Friday, April 23, 2010

Red Ale Diaries

I once read in GQ around 1995 that a fan at the Meadowlands threw a sandwich at a guy that looked like Rich Kotite (who was busy making the Jets an NFL laughingstock). It always struck me as funny that someone would dislike someone so much they would throw a sandwich at somebody whose only offense was looking like their nemesis. I have a tough time getting worked up enough to throw a sandwich (or bag of urine) at someone I actually dislike let alone their lookalike.

I should have written, I had a tough time, because now I can work up the anger necessary. Lagunitas Imperial Red gave me that anger. It was so good and enjoyable that coupled with the Odell Red I had last week, I found that I really love a good red ale. The Lagunitas Imperial added a little alcohol punch that makes it difficult to drink more than 2 in an evening, but you want to so much. It's refreshing, a little hoppy on the back end with a taste of brown sugar and candy on the front end. Honestly, it tastes an awful lot like Lagunitas Pale Ale and the IPA* but has the extra roasted malt flavor of a red. The Odell red was the same way only a little more hoppy. It was the hit of our spring seasonal/bock tasting last week.

*Lagunitas beers are a lot like Freddie Prinze Jr (but in a good way). I've seen nearly all of FPJ's movies and can't distinguish between them (other than Summer Catch because it's about baseball and has a character from Wichita State). All the movies are the same with the same twists and turns and FPJ mailing in a performance. Lagunitas beers all taste an awful lot alike to me with the hop flavor being the star of the show only in this case the star of the show has some depth and flavor.

Now, about the anger, I want to punch George Killian in the balls for turning me off of red ales. In my college years I drank quite a few sixers of Killian's Red because I thought it was cool. Killian's Red was about the closest thing to a microbrew that could be found at the liquor stores around Wichita State (interestingly, Tiger Woods' uncle worked at a liquor store near campus, I spent about 30 minutes talking to him one night about his nephew Eldrick whom they called "Tiger", he thought I was just the kind of whipsmart kid who could help Eldrick out when he went pro. I wrote the guy off as a loon). I never really liked Killian's Red, I liked the way it made me seem interesting to the ladies (not one girl ever talked to me while I drank it). I blamed the bad taste of the beer on it being a red and I haven't had one (other than clearance beer at Boomers) since college. For that, George Killian is my enemy. Since I'm pretty sure George Killian is a name Pete Coors made up while banging a hooker, I'm pretty sure I'm out of luck in finding him and punching him. So I'm going to settle for the next best thing, throwing a sandwich at anyone I ever encounter named George Killian.

In the meantime, I'm going to settle for drinking Odell Red and Lagunitas Imperial Red this spring until Odell and Lagunitas bring out their summer seasonals. And I'm only going to think good things about red ales.

4 comments:

  1. I was hoping you'd get around to trying that! At first I thought, "Oh crap - he hates it" based on the context.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

    And yeah, their beers definitely have a genre.

    Pale Ale - hops
    IPA - hops with a little citrus
    Red - hops with a little roastiness
    Hop Stoopid - hops with hops with hops and a little citrus

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  2. I'm usually not a big fan of the red or amber ales, but I had a Bear Republic Red Rocket recently that was mighty tasty. North Coast Red Seal is pretty good too.

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  3. Summer Catch is cinematic genius at exactly 45 minutes in.

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  4. My 2 favorite Ambers that you can get around town all the time are the Rogue American Amber and Bell's Amber. Both are just very nicely balanced and so full of flavor, with a very choice amount of hoppiness. These are both also especially tasty on draft.

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