Friday, June 8, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Scratchin' Hippo Bière de Garde | Adelbert's Brewing | Austin, TX

I've been waiting for fucking ages to review this beer, and the reason its taken so long was because I just couldn't snap off a proper photo of it in any scene I put it into.  It was like the Allison Brie of beerdom -- under the lights, an enigma -- but out on the streets, a positively head-twisting beauty.

From the first moments of spying its vessel, one just itches to know what in the entire hell is behind that dress.  The posture!  The curves!  The glisten!  Allison!

But, yes, it has taken quite a while for me to capture the true beauty of this ale, particularly since my wife and I were some of the O.G. - Original Gulpers of this beer released just weeks after Enzo took a dive in the penalty area back in November.  This was one of the first sharable purchases that welcomed my wife back into my world of drunken mayhem -- at least in my head, and really, its the thought that counts.

Anyway, we essentially tasted Batch 1 as a compliment to a fromage course that we assembled for a gluttonous holiday meal celebrating something or the other.  Maybe it was just a weekday (humblebrag?).  Immediately we were struck with deeply-cut affection for this homage to French farmhouse style ales -- which is a style I would like to see surrender to the confines of my fridge on a more frequent basis. 

I remember thinking that Scratching Hippo was really an exceptional beer -- and not lost on us was the fact that this was as green as beer gets, produced for the first time in large-batch quantity only weeks before.  Lemme put it this way -- any jerk can make a fine, home-consumable brisket -- but doing thirty of them for people willing to part with their disposable currency in exchange for a fickle product, well, that is a bit unnerving.  With that in mind, I felt the folks at Adelbert's were off to a fine start.

I just love what is implied by that photo: The Old World.  France.  Its a breakout role for this starlet.
Lately, I've been picking up these clever little singles at my local bottle shops and (gasp!) Spec's (singles at Spec's? Yes, these.) at the very noble price-point of $1.99.  That is simply fantastic -- a beer that is, in every essence of the word, handcrafted like a nice piece of folk art, and obtainable at colonial bazaar prices.

Apple, sugar, spice, & yeast may sound like a Serge Gainsbourg chanson -- and maybe it is -- but its also the song that Scratching Hippo sings.  While a bit overcarbonated at times (it tends to vary between batches), those are minor, workable, and forgivable issues -- and given that I've had at least a dozen bottles of varying sizes and crop over the past several months, its never impacted the product negatively.  This was certainly the right way to shoot out of the gate for the months-old Adelbert's Brewery.

ABV: 6.9%
Acquired: King's

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