For those who don’t know, last year Sean Larkin of Revival Brewing posted an April Fools joke on social media that he was making this Szechuan-style IPA with a name that’s a shout-out to the infamous “Rick and Morty,” a not-for-kids cartoon that gleefully bounces between silly irreverence and soul-crushing nihilism like Hawkeye Pierce on a weekend bender with Hunter S. Thompson.
But this insane idea for a beer was just a joke. Right?
No. At least, not anymore. Apparently, either the name or the idea was so immensely popular that ol’ Larkin got to brewin’ and actually brought this mad science experiment into existence. And now I’m going to try it. I get the feeling somehow the joke may be on me, especially since I have to constantly type Szechuan in this column, and spellcheck keeps turning it into shitzu.
All right, here are the basics so far: It’s an amber color with a decent head retention and good lacing, which at this point for Revival are just checkpoints on the track. The aroma is surprisingly mild, definitely sweet with perhaps a bit of spice that hides just out of my olfactory range in some oddly subdued hops.
Did you ever try a new kind of food that your friend or girlfriend or whatever is completely nuts about, but as soon as you taste it, your brain is too overloaded by weird, conflicting and new sensations that you just sort of sit there for a minute trying to make sense of it?
That’s a crap analogy.
Did you ever watch “Rick and Morty”? This beer is like “Rick and Morty.”
It’s strange. I’m getting the Szechuan flavors working with some complementary hops, but I don’t think any description I can render in written language will do it justice. It’s bizarre, but oddly appealing, and clearly done by smart, talented people who know their craft. It’s insane, even deranged, but executed with such skill and awareness that every sip is a surprise. It’s good, I think. I’m enjoying it significantly more than I thought I would. The more I drink it, the more I like it, but I’m not sure if I like it despite the strangeness, or because of the strangeness. It’s bitter and dry, but also sweet and strangely noble. I find myself sometimes put off by it, but then I take another sip and it’s an amazing experience leaving me wanting more. I really don’t know how to describe this beer, and based on the material source for the homage, I think my every attempt at trying is only going to be a woefully inadequate string of adjectives.
But I’ll be damned if I’m not enjoying the hell out of it.