Virgil’s Beer of the Week

Our good friend Virgil Dickerson from Suburban Home Records returns with another pick for our weekly segment known so beautifully and simply as: Virgil’s Beer of the Week.

We took last week off, but Virgil is making up for it in style with the scoop on 8 different beers.

It’s been a while since our last poker night, but about once a month, some friends and I get together to play poker. Our poker crew usually numbers around 8 or 9, but this past Tuesday, we had about 15 friends over. Pretty much everyone in the crew are beer enthusiasts and bring either a six pack or a bomber of something they find interesting. It’s a great way to sample a lot of beers and not spend a ton of money.

Instead of one beer, I figured I’d share with you my thoughts on the bombers that were brought. I probably won’t get too in depth with the reviews of each beer, but will tell you a little something.

From Left to Right

Dry Dock Brewery’s Seven Seas Double IPA
New Belgium Lips of Faith Grand Cru Abbey
Green Flash West Coast IPA
Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
New Belgium Lips of Faith Super Cru
St Bernardus Abt 12 Belgian Abbey
Trader Joes 2009 Vintage Ale
Great Divide Hercules Double IPA
Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA
MOA Five Hop

Dry Dock Brewery’s Seven Seas Double IPA

Dry Dock started out as a very small brewery attached to a brew supply store. The last few years have seen the brewery expand and along the way, they have started bottling some of their more popular beers. I’m really impressed with this brewery as I haven’t had a beer I didn’t like from these guys. This Double IPA is up their with the very best. It’s hoppy, it’s delicious, but it is very well balanced, and smooth. Clocks in at 9 percent.

New Belgium Lips of Faith Grand Cru Abbey

New Belgium was my gateway drug to craft beer and while I don’t love their beers as much as I used to, Abbey is still one I can drink on occasion. The Grand Cru Abbey takes the original recipe and adds more hops, malt, and longer fermentation times. The result as you might imagine is a stronger, more highly alcohol, bigger Abbey. The beer is still fruity and sweet, but 9.5 percent alcohol, it is Abbey’s bigger, stronger brother.

Green Flash West Coast IPA

While I am still fairly new to this brewery, the 3 or 4 beers I’ve had from this brewery are absolutely incredible. This is their  easier to drink, more session style IPA. It is fairly sweet for an IPA, but the hops definitely are present. It’s delicious but also really easy to drink.

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale

This is Stone’s Black Ale / Black IPA. While it has hops, it is not overly hoppy. It’s got quite a bit of malts which seem to balance out the hops. It pours like a porter, but tends to be just a malty IPA.

New Belgium Lips of Faith Super Cru (didn’t get to try this one)

St Bernardus Abt 12 Belgian Abbey (didn’t get to try this one)

Trader Joes 2009 Vintage Ale

We don’t have Trader Joes in Colorado due to a number of antiquated liquor laws. Because of this, whenever anyone in our crew goes to a Trader Joes, they tend to bring back something delicious. This was the case a few years ago when my buddy Joey brought me a bomber of the 2009 Vintage Ale. I kept saying that I would have him and his wife over for dinner sometime and open up this bottle. That just never happened so I figured poker night would be the night. This is a very interesting beer. It is malty and somewhat sweet, it’s spicy, but the thing that makes this beer so fantastic is the addition of ginger. It’s one of those tastes that you find yourself enjoying, but you just quite put your finger on it. In some ways, I think that this could be called an Imperial Ginger Beer. It’s so good.

Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

If you can’t tell, our crew loves IPAs especially double and imperial IPAs. Obviously I am pretty partial to any beer Great Divide makes and I’m pretty sure Hercules was my first double IPA. In that sense, it will always be the double IPA I compare all others to. I love this beer, but I do realize that there are a few better DIPAs out there. This beer is super hoppy while also being really easy to drink. It is deceptively delicious and smooth. Sometimes I forget just how strong this beer is (clocks in at 10 percet).

Baird / Ishii / Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA

This is the beer that you just ask, WTF? I guess you knew this beer was coming as there have been plenty of other beers brewed with tea. Originally brewed for a Tsunami relief, this is a collaboration between 3 breweries, one of which is from Japan. While I have heard of beers brewed with Tea before, this particular beer was “dry-hopped” with Sencha loose leaf green tea. When drinking this beer, it definitely has a green tea aftertaste. The hops seemed pretty mild, but the beer is easy to drink and adds a new twist to a style we all love.

MOA Five Hop

New Zealand apparently has a huge craft beer industry which makes sense because I continue to see more New Zealand beer in Denver area liqour stores.  The Moa Five Hop has been described as a New ESB, I was honestly expecting a ridiculous/over the top hop taste.  All of the hops are secondary to the malts, sweetness, and fruitiness. It’s lightly carbonated which makes for a very easy to drink.

Contest: Like I’ve done before, I offer up a contest whereby you correctly identify the state/country that each brewery mentioned is from.  In the event of a tie, Postcard Elba will randomly pick a winner. Good Luck. Send your answers to One lucky winner will be drawn at random from the correct guesses.

Virgil Dickerson

Virgil Dickerson is the owner of Suburban Home Records. Support his beer passion by supporting his fabulous label by checking out one of these recent and upcoming SH releases.

Out Now:
Michael Dean Damron “Plea From a Ghost” LP/CD, Josh Small’s Juke LP/CD, I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In the House “The Sounds of Dying” LP/CD, Two Cow Garage “Sweet Saint Me” LP/CD, Micah Schnabel “When The Stage Light Goes Dim” LP/CD

Coming Soon:
Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground “Introducing” LP/CD, Under the Influence Volumes 1-10 dbl LP/CD, Drag the River “Hobos Demos/Chicken Demos” LP/CD, Ruiner/Attica Attica UTI 7″, Cheap Girls/Noise By Numbers UTI 7″, Dead to Me/Flatliners UTI 7″


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