You know Boston Beer does their big Longshot contest every year, giving a couple homebrewers the chance to put their beer in the Big Time and get it brewed, bottled, and distributed by Boston Beer. Pretty cool stuff, and just one more way Jim Koch proves that he really does Get It.
But didja know they also have a New England-only contest for homebrewers to win a chance to get their beer on draft at Gillette Stadium during the New England Patriots season? Now that is sweet, 18-1 or not.
Best of all, after the disappointment of not being able to make one of last year's Longshot winners, a double IPA that just couldn't be brewed because of hops shortages (not prices, we were told: the hops just couldn't be bought at all), this year's Patriot Homebrew, from Massachusetts resident Adam Walsh, is a by-God IPA. And Boston Beer sent me two bottles, so I'm going to taste them. Yes, it's only available at Gillette Stadium, on draft, but...I did make that promise...so here we go.
Wow, that pours pretty! Big head (and yeah, I know, the Sam Adams glass is for Boston Lager...big deal), and deep amber/copper body. There's a wicked sharp pine/pineapple aroma coming off it (with a sweet teasing hint of peach or nectarine) that promises hop!!! and man, it does deliver in the mouth. There's no compromise about this baby, you're getting a bitter shot to the chops that rocks you, and then lingers like feedback echo, with a little bit of alcohol heat underneath to keep things cooking and clean. But it's not whiprazor sharp hopjuice, there's plenty of ballast under there to keep it lined up and on-target.
I was just playing Burnout Revenge last night, see, and this beer drinks like the heavy van in the Crash game. You launch something like the 4X4 pickup or the custom crash vintagemobile, and you've got speed, zing, all that jazz -- but hit a ramp in the wind and you're screwed. Put the heavy van up the ramp and BOOM. It's going right where you want it, and where you want it is getting smashed. This is like that.
Only issue is a slightly green character to the hops. Normally I like that, it's fresh, it's cool, but this is more leafy than hoppy. Not great, but minor. It actually seems to be diminishing as the beer warms a bit.
Going to a Pats game? Brother, do they ever have your beer ready. Thanks, Adam; thanks, Jim.