I arranged for Chimpotle to come and pick me up in exchange for oral considerations. When you're going to drink a 10% ABV beer, I believe it's best to not leave stupid decisions to chance and I didn't want an automobile I could drive anywhere near me. A little oral is a small price to pay for safety. And Chimpo loves to give it, it's a win win situation.
We got to the Saucer a little after 5 and staked our claim on one of the big six seater booths. It's a good thing we got there when we did because by 6:15 there wasn't a table to be had. We each had a beer before we had a regular draft Hopslam, I had a Lagunitas IPA and Chimpo had a Schwarzbier (cementing in my mind the reason I don't do the UFO club anymore, I don't like being forced to try a beer I don't really want to get one more beer down the line, though it would be good to have a plate hanging up). Our waitress was monstrously busy and between the time I ordered and actually got the beer, I forgot what I ordered. And I forgot a couple of times while I was drinking which was a shame because Lagunitas IPA is a solid IPA.
Draft HopslamFinally it was time to try a regular draft Hopslam. It was just as wonderful as I remembered. Chimpo and I discussed whether Maharaja is better than Hopslam and it is close, but if I had to make a decision based only on taste, I would go with Hopslam, but with price added to the equation I think I would go with Maharaja. We also discussed whether the Hopslam lives up to the hype and it gets quite a lot of hype. It's a little like Derek Jeter, he gets a lot of hype. He's a great player, he's good looking and he bangs hot chicks regularly yet people want to say he's overrated all the time. But, the Yankees are pretty happy to shell out $20m/year to keep him because, at the end of the day, he's one of the greatest shortstops of all time. Whether he's underrated or overrated, I'd love to have him on my team. Hopslam is the same way, no matter how many stupid sonnets or odes to Hopslam you read, when you're drinking it, you've got to be pretty happy you are. It's a great beer, thousands of beer geeks can't be wrong.
This firkin was blessedWeston, Chambord and a couple of other friends, Yeti and Longhorn arrived and helped us fill out our six person booth. When the time came to tap the firkin, everyone formed a line snaking through the restaurant to be the first to get some Hopslam. Weston, Yeti and I each sent our women to wait in the line and bring us our firkin Hopslam. Chimpotle, Chambord and Longhorn apparently had a good time in line as they were giggling, no doubt gossiping about the latest Kardashian dustup or newest developments on "General Hospital". After a 10 minute wait, the girls finally brought us our firkin Hopslam.
Cask HopslamI love me some cask ales and this one was no different. I would say it was 20% from the cask. The warmer temperature and less carbonation really brought out the hop flavor even more. I don't know that a double IPA could be better.
After we finished the Hopslam, the grand scheme started. Weston and Yeti decided they wanted to go to the Collaboration party after all. Everyone was in but me. I had a ride home and again didn't really want to go to Lawrence. It seemed at the time like the trip might end up a little like Trent and Mikey's trip to Vegas at the beginning of Swingers. Chambord and Longhorn felt a little bad about leaving me alone, but I knew some people in the bar I could sit with. But first, I wanted to find Brother Bean who Twittered that he was sitting at the bar in grey Adidas. We were checking out everyone's shoes and I'm sure I alarmed more than one feller when I whispered in their ear "Are you the one they call Brother Bean". We never found Brother Bean, but we sure did disturb a number of people.
Overall, we had a good time drinking great beer in a great bar. I don't think an evening could have lived up to expectations any better. I think I made the right choice.
Both Hopslam and Collaboration #1 are hitting store shelves today. As you find them, call it out in comments so we can all find some before the weekend.