Stone Enjoy By 04.01.13 IPA
Beer nerd’s log, stardate, em… March nineteenth… point two. After much trickery and guile, I’ve been able to obtain a bottle of Stone’s latest, super-limited, highly-sought-after and wholly coveted “Enjoy By.” This specialty brew is boasted as a “devastatingly fresh” double IPA. Freshness is the gimmick here, which ensures that if we do see its like again, it shall have a completely different date. Either that or it’s an elaborate April Fool’s joke. I wonder if Stone just packaged a watery pilsner, told everyone it was a super-fresh IPA, and then said it expires on April first. I wouldn’t put it past the company whose other brews are often labeled as bastards. Let’s find out! After all, the clock is ticking on this one.
Cracking and pouring, we get a light amber color with a resilient foamy head (phrasing!) that leaves a perfect lace upon the glass. The aroma smacks of largely floral hops flanked by lesser notes of citrusy grapefruit and the fresh pine smell of the outdoors.
Of sound body and with a hops bite that would take a lesser beer nerd’s head off, this brew’s final kiss of death is the alcohol content, which reigns in at 9.4%, more than double that of a typical “lite” lager in the uninspired American style.
The mouthfeel is crisp with a pleasantly tingly carbonation that dances on the tongue. The malt sweetness is present, if overpowered by the ridiculous amount of hops. While it’s nowhere near a point of balance, this is a beer for hopheads. If you’re a lightweight, then this is not the beer for you. If you’re a hophead who loves IPAs, then I hope you’ve already grabbed your bottle (phrasing) because I don’t think it’s going to be around or as fresh as it… hey, wait a tic… Alcohol is a natural preservative, as are hops… Hence the India Pale Ale, which was designed to not spoil on long sea journeys. And this is a double IPA, so it’s even stronger and hoppier than a normal IPA. Its true, hop flavor can degrade over time, but nonetheless.
Did I just figure out the April Fools joke? Why, those cunning bastards!
The Great International Spring Beer Festival
The Great International Spring Beer Festival is returning to Providence on April 20. This yearly festival of beer includes live music, food and a wide variety of beer from all over the region and beyond. The typical lineup includes names like Samuel Adams, Magic Hat, Long Trail, Sierra Nevada, Ipswitch, Berkshire Brewing Co., Trinity Brewhouse and Newport Storm. Hopefully this year we’ll see some of our newbie brewers popping up. There’s two sessions, afternoon and evening, though the afternoon session is usually more preferable as it often sees a calmer, more enlightened crowd whereas the night session often attracts the more, shall we say, overly enthusiastic imbiber.
As much fun as this event is, there’s always those people who go to these things to destroy their brain cells in exchange for a criminal record, and once again I could launch into my usual tired tirade about how you should drink responsibly, how this festival is a celebration not an excuse to destroy your better judgment and math skills, and how the Providence Police mark this date on their calendar every year.
So, perhaps instead I shall instruct you in how to be civilized. It probably will work about as well as teaching math to a cat. But if my cat can learn that pee plus the carpet equals getting dumped into a bathtub full of water, then perhaps there’s hope for all of you yet. So, let’s see if we can’t class it up a little this year.
1. Upon entering the festivities, thou art provided a small plastic sampling vessel. This vessel is not to exceed, in volume, two ounces. This might seem limited, however, the astute patron will notice that sampling is unlimited, therefore creating both the illusion of oppression and the reality of freedom. Therefore, be cautious and patient, and thou shalt taste any brews thy should want, in a moderated fashion, thereby warding off unnecessary inebriation whilst still experiencing maximum enjoyment.
2. Take care in sampling as some of these delicious concoctions can range from 5% alcohol by volume, which is slightly greater than your typical “lite” lager, to 9% or higher. If thou should imbibe such a hearty brew, perhaps getting into the nearest line of excessive length would give thou time to properly process such robustness. In addition, as there are three and-a-half hours within which to imbibe, a steady, measured pace is easily attainable and sustainable.
3. Do show the utmost respect to those gifting you with refreshments, as well as those officers of the peace who may be present. Everyone at such events are there for your enjoyment, and those performing the tending services will certainly be rather overworked. An unsociable demeanor will in no way endear oneself to them, and has, in past circumstances, often resulted in the physical ejection of the offending patron.
4. There are often, at such events that draw a largely male crowd, certain members of the female persuasion that may be scandalously clad. In such circumstances, respect is once again asked, nay, demanded such that no unfortunate misunderstandings should result in the necessity of peace officer intervention. This is, after all, supposed to be a celebration of beer, and the personal space rule still applies, despite the abundance of patrons in the limited area.
That is all, my good sirs and madams. As always, please enjoy with responsibility and good judgment when sampling your libations. Indubitably!