Hey all – just a quick post on this bomber of Life & Limb, a beer that many of you are probably familiar with. Obviously, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada are two seminal breweries in the ‘craft beer movement’. I love ‘em both and I think they’ve both done a lot to push the industry forward. Therefore, I was pretty excited when I heard about this collaborative brew using maple syrup from the Calagione farm (DFH) and barley from the Grossman farm (SN). Disregarding the potential quality of the ingredients, the innovative natures of the brewers promises something worth trying. And, I must say, the beer did turn out quite tasty.
This beer pours a very dark brown, with a dense caramel head. The aroma is quite rich – notes of maple, caramel, and dark cherry do it for me. In the mouth, it stays true to form. At British room temperature, the beer exhibits tremendous richness – full of caramel and dark malt. The maple flavors really take hold around the back of the tongue, as does some flavor of sweet cream – very dessert-like and delicious. It isn’t as viscous as a stout. Rather, it comes across as a rich brown ale with big flavors and some yeastiness that isn’t in your face, but may borrow a bit from their Belgian brethren.
And, that’s about it. Frankly, it seems a short paragraph to write about a beer with such big flavors and some considerable hype. However, I have to wonder – at what point do we experience everything under the sun? This is delicious, sure. But, to be fair, I feel like I’ve tasted it a dozen times before. Don’t get me wrong, this beer is sophisticated and well-crafted and delicious, but it is *not* so different that I haven’t tasted all of these flavors before. And, in that respect, it’s a disappointment. But, I guess we were bound to get here. When dealing with a beverage that stipulates little more than 4 ingredients, the flavors are bound to run out. Leads me to wonder what keeps wine drinkers to interested? At any rate, I’m curious who out there is doing really innovative things and making them work? The further the ‘craft brew revolution’ goes, the weirder we gotta get to stay innovative. And, eventually, the beer is going to start to taste like shit. It’s inevitable. You can only get so weird. However, I’ll bet there are still some breweries pushing envelopes out there.
I’ll tell you the brewery that’s making the most innovative-yet-delicious beers that I’ve had in a while – Furthermore Brewery. Those guys make a coffee lager that’s amazing, and their cracked pepper pale ale is nothing to sneeze at – both fairly low abv beers with medium flavor profiles. I feel like the breweries to push us to the next level will be breweries that understand how to integrate flavors while practicing restraint – something that is, for better or worse, lacking in the current scene.
All I’m saying is that, while I *love* the craft beer culture in the US right now, I’m beginning to get bored with Imperial versions of the same old beers…