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Archive for the ‘Brewer: Sixpoint’ Category

VSK

November 19th, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | 4 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Birra del Borgo, Brewer: Dogfish Head, Brewer: Kuhnhenn, Brewer: North Coast, Brewer: Sixpoint, Country: America, Country: Italy

I began preparing for Blind Tiger’s VSK–their annual Very Special Keg event in which they roll out some of the oldest and rarest beer they have hiding in their cellar–a full week in advance in just four easy steps:

1.  I began growing some bad facial, a prerequisite for admittance into any hardcore beer geek event.  I considered a burly unkempt hockey play-off beard, perhaps some mutton chops, but ultimately settled on a patchy goatee.

2.  Tried to find a friend to accompany me.  With a 4:00 PM start time, a surefire paucity of women, and a most definite sweaty stinky crowd, no one agreed to join me.  Obviously.

3.  Began examining the VSK beer list to make a batting order.  With so many sought-after beers to try, I needed a game plan.

I first eliminated the need to try certain beers for a variety of reasons.

Allagash Interlude ‘07 (delicious, but have had numerous times)
Bear Republic Apex ‘08
Blue Point 10th Anniversary IPA
(readily available)
Brooklyn Backbreaker (cask)
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout ‘04
Brouwerij De Regenboog Wostyntje ‘08
(never heard of–too lazy to look up on BA)
Captain Lawrence Nor’Easter (delicious, but have had numerous times)
Chelsea Bourbon Aged Imperial Mild
Del Borgo/Dogfish Head My Antonia
Dogfish 120 ‘08 (via Randall)
(never had on Randall, but have 120 countless times)
Dogfish Pangea (never really enjoyed it)
Goose Island Demolition (had before)
JW Lees Harvest Ale aged in a Calvados Cask (Wooden Pin) (delicious, but had before)
Kuhnhenn All Hallows
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barleywine
Lagunitas Barrel Aged Ruben and the Jets
(didn’t really dig the non-barrel-aged)
North Coast Old Rasputin 10th Anniversary
Rockies Fresh Trak
(ain’t never heard of it)
Rogue Chatoe Rogue Wet Hop

Sierra Nevada Limb and Life
(can’t wait to try, but readily available)
Sixpoint Gorilla Porter
Smuttynose Big A IPA ‘07
(readily available)
Southampton Saison
Stone Vertical Epic ‘06

Next, I tried to make a batting order:

MUSTS

1.  Southampton Saison
2.  Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine (long on my Most Wanted List)
3.  My Antonia
4.  Old Rasputin X
5.  Sixpoint Gorilla Porter

MAYBES, ASSUMING I WASN’T TOO WASTED

6.  Brooklyn Backbreaker (intrigued, but thought I could roll the dice that other bars would eventually get this new release)
7.  Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout 2004 (have had delicious aged BCS countless times, but it never hurts to have again–still, not a priority)
8.  Bear Republic Apex

I arrived early, but still not early enough to get a seat as many geeks appeared to have camped out there overnight.  Wise to have grown my facial hair, my patchy goatee allowed to me to move with relative ease amongst these people, sliding like an eel in between beer guts aplenty, the geeks never the wiser about a non-nerd being on the premises.  If an outsider had poked his head in the door, he would have thought a bad beard convention was having a weekly meeting.  Of course, there was one, perhaps two, females in the house, save the bartenders, and luckily I was able to use my masculine wiles to seduce one for her barstool.

Savvily ordering half-pints, I was able to sample a ton more beers than I expected too.  And, here are my rankings in order*:

1.  Dogfish Head 120 Minute (via Randall)–I hadn’t even expected to order this one but, luckily, eventually a friend joined me and when he ordered one, I had to sneak a sip.  Good lord!  So glad I did as this was far and away the best beer of the night.  I’d long considered 120 a masterpiece, but Randall makes it even better.  Silky and boozy like a liqueur, about as packed with flavor as a beer can possibly get.  After loving 90 Minute via Randall as well, I’m beginning to think that crazy Randall machine could even turn Bud Light Lime into a masterpiece.  (A+)

