Armigideon Time

March 5, 2013

Noted Friend of Tilting Suds, Mr. JK, was his usual generous self recently, sending to Texas a package of smokes, charcuterie, and a curious bottle of beer called Armageddon from a Scottish brewer called Brewmeister. Billed as the “World’s Strongest Beer” it clocks in at 65% ABV. Mr. JK described it as a marketing ploy, and to a certain extent he is right. Brewmeister probably got more mileage out of brewing the world’s strongest beer when compared to breweries who win multiple gold medals at brewing competitions. On the other hand, this appeared to be a serious brewer who took the time and care to use quality ingredients in an attempt to make a good beer. Clearly, Brewmeister wanted the notoriety of brewing the “World’s Strongest Beer” but not at the expense of sacrificing their reputation as a brewer of good beers.

A lotta people won't get no supper tonight

A lotta people won’t get no supper tonight


Even though it was only a 12 ounce bottle, I was not going to tackle this myself, so I split it with Bro-In-Law Jeff.  He had been to Scotland recently and had visited one of the BrewDog pubs, so he had some experience with the Scottish propensity for brewing high alcohol beers.  This poured a somewhat cloudy caramel brown, with absolutely no carbonation whatsoever. The first thing I noticed is that there was very little in the way of  alcohol burn. If this beer is truly 65% ABV*, Brewmeister has done a remarkable job of making it a smooth drinking tipple. The other thing I noticed is that while it was different tasting, it still very much tasted like a beer. There was a caramel sweetness to the malts along with some mild hoppy bitterness. I am going to give it a 6.5/10.

*I had some doubts about that claim while I was drinking the beer, but when I stood up and had to immediately sit back down due to being a tad lightheaded after finishing my half glass, I had no further doubts.


The Days Are Getting Longer and The Beers Are Getting Lighter

May 22, 2012

It gets hot in Texas. And once it gets hot in Texas, it stays hot. There is no break from the heat at night. It is as hot at midnight as it is at noon. And it stays hot for a long time, 10, 20, 30, even 40 days straight of over 100 degree temperatures is not unusual. Even now, in the middle of May, it will be over 90 degrees by the end of the week.

Fighting heat like this requires special beers. You want to drink something cold, so you need a beer that has the flavor profile to stand up in a chilled glass, but you don’t want something too heavy tasting or complex. You will want to drink a few beers over the course of the hot sumer afternoon, so you need a beer with a slightly lower ABV. There is nothing worse than passing out drunk and shirtless in the backyard and roasting in the summer sun, or so I have been told.

The Sierra Nevada Summerfest is a light and crisp pilsner. It pours clear and slightly fizzy. The taste is slightly sweet from the malts, with mildly herbal and lemony hops. It clocks in at 5.0 % ABV, so you can have a few while you laze around in the backyard.  It is good enough to drink, but nothing to rave about, 6/10.

The Saint Arnold Weedwacker is THE summer beer for me. This beer started out as part of Saint Arnold’s Movable Yeast experiment (SA would use different yeasts in their standard beers to see the difference that yeast plays in the flavor) that proved to be so popular that it has become a regular beer for them. Saint Arnold takes their Fancy Lawnmower, a German Kolsch, and uses hefeweizen yeast for the fermentation. It pours a nice cloudy orange yellow, with a slight head and vigorous lacing up the side of the glass. There are those banana and clove aroma and flavors you expect from a hefeweizen, along with a  touch of honey. It also has less than 5% ABV, so chug away.  This is the beer I reach for when the weather turns brutal, 7.5/10.

BONUS TEXAS WILDLIFE VIDEO:

This snake was in the backyard, and was probably there for awhile. It is a water moccasin, about two feet long, and approximately two years old. And the guy in the video with the bare feet kicking the pickle bucket containing the venomous and agitated snake? Yeah, that’d be me.

BONUS TEXAS WILDLIFE PHOTO:

Tarantula in a jar

That is a Tarantula in a jar. It was captured by a neighbor in his front yard. It is curled up in this photo, but when spread out, it was about six inches across.


Big Texas Beer Festival, Dallas, April 14

April 16, 2012

Beer Festival Rules:

1. Pace yourself so that you can enjoy all the beers that you will be sampling.

2. Drink plenty of water.

3. Take regular food breaks. Read the rest of this entry »


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