Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Showdown

"I have a dream. . ."

By the way, did anyone see Chris Rock on Letterman the other night. Hilarious. Dave throws him a cup cake: "What do you think of Tiger and the Masters?" Chris Rock: "Tiger will win and then rape Phil Mickelson." Sure it's crude, but pretty Chris Rock funny. Great stuff. He also had some great race discourse, and MLK Jr. came up (this was last night - might've been a re-run), but given that association and the beer drinkin' to. .. night. . . I have a dream!

And it's drinking really good beer all the time, after I teach and write my ass off and run gnarly trails. . . DIPA me!

So I pitted Bells Hopslam, a double IPA out of Michigan gainst San Diego county's own Alpine Pure Hoppiness, another double IPA. Hopslam is famous, legendary. JW cajoled a case (how in the hell did he do that) and told me a 6er costs ~$25. No comment.

Okay, so here's the winner. Are you ready? The winner is . . .

I know, I'm an ugly middle-aged dude and the last thing you wanted was a picture of me. But that's the verdict. The beers are apples and oranges. They're both great beers. I'm just one lucky stiff with a great wife (whom I love to death) and a prodigious son (pick'em, pal) with a taste for good beer and a bunch of really cool friends (see blog list). Frankly, my local friends.. .sure I have a couple. . no problems, but the blogosphere has simply aggregated a bunch of buddies and the fact that I've never met many of them face-to-face is classic. I will meet them, and we will run and we will drink ale. Of course, I even have friends local I've met via the blog. Again, it's a filter, so these are very cool folk (where in the hell was I?).

I win. I drank some great beer tonight.

Bottomline: Bells Hopslam is freaking champagne. It's a Pliny the Elder type that has much history and experience, and is simply just a great beer. One of the best beers I've ever had. I had only one 12oz. It was sublime. Smoother than Pliny but that's as much a stylistic point as a comparison. Hopslam is 10% but drinks like a 8%. My point is I did not taste the alcohol. That's money. The fact that you might mistake this for a session beer, have a couple and go back to work. . . have fun. I had to wait to crack the Pure Hoppiness so I got to read the buzz of Hopslam. Really nice. People miss that part of beer. The buzz. Since that's kinda the whole point, ought not you check that? Brilliant. I almost texted JW for another. Ha ha ha!

So, truly a great beer. More malty than big hoppy, but again, so well made that the balance/fusion/artistry/sublimination. .. .was simply epic. If you find this on tap, holler back!

Alpine's Pure Hoppiness is my favorite beer right now (other than Pliny). This beer has hops. A lot more than Hopslam. But my favorite part of PH is it's clean big hop drink. Big orange, pineapple, pine HOP but really clean. I wouldn't classify this as the more agressive ipa style of some. It's big but the finish is what makes this beer so good. Could hit almost any entree. I just love this beer.

I'm west coast, I want hops, and I may want this beer every freaking night. I can do that. Big plus. And this beer looks better in a glass. I did not say ass, but yeah, PH has a better ass than Hopslam. Sorry Midwest.

Here's the sequence. I'm feeling great. How you dooin'?


  1. Great post!!! I'll have to get around to trying those.


  2. Nice! The Hopslam I drank had a REALLY nice ass. I think the lighting in your photo is a little off ;-)!! I've only had Hopslam once, on tap at the Thirsy Monk (Asheville) at the end of Feb. The Bells web site says it's only available Jan-Feb and it doesn't make it past the mid-west. I just may ask next time I'm in the Thirst Monk if they know how to get anymore in bottles...
    Fun post, thanks!

  3. Thanks, guys. Fun to write that one.

    Keep it rolling. Sample great beer and share. Life is short, so keep the glass tall and full!

  4. Bells does nail some serious hoppiness for being an east coast brewery: hopslam and two hearted, both huge scores in my book. I will always love the pliny as tops in my book, overall its just ridiculous. And looks? cmon dude, i must say hopslam "looks wise" is pretty unbeatable. especially in your photos!

    we should all hit port for some mongo or whatever their new DIPA is, soon!

  5. I hear ya, Ryan.

    You like them rings?

    Hope to see you guys at a pub soon!

  6. I really liked the Bells! I need to get out to Minneapolis to snag the new Surly Abrasive Ale (DIPA) that was canned this week. The Surly Furious is one of my favorite everyday IPA's. WC is still where it's at!

  7. Dude ... you are alone and drinking in the dark. Love it.

  8. GZ, ha ha ha ha ha. Still laughing.

    Terrible camera work, but yeah it's a little dark in "there."

    Still laughing.