Friday, September 14, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Devil Dancer Triple IPA vs. Breakfast Stout | Founder's Brewing | Grand Rapids, MI

I.  This World May Lack Style, I Know.

You are about to read the 100th beer entry on [An Avenue].  Congratulations on making it this far, Avenuelings.  To be frank, reading about beer is about as mundane as watching a show on cooking.

I don't really read any of the other fafillion beer blogs on the interporns because the topic bores the daylights out of me, really.  They tend to get muddled with adjectives and descriptives about the beer itself without describing the experience behind it -- something that we here at [AA] feel is THE quintessential ingredient in fermented beverages.

Whereas watching something as insipid as 30-Minute Meals on the telly is the most remarkable waste of time imaginable, [AA] strives to be something more like No Reservations or Good Eats.  We think that a beer-mentor hybrid of someone who is part-Alton Brown and part-Anthony Bordain is right up our avenue -- if you would be so kind as to pardon the pun.   Brown and Bordain present food and adventure as belief-intersecting-opinion using impossible sentences and dry wit when describing the experience of food -- and not necessarily the food itself.

In an overstatement of my capabilities, [AA] strives to reflect that same philosophy; essentially reviewing myself  through the medium of beer instead of peeling back each layers of the bottle's contents and telling a reader what he or she should be tasting.  I simply don't have the expertise to do that since I'm neither a brewer or a barkeep.  I simply want to describe to you how I feel about the shit I'm drinking.

Even worse are the YouTube reviewers.  I'm not particularly fond of watching some fleshy dumptruck in Missoula orgasm over the beer facial he's receiving from Three Floyd's, as he describes bubble gum, alpha acids, and alligator nut sweat emanating from his foamy pour.  These videos always have the same ghoulish-grainy look as if filmed by the Kabul branch of The Taliban's Cranial Removal Department -- and contain about the same amount of topical charm as well.

I'll be honest.  I'm surprised that I've lasted as long as I have writing about a singular topic, albeit, one that could be discussed ad infinitum due to its enormous -- and perpetually evolving -- inventory.  How much can one really say about beer?  Not a whole fucking lot, really.  But how much can one say about drinking beer?  Volumes. 

I can't even tell you at what point in the trajectory this page is currently on.  Originally, I set out to start a site where I could talk to my son about all the cool shit he should know pertaining to music -- (and has now spun-off into its own section of the internet like Daria to [AA]'s Beavis & Butthead)  where, again, not coming from the perspective of a musician, but a scenester-ish 30-something fan of getting the fuck down to some jams.  In between, I talked about beer because I needed more inventory than just music clips and emotional pussery.

Plus, I wanted to document how I was plowing through the beer cellar without the regret of uncorking a five-year vintage on a Tuesday evening, in a pics-or-it-didn't-happen, sort of way.

But MOST-est of all, I wanted to start [AA] so that I could write myself a living, evolving, bottle-fermenting resumé -- so that if the opportunity ever came along for me to do something like this professionally, I will have had some sort of evidence that I am semi-literate and as critically testy as a feminist.

I am wishing that [AA] will continue to be a trending destination for the purpose of -- not beer review -- but beer discussion.  So far, it seems to have gained momentum in readership, which is great to see, despite my objectivity to personal accolade and ballyhoo.  I just don't fancy a floodlight of praise -- but will freely admit that the vibration of an audience has kept me completely motivated to keep drinking myself to death and writing about it.  So, thank-you, jerks.

Still, it is time to re-evaluate where it is I am trying to go with [AA]; and the proclivity to keep writing despite the overwhelming fatigue that comes with a demanding professional and familial schedule -- time, energy, and productivity are enormous commodities at the [AA] household.  My hope is that it is a long time from now, after I've got this all out of my system, I can look back on [AA] to the very first post and say that my point was clear:  

This is my New Years resolution ...

Pretty ambitious, amirite?

I'll probably talk about what everyone else talks about: mundane shit with an outside shot of accidental wit, which personally revolves around the subjects of beer, lad rock, and how much Tim Tebow resembles a choad.

Single fucks you should give: 0

But you should read this anyway since this weblog has sat dormant since I created it FIVE years ago [at the] Copper Star Coffee Shop [in Phoenix], then was mightily distracted by a strawberry cream cheese cupcake -- back before cupcakes were contemporary desserts baked only for the Proletariat. Now, cupcakes are only handed out to the bourgeoisie hanging out below bridges with Pitbull and his Diet Dr Pepper crew. 
The point prevails that both beer and Eng-er-lish boy-rock continue to be awesome and relevant.  Is it also still holds that Tim Tebow is still a Jesus-breathing, genital applicator who has forced me to abstain from wearing undershirts forever.  That was it.  That was the whole point, it looks like.  Perhaps I should redouble my efforts.

One thing I do know for certain is that personal narrative will never reap the rewards of heavy-volume traffic than it would if I just aggregated a bunch of beer articles and splashed them on my front page.  What's the fun in that?  I want someone to read [AA] because they want to hear something interesting, and then return because they find it useful.

Finally, what in the entire fuck am I talking about in this tl;dr intro?  Oh nothing.  I'm just trying to get across in the most long-winded way that [AA] is going on sabbatical for a little while in order to gather up some fresh perspective -- maybe just enjoy beer for the sake of enjoying it again without having to think about it too much; minimize the caveat of writing out of obligation and illiterati disillusionment.  Maybe move on to reviewing hard drugs.

