My God, this beer smells incredible. It’s so bright and fruity! How distinctively tart, like a field of ripe red raspberries dancing in the cool breeze! The nose on this is so good I could just
Vote for Hillary Clinton.
*9.0 out of 10*
*9.9 out of 10*
Alright, ALRIGHT; here’s long-time reader and Malt Fiction subscriber “Shawn’s” top 5 beers of the year. Don’t go crazy, everybody; just calm the fuck down. We all know how important this is. We’re going to get through it:
5. Hermit Thrush Brewery | Jolly Abbot (Sour Belgian Barleywine, 2015 vintage)
Sure, Bolio, pick something no one has ever heard of. You piece of shit. Oh, right, I was there when you tried that. You still suck.
4. Maine Beer Company | Lunch IPA (American IPA)
3. Hill Farmstead Brewery | Arthur (Farmhouse Ale, 2015 vintage)
SHIT SON, YOU CAN PUT THIS BEER IN YOUR TOP 5, BUT NOT “I LOVE YOU, HONEYBEAR” BY FATHER JOHN MISTY IN YOUR TOP 10 ALBUMS? FUCK YOU.
2. Bissell Brothers Brewing Co. | The Substance Ale (American IPA)
Okey dokey, Sam Blow, I’ll give you a pass on this one.
1. Brouwerij Rodenbach | Rodenbach Caractère Rouge (Flanders Red Ale)
THIS IS THE GODEL, ESCHER, BACH OF BEERS. FIGURES, BOLIO.
…fuck, where was I?
These are, uh, Shane Bowery’s favorite beers.
Shap hates music, I guess–
And he lives in Canada
You might as well call him Ted Cruz.
At least Ted Cruz probably likes “I Love You, Honeybear,” by Father John Misty.
Fuck you, Jane Blooey.
Now give me my money.
PLEASE free Shamu.
This is what I think of your top 5, Jim-
what the fuck
it tastes like Pliny.
Easy Coast folk
It’s like fresh Pliny
Shit the fuck up
Somebody KILL me
*Uh, what the fuck out of 10*
Hey, big guy;
Put on your wayfarers and step out onto the balcony.
Watch the palm trees sway in the wind.
Grab that special someone and enjoy the blazing sunset.
The waves lap against the shore ever so gently.
This calls for a toast;
You grab some refreshments for the both of you.
The lid of the can pops like the sound of a crashing ocean swell.
Clink your glasses, you beautiful people.
The hazy, bright yellow ale shimmers in the waning sunlight.
The aroma of freshly squeezed lemon bursts in the air.
“Wait, babe; grab the camera, the lighting is perfect.
–yeah, get in the picture. Yeah, that’s it. Wait, wait; bend over a little bit.
Oh, yeah, this is such a sexy shot.
Look at the color of this beer! It looks like a glass of frothy lemonade!
God damn, look at this!
–Wait, wait, no—I know, let me just upload this—
Then, suddenly, those clams from dinner finally hit you.
Dizzied, you began to flounder.
“Honey, are you alright? Oh God, hold on!”
Her dulcet tones begin to degrade into a squawk of the most reptilian persuasion.
The roar of high tide folds upon itself, dampened into television static
Even your vision begins to sputter out ants on a sidewalk.
You collapse upon the railing, hanging off the edge of the precipice.
The vomit begins to stream from your lips, your nostrils.
Your paramour arrives with a hot towel and words of comfort.
It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault It’s not your fault
In your moment of abject embarrassment and misery, it hits you–
Westbrook Brewing: providing the official beer of mustachioed beer hipsters everywhere!
Your life is a lie.
*9.0 out of 10*
Toiling beneath the unforgiving sun, we languished in the fields. Not a damned one of us would dare ask for reprieve, complain, or even ask how long until the day was done. Bound to the soil, we picked until our fingertips became as numb as the earth below us. Stained and embarrassed, we hunched in our anonymity until we were addressed, accordingly.
