Wednesday 15 April 2009

Beers I Want

I write posts whenever they come to me. I’ve got about 10 ready to go at the mo, maybe more. This one I wrote way back in February and a few things have changed since then so I thought I'd better post it now before it becomes completely redundant…

I read a lot about beers, often books or cruising blogs and websites, checking out tasting notes and other peoples’ words. I guess you could say I’m a beer voyeur, jealous of what others are drinking. I drink a lot of great beer but you always want what you can’t/don’t have. Here is a list of the beers which I really really really want to try.

Dogfish Head’s Pangaea. A beer made with ingredients from all seven continents. That’s cool. It’s water from Antarctica, moscavado sugar from Africa, rice from Asia, hops and malt from Europe and North America (in what order I don’t know), Belgian yeast (from Belgium?!) crystallised ginger from Australasia and quinoa from South America (I think this is right, the DFH website only lists the water, rice and ginger, finishing it with ‘etc…’ which is kinda stupid because I want to know what’s in it and exactly where it came from!). I love the idea behind this beer.

DogFish Head’s 120-Minute IPA. 21% IPA that is boiled with hops for two hours, fermented with hops (fresh batches added daily) and aged on hops. Flipping insane! I wouldn’t turn away the 60- or 90-Minute brews either. [Edit: see this post – I now have a DFH90 coming my way!]

Another DogFish Head. World Wide Stout. An 18% monster. Enough said.

Alesmith’s Speedway Stout. Another 18% imperial monster, yes please. And they do one in a bourbon barrel so let me at that too!

Some of the stuff from Short’s Brewing Company’s, including crazy-awesome beers such as Imperial Black Cherry Porter, Bloody Beer (Bloody Mary-style beer), Peaches and Crème, Uber Goober Oatmeal Stout (it has peanut puree in it!) and Bananas n Blow (banana and cocoa). Nuts.

Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Younger: Number 2 on BeerAdvocate’s Best Of and a hop bomb. And I’d obviously need the Elder Pliny too, to compare. [Edit: I got the Elder coming too, see this post again]

Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel made from Civet coffee which has been crapped out of a weasel. [Edit: I nearly crapped myself when I saw this at Planet Thanet beer festival in Margate last weekend! I did a double-take, squealed in excitement and then bought two]

Harviestoun’s Ola Dubh. Old Engine Oil aged in malt whisky barrels. Woo!

Westvleteren 12. Obviously. [Edit: Done it here]

Moor's JJJ IPA. A massive English IPA. Hit me!

The Thornbridge St. Petersburgs aged in three different whisky barrels. Can St. Pete’s get any better?! I have to know. [Edit: I now have one of each which I got when I went up to visit for the day]

Fresh Stone Ruination IPA. I adore the bottle and want to see how much better the cask could be in San Diego!

BrewDog made a beer called Zephyr, a 12% IPA aged in grain whisky barrels for 18 months with a load of strawberries. I want that. A lot. [Edit: This is coming soon!!]

If anyone has any Samuel Adams’ Utopia going then I’d like to a have taste of that too, or some of the other 25%+ beers. Are they really beer?!

And I was born in 1984 so I really want a beer from that year. Any beer, as long as it’s drinkable. To be honest, if it isn’t drinkable I’ll take it anyway. I’m thinking a Thomas Hardy’s 1984 would be the most realistic or maybe some Belgian classics.

And here’s some which have made the list since February… the BrewDog/Stone/Cambridge collaboration which is a 10% Black pilsner. Dark Lord because I’m a sucker for the hype and the fact that they release it on ‘Dark Lord Day’.

As you can see the last few months has seen some good beer come my way, but there's still more that I'm searching for and the list will always be evolving. What’s on your ‘I really want to try’ list? And any ideas on how I could get a bottle of beer from 1984?!


  1. I've still got a bottle of a 21% ABV Dogfish Head World Wide Stout in my cupboard. Before Safeways were taken over they used to regularly get American craft beers in stock and when I saw the World Wide Stout I had to get a couple, even though it cost a fortune. It's a good beer too, surprisingly drinkable, though more like a port than a beer.

