This is not Beer Advocate, an excellent site for beer reviews and beer talk. I am no home brewer. My only claims to knowing anything about beer are as such: 1) I am German 2) I have been drinking beer since I was 13. Perhaps that’s enough.
I mean, so much of an experience with beer is personal and about having the correct vocabulary with which to communicate that personal relationship. Recently, a bunch of friends from New York came out to California and we went wine tasting. I tried to sneak a sip of every wine early enough in order to find my own words before each sommelier ruined it with their professionally inspired marketing words. Oak with a tint of raspberry? I’ll see about that. I don’t think I came up with one word successfully.
All of this is a long-winded introduction to the beer reviews on this site. They will probably lack in the words that come with entry into the Beer Advocate style of review. I don’t know about grapefruit. I don’t know what sort of hops went in, even if I’m learning about that slowly. No, I’m just going to try and tell you something about a beer. I’ll find some words, even if they aren’t the normal kind you might find in a beer review.
This beer? Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA? It might be my favorite IPA, and that’s perhaps my second-favorite class of beer. Well, those words don’t help so much. How about this: it’s sweet and hoppy without the sweet taking over. It’s carbonated yet not some sort of gussied up lager. You do get the citrussy hops feeling of a pale ale, and the syrupy sweetness of a brown ale, and the carbonation of a cold American ale, and the strength of an India pale ale. The best thing is that you get all of this in great balance. A bad pale ale steps too far forward with one aspect of his personality, this beer is the Renaissance man of beers. It likes basketball and opera and fine wine, it can handle walks on the beach and going to a fight, it’s funny and handsome. In a way, there are no words, but if there is one, it is balance. Balance. Seriously, I could marry this beer if it was legal and my wife didn’t mind.
Oh, and if only I could find it. Friend Niv Shah went all the way to the Firestone brewery and has treated me to two bottles of this fine brew. I feel I owe him some words of thanks.
[Thanks to Barley Blog for the picture]