With #MACtion on hold for eight more days, what else is there to do but drink? And I've got two more brews for you to try. This week features two opposites; a small, local brewery and a nationally recognized beer powerhouse.
First up, Big Pointy Teeth - yes, that is a Monty Python reference.
Flesk is an up-and-coming brewery in Lombard, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. They were founded in 2011 by two friends who continue to do everything by hand - hand made, hand bottled, hand delivered. As they are small, distribution is relatively limited (for now), but if you find them, do yourself a favor and try their stuff. Check out their website here to see if they are in your area.
When you pour Big Pointy Teeth it flows a dark red, almost orange color. There is very little head, maybe a finger, if that, and there is very little lacing as you drink through the beer. As it is a double IPA (or DIPA), there is a strong smell of hops and citrus, with the citrus taking the backseat. Immediately, when drinking, you can taste the hops and bitterness with a quick shock of that alcohol burn. But after the initial sharp bite, you get a fruity, smooth ending to it all. There is quite a bit of grapefruit and other tropical fruits to it. Big Pointy Teeth is a dryer, carbonated, beer with some malt but not much, so any fan of imperial IPAs or DIPAs will enjoy this beer.
At 9.4% ABV and $8.99 for a 22 ounce bomber, it's not a beer you can drink quickly or have multiple of in one night. But it is a beer that any fan of hops will enjoy. It's almost like when a MAC school beats a Power-5 opponent: rare to see, costs a lot, but is so good it's worth it in the end. I give it an 8.5.
Secondly, I head to California to try my first ever beer from Bear Republic. I'm sure it won't be my last though.
Bear Republic opened back in 1995 in Healdsburg, California and has grown significantly since. They are now the 36th largest craft brewery in the country and opened up their new location in Cloverdale, California back in 2006. Bear Republic is probably most known for their Racer 5 IPA, which is one of the most award-winning beers in the US, but has many other beers you should be drinking...if you can find them. They don't distribute across the entire country yet, but here is a quick link to their beer finder and distributors to see if they are around you.
Hop Rod Rye pours a dark and very cloudy amber color - so thick that even when backlit, you can not see through it. When you finish pouring the beer, there is just a fine layer of head atop the beer. As the name would suggest, it has a strong smell of rye and caramel, as the hops take a backseat to the malt. Upon the first taste, there is a mild hoppy taste in the foreground that immediately fades into a stronger caramel and roasted nuttiness. The nutty aftertaste lingers for a while, but does well to hide the taste of alcohol - and at 8% ABV, that could be a dangerous thing. It is mildly carbonated and goes down rather smooth for having such a heavy body.
While it's considered a rye IPA, I'm not sure it really resembles an IPA at all. They say there are tons of hops and it has 80 IBU, but you really don't taste anything but the rye (obviously, the point). It's good for a rye beer, but I just think there's a thing as too much rye. I bet this is what MAC fans that don't like NIU feel like. Yeah, it's good but there's just too much of it. But at $4.99 for a 22 ounce bomber it's not over priced, it's still beer, and it's still good. I give it a six.