I took a step back in time Tuesday afternoon at the Memphis Taproom. I was on my way back from Yards (a visit that's going to get blogged soon) and thought, hell, I've got time for one...and it was such a beautiful October afternoon, and they had the door open, and I saw Great Divide Hibernation on the taplist. It's been years since I had a Hibernation. I went to Great Divide's GABF party back in 1995 and 1996 and had a blast, drinking years of Hibernation with Brian and Tara Dunn. When it made it East, I was happy to sup up more.
But times changed, and beers came and went, and I think the last time I had one was about 2000. This pint of 2008 Hibernation came dark and solid, and totally old-school winter ale. It's big -- just a little bit boozy, which is good, it keeps you honest and aware -- it's unashamedly hoppy, it's malty but doesn't overdo the esters, and it just tasted so good that if I hadn't told myself I'd keep it to one, I'd have put it away all too quickly. This was the way brewers used to make big beers: dynamic balance, tension, nothing overwhelming, like a game of Blockhead 6 feet high and 4 feet wide.
Be damned if it's going to be 8 years before I have another!
*And it still pretty much is.
†And they still are.
‡And you can obviously still make a damned good beer that way.