2.  Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine–This was the beer I most coveted and it didn’t disappoint.  Absolutely delicious, packed with sweet caramel and hints of vanilla, nice and syrupy on the mouth, but, quite frankly a tad hot.  Could use a little age to smooth it out.  Whatever the case, Kuhnhenn has quickly become one of my favorite breweries, because they make beers the way I like them:  boozy.  (A)

3.  Sixpoint Gorilla Warfare Porter–A local beer I’d unfortunately never gotten to try, it was delicious.  Packed with rich coffee but not too roasted in taste, nice chocolate sweetness.  (A)

4.  Old Rasputin X–I’d, of course, long enjoyed the “regular” Old Rasputin.  And, I’d had the fortune to try their 12th Anniversary Rasputin earlier this year, but this two-year old keg of X beat them both.  Bourbon-barreled, and on nitro tap, this was quite creamy with sweet tastes of whiskey and vanilla, almost like a Jack and Coke.  The smell was world-class, better than the taste, and I have to give a minor debit for being a little thin on the mouth.  (A)

5.  My Antonia**–I’d honestly never heard of this collaboration between Dogfish Head and the Italian brewery Birra del Borgo, and even though I don’t really dig pilsners, I was informed this one was exceedingly rare, so, you know..sign me up!  A hoppy aroma but with a bready taste, this one went down quite nice and easily.  (A-)

6.  Brooklyn Backbreaker–I never miss a new Brooklyn release, and this cask offering mightily excited me.  I’d heard nothing about it and, heck, there still isn’t even a BA entry for it!  So I’m not quite sure what style it’s ‘posed to be, but I’d have to guess it’s a…an…English IPA maybe????  I don’t know, but it was quite nice.  Smooth and hoppy, with a great little sweetness.  Perfect for a cask offering.  (A-)

7.  Kuhnhenn All Hallows–Maybe our palates were all screwy by the time we had this one, but both my friend and I agreed that it tasted more like a slice of apple pie than the slice of pumpkin pie you’d expect from a pumpkin beer.  Not a bad thing though.  Cinnamony, but not overspiced like many pumpkin ales, the fruitiness of it was sweet with just a hint of sourness, again, more akin to a golden apple than a pumpkin.  Alas.  (A-)

8.  Bear Republic Apex–By this portion of the evening I was well into my “maybes, assuming I wasn’t too wasted portion of the evening.”  I was probably too wasted, but a Bear Republic IPA has NEVER steered me wrong.  And this is another splendid one.  Piney and bitter, fragrant as hell, but nicely-balanced, definitely deserves a place alongside Hop Rod Rye and Racer X.  (A-)

9.  Magic Hat Sour Notion–Probably the only beer I didn’t love during the evening, this fairly lame attempt at a wild ale, was still quite quaffable, just not particularly sour.  (B)

Afterwards, wasted on some high-ABV shit, my friend and I ventured over to the Times Square Toys ‘r’ Us to freak out tourist youngsters, admire McFarlane sports action figures, and purchase “Modern Warfare 2.”  I’m as shitty at shooter games drunk as I am sober.

*Unfortunately, Southampton Saison was not available.

**INT. BLIND TIGER — NIGHT

The bar is loud.

ME:  I’ll have a My Antonia.

BARKEEP:  Huh?

ME:  MY ANTONIA!

BARKEEP:  WHAT?!

ME:  LIKE THE BOOK!  MY!  ANTONIA!!!!!

BARKEEP:  There’s a book?

Stay in school, kiddos.  Or, actually don’t.  I wish I’d dropped out of school, didn’t know about Willa Cather, and was bartending at Blind Tiger.

New England Imperial Stout Trooper (2006)

September 22nd, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Captain Lawrence, Brewer: New England, Brewer: Sixpoint, Country: America, Grade: A-, Style: Stout

8.5% ABV on cask

The Great RV Trip Non-Debacle 2009

We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold.

No.  We were somewhere around East Stroudsburg, near the Delaware Water Gap, when the vodka began to coarse through us.

No.  That’s not right either.  What is it about besotted road trips that makes every one want to pay homage to the master?  To steal from Hunter S?

I shall start again.

