let's face it, happened long before that episode). Since then, the term "jumping the shark" has come to refer to the point in any series where the writers have seemed to run out of new ideas and over reach with over-the-top situations.
So I got thinking (always a dangerous proposition) can a brewery jump the shark? Can a brewery, in an attempt to constantly come up with new and different styles of beer move too far from what makes beer beer? Consider all the various additives cropping up in craft beers; blueberry, raspberry, cherry, apricot, chicory, ginger, maple, juniper, tea, grapes, orange, lemon, lime, coriander, honey, chamomile, doum-palm fruit, raisins, currents, vanilla, pumpkin, nutmeg, chocolate, coffee - to name a few. So is there a point at which the brew is no longer a beer? I have tried a number of these strange brews because I tend to have an adventurous palate. The results have been varied, ranging from "surprisingly good" to "noble effort" to "really?" I had a raspberry beer once that tasted more like a soft drink than a beer. I do not want a brew that has lost its basic "beer-ness." If the flavor enhances the beer, plays delicately in the background, teasing the tongue tantalizingly, as it were, in support of the main characters, Hops and Malt, then I generally can enjoy the beer. But if the additives overpower the beer, I'm one-and-done with that brew.
So can a brewer "jump the shark"? Nah! Let's face it, the guys that go into craft brewing are risk takers and rule breakers. We wouldn't want them any other way.
Anyhow, here are our observations and random musings:
What the Brewer Says: "An All-American yeast teams up with Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial for a homerun of hops in every sip."
Color: Unfiltered honey / apricot
Pour: Little better than decent head
Aroma: Between neutral and hoppy. There is a bit of a hops nose to it
Taste: Towards the bitter / hoppy side of balanced. There are notes of pine and grapefruit.
Overall Impression: Enthusiastic "Can't get enough!"
Comments: "Even a non-Red Sox fan can't help falling in love with this beer!; It has a nice, bitter bite; A great beer for sitting back to watch a baseball game; Quite drinkable; I'd never had it before, but won't hesitate to have it again; Decent malt backbone."
And we were all still standing! More or less.
Who won the battle of the cans?
-Pretty close call between Green Monsta IPA and Brew Free of Die IPA, with Loose CANnon right in the mix.
-We found 3 Bean an outstanding beer, but at 10% ABV it's not exactly the one beer to have when you're having more than one (a reference for those of you old enough to remember Schaefer beer ads). But what a terrific sippin' beer.
-Snake Dog fared well.
-Snapperhead is a nice session beer, though we felt it more of a pale ale than an IPA.
-Smithwick's Pale Ale makes a nice addition to the Guinness family.
-Newcastle Brown Ale is far superior when canned vs. the clear glass bottles and the 5 liter can is a neat idea.
-We liked the Sam Cans and the way Samuel Adams continues to find ways to bring out the flavor of their beers vs. trying to hide a lack of flavor ala the mega-brews. Would still love to see that Latitude 48 in a Sam Can.
Next month - American Pale Ales
The BOTB Guys