Friday, February 12, 2016

Super Beer Weekend

 It's Super Bowl weekend, the biggest sporting event of the year.  Lots of people have big parties with family and friends, and as always, there's plenty of junk food and beer to go around.  Parties are great and all, but I prefer to spend the evening with my family and actually watch the game (still with junk food and beer, of course.)  I watch as many games as I can all season long, and I love watching the final showdown for the title.  These are the beers I've enjoyed both the week leading up to the big game, and during the game itself.

Ballast Point is relatively new to Iowa, and I've only had a handful of their brews so far.  Grapefruit Sculpin is an excellent IPA. I came across this bottle of Victory at Sea at HyVee a few weekends ago, and had to try it.  This 10% ABV Imperial Stout was fantastic.  Big bold flavors, yet surprisingly smooth and easy to drink.  I can't wait to try the peppermint version of it!
 With the good, comes the bad.  Indra Kunindra Curry Export Stout is what it sounds like.  A decent stout with curry, cumin, coconut, and kaffir lime.  To me, the curry and cumin were over powering, and I didn't get any coconut or lime flavor.  To be honest, I didn't even finish this beer, the curry was just too much.  I'm sure there are lots of people who would enjoy this one, but I am not one of them.

Even though I didn't enjoy this brew, I will still continue to try more of their beers.  Not every beer is for everyone, and one bad beer doesn't take away from all the good ones they make.  For instance, my favorite brewery Dogfish Head makes a couple that I truly dislike, yet they make up for it by making some of my favorite beers.  So, if you haven't given Ballast Point a try yet, please do....  Just maybe not this one.

While in Des Moines a few weeks ago, I picked up a few offerings from Backpocket and Exile Breweries.  It's great to have so many really good craft beer offerings made in the state of Iowa right now.  Exile has really been making a name for themselves in the past few years.  At the Last Great American Beer Fest, they scored a gold medal with Gigi, a dark lager.  With other great brews like Gorilla Press, Beatnik Sour, and Chill Clinton they are showing they are on their way to being a power house in the beer industry.
This time, I picked up some Raspberry Bohemian and Cherry Bohemian.  I tried the Cherry last night, and was quite impressed.  Tart and sour, and very easy to drink.  This would be a great beer to enjoy during the hot summer months, although, I enjoyed in quite a bit during the cold wintry night too.

The latest in Toppling Goliath's X-Hop series, X-Hops Gold, may just be the best.  The fruity hop aroma hit me as soon as I popped the top, and the beer poured hazey with the perfect head.  This was a great beer.  As usual Brew Master Mike loaded this brew with hops, yet kept it super easy to drink and had me wanting more. It also paired well with nachos, buffalo chicken dip, spinach dip, and the Super Bowl.  I couldn't have chosen a better beer to enjoy the biggest game of the year.

Of course I did follow it up with Blood on the Blade, a Red IPA by Backpocket Brewery.   This was a completely different beer from TG Gold, but really just as good.  These guys are continuing to impress me, and I have become a big fan of theirs over the last year or two.

As for the game itself, I've heard a lot of people say it was boring, and I couldn't disagree more.  It was an excellent defensive battle that I found very exciting to watch.  I mean, a strip sack with a walk in touchdown?  How is that not awesome?  The halftime show however, was horrendous.  This is the biggest stage in the world, and the NFL keeps laying eggs.  Let's try for actual entertainment NFL!!

Well, that was some of my football weekend.  Feel free to tell me what your favorite brews of Super Bowl weekend were below in the comment section.  You can also follow me on Twitter: @Crinkletalk
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