Jun 19, 2018

Beer Break

Beer Break Vol. 2, No. 42
From your beer wish lists

Aug. 22, 2002

A while back we began asking readers what beers are on their wish list. These are beers that are special because we have tasted them perhaps once or maybe never at all. Often they are beers that we've heard others rave about or that are praised in print. That may be because they are not sold where we live or because they seem too expensive (though practically speaking, a bottle of beer is never going to be as far out of our price range as a rare bottle of wine or spirits). And then there are beers we've heard about, or even tasted, that are no longer brewed.


Eldridge Pope - Royal Oak
(No longer brewed)
"My favourite beer in all of England! A unique fruity flavour with a delicious aftertaste - heaven in a glass! Sadly it is no longer being made. Courage bought the brewery & slowly replaced the Eldridge Pope brands with their own. A travesty betraying brewing talent, taste, tradition, integrity & honour. For Shame!!! Eldridge Pope R.I.P. - you are deeply missed my many...."
- Mark D. Stevens

Rodenbach Alexander
(No longer brewed)
"I still have quite a few bottles but I cannot imagine a better summer beer. It ages well but I do not think my remaining stash will last until next year. The combination of sweet and sour is most divine and it takes a well-versed drinker not to take a sip then splash the rest of the beer against the back of your throat in an uncontrolled frenzy. Hot weather has met (or should say "did meet") its match."
- Derek Zomonski

Burning River Pale Ale
(From Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland)
"All around best Pale Ale out there. Just not sold outside of Ohio so I stock up on a case every time I visit."
- Don Hamilton

Stone Vertical Epic 2001
(From Stone Brewing in California)
"I've only heard rumors as to this beer's taste. Was not able to obtain as the number of cases sold was minuscule."
- Unsigned

Longshot Hazelnut Brown Ale
(Boston Beer briefly brewed the Longshot beers from recipes in a homebrew contest)
"Long off the market... I still have memories of my last one at Virgil's BBQ in Time Square New York. I sometimes call friends to recollect drinking the beer. We have decided it was the perfect 'special' beer. I believe Heaven is a place where everything you ever lost is returned to you. My heaven would contain a never ending supply of LHB Ale."
- Kevin Bowman

Ipswich Ale! Ipswich Ale! Ipswich Ale!!!
(Brewed by Ipswich Brewing Co. in Massachusetts)
"I fell in love the second my lips touched it; but it's only available in two lousy New England states. Due to a horrible oversight, I didn't try to bring any home with me ('Oh, I'll find some back home!') and, now, I'm in misery."
- Derek

Bob's First Ale - Magic Hat
(Brewed at Magic Hat Brewing Co. in Vermont)
"The original Magic Hat brew and still the best. But with so many other excellent MH offerings it's almost impossible to even find it in a bottle anymore let alone on tap. Now that I live in Florida and only return to VT on rare occasions, it's even more heartbreaking when I can't find it, since I can' get it at all down here."
- Walt Schwarz

Hang Ten Porter
(Brewed at the Hang Ten brewpub in San Diego, which has closed)
"It was the best tasting beer. They closed the place down though. I still walk by where the brewpub used to be and it is so sad. There is a seafood resturant there now."
- Scott

Ballantine Burton Ale
(The brand is owned by Pabst, but Ballantine is brewed to a different recipe and Burton isn't made)
"These were aged Burton style ales made by Ballantine only for their distributors, from around 1936-1951. Supposedly they can age a long time, and are occasionally found in dusty bar cellars or warehouses. I have a friend who has a bottle he inherited from a collector, still full, but it's been so mishandled and lightstruck it's probably quite damaged. Nevertheless, I told him if he ever opens it, I want to be there to try, just to see what it might be like after all these years."
- Marc Gaspard

Alaskan Smoked Porter
(Brewed by Alaskan Brewing in Alaska)
"I'm starting to think it's a yeti-for all the legends, I've never laid eyes on one."
- Unsigned

(Perhaps no longer brewed)
"I'd like to find a beer that tastes like the first beer I ever tasted, Detroit, age 10, circa 1942. Probably Stroh's or Schlitz (both of which have changed, a lot, over the years. I suppose that I have changed, also . . .) It was bitter . . . and I didn't much care for it, then. But I remember the taste, and have never been able to match it. Any thoughts?"
- Brayton Harris

And, for a little perspective on pining for long lost beers, Alexender Mitchel of Baltimore wrote:

"My comments don't fit on the form.

"Certainly, I could wish for samples of some of the legends of beer, and Ballantine IPA might be way up at the top simply because of its mystical, epic stature -- which may well die off when the last of the people that drank it fresh die off. Or for an original London Porter from the nineteenth century, or a wooden cask of braggot from medieval days.

"But face it -- we are now in nirvana. For every long-gone Ballantine IPA, there are now ten even more esoteric and wonderful beers -- Sam Adams Triple Bock, Anchor Our Special Ale, George Gale Prize Old Ale, Dogfish Head Midas Touch and Raison d'Etre and 90-Minute IPA, Goose Island Icarus Barleywine, New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red ... the list goes on and on.

"Transportation and communications being what they are now, we can now have beer stores with 500 beers on the shelves, a beer festival with a thousand beers to choose from, esoteric beers from Scotland and Slovakia shipped to our shores, and enough beer fanatics to make them all viable. And somewhere along the line we'll have beer fans dying off with cellars full of the legendary beers of today, ready to break out for the wake.

"Nope, sorry. I'll be perfectly happy with what rolls off the shelves and truck right now, thank you.

"[Although if someone wants to reproduce the legendary Ballantine IPA for modern drinkers, don't let me stop them!!]"

Tasting notes

Both from the Celebrator Beer News Blind Tasting Panel

Brewed by Great Divide Brewing Co. in Colorado
Strong aromas of vanilla with a subtle roast coffee and milk chocolate. Creamy vanilla flavor and a sweet and sour finish. This will be spanking good with the right food pairing, such as oyster or sweet, milder barbecue.

Brewed by Fuller's in England
Starts with inviting aromas of coffee, chocolate and honey. Well balanced, with rich chocolate flavors, hints of nuts and smoky goodness and a dry finish.

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