What is it about moving while drinking that makes it so much more enjoyable?  Whether on plane, train, boat, or car (hopefully not while driving) it is such a greater pleasure than to imbibe while static.

We were in a twenty-five-foot-long recreational vehicle, an RV you dope, hurtling down the highway as fast as King Otto could drive without the governor stopping us.  The governor on the car.  Not Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, though he wouldn’t have been thrilled with the activities we were partaking in as we marred his miserable state.

In the back, Cuseman and I sat in the booth across from one another.  Dean, Dean, the Sax Machine (aka:  The Tapdance Kid) lounged on the back bed dispensing homemade pineapple-infused vodka–much more potent than you will ever know–from a two gallon tub.  Atop the bunk bed, the babe of the trip, Epstein slept.

When King Otto suggested we rent an RV for our sojourn to State College, PA to see our beloved Syracuse Orange lose to Penn State, I was a little leery.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I signed up immediately, but I was certainly leery.  Leery about:

  • the quality and comfort of a rented RV
  • living with four men within the confines of about fifty square feet for forty-eight straight hours
  • King Otto’s ability to drive the thing
  • not dying from any of the above

One thing I wasn’t leery about:

  • actually getting a hilarious story from this most certain debacle of a trip.

I would live on the RV, tailgate with the RV, and hang with likeminded RVers, many of the professional variety, for an entire weekend so that none of my readers ever would have to.  I would be the Bear Grylls of driving, sleeping, relaxing, eating, pissing, and shitting all within the same vehicle.  I was certain I would be incredibly glad to have gone on this trip, and almost certain that I’d never want to do it again by trip’s end.

I have to say, I was so very wrong.

First of all, I was greatly impressed by our Cruise America “standard” rental.  If you’ve never had the fortune–yes, fortune–to ride in an RV, let me briefly explain its interior.  Though it looks no bigger than a utility van or a smallish U-Haul on the outside, inside it’s like a funhouse and you are simply blown away at how much is packed into the thing.  Pure American ingenuity and efficiency.  Above the driver’s cabin–identical to a truck cabin but with access to the back living quarters–a bunk bed big enough to house three heterosexual men that don’t mind incidental contact, three across like sardines.

In the middle of the living quarters, a sitting booth akin to what you’d see at a Denny’s or standard dinner.  A perfect place to play cards, eat fast food, or get tie one on hard while the “dad” of the trip–King Otto in this case–drove.

Loaded up and ready to go, King Otto took the wheel still smarting from layabout Cuseman’s insubordination in loading up and preparing to go in a timely manner (let’s hope the two of them wage a war of words within my comments below–it will truly be hilarious), and we were off.

The drive to State College from New York City is…well, honestly, I have no fucking clue.  I wasn’t paying attention in the least.  Nor really was Cuseman, Epstein, or Dean, Dean, the Sax Machine (aka:  The Tapdance Kid).  It was raining hard, it was dark out, but the back was like a bar where time simply doesn’t matter.  Yeah, sure, like a bar with no TVs, no women, inaudible car radio, and only four customers in it.  But the drinks were free, the cold beers were only an inch away from you at any time, and there was never a line to the pisser.  A bathroom about the size of an airplane lavatory, I should note.

Drinking on road trips is always not just a desire, nor a necessity, but of the utmost importance.  Shit, I’ve been known to risk life, limb, and the tender skin on my palms just to get an open bottle of beer for a ride.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone drinking and driving in the least and I’ve only done it once in my life–no lie–but I condone drinking and passengering with all of my being.

Why it is a crime in America to drink alcohol while not driving a car but while simply sitting in it is extremely baffling to me.  A typical case of America finding solutions to problems that don’t exist and which are really not solutions at all.  (Have a lot of drunk passengers wrecked the cars they weren’t driving?!)  I suppose lawmaking muckety-mucks would say you can’t drink and passenger because, well, because it sets a bad example for the man at the wheel.  Heck, it might even make him downright jealous.  Well shit then, shouldn’t it be illegal to not read while in the passenger seat?  Or do a crossword?  Or play air drums to “Dazed and Confused?”  Or fucking sleep?!  Cause, while I may not be any sort of vehicular safety expert, I know countless people that have successfully driven a car while lit up like a menorah, but I don’t know a single motherfucker that has successfully made it from point A to point B while fast asleep.

