Rough Draught: Beer to beat the Death Star heat wave

Christopher Bedford Former Editor in Chief, The Daily Caller News Foundation
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We hear the most recent spate of D.C. weather was called a heat dome. Have no idea what the hell a heat dome is, but we’re pretty sure it’s like the Death Star. And like the Death Star, which was honestly pretty bad ass, the heat dome had some upsides — like all of the douches fleeing its path and leaving us to enjoy our beer alone in the city. We hear some cowards say our outlook is garbage and that the only reason we didn’t flee is we crashed our car, but that’s just a bunch of bourgeois propaganda, and anyone we hear spreading it is gonna get popped.

Even if that is why we were in D.C. during the heat dome, at The Daily Caller, optimism is key: When life gives you lemons, put up an emotional wall. Or just crack a cold one and pump up the AC.

Samuel Adams Barrel Room Collection’s New World Tripel

Like all good patriots, the gang in Boston likes to experiment, and their Barrel Room Collection is no exception. Aged in oak barrels, New World is bottle-conditioned, repping itself as a “a Belgian tripel with notes of spice and tropical fruit.”

To be honest, we were a little skeptical at first. Sometimes with these big, fancy bottles and crazy beers, brewers go a little overboard, getting heavy-handed or just plain weird. Here, not the case. And the first sign that we had a damn fine beer in our hands came with the sound of the cork.

With a champagne pop, New World poured forth a hazy, dark, burnt orange with a  thick, white head and heavy, almost champagne-like carbonation. So far, so good.

On the nose, we detected fruit and spices. Tangerine, really, with a little bit of pepper. Things were really picking up here.

Then, boom — a taste, and we were sold. Spice and orange with a little bit of a kick in the back of the mouth, it also carries that good ol’ micro-brew type of lightness. “It’s sweet,” one resident expert exclaimed, “but it’s not a heavy-sweet like a lot of beers are.”

Since we found a perfect beer for the summer, those poor fools at the beach were envious of our taste, our style and after we fried up some of that duck the Boston Beer Company suggested, our class.

Retailing for $9.99 in 750 ml bottles, this champ weighs in at a hefty 10 percent ABV.

Samuel Adams Barrel Room Collection’s Thirteenth Hour Stout

So now we were intrigued. If a delicate summer beer was so bomb, how about this dark Belgian stout?

“The 13th hour is the witching hour,” the bottle warned us, “and a time when strange brews can occur.”

Well, it was hot out, but thanks to a ping pong table and bar in the office, it was approaching the hour when a couple of us were still throwing back some research, and we thought, what the hell? Summer can’t be all light beer all the time, so we popped the bottle.

When this bad boy hit the glass, the first thing we noticed was the darkness. Serious darkness, with just bare hints of brown on the outside edges when held up to a light, and a fast-fading, dark brown head.

The beer has smells like chocolate and coffee — a wonderful malty sort of thing. But on the palate, it had a surprising sour-citrus taste in the back. Thirteenth Hour also had a lighter mouth feel than expected, and the whole deal wraps up with an unsweetened chocolate note. Surprising, really; delicious, definitely; and the apparent culmination of delicately balancing the stout and an oak-aged Belgian ale.

The folks at Sam Adams recommend some grilled, blackened tuna with this beast. And though that didn’t sound half bad to us, we didn’t have any tuna, so we paired it with tobacco and a big sloppy burger. And that was just fine. (RELATED: Cigar Hunter: A cheap Brazilian that doesn’t involve your girlfriend)

Also retailing for $9.99 in 750 ml, this beer isn’t messing around at 9 percent ABV.

Delicious beer news from TheDC

On July 11, Abita Brewing Company released their 2012 Satsuma Harvest Wit — an unfiltered beer “brewed with pilsner, wheat malts and oats” and “made with real Louisiana satsumas and spiced with coriander and orange peel.”

On July 12, Stone Brewing Company opened their third Stone Company Store location in Oceanside, Calif. And from this picture, it looks pretty dope.

After closing down two weeks ago while wild fires ravaged their Colorado Springs neighborhood, Trinity Brewing Company is back on track, releasing Electric Cucumber Saison on July 13. With “24lbs of cucumbers per barrel, and a large amount of basil,” this beer comes in at 5.8 percent ABV.

After an absence of over 5 years, Liefmans Goudenband Draught is back in the states, and just in time for Belgian Independence Week (July 14-21).

On July 16, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery will follow its Missouri introduction by opening up the Kansas market for its Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale.

On July 20Schlafly Beer of St. Louis is releasing their unfiltered Witbier on tap at their tap room.

On July 24Port Brewing Company brand The Lost Abbey will release their 2012 Bourbon Barrel-aged Santa’s Little Helper, with 22oz bottles selling at $15 a pop. The release party will be Christmas-themed and is designed to “collect toys and cash to benefit the Marine Corps Toys for Tots foundation.”

On August 1, Avery Brewing Company is releasing its newest version of The Beast — a limited-size, 15-17 percent ABV grand cru.

On August 2, the world celebrates the 2nd annual IPA Day.

On August 5, Avery Brewing Company of Boulder, Co., is celebrating its 19th birthday with The Nineteenth Anniversary Ale and an all-day party. Tickets are on sale now.

In September, Deschutes Brewery is releasing The Dissident — “a distinctive Flanders-style sour brown ale, with a fruity aroma and flavor.”

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