Luckily, I was pretty much ignored, like that kid in phys. ed. who wanders around in the field grasping at his crotch like a safety blanket, hoping not to be found, while coach skirts by with a ‘participation’ grade as not to upset the parents…
We thankless souls picked
Lord, my thighs were confessing the next morning.
50 Hail Maries did they pray, you bitch!
Toil did we do, though, every last one of us.
Picking the yellow stuff, all hoped not to get whipped.
–but if Shaun Hill whipped any of us,
It’d probably turn into some sort of masochistic orgy
Moreover, God knows NO work would have gotten done.
Thank God for Søren Kierkegaard and the virtue of a limp dick.
Vera Mae has a special place in my plaque-encrusted heart. 2013 seems long ago, but I can recall that day every time I release the cap from this beer.
I remember how much Mr. Hill talked about himself.
I remember how much we 10 of us didn’t pick that day. Four or five large trash bags, and we still didn’t bring in quite enough.
The disappointment of father in son.
I told you, brain surgeon, not plastic surgeon!
—But I didn’t care
Hands caked in vermilion, windows down, the wind rushed through as I broke my own.
“I feel like Justin Vernon,” I mumbled, half-drunkenly to Derek in the driver’s seat.
He laughed obligingly.
I couldn’t squat for the next week.
It’s a beautiful, yet constipated time of the year.
The harvest is yet upon us, and no clearer is that for me than with the release of Hill Farmstead’s Vera Mae.
A rustic saison, brewed with dandelion, Vera Mae is an instant late summer classic.
Every time I pry off its cap, I remember what a little bitch I was that day. Every time I gaze upon its lemonade-yellow hue, I remember complaining about how hot it was.
Fizzy, frothy white head.
Away from the light, hints of gold and orange curve around the edges. Exposed to the light, slight chartreuse emerges on the surface. Hazy as fuck, bright and beautiful, I remember taking intermittent breaks while everyone else picked along.
Every time I inhale and am greeted by that floral and oak character, I remember that one guy who wouldn ‘t shut the fuck up about how much he appreciated previous vintages and other collaborative works with other well-established breweries and—oh yeah—how they’re all just great, too.
Honey and beeswax.
Every time I taste that lemon-like acidity, I remember that attractive, somewhat older woman with the dope dog, and I get distracted; I was distracted then, too. I didn’t do much work. Long and lean, she had a somewhat regal character about her. I like to think that Shaun Hill’s late, great-aunt—the name sake for this saison—was like this too. However, I don’t want to give the impression that I have the hots for one of Mr. Hill’s ancestors. I don’t. You know what I mean.
You can’t misconstrue that.
I mean, like, regal like a Rolls Royce. You wouldn’t fuck a Rolls Royce, would you? I mean, you wouldn’t actually have sex with a car, right?
Do you know what I mean?
…Seriously, I mean no disrespect. I’m sure Vera Mae was a really beautiful woman, and I’m sure her husband was really glad to have all that, and shit – Not that the rest of Mr. Hill’s relatives weren’t likely beautiful in their own way. I mean, I don’t want to show any preference here.
Shaun’s a good lookin’ guy. I’m not physically attracted to him. No, not like that.
He’s not a car. I’m sure he’s doing fine. Lactobacillus* character bursts forth in the middle of the mouth. Strangely, a drier, saltier, lemon-lime Gatorade comes to mind here, as well. Then comes the oak. In a bizarre way, I a lemon sherbet or some sort of lemon frozen yogurt. Bitterness from the dandelion comes out towards the end with a strong herbal, earthy, green, vegetal kick. Some fruity esters follow, ending with that classic coconut character that comes from lactobacillus.
Mouthfeel has medium to strong acids, a yeast bite, drying astringency and a tart, clean finish.
It’s not a sex thing.
*9.2 out of 10*
*A lactic acid bacteria (as is capable of converting lactose into lactic acid), particularly harmless to humans, used to intentionally sour ales. Mostly of the L. Casei or L. Brevis varieties. Hey, fun fact: Lactobacilli are also found predominantly in intestines and vaginas. Bottoms up!