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Archive for the ‘Brewer: Bear Republic’ Category

Bear Republic Racer X

August 26th, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | 4 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Bear Republic, Country: America, Grade: A-, Style: IPA

9% ABV on tap

Aaron is Celebrity Spotted.  (Almost.)

The cute blond walked into the bar and instantly I knew that I knew her.  But how?  From college?  Naw, she was too young.  Had I drunkenly hooked up with her in my past?  No, too good-looking to forget.  Then what?  She sat five barstools down from my friends and then it hit me.

Nearly a year ago a girl had discovered my blog and sent me a nice e-mail.  We wrote back and forth a bit, semi-flirtatiously in that way people who have no chance of having anything ever happen write–she lived several state away–but we mainly focused on beer talk.  And oh boy did she know a lot about beer.  Far more than me.  Eventually, we friended each other on Facebook and I saw that not only was she smart, she was damn cute too.  Cute for a normal girl in society, smoking hot for a beer geek.  Alas, we eventually ran out of things to talk about and, thus, quit talking.  And now she was sitting ten feet from me.

There are obviously bad things about being a celebrity but the good far outweigh them.  Getting to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game.  Instantly turning women 500% more promiscuous.  And having people walk up to you and go, “Say, aren’t you…HIM?!”  As a shameless narcissist, I have always dreamed about having someone come up to me and go, “Say, aren’t you Aaron Goldfarb?!”  Now was my chance for this to finally happen.  But she just wasn’t looking my way yet.

I didn’t tell my two buddies what was occurring, wanting to blow their minds while acting super-smug if and when she finally approached me.  Their eyes agog as I responded, “Why yes, yes I am Aaron Goldfarb, but hey, keep it down, don’t want to get mobbed.  Here, I’ll autograph this cocktail napkin for you.”

But she still wasn’t looking my way.  I began jutting my head out well over the bar so she could see my face in all its glory.  Didn’t work.  I started laughing uproariously loud at my friend’s jokes.  Didn’t phase her.  I began inserting my name into my own conversations.  (”So then the guy looks at my driver’s license and goes, ‘AARON GOLDFARB?  That’s funny, my best friend’s name is AARON GOLDFARB, who would think there’s another AARON GOLDFARB in this city?”)  She remained unflappable.  My friends must have thought I was losing my marbles with my atypical behavior.

I began to pull out the big guns.  I loudly inquired about incredibly obscure beers on the bottle menu, even asking what vintage they were.  I made pedantic explanations of style to my layman drinking friends (”…and that is what differentiates a saison from a biere de garde…”)  Started throwing out all sorts of arcane beer argot (”I expected this one to be more phenolic and less diacetyl…”)  Quizzed the bartenders on the taps (”And what’s the original gravity of that?  Say, is that on nitro or cask?”  I began drinking my beers like a beer geek loser par excellence, histrionically swirling my glass, sniffing it with a aggressiveness more akin to a coke fiend, and slurping my sips with my tongue in order that it tickle each and every one of my taste buds.

Didn’t matter.  I got nuttin’.  She totally ignored me.  I thought about going up to her, tapping her on the shoulder, “Hey, aren’t you a fan of mine?!”  But I figured that was uncouth.  Not to mention it kinda negates the coolness factor if you celebrity spot yourself.

Eventually she left and I was left with just my beer.  Bear Republic’s Racer X.  A draught-only offering I’d been wanting to try for quite awhile.  This is a bit of an oddball of an IPA.  Actually smells like a barleywine, while tasting like a DIPA.  Bitter and slick with an intense sweetness on the back end, I greatly enjoyed this beer.  And, following it up with Bear Republic’s 7% Rebellion IPA–I found it very bitter and not complex at all, a little too light and watered-down as well (B)–I got a good comparison for how very good it is.  The Racer X absolutely dwarfed Rebellion.  Still, I’m not sure if it’s a Top 100 beer in the world–and I’m pretty sure I prefer the smells-like-a-dimebag hoppy freshness of yet another Bear Republic IPA, Hop Rod Rye–but this is a very good brew nonetheless.

A-

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

July 23rd, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Bear Republic, Country: America, Grade: A regular, Style: IPA

8% ABV from a bomber

Amanda was from California and she was gorgeous. She was prettier than me, taller than me (and I’m 5′11″), more classically educated than me (Columbia undergrad/Yale law), almost as smart as me, certainly more humble than me, nicer than me, arguably more athletic than me (played college field hockey), put up with my shit, and was a rich, rich, rich big firm lawyer that liked to go out drinkin’ hard on the rare nights she wasn’t working. Also she enjoyed, nay loved, watching me get drunk so much that she always footed the bill.

Yet I still had to give her the ax. If I told you a reason why you would think me extremely petty. If I told you the top five petty reasons why I believe you wouldn’t need an abacus to add up the totals and agree that I was in the right.

