains the calendar week in which I met this love assassin, as well as the week that I asked her to spend a lifetime of rabble-rousing in breweries and scummy concert venues with me -- all in successive years, of course -- this isn't the 1950s, where all of that was done between coffee break and lunch.
In honor of our alliance as master collaborators in life and love, I present to you [An Avenue]'s Collaboration Week.
Part I of IV.
Foremost, the greatest thing about collaboration beer is that the sex between allows for access into the State of Texas for breweries most notably absent -- whether that is because of their limited capabilities of making enough of their product for wider distribution or because of Texas' absurd liquor laws, made especially cumbersome and complicated for beer makers. If you ever get the opportunity to set aside an hour-and-a-half of eye-rolling, huffing (possibly puffing), and megalolz about the beer industry and its 3-tier system, watch Beer Wars (for free on Hulu!) for further insight.
Though, I will not bore you with the detailed Texas ABC rules on outside breweries gaining access into this market, it should be noted that we as consumers are denied many, many superb choices regarding products in our markets.
This would be like an arm of our state government denying us ribeye steaks into our borders for reasons like 1) they don't approve of the name rib, eye, or ribeye 2) they demand that this cut of beef be re-branded as chicken (the way that, up until recently, TABC demanded all beers be labeled as ales, even if they were actually lagers) 3) they demand that the small-ranch farmer re-label their new "beef-chicken" product at their own expense before they are allowed to enter the market, and finally 4) they are terrorist-loving jihadists.
Fortunately, for those breweries that have jumped through the flaming hoops of the TABC, and have access to Texas, they are allowed to ship their collaborations to Texas, even if half of that brewing alliance has not.
For access to this beer, we have Green Flash Brewing to thank. They have brought one of the best breweries in the world to Texas in the form of a collaborative brew called LinchPin White IPA. I talk about Founder's Brewing a lot on this blog, and the contraband in my cellar was all carefully reconstructed to resemble the very beautiful bottle shops in urban and not-so-urban Michigan, Founder's prominent amongst them.
Therefore, i was beside myself when I was tipped to the fact that one of my favorite bottle shops here in Austin was selling this (at a nice markup, BTW, [/c'monGOB.gif]), which made me anxious waiting around for the closing bell at work.
I do wish that I had been able to chill this one for at least a day, but I was entirely too excited to be opening legal Founder's in Texas -- not to mention that Green Flash had rapidly become a regular staple in my Spec's rotation.
I was not displeased.
I'm always going on and on about my preference for Midwest IPAs over West Coast IPAs for the reasons of flavor profile, body, and nose -- and this was a very nice marriage of the two styles -- as if Western Michigan had a torrid affair with San Diego at a Super 8 in Denver; both styles meeting somewhere right in the middle of that geographical-style spectrum. It had master-level carbonation that really accentuated the citrus zest and hop notes. The yeast bomb was unexpected, but welcomed, especially on a muggy Texas evening. The entire beer made a lot of sense, and also the theory behind its creation: a subtle, kind, and refreshing white IPA for a high desert summer climate.
Also, Linchpin is the Ben Affleck of beers; because, 'you white, then you Ben Affleck'.