And that’s the great thing about having the RV.  With a car, you’re always conscious, always worried about a cop driving by and seeing you opening a cold one, about empties littering the floor, about needing to break the seal too early and slowing down your entire trip.  But all those problems are negated in an RV.  With the curtains closed, no one else on the road could possibly see what mischief we were getting into.  It was our private sanctuary, our own movable speakeasy, for throwing back the hooch with no consequence.  Unless of course King Otto wrecked the car and then we’d face the quite troublesome consequences of seeing what happens to a man who is standing in the back of an RV, chugging a beer, when said RV fishtails into a highway girder.  Perhaps we should wear helmets in the back next time?

Without question, this was the most enjoyable roadtrip I have ever had driving-wise.  On other roadtrips, you’re obsessed with the time while en route.  “How’s are time?”  “We making good time?”  “What time do you think we’ll be in?”  Why?  Well so you can get to the bar and start drinking.  But when the bar is with you, time is of the utmost insignificance.  We could have arrived at 9 PM, midnight, or next year and I wouldn’t have give a damn.  Unless the beer had ran out.

The insignificant time we did arrive ended up being 10:50 PM.  Pulling into the grass rolling hills of a parking lot at 10:50 PM we were floored.  Hundred upon hundreds if not thousands upon thousands of RVs already set up, as far as the eye could see.  There must surely be an RV caste system as we were ordered and then tucked away into a far corner of the lot amidst other smallish rentals and amateur RV enthusiasts.

We immediately grabbed a handful of beers and set out to explore.  To see the real RV pros at work.  We took laps around the ad hoc “streets” of the RV City, our wasted eyes agog like Dorothy in Oz.  We soon learned that the lot opens at 5 PM sharp on Thursday night with a line of RVs already ready to enter and set up, and for the next three days the place becomes like a slapdash wild west mining town, thrown up over night to assure a place’s newest and likewise temporary inhabitants, can find places to grub, drink, gamble, and fuck while finding as much gold as possible.  We were amazed to see impromptu sports pubs, dance clubs, karoake bars, and even gambling venues pieced together through a series of interconnected tents–closer to circus than pup–covering all sorts of tables, furniture, and electronics powered by miles and miles of extension cord connected to satellite dishes and RV generators.  Suffice to say, many if not most of these big time RV “establishments”–for lack of a better word–were larger, more spacious, and had far more eminities and creature comforts than not just my Manhattan apartment but most groggeries in New York City proper.

There’s nothing better than waking up at sunrise on Saturday, walking outside in your sleep clothes, taking a piss in the dewy grass, and immediately popping a beer to shake off the cobwebs, then sparking up the grill, and setting up the Cornhole boards.  (As we all know Cornhole is the greatest outdoor drinking game in the history of the world, and any time I get a chance I play it until my arm falls off, my liver explodes, or, more likely, the cheap wood board shatters.)  We drank and ate burgers and sausage, played Cornhole and Beer Pong until 11:50 AM before hightailing it to the stadium.

There’s not much worth discussing or explaining about the day’s game.  Beaver Stadium may the biggest stadium in America and the third largest in the world, but it’s fairly unspectacular.  You might say, well, Penn State was playing the miserable Syracuse Orange, sure.  And that does justify the fans lack of enthusiasm and propensity for sitting on their hands.  But that doesn’t justify it being an undistinguished Erector Set of a dilipidated sporting venue, nor the school have a shockingly ugly student base.  King Otto, Cuseman, Dean, Dean the Dancing Machine (aka: The Tapdance Kid), and Epstein can back me up on this, the four State fans in front of us were of another species.  A species that surely evolved and survived by not being the fittest, but rather by being so goddamn repulsive no predators possibly wanted to get near these mutants.  Literally slack-jawed with the gummiest mouths you’ve ever seen, acne-riddled skin, hair straight from the bird’s nest wig collection, and the dopiest hick hollers of “Cuuuuuuuuuuum’on, less’go Stuuuuuuuuuu-ate!”  Sickening.  And this is coming from a man that hadn’t showered or even brushed his teeth that morning.  My standards were not exactly high on that misty day.

