Happy Hops IPA from Russian River Brewing, It’s A Thing!

Happy Hops IPA

I had no idea Russian River had a tribute beer called Happy Hops IPA. Glad I found out.

A friend from work spent some time in Santa Rosa recently (I like to call it “Pliny Town”) and went to Russian River Brewing every day. Dude isn’t even a big beer geek but he likes good beer, so of course, he went there as much as possible.

He surprised me when he came back with a bottle of Pliny the Elder (of course). Awesome because that is my all-time favorite and I don’t get to have it nearly enough.

But I quickly brushed it aside because next to that Pliny bottle was another Russian River bottle with a label I did not recognize. A new IPA from Russian River!?

A NEW beer!? Give that shit to me right now! Typical asshat beer geek.

That new beer is called Happy Hops IPA.

It is not totally new though. As the bottle states, Happy Hops is a tribute beer. A brewery in Santa Rosa called Grace Brother’s Brewery, made this beer in 1944. Unfortunately, the brewery closed in the 60s.

But RR brought this one back as respect to Santa Rosa brewing past. A pretty cool thing to do. I love when breweries do this kind of stuff.

Does it taste like an old IPA?

I know what you’re thinking because I was thinking it too: An IPA from 1944? It’s going to be malty AF! There is no way this could be up to my ever raising beer snob standards.

But Russian River, yo.

It’s good. Of course, it’s good, it’s freaking Russian River. Very clean. Not what I expected. Definitely would not consider it malty. That’s probably because Vinny from RR said (in a recent interview) that they blended some new world hops and tech to even things out.

Here is a brief video of me having a taste:

The hops used for Happy Hops

  • Amarillo.
  • Azacca.
  • Brewers gold.
  • Cashmere.

I could not tell you which hop is more pronounced but I feel like Amarillo is the one that gives it an updated feel.

Get this beer on your next trip to Russian River

While there won’t be a linefest anytime soon for this beer, it is definitely worthy of putting on your list of beers to try for your next Russian River pilgrimage.

Good news is they say that once the new production facility is up and running in Windsor, they will be making and packaging more of Happy Hops!

Modern Times’ Monsters Park Prices Are Too Damn High!

I am not a stout guy but I do remember liking Modern Time’s Monsters Park Imperial Stout. It’s been a while though for me.

It’s a limited release beer. Comes and goes. But if you look in your Total Wine or maybe your beer buying place of choice, you will see individual cans of Monsters Park. Not the 16oz, mind you, the 12 oz cans.

Those cans are going for $17.99 or more.

Should I get a Quicken Loan for a can of Monsters Park?

Cute 12oz can, Modern Times. Now bring out the real can. These must be gag gifts, right? No, it’s real? Okay sorry. You need a $20 bill to get one 12oz can of beverage now, I see. This deserves a strongly worded Untappd rating.

if we were talking about one of the bombers of Monsters Park, that would be a different story. But this is a baby 12oz can. Hardly enough for a personal beerfest.

Can I age a can of beer like Monsters Park?

When you get a bomber bottle, Modern Times suggests that it would be totally cool to age it anywhere from 6 to 24 months.

But what about the can?

Let’s say we don’t think $18 for a can of Monsters Park is too damn high and we buy it. Can I age it, or (if you prefer the term) cellar it?

Yes, aging beer in a can is a thing too and yeah, do it. I think cellaring beer in a bottle or a can has equal benefits and drawbacks so it does not really matter.

I would like to one day take the same batch of beer, one in a can, one in a bottle, sit on it for a year and then see how they do. But that is for another post, another day.

Continue reading “Modern Times’ Monsters Park Prices Are Too Damn High!”

Can I Buy Beer With A Gas Station Credit Card?

Beer Questions: Can A Gas Card Be Used To Buy Craft Beer?

Payday is several days away and all you really want is a 6-pack of good beer to get you through the week.

The only way you have to pay for anything is a credit card from a gas station.

So this begs the question: Can I buy beer with my, say, Shell Credit Card?

Yes! The answer is yes.

Desperate times call for desperate beer purchases.

Look, man, you should not be doing this. A lot of gas credit cards have high-interest rates. Like 23% rates.

