Listen, we like high-concept beer as much as anybody. If a brewer makes a beer that resurrects an ancient Mesopotamian yeast, then ages it at the bottom of the Caspian Sea for three years in a barrel with curry spices and snozzberries ... well, our ears would perk up. But sometimes it's nice to acknowledge a brew with more singular focus and clean execution. This week's featured beer is just that.
San Diego's Alesmith Brewing Company has been making style-defining brews since the 90's. In that time, the team has concentrated on perfecting a small (by today's standards) lineup of brews, often at the expense of developing new products. Recently, they seem to have turned over a new leaf. The brewery has created numerous draft versions of their game-changing, coffee-infused Speedway Stout, including a recently bottled version using Kopi Luwak (aka "weasel poop") coffee that is affectionately, and appropriately, referred to as "The Shit."
The brewery also bottled its Nut Brown Ale , a longtime San Diego staple. Now, the folks at Alesmith have done us one better and bottled their popular seasonal red ale, "My Bloody Valentine." Is it a coincidence that the cherished shoegaze band of the same name is finally reuniting this year? Probably, but we like a good conspiracy theory.
Unlike beer made with coffee beans collected from weasel excrement and music that relies on mind-bending distortion, this beer is relatively straightforward. At its core, the brew is a study in how flavors of sweet caramel and piney hops can form a harmonious union. In addition to prominent toffee notes, the malt offers flavors of bitter chocolate and a touch of coffee. The intensely floral hops wrap the sweet brew in a sheen of citrusy aroma and flavor that offsets the sweeter elements. Overall, the beer is a bittersweet experience -- appropriate for a brew marketed towards those who are jaded by the Valentine's Day experience.
As for accompaniments, the brewer suggests that you pair the beer with "jilted lovers, reservations for one, or your favorite emo album." Personally, we just hope that if you're old enough to drink that you don't have a favorite emo album.