Nick Larson and Jake Devincenzi
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Kinesiology senior Nick Larson and aerospace engineering senior Jake Devincenzi are Mustang News beer columnists.
Our beer collection is approaching 300 bottles, but it is so much more than just 300 empty glass containers … held within our malty collection is 300 stories. We never get tired of sharing these stories.
We could talk for hours about the time we drank each beer, who we drank it with, funny things that happened in the process. A beer bottle is worth a thousand words, and this week, we are thrilled to share some of those stories with you.
Left Coast Brewing Co. — Asylum
Sometimes the best beer stories come with no relation to the beer being enjoyed. Our second experience with this brew was one of those times. A medium-sized group of friends was hanging out, having a kickback, enjoying a couple beers — the typical Saturday night.
We had just opened a bottle of Left Coast’s strong Belgian Tripel when we noticed that two of our friends had disappeared from the group. Being the aspiring young detectives that we are (think Holmes and Watson with better looks), we decided to investigate.
After checking every room of the house, only the bedroom was left. We won’t go into any more details, but let’s just say they had left the door slightly ajar — a rookie mistake. Naturally, we figured hunger was setting in, and after surveying the fridge, our Mustang Pride inspired us to reach for the bag of tortillas. It might have been a little harsh, but the tortillas fit through the crack in the door so nicely, and who doesn’t like a little midnight snack, right?
Shipyard Brewing Company — Double Old Thumper
The Double Old Thumper is one hell of a beer. We were drawn to it in our early stage of beer consumption by the $4 price tag, and the 11.2 percent alcohol by volume. Excited to have found such a great deal, we hastily opened it that same night.
To our dismay, it was much too good to be true. The beer is terrible, and should not be consumed. Craft beer is for taste, alcohol content is just a bonus.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company — Brother David’s Triple
It’s a great beer. And Tobias Funke is on the label. Need we say more?
Brouwerij Corsendonk — Pater Dubbel Ale
We received this as a Christmas gift, and somehow we had the patience to age it for more than six months. We knew Belgians aged well, and after confirming with the text on the bottle, we let it sit next to our fridge until we could not handle the suspense any longer.
Best. Decision. Ever. It was amazing, smooth and possibly one of the best beers we have ever had. So good that we just got another one and are currently letting it age as we speak. Trust us: when it comes to Belgians, patience pays off.
Unibroue — 17 Grande Réserve
You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never to get involved in a land war in Asia. And only slightly less well-known is this: Never go in against a beer snob when a pint is on the line!
A rogue Minnesotan found his way to our house one day. He was a great guy. We shared some beers, showed him the town, bro’d out. It was a grand time. Then he broke the second most famous blunder: He tried to make a wager.
We are avid ping-pong players, and before seeing us play, our Minnesotan friend thought he could beat one of us. The terms were simple: best out of 5. Loser buys the winner their choice of beer from BevMo (no price limit). Your beer columnist won the first two, but the Minnesotan took the third. With a pint on the line, your beer columnist slipped a slight smile, looked the Minnesotan in the eye, and uttered “I know something you don’t. I am not left-handed.” The result of the next game was the 17 Grande Reserve, a fantastic beer to pair with victory.
Julian Hard Cider — Cherry Bomb
This is a cider. The moral of this story: Do not drink cider. Especially cider infused with “cherries.”
Us: It was so bad.
Match Game Audience: How bad was it?
Us: It was so bad, even our gluten-free roommate _____ it.
Heretic Brewing — Tartuffe
Our first experience with sours started off rocky … mainly because we were not aware we were drinking a sour. We took a sip, and as you could imagine, were very confused. After some investigation, we realized there was more to the name TARTuffe than we thought. Now, sours are not all bad, we learned later. Except for this one. This one is bad.
Green Flash Brewing Company — Palate Wrecker
First off, let us say, this beer is fantastic. If you are looking for some intense India Pale Ale (IPA) action, Palate Wrecker is an amazingly flavorful choice. For any of you that might not know, IPAs are particularly bitter. It is hard to drink any other beer directly after drinking one. It could be said that they … wait for it … can wreck the palate.