Of course you can’t drink during the game because the hypocritical NCAA likes to pretend that it has some ethics, so I was forced to swig on Diet Pepsis all game, which I won’t deny were incredibly reasonably priced so yay for that.  After a 28-7 loss, after nearly falling asleep from our three hour lack of alcohol, we jumped back into drinking and exploring the RV scene.  (Marv Albert voice:  “With authority!”)

An expert myself, I am not one to haphazardly praise the drinking prowess of others, thinking most “party” schools to be grossly overrated, most hardcore imbibers hardly able to throw it back, but I can say this:  Penn State fans can drink.  They are one of the finest drinking schools I have ever dealt with.  Good lord, State College on a gameday might be the drinking capital of America.

As a connoisseur of drinking games, I was both intrigued and excited to learn that Cornhole and Beer Pong have pretty much become passe at State College.  Still respected sure, but more in a retro way like, “Ha, isn’t it cute.  We’re playing beer pong!  That game we used to play when we were in junior high!”  Oh no, these ugly Penn State fans have moved on to far more aggressive drinking games.  Games of the highest skill, abilities, and suicidal tendencies.  I learned at least four new drinking games but my two most eye-opening favorites were Dizzy Bat and Speedball, explained as follows:

Dizzy Bat–Take your classic yellow Wiffleball bat, cut the bottom of the handle off it, fill the barrel with an entire can of beer and…CHUG!  After you’ve finished chugging, put the bat on your forehead, bend over, and spin around ten times, then stand up and try to take a swing at the empty beer can as a friend/enemy tosses it at you.  Amazingly, or not considering how awesome America is, there’s actually countless great Youtube videos of this sport.

Speedball–Probably the most dangerous drinking game I’ve ever encountered aside from gloryholing, this game works like this:  Two-versus-two with each team set up on opposite ends of your typical beer pong length table.  Each player has a full can of beer placed in front of him.  One teammate hurls a ping pong ball at one of his opponents’ two cans and, assuming he hits a can, his partner is allowed to begin chugging his beer and chug it as long as he can until the “defending” team is able to retrieve the ping pong ball and lay it smack on the table.  Sounds easy, sure, but here’s the rub:  the player that hurled the ball at the defenders’ beer cans is allowed to chase after the ball and the defenders and use any means necessary–kicking, scratching, blocking, tripping–short of outright tackling, or covering the ball, to prevent the defenders from returning the ball to the table.  Teams go back-and-forth taking alternating shots, game is over when both of a team’s players have drained every last drop of their two cans.  You are guaranteed to be sweaty, tired, filthy, perhaps injured, and certainly wasted after a game of Speedball.  Fans gather around like they are watching a Michael Vick sanctioned canine UFC event.  Not surprisingly, all the players and spectators, are men.

As nightfall came and drinking games became an impossibility, now wasted and worn, we walked around the dark lot getting into trouble and creating memories at the various dance clubs, bars, and various drinking scenes.  Making friends with strangers, watching nationally-televised football games on projection satellite TV screens blasted onto walls and giant RVs, and eventually becoming shit-canned enough to hit on ugly ugly women (photographic evidence destroyed.)  We even managed to get a little illicit gambling done, with Dean, Dean the Sax Machine (aka:  The Tapdance Kid) absolutely mopping up.

I was worn and wasted before even 1 AM, after approximately seventeen straight hour of drinking and twenty-six of the last thirty-three hours with a drink in my hands, I aptly feel asleep that night still clutching a half-drunk brew.

I'm even a legend when I sleep

I'm even a legend while I sleep

Th next day, the RV was an absolute pig sty, our toilet not overflowed but filled to the brim, our two gallons of vodka killed, our three bottles of spice rum decimated, and 84 out of 96 cans of cheap beer taken down (OK, who was the slacker here?).  We were most certainly ready to get back to civilization.  Unfortunately, the drive back home to New York through the tumbling hills of nowhere land, where you can’t even find a McDonald’s for hundreds of miles, is a lot more boring when you’re hungover and not drinking.  Oh well, road trips always end poorly.  No one ever says:  “Man, you know what the best part of this road trip was?!  Driving home at the end of it!”