I’m no math wiz but you are paying a lot more for that beer when you use a card.

That said, when you need to have some beer and you have no other means and you have space on your gas card, it’s there for you. It’s been days since you’ve been able to check-in a beer on Untappd. You NEED THIS, MAN!

I may have done it, once or twice myself so no judgment here.

This may or may not be cool across all the States.

As far as I can tell you can do this with most cards. From Shell cards, Chevron, 76, Texaco, or whatever weird gas company you have in your town.

Every state’s rules have the possibility of being different.

It might be smart to do a quick call-ahead to the gas station to make sure you can use your card to buy that tasty beer. Just don’t let on it’s for you when you call…

“Yeah so my friend wanted me to call and ask if you take your gas card for payment if one wanted to purchase an alcoholic beverage? Also, do you have any hazy beer right now?… asking for a friend still.”

Of note: You may have a “fuel only” restriction placed on your card if it is a business account. So be warned. Have a really rad excuse lined up when your boss asks about that $16.99 charge for a 4-pack of “How’s It Hazing, Bro?!”

Can you buy alcohol with a GIFT card?

No. This is different from a gas CREDIT card. Not really sure why.

To me it makes more sense to restrict a gas credit card from buying alcohol than a gift card.

A gift card normally works like cash.

Somebody paid cash for the gift card. You can buy beer with cash. Why can’t you buy beer at a gas station with a gas gift card!?

I guess it’s fine for gas companies to make that credit card rate money with beer.

Continue reading “Can I Buy Beer With A Gas Station Credit Card?”

What Does Rolling A Beer Do? [File Under: Hazy Beer Tips]

What is rolling your beer anyway?
Hazy beer “Death To False Beer” is a good beer for rolling.

Do you already know about rolling your beer or is this the first time you’re hearing about it?

I recently was listening to Three B Zine podcast and heard a guy from Stone Brewing talk about rolling a can of Hazy IPA or NE style (whatever term you prefer) beer before opening it.

Oh, yes, I have seen hazebros do this beer rolling on Instagram but did not think there was a point to it other than it makes for a slightly fun and quick video.

There is actually a point to it.

Why? What does rolling a beer do?

It breaks up the sediment. If a beer has been sitting around a bit or is excessive in its hazy New England nature, there will be lots of chunky goodness to mix in with the rest of the beer.

Rolling it brings out the all the flavors.

So, when you roll it, it’s like shaking it up without shaking it up because actually shaking a beer is bad – unless you just won the World Series and you’re pouring beer over your teammate in the locker room.

Rolling it mixes all the things. The sediment. The haze. The juicy.

Is it okay to drink beer with sediment?

Yeah, dude. Totally. That’s full of protein probably.

Actually, it’s the yeast. It is heavy and likes to rest at the bottom of your can or bottle. Yeast gets worn out and lazy.

Good news though, that sediment apparently has plenty of B-vitamins so you’re going to be super healthy after drinking it. “No honey, I don’t need to take my multivitamin today, I have my juicy beer here, I’m good.”

What is the best way to roll your beer?

Be nice to your beer. Take your favorite can or crowler of hazy, or bottle of old beer. Playfully roll it across the table a few times. Open. Pour. Enjoy your haze…bro.

If you do it right and don’t get too crazy with your roll, it won’t explode on you, it’ll just be ready to enjoy.

Enough talking about it. Let’s try it because I am getting thirsty and I need something chunky and juicy:

How To Pour From A Crowler When You Suck At It

How To Pour From A Crowler

If you can’t seem to pour from a crowler without making a mess, like me, I have the solution. No, I don’t know how to pour from a crowler… YET. Today we are going to figure out, once and for all, how to pour from a crowler, properly.

It’s not like pouring from a crowler is hard…right?

You see, I have been having problems pouring from a crowler. Usually, the beer runs down the side of the crowler as I am pouring or my pour is mostly foam or both.

Maybe you have no problems pouring from a crowler and are wondering why I am so stupid. That’s fine.

I have figured out three ways that work for people. Two of the ways worked for me and one did not. I made a video trying out all three you can watch or read on and I’ll lay them out.

Continue reading “How To Pour From A Crowler When You Suck At It”