One of our friends brought this brew to our house when it was released, and excitedly held it up to us, displaying the daunting name. However, due to some tiredness, we weren’t exactly thinking clearly and stated, “Pilates Wrecker? Like it ruins your workout? That’s a weird name for a beer … ”
Brouwerij Huyghe — Delirium Tremens
Beer isn’t our only hobby; we also love people watching. During one routine trip to BevMo, the two combined. We were scoping out some new bottles to bring home when we saw a mother and her (roughly) 4-year-old son perusing the aisles. He was an adorable little nugget, and then he truly stole our hearts when he uttered the heart-warming words, “Mommy, mommy, mommy! Can we get the elephant beer? Please!” We like your taste, young man. We like your taste.
We will also take this opportunity to note that while the story of this 4-year-old may be adorable, alcohol abuse, especially in underage college students, is a serious problem. We are not ones to preach about abstaining from alcohol, but we were both fortunate enough to grow up in families that taught us about health and moderation in all aspects of life. Regardless of whether or not you abstain from alcohol, please be safe and smart in your choices. As with anything, moderation is key. Especially with the Halloween weekend coming up, we strongly implore everyone to be extra safe and smart. Know your limits, watch out for your friends and quite simply, just don’t be an idiot. Have a safe weekend.
Weekly beer recommendations: Red Ales
There is an interesting middle ground between pale ales and India Pale Ales. Varying in color from lighter (ambers) to fuller (reds), this middle ground offers endless possibilities for experimental beers. Reds tend to be slightly hop-heavy, but certainly do not leave out a nice malt addition to create beautifully well-rounded ales.
Jake’s red recommendations
$: Hoppy Brewing Company, Sacramento, Calif. “Stony Face Red Ale.”
How could you say no to a beer with happy faces all over it??? If you are ever in need of a cheap, delicious beer, pick up a Hoppy Brewing Company brew. They are all fantastic. Plus they have happy faces on the bottle caps. This one is adorned with a Bob Marley happy face. It’s happy, mon!
$$: Knee Deep Brewing Co., Lincoln, Calif. “McCarthy’s Bane.”
I’ve recommended Knee Deep Brewing multiple times before. This is for one reason, and one reason only. It is damn tasty. I have never been let down by this brewery, and McCarthy’s Bane is certainly a testament to this. I am not usually a huge red fan, but this guy was a fantastic surprise.
$$$: Grand Teton Brewing Company, Victor, Ind. “Pursuit of Hoppiness”
This beer is the only non-IPA to crack my top three beers of all-time. A hoppy kick to the palate with the perfect amount of complimentary malt is the recipe devised by Grand Teton to brew this bottle of perfection. If you want a bitter, yet perfectly-rounded beer, pick this beer up. The one I had was aged for two years, so if you can wait a couple years to drink it, you’ll be in for a delicious surprise.
Nick’s red recommendations:
$: Green Flash Brewing Company, San Diego, Calif. “Hop Head Red.”
This is a great beer from one of my favorite breweries. As we know, I’m not a ‘hop head,’ but this is one of the exceptions. It has a full taste and enough flavor to compliment the hops nicely.
$$: Brouwerij Bavik, Belgium. “Petrus Aged Red.”
This is not a conventional red, but a cherry-flavored aged mix of brown and pale ales. It’s sweet, but smooth. The best way I can describe it is a white cherry slurpee. I promise, it’s not a cider.
$$$. The Bruery, Placentia, Calif. “Loakal Red.”
Once again, the Placentia-based specialists have made me a happy man. They age 25 percent of the batch in barrels, which gives it a rustic taste I’ve grown to love. It’s a unique blend that you cannot find anywhere else. Smooth, yet hoppy enough to satisfy the traditional red ale lovers.
Want more beer?
Guess what, beer fans! We’re on Facebook, and we want to hear from you. We love talking to you about beer every week, but we thought it would be fun to answer some questions. In the next two weeks, we will be responding to questions messaged to our Facebook account, or posted on our timeline. We will also be publishing some of the interesting/funny/appropriate questions in the upcoming columns. If you have any questions about beer, about us, about the meaning of life, like our Facebook page, Facebook.com/bhyrbrewing, and let us know what’s on your mind. Also, if you want to see what we are drinking in between columns, check out our Instagram (@bhyrbrewing) to see more recommendations. Cheers!