But as Mark Renton would say, Let's be clear about this, there's final hits and final hits. What kind was this to be? 

II.  Each Bud Must Blossom and Grow 

The Question.


Totally inconvenient for me because I never really have a proper answer to give.  And I don't have a proper answer to give because I don't think I have ever came to a real consensus.

What is my favorite beer?  Hell, I don't know -- apart from the obvious and ancient punchline:, 'free beer', I guess.  I don't play favorites.  Most-anticipated seasonal release?  That's a fairer question.  But favorite?  I don't know, like, ever?

I've already committed myself to one woman, so, I'm leaving all my beer options available.

I do, however, have a beer I really feel compelled to drink during the best of times -- and it is possible that I consider it the ceiling by which to measure all others because of this pragmatic consideration. 

And if there is a heaven, then surely there must be some sort of beer hell -- the antithesis of what I consider a compelling, outstanding potable.  Though these would appear easier to find, there are many beers that are already predetermined to be shitty due to the standards of the breweries themselves: Bud Light Chelada, Natural Ice, Old English, Sam Adams Lager.

But finding a true baseline for my palate goes beyond any kind of incapability from breweries like The Big Three -- but, rather a frivolous attempt at a gimmick by one of the most-respected brewers in the brewniverse.

III.  Young Girl, One Day You Will Be Old

Wait just one second, did I just get totally trolled? ...

I did.  I did just get totally trolled by one of my favorite brewers.  I got kicked in the nuts by Founder's and then put in a locker all Wonder Years-style for being a puss.  I'm, like 'Haaans ... Boobie ... I'm your white knight', and then [spoiler warning] got capped in the skull while I stared stupidly in my seat.

All I could do after drinking this was bite my shirt collar and moan the lyrics to Under the Bridge in a steady rocking motion.  I don't ever wanna feeeel.  Like I did that day.

Kiedis surely must have been on the vertically downward end of one of these red devils.  90s schlock-alternative is all so clear to me now.

And just like RHCP covered Stevie's Higher Ground with much more amplitude and vivacity, Founder's is attempting to replicate Dogfish Head's 120 IPA with chainsaws and 17-string guitars.  Fuck this noise.  Devil Dancer's entire intention was to grab me by the balls and keep twisting while stroking its hubristic stiffy.  Sick.  Just sick.  It is difficult to look myself in the eye at all now.

My initial tasting notes as I attempted the Everest called Devil Dancer were of hot, resin-y candi syrup, extremely aggressive booze, and the enamel from my stripped teeth.  Mmmm, right?!

I didn't want to fail, so I continued for maybe another 10 ounces before being worn out from the tonsil beating.  I really didn't want to call my insurance to see if I was covered for this, so I gave up.  I humorously put my tulip of remaining Devil Dancer in the refrigerator "for later", knowing that I could fool my sensibilities into drain-pouring it in the morning because "oops, musta forgot about it!".  But I wouldn't forget.  Nope. Not when there was a badger living in my fridge, raping the vegetables and pillaging the meats.

This is the stuff that, if I had a little brother, I would make him drink it and laugh at his gory demise.  Luckily, I have a wife who is good for that.  As a bonus, she had a friend over for the evening.  Double-trouble!

Okay, so I fell for the most hilarious prank in Founder's repertoire of beers -- and in my defense, it was MUCH more drinkable when I had it in a 6oz serving at the brewery last year --  but at $20 per 4-pack, I think I'll pass on being goosed in the future.

ABV: 12.o%
Acquired: BevCo (Traverse City)
Musical Paring: Weezer | Raditude (2009)

IV.  But the Thing is, I Love You Now
Can you believe that the same brewer that milks the teats of demons, also fashions one of the handsomest beers on the planet?  There is no better sign of imminent relief from summer than the release of Founder's Breakfast Stout.  Whereas Devil Dancer is the despair of heat, Breakfast Stout is the anticipation of Autumn's blanch.

Double chocolate.  Coffee.  Oatmeal.  8% alcohol.

All the essential flavors of the impending holiday season, plus the joyful tingle of being as cabbaged as your grandfather at suppertime.

Although I'm a stouts-for-all-seasons advocate, Breakfast Stout is only really appropriate at the first nip.  Therefore, if you're asking me, what beer do you most anticipate; here is your answer. 

Breakfast Stout has also taken on several other duties as one of the country's liquid treasures, serving as the base beer for its more mature and adventurous cousins, Kentucky Breakfast Stout (aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels) and Canadian Breakfast Stout (aged in spent maple-syrup bourbon barrels).

Still, as a seasonally standard offering, the original is the best out of the entire Founder's catalog, or any other brewery's for that matter.

ABV: 8.3%
Acquired: Jack's Market, Traverse City (RIP)
Musical Paring: Youth Lagoon | The Year of Hibernation (2011)

V.  This is the Last Song I Will Ever Sing

No, I changed my mind again.  GOODNIGHT.  AND THANK-YOU. 

1 comment:

T Grier said...

Say it an't so ... Come on man. Keep up the writing. The peeps are out here.

T Grier