Friday, October 22, 2010

Beer of the Week (Vol. LXXV)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the shiny hoppy people at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can find the right wine, whiskey, or beer at the right price.

Those of us who have made the conversion to the craft beer faith often look back with a mixture of wonder and horror at the low quality, tasteless brews we once consumed. And the prices we paid for the swill we swilled. It was not uncommon to only have shell out five or six bones for a case of Hauenstein, Schaefer, or Pfeiffer. Keystone Light might have been all of a buck more. When the main objective of your beer drinking is to get as drunk as possible for the lowest possible cost, taste took a back seat especially since a beer's particular flavor (or lack thereof) wasn't really much of a factor after your thirteenth or fourteenth.

But those days of reckless disregard for taste (to say nothing of health) are now long behind me. I'm happy to pay more for a better beer and at times considerably more. Like other consumer choices, the value that one places on the worth of beer is relative. Is there really a purse worth $1000? Not in my universe, but many women would beg to differ. Is there really a bottle of wine worth $200? For an oenophile, most definitely yes. The same goes for high end beer.

This point was astutely made by the Dan--owner/operator of Glen Lake Wine & Spirits--the other day when I stopped by to pick up a four-pack of Surly Brewing Wet. The latest (and freshest) release from Minnesota's premier craft brewer is not for the bargain beer shopper. But as Dan explained, for the true beer lover it's well worth every penny.

Can has usual sharp Surly graphic look with bright green hop wallpaper serving as the background.

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%

COLOR (0-2): Golden brown, slightly cloudy. 2

AROMA (0-2): Fresh citrus and heavy hops. 2

HEAD (0-2): White and bubbly. Good volume and lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Awesome wallop of hops off the bat with grapefruit and strong bitterness. Bursting with flavors that are very fresh and crisp. Medium bodied and quite drinkable considering the higher alcohol content. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Bitter staying power. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Surly Wet is available for a very limited time and isn't a beer that you can horde. Get it where you can now and drink it fast (which shouldn't be a problem). When it comes to hoppy goodness, I'd put this on a par with Surly's Abrasive Ale and a notch above Surly's Furious. The fresh hops really provide a unique and delicious flavor experience. Is it really worth the price? If you love heavenly hops, hell yeah. 6

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 18