1. As I mentioned she was very tall. I had always dreamed of dating a tall chick. Most guys don’t have the courage, that’s why they’re all dating little munchkins. But I was always envious when I’d see an average-heighted man enter a bar with a statuesque gal on his arm. It didn’t even seem to matter how attractive the woman was. I’d see the couple and think, “Now that man must have something going on!” It looked so confident, sexy, and powerful to have a giant at your side. I wanted to be that kind of man. I’m not talking about dating an amazon, but rather dating a strapping, leggy, model type. Amanda was that type. And it kinda sucked. Oh sure, I got the reactions I wanted when I was out in public, that was indeed great. I saw men look at me with jealousy and envy in their eyes, but cowardice in their hearts, knowing that they didn’t have the machismo to pull off the same thing. That was swell. What was awful was when we would head home. Her height made fucking unwieldy. In missionary position I felt like a little ant trying to stay balanced atop a giant hill of soil, no place to dig my toes or knees in for traction. I couldn’t throw her legs over my shoulders because it would feel as if two giant scissor blades where about to come together to lop my head off. Doggy-style she’d be on all fours and her ass level would be up near my chin. The only positions that kinda worked were woman-on-top (but I needed binoculars to see her face it was so far away from mine) and face down. It was an utter disaster and no single coital engagement ever went close to smoothly. I felt like a virgin every time I fucked her.

2. She didn’t have cable TV. Sure she had loads of money, but she worked so many hours–and was kinda too “cultured”–to think cable TV an absolute necessity. And, you know, when you’re waking up hungover at 11 AM on a Saturday or Sunday, you don’t really want to read, have deep talks, watch a scrambled “700 Club” using rabbit ears, or play Uno in order to pass the time before you get out of bed. You need a “Tila Tequila” marathon, a few back-to-back episodes of “Sportscenter,” a “Groundhog Day” on TNT to cure your ills and get you back into shape for the afternoon.

3. Too much sun came into her room. Seriously, it was like her window was a fucking magnifying glass and we were tiny bugs. It didn’t even matter that she had venetian blinds, the second the sun came up the room became the temperature of Venus, my skin started scorching, and there was no way I was getting any more shut-eye. On the plus side, I stayed very tan, even in the winter months.

4. She had a single tiny black hair on her left areola. It wasn’t big, perhaps only a quarter inch, but it drove me fucking nuts. I was too chickenshit just to flat out tell her, shocked that she never noticed it herself. And I didn’t want to be passive aggressive (”So, uh, is nipple hair now in style?”) to get her to remove it, so instead I tried to discreetly pluck it while tweaking her nipples during foreplay. Never worked. And I was never able to get tweezers into our rotation of sex toys.

5. She had too hairy of bush for that matter too. It wasn’t unkempt exactly, it was just kinda…lustrous. And thatchy. A topiary mound. It was like dating a Playmate from the 70s. And, now that I think about it, back around circa 2002-2004 I coincidentally dated several rich, big firm lawyers and to a (wo)man, they all had unshorn pubis. Weird. Must be an attorney cultural thing as not a single other Manhattan woman I’ve messed with in the last decade has been anything but incredibly well-trimmed if not professionally waxed by cheap-charging immigrant Russians, Ukrainians, or Poles, Cambodians, Vietnamese, or Koreans.

How could these women pulling in six-figure salaries (if not six-figure yearly bonuses), wearing suits every single day that cost more than my monthly rent, woman that are powerful, in charge, that know what they want, be so cavalier in one area of their appearance? It was vexing. It’s a question I’ve been pondering for years. It drove me nuts while dating Amanda and it still drives me nuts today. Eh, maybe she was just retro.

I was recently reminded of Amanda after drinking a beer from her favorite brewery Bear Republic. A damn respectable brewery for any one to have as their favorite, and especially for a dainty girly girl to have as they make some incredibly bold brews. I hadn’t had a Bear Republic beer in years, maybe because I was trying to forget about her and her haunting foibles, and thought it was time to revisit the brewery, starting out with their double IPA*, the Hop Rod Rye.

It pours a dark mahogany with hints of redness. Not even sure you would ID it as an IPA based purely on coloring, looks more like a barley wine perhaps. The beer’s smell is absolutely awesome. The hops tickle my nose. Fruits galore but I mainly taste grapefruit. The flavor is overpoweringly hoppy (ruinatingly hoppy Stone might say) with a nice little sourness that stays on the tongue for awhile. Floral, piney, and fresh with a malty, creamy finish. This tastes like a California beer, no question. Some people hold a conch up to their ear to “feel” the ocean, but you could just as easily sip this sucker. Something about it is completely different from the countless IPAs I’ve had in the past. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I drunkenly stared at the bomber bottle. Of course!…it’s the 18% rye composition which adds a bit of bold spiciness. This beer is very drinkable for one so hefty. It’s damn good. I prefer a slightly sweeter IPA typically but this is still a must-have as it’s very unique. I can mentally taste the Hop Rod Rye as I type this up, always a personal sign of a memorable brew. (Or perhaps just a sign of a dipsomaniac.)

As for Amanda, I’d like to think I’d be more mature, more proactive in dealing with her some 5 years later. I’d just bluntly, but kindly, tell her to tweeze the aeorla hair, to hit a Russian wax shop, what would be the harm? I’d make her stay at my place so we could awake every noon-time in utter cave-like darkness and enjoy my 1000s of channels of glorious TV. And as for her elevated height, I guess I should have relished fucking David Robinson. No, I don’t see how that aspect ever would have worked. Unless I built some sort of lift system and started wearing 5/8 inch cleats to bed. I won’t lie, I just searched her on Facebook after having not thought of her in years. Looks like she’s in a relationship now. I hope the motherfucker is tall.

A

*Oddly enough, no one seems to consider this a double IPA, but at 8% it absolutely has to be.