Devil’s Mother

Imperial Milk Stout? Don’t mind if I do.

I didn’t intend for this beer to be an imperial; I expected a higher Original Gravity because the milk sugars boost those gravity readings. But since milk sugars apparently don’t get eaten by the yeast, I was expecting a correspondingly high Final Gravity.

That isn’t what happened but the result is a happy accident!

There is a chocolate nose, not sharp like coco powder, instead like a chocolate bar. There’s a milky sweetness is all over the middle of the beer and the mouthfeel is thicker than your average bear, too. It’s also almost citrus sweet on the finish. I don’t know where that’s coming from and I wish I did.

It’s pretty well carbonated too, finishing fairly lightly. The head on the beer is persistent but not too thick. Devils Mother is also strong! A couple pints of that and I’m good. The math says it’s nearly 13% but with the way I brew, adding water at the end, it’s probably closer to 10%, which is still plenty strong. The warmth is definitely felt in the belly and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It can creep around the back of the throat too and that might be a little less comfortable.

Brew Date: 12.14.13

Steeping Grains
1 lb Black Patent
1 lb Pale Chocolate
3 lb 2 Row
3 Lb Irish Pale

Fermentables
7 lb LME
1lb milk sugar

Hops: 2 oz Styran Goldings @60

Yeast: Wyeast 1084-3rd use

OG: 1.12

FG: 1.03

ABV: 12.2%

Marketing Strategies

So, this article is…likely overblown.

The world’s biggest brewer said Thursday that falling unemployment and “premium” brands are boosting overall beer sales in the US, its biggest market.

Now, that part is written by the reporter so I don’t know what reps from Bud actually said. And it is true that Bud is losing part of the market-despite owning the best selling brands in the country.

But if you are relying on shitty living conditions to sell your product then I’m going to say that there’s multitudes of things wrong with that situation. That may be one reason why they’re trying to diversify so hard. Which on one hand is the sign of a smart business, right?

On the other hand, when I read things like this:

As we do these deals, the craft brewers are regional by nature, but it’s really driven by the reputation and the beer brand. I’m still pinching myself that we have access to Dick, Joe and David from Elysian. They have an amazing reputation in the craft world and to think that I can just call these guys is amazing. That trumps: ‘Hey, we brew in this part of the country, and you don’t have anything down here.’ It’s the beers, the portfolios, the reputation and the culture of the company.

All I can think is; you might be doing the smart thing, but you haven’t got the slightest idea why it’s the smart thing. Because what I’m discovering about craft brewers is that they are highly influenced by the part of the country they are in and you cannot just take a craft brand national and expect it to have the same character. It doesn’t work like that if for no other reason than because of the logistics involved in making fresh food!

Look, I respect what Budweiser does: Making a lager that is the same anywhere you get it in the world is an incredible challenge! They do it well, from a logistical standpoint. However, they do it as cheaply as possible and don’t make a beverage I want to pay for. Those values don’t translate to local craft brewers who are banking their reputations on providing not only different styles of beers but also ones of better quality than macro lagers.

On The Rail: Baileys (Red Swingline Edition)

I’m tired. It’s a good night to sit at the bar, though, and sip Trinity’s Red Swingline ale. The title of “Wild India Session Ale” is total marketing speak. I cannot roll my eyes fast enough at such things. But the additional description of ‘coriander, tangerine barrel aged in French Oak’ I can totally get behind.

This is a sour ale but it’s very light on the palate. I probably got too much of it, though; my stomach is a little less than happy about the level of acidity. Still, it tastes very, very good, like tangerine soda. Or maybe tangerine white wine. I think I can recommend this, though for people like me (who might be touchy about the acidity), get the small pour.

Behind me I hear someone say:

“Well I think out here we’d form our own collectives you know? All that D.I.Y. shit we have out here. But you go to Kansas City and it’s gonna be every man for himself, man. Guns out and shit will be crazy.”

All I can think of is how liberal elitist bullshit that is. I don’t know what he’s talking about and I don’t really care. Humans; we’re not as awesome here or there. I quit listening.

I switch up to a Pliny the Elder IPA. I  think this is my last Elder. It tastes like orange gummy drops. If I wait long enough between sips I can eventually scrape the bitterness off my tongue. This is not an improvement.

I wonder if I’m getting old, being grouchy about the Elder IPA. This beer isn’t flawed it just hasn’t got any balance to it. Or maybe I’m just reacting to the hype. For something that people go out of their way to find and get really weird about when they see Pliny, I just don’t see the allure. I think this beer is ‘improved’ by its scarcity, since they usually only release it once a year. But the Trinity was tasty, so I’m calling it a good night.