Having said that, I’m pretty sure the five of us are now RV enthusiasts for life.  It’s a lifestyle I think I could get into, the cornerstone of a splendid lost weekend, though I would die an early death if I did it more than once a year.

Though I guess I may have to change my life expectancy:  King Otto’s considering buying an RV.

After having not showered, or defecated, sorry for the too much information, for the entirety of the trip, I had to handle both post-haste upon re-entering Manhattan society.  But I also had to hightail it to Rattle ‘N’ Hum because after drinking garbage macro beer all weekend, I needed some flavorful, weighty, and potent sugary poison in my system, and luckily, my favorite bar was hosting the Gotham Cask Festival, with quite a few notables on tap amongst several dozens specialty casks.

I started things off with Sixpoint’s Hops of Love “IPA 4 Evah” dry-hopped cask beer.  I was quite impressed with this 6.2% offering and found it even better than their well-acclaimed Bengali Tiger.  Hops of Love was made specially for Sixpoint brewer Ian’s wedding and apparently they made far too much, which is our gain!  Our at least mine.  Dry-hopped with cascade and Northern, this is a flawless and complex blend of grapefruit, piny hops, and bitterness all in a slippery smooth little package.  I really enjoyed this luxurious beer which just coddled my throat (A-)

I also tried the official beer of New York City Craft beer week, the NY3, a collaborative effort between Empire State brewers Captain Lawrence, Ithaca, and Southampton, brewed with local honey from each of the three brewers, dry-hopped with Willamette hops among others from Pedersen Farms.  I eagerly anticipated this effort but was a tad let down.  A solid session effort no doubt, kinda like Liquid Gold Lite, but nothing spectacular, and a beer that easily got lost in the shuffle compared to all the legendary, high ABV offerings I had around during the past week (B+)

But I had come specifically to the cask festival at Rattle ‘N’ Hum for one much desired beer, a Beer Advocate Top 100 effort and no doubt George Lucas unapproved, the Imperial Stout Trooper.  A vintage 2006 keg no less!  I found the stout to be a most warm and relaxing imperial that actually tastes far more boozy than it truly is.  Burnt and roasted coffee tastes, a kiss of chocolate, silky and most delicious, though I don’t think it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath with the all-time legends.  At least on cask.  I hope to snag a bottle this winter.

A-

*Of note, you can still drink at Syracuse’s Carrier Dome, so fuck all you teetotaling heathens.

(Be sure and check out this fun interview Jay at Hedonist Beer Jive did with me)

Sixpoint Dubbel Trubbel

April 14th, 2009 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Sixpoint, Country: America, Grade: A-/B+, Style: Dubbel

9.6% ABV from a growler

This beer was so hot off the presses when I tried it last week while watching the NCAA national title game that it still did not yet even have a Beer Advocate entry.  I’m not saying it lacked a single review, I’m saying it did not yet even have a placeholder for future reviews.  Now a week later, its internet presence is still pretty meager as it finally has a BA entry with just two reviews anda few more on Rate Beer, yet not a single mention of the brew on Sixpoint’s own website.  In fact, I’m not even one-hundred percent certain what this beer is actually called as in some places it pops up as “Dubbel Trouble.”  I prefer the more clever and elegant neologistic rhyming name which heads this post.*

If you’re one of the many people that sift through my Vice Blog entries like an archeologist, dusting aside the dirt of the staid beer review in order to get to the true gems, tales of humiliating dates, late night mayhem, transgressive behavior, french fry analyses, or funny technical terms for coital acts like “bag-piping,”** then I have to apologize, for you won’t find any of that here today.  Yep, this is just a boring old beer review.  But not to fear, I have a slew of tales to unleash in the coming weeks.  March Madness was madness indeed.

My friend forced his wife to pick us up a growler of this at the legendary Whole Foods Bowery Beer Room.  A 64 oz. growler ran a stiff $22, but it ended up being pretty much worth it.  Poured out in the nice “standard” dubbel raisin color.  A potent smell of dried fruits, dark cherries, and just a little spiciness.  Added tastes included Belgian candi, cocoa nibs, some banana esters, and a thick yeastiness.  Very boozy.  The beer was good, a success even, but ultimately just a little “off” for my tastes.

