Memorial Day Brew from A Boy Named Sue

Hear ye, Hear ye…

By decree of the Lord of Loftushire, he who holds the sacred Rite of Prima Nocta in Thee Loftus Par-tay, it is indubitably put to question and undoubtedly adhered to by the doubtless, far and wide across all the English lands, the following proclamation:

“So it were thy word extolled, publicly nailed to this side of a rich, aging vessel for all those to mull…

A Boy Named Sue is a lover, not a fighter.”…of all things chocolate.

Cadbury, my dear chap…an absolute delight it is…this legendary British chocolatier (sorry my ‘Merica brethren, but the real stuff which our cousins procure on a grand scale is true brilliance) confects some of the most delicious delights on either side of the pond. Yet, it is this fine purveyor of rich milk chocolate that bestows upon its perfection a trojan horse…an interloper…a tastebender of sorts, one might say. What could it be, this other…this, dare I say…equal?

(RELATED: This Week’s Beer Pick from A Boy Named Sue)

Caramel…or as we say in the Promised Land of the Midwest of these United States of the U. S. of A.-‘Merica, F#@K, yeah!

“Car-Mull.” And I love it. And this brew is what claimed the Rite of Prima Nocta on my tastebuds upon first relish.

THE BELLY-UP GUIDE TO BEER: Chapter 4 by A Boy Named Sue

(Talking barley pop the way ya do when ya belly-up on a barstool.)

BARLEY POP #4: BREW 5000  English-style Barleywine (Fremont Brewing – Seattle, WA)

BREW 5000 is a 12% ABV English-style barleywine that explodes with taste upon first sip…and that munition delivers an abundance of caramel (bullseye, right chap!). The richness of the malt that follows is sweet but not overpowering. There is not a lotta hop that usually will accompany an American barleywine, hence the English-style. The boys at Fremont decided to bourbon barrel age this beauty and also label it as Belgian-style (which, in my opinion, simply means it drinks as rich and smooth as a Belgian quad…i.e.. big alcohol, plummy and a moderately big body mouthful). Too often barleywines can come across as syrupy or too sweet or, simply, too much for the buds…almost a cheapness or spoiled nature quality that has set upon them, and there’s no doubt I’m gonna have a stomachache later on. And I’ve lavished my gullet in them numerous times–too often drunk disappointingly saying to myself…not, GOOD. This beer does none of the former and captures all of the outstanding qualities barleywines were originally brewed to be and enjoyed as.

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Barleywines were simply higher alcohol beers that used barley for the malt and were fermented to ABV%s similar to that of wine. The barrel aging was simply the casks they stored the beer in…there wasn’t a specific aging purpose for the beer, but more practically, that’s where they stored it and managed to finish fermenting it (raising ABV%). It would ultimately last. Often, alternately referred to as strong ales, old ale or stock ales, the beer was, well…brewed to higher ABV%s than your more common ales or bitters or milds (or sometimes lagers–way later on in the 20th century) that your everyday beer drinker was imbibing in (so weird that the chaps wanted more bang for the buck…who’da thunk it!).

Fremont Brewing is a mainstay in Seattle, WA, started in 2009. Seattle and the greater Pacific northwest (especially Portland) have been on the forefront of ridiculously sick craft breweries in this big, bad (damn I love it) U.S. of A! Fremont is more mainstream up there now, but only because they’ve been so freakin’ good at brewing for an extended period of time resulting in them becoming a powerhouse brewery in the greater Seattle area. But, no need to fear angsty hipsters; AND no need to burn down another building in a fiery, yet mostly peaceful way…just because they’re wildly acclaimed and successful doesn’t mean they’re not still amazing…slow your nose-ringed roll…just say it…SAY IT!! Fremont still makes outstanding beer. They do all kinds of barreled goodness on top of all kinds of styles of beer in general. And I think we, attendees of The Loftus Party, all know…A Boy Named Sue loves his big barreled babies (stouts are my 1st love and Achilles heal) but “oh, so do I like” this barleywine, Brew 5000. You ask, “Why Brew 5000?” Because these bad mofos started out with Brew 1000, a barleywine that was their 1000th commemorative beer brewed about 5 years ago. Guess which batch Brew 5000 commemorates….

Ooooh, I like it so much! Is it finally time for a “Prost” or “Skol” or “Cheers” with thee legendary barkeep? There’s only one way to find out: Drink up! Round 5 time!

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