With little rhyme or reason, I’m jumping right into this blogging business with two brews from the land of corn and chowdaaaaa. The decision was based solely on circumstance and impulse thanks to fantastically stocked fridges of La Vigna on Walcott Street, perhaps a small (LARGE) indication of how this blog is going to roll. Do people still call blogs blogs anymore?
When taking on a few American beers there’s only one real drinking buddy to have – Ron Motherfucking Swanson. His views on small government and breakfast as an all-day food, not to mention that moustache, are the perfect accompaniment to a couple of fiery IPAs. Ok, I’ll admit drinking a few beers watching Parks and Recreation isn’t the most glamorous way to start this thing off, but when there’s moustaches involved there’s really little in the way of choice. The beers in question are the 2013 Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA and the classic excellence of Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA.
Ruthless Rye, the saucy minx that caught my eye like a bacon on bacon on steak Swanson Approved sandwich, was first down the hatch. I can’t recall ever having a rye-based malt before, but I can safely say that after this beer I’m a fan. Like most American-style pales Ruthless Rye has a fresh, herbaceous aroma, but isn’t too overwhelming. And the first official beer taste for this blog? Damn son. There’s an instant hint of spice and zest brought on from the rye malt, which turns into a nice back-of-the-mouth bitterness as it washes down. The texture is creamy but incredibly drinkable, and the 6.6% alcohol content was barely noticeable, which is fine if you’re into that sort of thing. As it went down the initial excitement of the beer wore off it became more of a pleasant experience than an exceptional one. Ruthless Rye is the Luke Wilson or maybe Paul Rudd of the beer world: inoffensive and plays a great straight-man, but unlikely to steal the show.
As I slowly grew more American and learned the wisdom of small government, guns and breakfast-dinner from our Moustache In Chief Ron Swanson, Bear Republic’s Racer 5 IPA entered the room much like the majestic Haliaeetus leucocephalus (bald eagle, silly) and said, “what up?” Racer 5 has a big reputation and didn’t disappoint. I will admit two glasses of average semillon and a Glenlivet 12 year old may have dulled my pallet by this point, but the IPA stayed on song. The joy of these beers is how they’re full bodies and push through a crisp, citrusy bitterness while remaining light despite the high alcohol content. I actually can’t work out why I liked it so much, perhaps a “miscellaneous excellence” as my housemate put it. The colour is lighter than the Ruthless Rye but unfiltered, and is best had with an American flag waving in the background.
“Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into Swansons.” – Ron Swanson.