Latest posts by makeitsnowondem (see all)
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When I run out of a beer, unless that beer is Sierra Nevada Celebration, and unless Sierra Nevada Celebration is still being sold somewhere, I replace it with something new. There are a few other scattered exceptions to this rule, but the concept of a “go-to” beer is more or less foreign to me. Other than Celebration, I probably don’t drink more than eighteen servings of any one beer over the course of a year. Like most of my drinking habits, this isn’t unusual; I don’t know how many times I’ve seen or heard craft beer drinkers colorfully described as “promiscuous” with respect to branding, but it’s a lot of times, and in my case there’s no denying the accusation. That’s right: I drink around. What’s more, I’m into the weird stuff. I like to experiment.
A couple months ago, give or take a few days, I told you guys how much I love Dogfish Head Brewing. I didn’t tell you that there’s a brewery right here in Texas, Martin House Brewing Company of Fort Worth, that’s just as innovative and that may be outdoing Dogfish when it comes to consistency and quality. When I first discovered Martin House, while living in Fort Worth and living in the dry-ass wasteland of Irving, their lineup already included a pretzel stout and a four-grain ale “modeled after a bowl of breakfast cereal.” Today they’re putting out beers that taste like gin & juice or salsa verde or a soft-serve ice cream swirl, and also the best Texas beer I’ve had in the past year, Christmas In July, a spiced, barrel-aged barleywine. The one thing they don’t make is any beer weirder than Kafkaesque.
Kafkaesque’s label reads like a less courageous brewery’s April Fool’s joke, describing the beer as an Imperial Smoked Black Rye Oaked Raspberry IPA. If the maximum number of descriptors that can be placed before the word “ale” is a fundamental physical constant, like the speed of light or the elementary charge, then I believe that Martin House has discovered that universal limit. The thing is, not only all of these flavors—to recap, the alcohol and the smoke and the black malt and the rye and the oak chips and the raspberries—are not only individually, vividly present, but they all complement each other wonderfully. You probably won’t get the full spectrum on any one sip, but over the course of a glass you can absolutely get a sense of each of the disparate parts and the way they come together. If anyone had told me about this beer three years ago, I’d have suspected their sincerity, and then their sobriety, and if they’d managed to convince me of both I’d still have expected a complete mess of a beer. This is not that mess. This is carefully balanced and brewed with utter discipline. This is art.
lady snow, who had this awhile back but hasn’t looked at the label, says: The first thing I taste is hops. I remember it’s an IPA,, right? A black IPA.
make it snow says: That’s right. Remember what else is in it?
lady snow says: Raspberries. And it’s smoky. It’s smoked, right?
make it snow says: Right. Anything else?
lady snow says: Batteries. Like with a nine-volt battery.
make it snow says: You know, I’ve never done that.
lady snow says: It’s kind of the same feeling you get when you eat something sour, like a lemon. This isn’t sour like a lemon is, but it gives me the same feeling. Yeah, batteries. I would put this in our smoke detector.
make it snow says: Please don’t.
tl;dr: Like beer? This one probably has something in it you like! And something you hate!
Grade: Not a monstrous vermin.
make it snow is an alot of beer who’s ready for some football. While writing this review, he drank two cans of Kafkaesque and watched Winter on Fire. Check it out on Netflix if you liked The Square.