Sixpoint has emerged as one of the newer breweries to watch in America–though I should note that with Dubbel Trubbel this “newer” brewery was amazingly commemorating its 4th Anniversary–and they already have quite a few stellar creations.  I only wish they’d actually bottled stuff.  Hmm…I wonder what their predicted 5th Anniversary tripel will be called?***

After halving this, I was so drunk when I left my friend’s high-rise ’round 1:00 AM that I spent a good twenty seconds trying to open the front door before the doorman was forced to yell at me.

“PUSH!”

Ah yes, free at last.

Why is it always one’s natural inclination to pull when he’s drunk?

Something to ponder.

A-/B+

*I’ve never really understood why the brewery is Sixpoint as opposed to Six Point or Six-Point either.  Sixpoint what?  Where I’m from the logo is just a Jewish star tipped on end.  Ah, perhaps it’s a drunken Star of David that fell on its side from all the 6 point ABV and higher brews?  Har har.

**Axillary intercourse.

**The Tripel Crippel?  Trippel Nippel?  Trippel Rippel?  Nope:

Sixpoint Tripel Tippel.  Natch.

Sixpoint Hop Obama Ale

October 6th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Sixpoint, Country: America, Grade: B regular, Style: Amber Ale

5.2% ABV from a growler

Any one who is a drinker and also a cell phone owner has at one time or another also been a drunken cell phone loser. To steal a line from a friend, I am a professional cell phone loser. I thought I was too old for this shit, mature enough to–even wasted–hang onto my possessions and my dignity. But apparently not. For you see, I lost another cell phone Friday night. In fact, I think with over a decade of cell phone usage, I’ve only been able to hang onto one phone until I was finally done with it and actually ready to purchase a new one.

So here I present an ode to cell phones I’ve lost over the years. All while I had over-the-limit BACs of course. But I’ll claim that might be coincidence rather than causation. You can decide for yourself.

I came into cell phone ownership kinda late I guess, not getting my first device til late-2000. That was back when phones were well-made and could actually last forever. Not the plastic pieces of shit they produce nowadays. Back then you actually hung onto a phone for a long time both because they weren’t pumping out new, exciting models every week and forcing you to keep up with the Joneses and also because why would one need to keep getting a new phone every year if their current one still worked? That first phone lasted me until May of 2003 when I attended a friend’s wedding in Philadelphia which I was the best man in. The ill-fitting tuxedo pants I wore–aren’t all rental tuxedo pants ill-fitting what with that elastic cincher in the waistband–had the loosest, deepest pockets and every time I sat down my phone and wallet would shoot from them like a fat kid on a Slip N Slide. Of course, by the time I got drunk and got into a cab to head to the after-party, I was no longer closely monitoring my pocket situation. When I got to the bar the phone was gone, and in it the phone number of a girl I was to meet up with that night. This would start a longstanding tradition of continually meeting girls and having their numbers only listed in my phone when I lose it, thus causing me to have no chance of setting up potentially exciting late-night rendezvouses. Amazingly, returning to New York the next day, I finally got a hold of the cabbie whose taxi I lost my phone in and he remarkably went to a FedEx and mailed it back to me. Good Samaritan of the century.

Unfortunately, this little incident wouldn’t teach me a lesson. To reverse a famous maxim: A genius learns from others’ mistakes. A smart man learns from his own. An idiot keeps repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I must be an idiot.

