Beer of the Week: Busting the Budget

On my last episode, I wrote about beer on a budget, including finding seasonal beers that are about to be out of style (don’t drink witbier after Labor Day, my momma always said).

After I had purchased my Abita Strawberry, all satisfied with one of my summer faves, the next time I hit the Greens, I went everything but budget. I’ll describe my purchases the last two times I entered this relatively small but dense (in quality beer) establishment.

Apologies to Karl Safchick, future Going for Two guest, for not doing my beer alcohol content versus price breakdown. I’ll show him why as this rambling post continues.

Quick aside: Creature Comforts in Athens, an hour from me, home of Matt Waldman (he’s on the outskirts but close enough) and the University of Georgia (in order of importance), makes beer that’s getting regional and national attention. They released a new beer called Cosmik Debris, a double IPA. You can get a double IPA as easily as I get business cards from tree companies taped to my mailbox. Not this one. Here’s a recap from Greens Beer’s account.

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If it took them 17 minutes between posting the arrival and posting its disappearance, it probably was gone the second it went through the doors. There was another Creature Comforts beer, the Koko Buni, which was similar to the Death by Coconut that I’ve raved about previously in this space, and I never even saw a can.

Oh yeah, this was supposed to be about recent purchases. Let’s get into it. I found Evil Twin’s Sour Bikini last year when searching for low-booze beers to slam during my live fantasy draft. It’s a sour IPA, only 3% booze, and the bomber was about $9 (so much for the Karl theory here). It was available in cans, four-pack, for $11.99. I’m generally not going out of my way for $3 a beer bottles or cans but this one had a track record. I had one the day after and it’s still sour, it still has a bitter finish, and it’s a good sessiony type beer for when you’re out in the heat and need just a smidge of a buzz.

Beer number two was from the Against the Grain brewery in Louisville. It’s Kamen KnuddeIn, according to the brewery, one of the only styles of beer indigenous to the USA. I’d describe the brewing process but it’s a bit technical for me (hit that link for the deets). It’s a dark sour ale, and I like dark ales, I like sour ales, and this one’s an interesting combination. It’s not quite peanut butter and chocolate. If you want something different, and that seems relatively hard to find in craft beer, this is one to try.

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I picked up three bombers. Will I Mike Margossian it and “cellar” them or will I Zach Law and “drink” them? This beer establishment has a few hundred bombers, so picking one, or three, is not easy. It’s tempting to buy what you’ve had before but try to step out every once in a while. I got the Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide, the Siren Noire from Heavy Seas (Imperial Stout brewed with chocolate and aged in bourbon barrels) and Plank IV (also Heavy Seas, a Belgian Quad aged on four kinds of wood).

The beer I actually tried last weekend to thin out the bomber crop a bit was Boulevard’s Imperial Stout with Coconut. It was Friday night and I had already consumed a couple, but once you put that bomber in the fridge, it turns into Chekov’s Beer. I had the cherry variety and loved it. This one was a smooth dark beer with not an overwhelming amount of coconut but enough to make you sit back and savor the flavor (sorry, watching too much Guy Fieri lately). It’s boozy (11%), so do sip if you must. I may need to find another bomber or two before they are out of stock, because it won’t be around forever. Our glorious stouts must give way to the session beers of spring and summer.

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