It’s been about three weeks since the last episode, largely because the beer news world has been pretty slow lately. We came back strong, though, with a long conversation about quality control at breweries and what a brewer’s responsibility to their customers is when bad beer is released.
0:00 to 7:50 Introductions and what we’re drinking. I’m doing a super-fresh Bell’s Pale Ale, and Ryan’s got an even fresher Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale. Was Sublimely Self Righteous the first black IPA?
7:50 to 30:37 Quality Control in Breweries. At a bottle share in San Diego, Ryan had a bottle of an Upland Brewery sour that gushed nearly a foot in the air and left him with only half a bottle left. This got him to thinking about breweries and their quality control, and what they might owe the consumers that get obviously flawed beer. Should a consumer get compensation for a bad bottle? I talk about issues I’ve had with Jolly Pumpkin beers, as well as Keweenaw brewing. Also mentioned: Deschutes, the Lost Abbey, Dark Horse, and more. Lots of breweries have occasional or continuing issues with quality control; what is the proper response to these issues? We’d love to hear your thoughts and if we get enough responses we’ll do a bunch of emails in a future episode, so please listen and respond at email@example.com.
30:37 to 35:15 Taking a bit of a tangent off of that, as beer reviewers we tend to try to make sure we’re getting the freshest and best beer possible for review on the show, but that’s not always a fair representation for what’s on the shelf and available in the market. Do we bend over backwards a bit too much to make sure we’re “fair” to the products we review?
35:15 to 55:53 What we’ve been drinking lately and our wrap-up. Ryan had an out-of-town guest in his house last week, none other than fellow Beertuber Master of Hoppets, so we talk a bit about that. I also talk about being back in school and the way that that has effected my beer drinking. We talk a lot about how great the people in the craft beer community are, and end another episode imploring people to engage in bottle shares.
This whole Black IPA style hasn’t quite been for me. The first one I had was Stone’s Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, which I found kinda “meh.” Since then, I’ve had maybe a dozen, some good, some not, but none has quite been out of this world. Is this a style that’ll stick around, or is it just a flash in the pan?
Anyway, today I’m talking about Short’s Bludgeon Yer Eye IPA. It’s another one of their limited-release bottlings, and it’ll be out of stock in the area within the next day or so. I’ve always said this is a weird business model for Short’s, but they seem to be making plenty of money so who am I to question them?
Pours jet black with a thick yellow-white head. Tons of lacing on the sides of the glass. Smells strongly of citrus with a bit of spicy hop, with lots of licorice and black patent malt underneath. Roasty, dry, caramel qualities rise to the surface.
Flavor is very well-balanced between the roasty characteristics and the citrusy hops. There’s just enough of a spice quality to keep the beer interesting, and balance out what might have been overwhelming sweetness from the citrus. I wouldn’t want more than one or two of this, but as an occasional treat it’s pretty nice.
Beyond the Pour grade: B