Hill Farmstead Ephraim - And the first growler cracked from the haul. The obvious one to try first, having never had it before. Very different than any of the other Hill Farmstead DIPAs I’ve had. Definitely sweeter with a bigger body. You can feel the extra ABV. Very enjoyable and thrilled to have it, but does not knock off Abner or some from the Society & Solitude series as my favorites. 

Vermont Beer Birthday Haul (or How My Parents Went Crazy) -

Well, the Vermont beer drought is broken - kind of. Today I turned an age divisible by 10 and my parents have been insisting for months they were making a Vermont beer run for me to mark the occasion. After trying to talk them out of it several times without any luck I eventually gave in. 

They arrived at Hill Farmstead before they opened only to find about 30 people ahead of them. They toughed it out for a full allocation of E. and even managed an extra growler out of the HF crew somehow - very impressive.

The rest of their day was devoted to a much too complicated search for Heady Topper. They tried 3 different stores on the Thursday delivery list striking out each time. If it was me I would have hit Fiddlehead and headed home, but instead they eventually ended up at the Beverage Warehouse for their 5:30 Heady drop. Even then they were forced to loop around a line multiple times due to the unusual number of other Heady seekers. 

All those shenanigans caused them to extend their stay an extra night, but they insist it was very enjoyable and something they are interested in doing again. I still think they are crazy, but feel incredibly lucky. A truly great birthday gift.

Alchemist Heady Topper - Putting John Kimmich’s word to the test - “It doesn’t go bad and it will be a completely different beer as it ages” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amgfgU5-lhs. 
I have a fresh batch of Heady Topper showing up tomorrow (with an unbelievable story to go along with it). Kimmich’s example from the video was canned in July ans tasted in April. This can I saved from our September trip so not quite as old, but that still makes it 220 days old.  
Is it bad? I wouldn’t go that far. But it’s certainly not good either. It’s absolutely a different beer than where it started. Aroma is extremely muted as you’d expect. A careful pour gives it almost lager-like clarity.  Taste is…just a bit bland…very little bitterness, no juicy hop flavor. 
An interesting experiment, but not one I feel the need to ever repeat.

Alchemist Heady Topper - Putting John Kimmich’s word to the test - “It doesn’t go bad and it will be a completely different beer as it ages” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amgfgU5-lhs

I have a fresh batch of Heady Topper showing up tomorrow (with an unbelievable story to go along with it). Kimmich’s example from the video was canned in July ans tasted in April. This can I saved from our September trip so not quite as old, but that still makes it 220 days old.  

Is it bad? I wouldn’t go that far. But it’s certainly not good either. It’s absolutely a different beer than where it started. Aroma is extremely muted as you’d expect. A careful pour gives it almost lager-like clarity.  Taste is…just a bit bland…very little bitterness, no juicy hop flavor. 

An interesting experiment, but not one I feel the need to ever repeat.

Hill Farmstead Arthur - From last week. The Floras, Normas, and Civil Disobediences are obviously amazing beers, but there is something about the simplicity of Arthur I just love. A truly great beer.

Hill Farmstead Arthur - From last week. The Floras, Normas, and Civil Disobediences are obviously amazing beers, but there is something about the simplicity of Arthur I just love. A truly great beer.

Upstate Brewing IPW - Upstate started canning a while ago but today was the first time I saw cans in a store. I’ve had this on tap, in a growler, and in a can now and have enjoyed it each time.

Upstate Brewing IPW - Upstate started canning a while ago but today was the first time I saw cans in a store. I’ve had this on tap, in a growler, and in a can now and have enjoyed it each time.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout (2012) - A special midweek treat.

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout (2012) - A special midweek treat.

Duvel - One of the standouts from when I really got into beer. I’ve had a couple of bottles in the door of the beer fridge for at least a couple years now. Not necessarily exciting, but still very good.

Duvel - One of the standouts from when I really got into beer. I’ve had a couple of bottles in the door of the beer fridge for at least a couple years now. Not necessarily exciting, but still very good.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout (2012) - Aging gracefully.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout (2012) - Aging gracefully.

Founders KBS - Went to Food & Fire for their first big beer event that I can remember. They tapped KBS promptly at 5 PM. Not a huge crowd, but it is a Monday night. Pretty much everyone I saw in the bar area seemed to be drinking KBS. As you can see in the picture it came in a fairly dirty glass. Didn’t go as far as sending it back, but really expect better from a beer bar. Beer still tasted as good as always.

Food was as good as I’ve had there. The burgers have had pretty good reviews and I wasn’t disappointed. I’d gladly try one of the more adventurous ones. We also tried the new corn fritter appetizer too which was good.

The North Brewery God Complex - First bottled offering I’ve tried from The North. This is billed as a stout with Serrano peppers, mocha, and hazelnut.
Pours almost completely flat. Tastes very under attenuated to me, extremely sweet. Peppers provide a good level of heat - not so much that it’s hard to drink, but there is no way you are going to miss them. Don’t pick up a ton of coffee or hazelnut flavor - the other two adjuncts listed in the description.
Overall a pretty big miss for me especially at $10 a bomber. Glad I only bought one. A little less time on the label art and wax, more focus on carbonation and fermentation would be a good trade off.  

The North Brewery God Complex - First bottled offering I’ve tried from The North. This is billed as a stout with Serrano peppers, mocha, and hazelnut.

Pours almost completely flat. Tastes very under attenuated to me, extremely sweet. Peppers provide a good level of heat - not so much that it’s hard to drink, but there is no way you are going to miss them. Don’t pick up a ton of coffee or hazelnut flavor - the other two adjuncts listed in the description.

Overall a pretty big miss for me especially at $10 a bomber. Glad I only bought one. A little less time on the label art and wax, more focus on carbonation and fermentation would be a good trade off.