Ultimate 6er | Alliterative Ales
I’m incredibly intrigued and enamored by alliteration. Rapid repetition rewards readers, requires readiness and reaps reward. Wow, it is tough to keep that up. With so many beers that have incredibly creative names, I thought I would focus on breweries that utilized my favorite stylistic literary device. I’ll allow my inner word-nerd to come out to say that alliteration has multiple forms, but I am going to focus on the repeated sound of the first consonant in a series of words. While I would love to put Founders Peter Piper Peppered Pale Ale on my list, I was not fortunate enough to try this taproom-only creation from a few years back.
Golden Gate Gose | Almanac Beer Co.
ABV: 5% | IBU: 15
Golden Gate Gose graciously gratifies gastro-gamblers greatly.
Gose is one of the newer beer styles I have come to enjoy and Almanac’s Golden Gate Gose is one of my favorites. It is light in color, mouthfeel and flavor. The lemon flavor compliments a spice from the coriander and slight saltiness from the San Francisco Bay sea salt. This gose has a good tartness that never hits too hard. The lightness and low ABV makes Golden Gate Gose a strong contender for my summer session beer of choice.
Big Bad Baptist | Epic Brewing Co.
ABV & IBU varies
Big Bad Baptist boldly blasts a bouquet of boozy blackness.
Big Bad Baptist is like a bold boozy snowflake. Each batch has a different ABV and Epic uses a different dark roast coffee each season. All Baptist batches are imperial stouts that merge coffee, chocolate and a roasty malt with a slight burn from the whiskey barrels. The thick black gold is a great winter beer to warm the body and the spirit.
Hog Heaven | Avery Brewing Co.
ABV: 9.2% | IBU: 104
Hog Heaven’s hearty hops hatch happy hopheads.
Adam Avery often refers to Hog Heaven as “The beer that changed everything.” This hopped-up barleywine is boozy but balanced, aggressive but approachable. Almost a hybrid between an imperial IPA and a barleywine, this hop-forward ale blends with sweet tropical orange and pineapple flavors, as well as smooth caramel. Tasting this unique Avery staple, it’s easy to see why Hog Heaven started their big beer revolution.
Burton Baton | Dogfish Head Brewery
ABV: 10% | IBU: 70
Burton Baton bears a blissful bizarre bitter burn.
Burton Baton is my kind of weird. It fuses an imperial IPA with an English-style old ale that gets barrel aged in oak tanks. It’s on the thicker side of an imperial IPA, but the strong carbonation cuts through, making it seem much lighter. The flavor has a spicy hop, non-distinct citrus and a buttery vanilla that is certainly from the oak-aging. There is a slight burn from the booziness that is slightly different from a bourbon burn.
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine | Central Waters Brewing Co.
ABV: 11.5% | IBU: 104
Bourbon Barrel Barleywine brings bourbon benefits to beer-lovers.
The elegance of the label masks the true, delicious monster inside. Popping the top unleashes a strong, sweet bourbon smell that deviously masks the strong, awesome exiler inside. The taste starts somewhere between caramel and toffee then cruises into a dark dried fruit flavor before parking itself in woody vanilla bourbon bliss. One of the best barleywines I have had and truly a secret allstar in the beer world.
Speedway Stout | Alesmith Brewing Co.
ABV: 12% | IBU: 70
Speedway Stout soothes staunch sourpusses with smooth syrupy sweetness.
I have done a full review of Speedway Stout before and it remains as one of my favorite imperial stouts. It is dark, smooth and thick. The flavor sweetly and softly bounces between coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, caramel and a hint of smokiness. Despite the viscosity, the beer finishes on a sharp, crisp note.