The beer pictured on the left is Widmer’s Deadlift. The one on the right is an amber beer that I made myself.
Deadlift is Widmer’s take on the imperial IPA style and it’s pretty good. I had a chance to try it recently at the Belmont Station at a Widmer tasting. The Widmer rep (and I’m sorry I don’t remember his name) was very helpful in explaining why the Deadlift was more expensive than most Widmer brews; they added twice the hops and malt. It’s a good beer too; an imperial IPA that, as you can see from the picture, is surprisingly clean.
The W’10 was also available to sample and it was a revelation for me. I haven’t liked Cascade Dark Ales but this was a pretty good beer. I was told that instead of dark malts, they used a malt syrup from Germany made in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot. As a result, the Widmer beer didn’t have the acrid, astringent coffee flavor that’s turned me away from the style. I was honestly stunned I enjoyed it.
Plus, Rob Widmer was at the event and he was gracious enough to answer a few questions I had. He elaborated on the malt syrup used in the W’10, saying it was something you could put on ice cream, and told me why the Deadlift took just a little longer to make than their regular line of beers; the equipment in Widmer’s brewery is calibrated to brew the best Hefe they can.
Which blows my mind a little. Someone has geared their equipment to make one kind of beer.
Rob also told me that the X-114 hop that they brew the excellent X-114 pale with at the Gasthaus is going to be called Citra.
I’ve said it before; X is cooler and they should’ve left it as the X-114 hop.
Now why the heck did I put a picture of a beer I made on the right?
Well, to underscore a couple points. First, I have a ways to go before I can claim any kind of mastery. Second; the masters? They really know what they’re doing. But third; that beer I made? It’s still pretty good. It’s not as clear and the effervescence is still inconsistent but I did alright for myself. Look at it as something to aspire to, not as a recriminating comparison.