  2. Oh my God I can't wait for that Zephyr!! I can't wait!!!

  3. Ed, I can barely believe Safeways used to stock World Wide Stout, it's insane! If they used to be able to get it then why isn't it still being imported?!

    Helen, the Zephyr sounds amazing, doesn't it! Hopefully it'll be here soon as I haven't put any beer orders in recently anticipating a few big BrewDog orders!

  4. Safeways got taken over by Morrisons and the beer range became less exciting :-(

    There's a Thomas Hardy ale website: where vinage bottles are sold. They might be able to sort you out a 1984 one.

  5. Liam, time to make the San Diego trip. A bar, just up the street from me, has Dog Fish Head 120 Minute IPA on draught. I am not a fan. Obviously, it's not sweet, but it does have a cloying quality about it. I'd rather drink pints of HB Hofbrau Original, especially when the weather's warm.

  6. Glenn Payne was the beer buyer for Safeways, who has gone o n to work with a loose coalition of retailers and importers at Borough Market. I think his new joint venture is Pangaea Imports.

  7. Ed, bloody Morrisons!! Although I do like their Organic Ale. I had a look on that TH site a few months ago but it doesn't list anything. I'll send an email. I've just seen a 1983 Chimay Red - so close!

    Wurst, San Diego is high on my hit list! I heard Petco Park has got a great beer selection too? I can image the DFH120 has a cloying quality, especially as huge IPAs are meant for glugging, still very interested in it!

    Zak, if only Glenn was stil there! I met him briefly at the Zeitgeist launch and remember mentioning the DFH Pangaea when he told me the name of his new company.

  8. Hmmm...Pangaea imports isn't looking too promising:

  9. Haha, that's funny! Some of those bags do look lovely though :)

  10. Hi Mark,
    Just got back from NY. DFH 90 Minute is pretty good on draught but is a little cloying. After a week of drinking IPA's I am a little over the taste of pinecones!

    I still maintain that Flying Dog - Snakedog IPA is teh best beer I have had this year

  11. That's cool you found it on draft Tim! I've had a few really piney IPAs recently that were just too much!

    I should be heading to Utobeer on Saturday so I'll try and grab a Snakedog!

  12. I'm building a list much like you and Dogfish 120 minute and Pangaea is on it. I'm also wanting to try the Russian River products. I need to start writing down all of the beers I want to try just to make sure I don't miss any when I go to the store!

  13. They had 120 Minute IPA as well, but for $22 a 350mL bottle it was a little bit too rich for me. plus i don't need a 205 IPA with my lunch!

  14. What's wrong with a 20% beer with lunch?! :)

    That's pretty expensive, I don't know if I could've resisted it though!

  15. Great list! Short's beers are both enticing and scary. I've never tried them but I really admire that kooky American imagination in beers.

    When are you going to San Diego? I'm jealous! Are you passing through LA at all?

    I feel like making my own now. Definitely all the beers on the "Historic Beers of Scotland" range from Heather Ale would be on it.

  16. Hey IM, the Short's beers sound so kooky and fun that I really want to see if they are any good, especially the one with peanut butter in! I'm not actually going to San Diego, I only wish I was! I'll have to save a bit harder first tho! It was fun making the list and I've done pretty well picking some of them up so far... I'll have to write another list this time next year to see how it changes!

    And this weekend I got the 12 and 18 year Ola Dubh, I tried Stone's IPA on tap (beautiful) and I now have the DFH90 and Pliny in my house, tucked away safely! And Zephyr can now be bought from BrewDog's website in small 330ml bottles, I was so close to buying one but thought I'd save my money and wait for the bigger, special boxed one where I'll buy a few!!

  17. the DFH IPA is...interesting!!

  18. Leigh, have you had the DFH?! I can't wait to try them. I can't get my head around the 120, it sounds like a beast!

  19. The Belgian beer "Gulden Draak" is supposed to be very good after many years. A friend of mine from 1981 had one from his year when he became 25 and loved it.