Archive for August, 2011

New Belgium’s ‘Kick’, & Flying Dog’s ‘Backyard Ale’

Posted in Spirit Guide with tags , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by Colin Walker

This edition of Spirit Guide is dedicated to Nate ‘Fat Nate’ Field, who specifically asked when I was going to get off of my lazy ass and do another one of these. I’ve got a question for you, Fat Nate. When are you going to stop jerking off to old reruns of ‘Growing Pains’? That shit is weird, dude.

A two part-er this week, starting off with:

‘Kick’, New Belgium Brewing Company

The Codpiece is a fruity bitch. I’ve addressed this before, but a lot of the beers I do reviews on seem to be fruit beers. I don’t know why this is. Perhaps it’s because fruit beers move me more than most? Maybe because when they’re good they are amazing, but when they are bad they are atrocious? Could it be that I’m being paid off by some underground fruit and malt syndicate? Am I trying to tell you all something with an underlying theme that I couldn’t possibly say out loud, something that tortures me and makes me question my very existence and the choices I’ve made in life? I don’t know the answer. Neither does the gun in my mouth. I’ve asked.

 Oh gun, you so crazy.

  But don’t despair! If fruit beers aren’t your thing (you horrible fucking person), skip ahead. If you like them (and maybe want to get together sometime and play with my model train set with me), keep reading. New Belgium did this shit up right.

New Belgium is a fancy-pants brewing company out of Colorado. Don’t believe the fancy-pants bit? Here is a link to their website.   Shit is fancy as hell. As to why they decided to call themselves the New Belgium Brewing Company, I have no idea. They are headquartered in Fort Collins, which already has a name.

 Pictured: Not in any fucking way Belgium.

Fort Collins might have some kind of stigma that I’m not aware of, that these brewers didn’t want to be associated with.

 The Fort Collins school bus, stopping for a Big Bite and a Dew Slurpee.

But whatever. What matters is the beer, right? And this beer is quite exceptional. Instead of brewing the whole lot with cranberry and pumpkin juice, (because it’s fucking Thanksgiving already) they opted to do just seventy-five percent of it that way. Then, they added twenty-five percent of their potent wooden barrel aged ale. The result is a fruit beer that only hints at being one. But unlike some other fruit beers, *cough cough, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, cough*  you can’t miss the hint.

 “What the fuck did I ever do to you?”

It is potent and easy going down. I’ve only seen them in 22oz. sizes, but let me tell you, I could drink three of these mofos easy. And I’d find the bail money somewhere. “I’m hoooooooome!”

It’s mildly tart, but not sour. Kind of like your sister. Except I bet this beer is smart enough to find it’s way home after being left under a highway bridge. The cranberry flavor stands out more that the pumpkin, but the pumpkin hides in the soft back bite. Shit is delicious, son.

 Taste: I just fucking said it was delicious. What more do you want from me? You always TAKE.

Drinkability: Only slightly acidic. No problem at all.

ABV: A sneaky, sneaky 8.5%

Cost: $6.50 for 22oz. Not too bad for something this caliber.

Hangover Rating: Unknown. I only drank the one. I am filled with deep regret over this.

Next up:

 Flying Dog Backyard Ale

I love Flying Dog, ya’ll. Word is bond. They, like New Belgium, are from Colorado. But, unlike NB, whose yeasty tentacles have just found their way out to Maryland, Flying Dog moved their brewing operation out here, to Frederick. Before you say, “Oh, Coddy, you’re on that local favoritism shit now.” let me tell you this: that don’t mean a damn thing. The brewery that used to be in the building Flying Dog now occupies was called Blue Ridge. From what I can remember (it’s been years), that was some of the most god-awful shit I’d ever tasted. It was like the embodiment of misery took a piss in my mouth while I was sleeping and held my jaws shut when I woke up. A brewery about twenty miles from me, in Martinsburg, WV, produced beer so bad that I actually threw it out. Do you know how bad that has to be? I once tossed the salad of a girl I barely knew, and I couldn’t drink that swill. Thank god they are closed.

 Fuck. You.

So, when I say I love the Dog, that’s because Flying Dog makes excellent product. Their motto is a line borrowed from Hunter S. Thompson: ‘Good People drink Good Beer’. And while that alienates the shit out of me (and Hunter, too), they make some awesome brews. They make my all-time favorite Imperial Porter, ‘Gonzo’, and I have only tasted one or two of their offering which I didn’t like. but they were IPAs. The Codpiece don’t really truck with IPAs. Your mom gives me enough heartburn as it is.

My buddy John ‘Good God Man, You Slept With My Sister-In-Law’ Reece bought a bottle of this over last night. My opinion, Flying Dog has saved the day again.

 And just like that, Google Image search makes me hate Jason Lee a little bit more.

Backyard Ale is delicious, with a light smoky malt flavor. It was brewed in conjunction with a chef (Bryan Voltaggio) to compliment ‘All Things Grilled’.  Sadly, I didn’t try it at a BBQ, unless taking whippets around a clown corpse can be called a cookout. But I’m sure it’s great with all kinds of food.

Taste: Smoky and malty, full and smooth.

Drinkability: A little thicker than a pilsner, but certainly no chore.

ABV: 7.5%

Cost: $8/six-pack

Hangover Rating: Unavailable. Like ‘Kick’, I only drank the one. And it was so fucking good the bird stole some of it. 

He’s a dick like that sometimes.