Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bull's Choice

The events last night were like Sophie's choice for me; either go get some cask Hopslam at one of my favorite places, The Flying Saucer, or drive to the worst college town in all of America to talk with my pal Steven Pauwels and Jean-Marie Rock while swigging as much free Collaboration #1 as I could. I should call it Bull's Choice. I went with Hopslam for 2 reasons. I can't get cask Hopslam any other time and I didn't want to go to Lawrence.

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 Hopslam
Finally 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 blessed
Weston, 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 Hopslam
I 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.


  1. Gomer's south had several cases out front of Hopslam. Had to have the guy at the counter, who was pretty clueless, find the collaboration in the office. Total for a sixer of hopslam and a bottle of collaboration = $32 or so.

  2. Gomer's Midtown is $17.50 for Hopslam and $12 for Collab. Collab is with the rest of the Smokestacks, and they had to pull Hopslam out of the back for me.

  3. I will try to come up with a louder outfit for next time. Something in zebra-print, with tassels perhaps. Or maybe just be more specific with my description, my phone's tiny keypad makes life difficult so I limit how much I subject myself to it. To be totally honest I was so excited about trying cask Hopslam I actually forgot what I wanted to order, I'm sure the waitress was looking for my escort. It was tough to leave after my Two-Hearted warm-up and glass of Hopslam but at 10% I wasn't taking any chances. Love the glass too, kind of seems like the Saucer will end up filling the glassware void in KC for the time being, unless there's some secret glassware utopia that I don't know about.

  4. My girlfriend was nice enough to bring me a Bell's glass from the event last night. I'm contemplating getting a sixer of Hopslam to review it but $17 is a little steep, considering IPAs are my least favorite beers.

  5. Having tried both Hopslam and Co.1 on Monday, the only thing I can say is: Pants on the ground! Pants on the ground! Gold in your mouth, hat turned sideways, Pants on the ground!

  6. Hy-vee Liquor has six packs for $17.50 sitting in the racks to the right of the fridge section. Collaboration, as of last night, hadn't been pulled out of the boxes and put on display, so you might have to ask.

  7. Gomer's Northland has Collaboration and I picked up a case of Hopslam that they held for me this morning.

  8. enjoy the blog but the KU & Lawrence slams are pretty tired. you sound kinda bitter. i am sure you know the alma mater of the founder of your namesake. ironic in that alanis morissette kind of way.

  9. Why do you think Lawerence is one of the worst college towns?

  10. Swagger, on Wornall, has Hopslam in bottles. I'll check out the Foundry.