Friday, March 16, 2007


So my grandfather passed away the other day. Yeah, I know. Great long life, filled with loads of Giants baseball games, extensive world travel, not one but two great wives, and thousands upon thousands of mixed drinks. While not a beer guy, he made a rockin’ gin & tonic like no other – about 99% gin, with a “spritz” of tonic on the side of the glass. Delicious. Anyway, coming back from his memorial service the other day in Napa, CA, I came to the conclusion that not only would a beer help numb the pain, but also realized that the MOYLAN’S BREWERY, where I’d never been, was right off the road. I decided to check it out.

You may recall that I believe MOYLAN’S to be one of the US’s great brewers. Their IPA and MOYLANDER DOUBLE IPA are both fantastic, as is their holiday brew. Topping all charts is HOPSICKLE, another ultra-high-IBU India Pale Ale that some, including Moylan’s themselves, have dared to call a “Triple IPA”. I don’t care what they call it, it just might be the greatest beer in America right now, and it’s generated such a rabid following that this intense, ultra-bitter, hopped-to-the-extreme beer has pretty much become their flagship ale in just one year of existence. So here I am at their pub, and they’ve got HOPSICKLE on cask (!). I naturally ordered one up, expecting nirvana, only to find – wow. What the hell happened? The lack of carbonation seemed to suck all the life out of the beer, leaving the bitterness without any restraint to tear your mouth a new one. I actually winced as I drank it down, never a good sign. OH how I wanted to love this one. I guess it comes down to this: the beer was so painstakingly crafted to perfection, and is so “delicately” constructed (which, granted, is a strange thing to say about such a firebreather) that any tinkering with the formula is bound to result in failure. I wish it weren’t the case, but it was. 5.5/10. That said – if you ever see this on the shelf in a 22-oz. bomber, get out your wallet, and put your big boy pants on.

1 comment:

Stonch said...

Surely cask conditioning represents less "tinkering" than artificial carbonation, though?