I went back to Más que cervezas, and mined the Spanish section, where I found this beauty.
And I do mean beauty.
The Brother Shamus from Bidassoa Basque Brewery is a brut IPA, the new style with illusions of champagne.
Most of what I’ve had in this style has met some of the profile of champagne–the dryness, the bubbles–, but the end product doesn’t satisfy, because the brewers have gone too far and the beer ends up overly biting and disagreeable. I wish there were a stronger brut IPA movement, to counteract the hazing of all our IPAs (please stop hazing all our IPAs), but I’ve largely been disappointed with what I’ve had.
The Brother Shamus is nothing like any of the brut IPAs I’ve had before. They’ve managed to pull the beer back from the brink, and retain some sweetness. While there’s definitely a drying note at the last, the front end is floral, citrusy (specifically, lemony), and tropical. It’s even a bit syrupy…almost as if they made the beer extra sweet to anticipate the consumption of sugars that happens to make a regular IPA a brut IPA.
Whatever they did, I’m a fan.
Garden Path Fermentation: The Dry Table 1: a fireweed honey session mead catches my eye.
A session mead. I didn’t even think that was possible. Mead is effectively honey wine, so the ABV is typically in the double digits.
So let’s give this a shot.
It’s grainy and dry. There’s a limp attempt at tartness, but it doesn’t go anywhere. This is light mead and boy, does it suck. It certainly succeeds at being what it is trying to be; sessionable. Now if only I wanted to drink it.
This mead is watery; I don’t know why this exists, man. Unless it is there to remind me that suffering is a constant in the universe and we cannot resist it. We must instead launch ourselves forward into the void, accepting that nothing we do matters in the cosmic sense of things, all sense of meaning stripped from us like the moisture from my mouth by this beverage.
I endure this so that you don’t have to.
It really tastes like someone dumped water into a perfectly good mead and I am paying $4 for the privilege of drinking either polluted water or mead gone wrong.
There’s something to be said for not throwing good money after bad. Today, we have just the one.
Today’s second pint goes to Planned Parenthood.