Cell number two I lost while drinking hard on a Friday night. There is no interesting story surrounding that. Saturday morning I headed to Best Buy to pick out a new phone where a salesman that looked and behaved like a happy-go-lucky Al Sharpton helped me out. Luckily I was past the rebate time of two years so I got a $350 phone for free. I headed to an all-Indian Halloween bash that night where I drank some spiked “witch’s brew” punch that musta really effed me up cause I don’t recall anything after midnight. I awoke the next day with nothing in my pants pockets save matchbooks from like fifteen different bars over a several miles radius in midtown. I borrowed my roommate’s phone to call the chick who hosted the party, to see if maybe I left my phone at her pad. She answered the phone with great truculence. “Uh…hey, Rita, did I happen to leave my phone at your apartment?” She paused for an interminable amount of time before asking me if I recalled what happened the previous night. Nope. She told me I had thrown an hors d’oeuvres tray out of her highrise apartment’s window and into the courtyard. And then several male guests had to forcibly remove me from the party. *CLICK* Burned bridge. I marched back to the same Best Buy I’d been just twenty-four hours earlier. I went up to Al Sharpton. “Do you remember me?” “Sure do.” “Do you remember that phone I bought yesterday?” “Sure do.” “I’ll take another one.” This time I paid the full $350 being that I’d only owned my previous phone for a day and there is no rebate offer on owning a phone for only a day.

Phone number four was an absolute beauty, the most expensive and cherished phone I’d ever bought in my life. I had it from May 2005 til my 27th birthday in February of 2006. That night I got shitcanned on the Lower East Side which lead to the absolute worst hook-up of my life with some Hell’s Kitchen hood rat. The day I tell that story in full I will cause 75% of my readers to vomit, 80% to quit speaking to me, and 100% of females to ignore me for the rest of time. I think the girl may have stolen the phone from me as I awoke the next morning to find her gone and my phone too. I was so ashamed that I didn’t leave the house for quite a while after that and next bought a real cheapy piece of crap cell to replenish the filched one. A few days after I bought the new phone, the first friend listed in my cell’s directory got a call. Some Latino kids claiming they’d found my cell in a 7-11 parking lot in White Plains. They wanted a reward of $500 for it. I told them several sexual acts they could do to themselves.

Phone number five–the aforementioned cheapy–actually lasted until I was done with it. I hated that fucking phone. Why did I never lose that one?!

And phone number six was my most recent one. My second favorite device I’ve ever had.

Again, my friends and I were drinking on the lower east side. Trouble always happens when I leave the numbered streets and drink below Houston. I don’t think I was drunk but then again, pre-barring before heading out, a friend and I had split an entire Whole Foods growler of Hop Obama. The second election-themed special release beer I’ve had this year, I’d been looking to try it for a while. To quote the brewery, “In keeping with the Illinois senator’s unifying theme, the ‘Hop Obama’ is an indefinable ale that doesn’t adhere to traditional style guidelines.” It poured a gorgeous rich amber color. It was darker than I expected and tons more bitter too. Nice hops came through as well. Tasted more like a bitter or even a weak IPA than the amber ale it is listed as. Overall, I enjoyed it the more I indulged in it, though it wasn’t quite as drinkable as you would think a 5.2% beer to be. If ‘Bam is elected I’m assuming Sixpoint will make this a regular release. That would be nice.

As I said, though we drank til 4 AM I don’t believe I was that wasted. In fact, I had met two girls that night and gotten both’s e-mail addresses. I don’t get phone numbers because I actually hate talking on the phone. And, drinking with an out-of-town friend on Friday, leaving him for a one-night stand was simply not in the cards. I recall getting the second girl’s info around 3:30 but by the time my friends and I had hailed a cab around 3:45, my phone was gone. I still don’t know where it went.

From 3:45 til 5 AM as we ate greasy food and played hockey on XBox, we called my phone, then again all day Saturday and Sunday. I was actually blown away that my phone was still ringing. I was so pissed at myself, my stupidity, that I decided to flagellate myself by buying a cheap phone next time, like one of those plastic disposable ones the gangsters on “The Wire” use. However, I refuse to buy the new one until my lost phone has quit ringing, thus signally the batteries are dead and thus no one will ever be able to locate me.

Amazingly, all day today my countless friends have called my phone countless times. And it continues to ring. Some sixty hours after I lost it and around seventy hours after I charged it last. I don’t think I knew a phone could stay charged so long.

I’d finally given up hope, fully planning on buying a new phone tonight, when just an hour ago, with the battery power surely in the red, some guy in Queens finally answered my phone. Worried about the battery cutting him off, he quickly gave his cell phone number and address. And in just a few minutes I will train out to Astoria to meet with him. What a nice guy. And another lesson not learned by The Vice Blogger. Goddamn I’m a lucky son of a bitch.

B