Its the Day After Easter…Have You Come Out of Your Sugar Coma Yet?

Well it is Monday morning, and I don’t know about you, but it was damn hard to get out of bed this morning.  I spent the day with the kids, doing what else?…Eating candy.  Oh, there was other stuff like lifting weights, changing oil in the car, smoking a cigar, etc, but a good portion of the day did revolve around those damn baskets!  Not particularly a great day for someone who is diabetic!  To boot I had a sugar high and couldn’t get to sleep until after 2am.  I’m paying for it today.  Can’t focus and I’m more than a little irritable.

I did manage to quaff a couple of standby brews this weekend.  One that is an old standby, and one that will become a go to for me.  The first is 21st Amendment’s Back in Black, Black IPA.  I still haven’t found a brew that does a better job of giving a big roasty maltiness, with a classic thirst quenching IPA finish, quite like this brew does.  It is satisfying in every way.  My new go to is a beer that I initially panned.  It is New Belgium’s Ranger IPA…

I didn’t like the Ranger the first time I tried it.  I thought it was like drinking grapefruit juice.  But several things have happened since I first tried this beer.  First is my perception of New Belgium as a brewery has improved.  I thought they were like More macro spirited than craft.  Since I have had several very good New Belgium brews, and my thoughts on them have moderated, although I still hate Fat Tire.  Second, my palate has matured.  When I first tried it all I could taste was the intense hoppiness and nothing else.  Now I can pick out all sorts of malty underpinnings and I think it is a much more balanced brew.  Thirdly, many of my other go to options have left the state of Idaho…Lookin’ at you Oskar Blues.  Dick’s Pale Ale used to be my summer go to, but when they pulled out I was left wanting for another summer brew.  Last year I found Laughing Dog, and Teton Brewery replacements that are actually very good beers, but they are only available in bottles.  I’m sorry, but bottles are just a lot more cumbersome than cans, so with Ranger being canned a few months back, it really sealed the deal for me.  I bought 2 cans last week, and they didn’t make it through the weekend.

I saw that the Boise Co Op has 12 packs available.  I know where I will be buying my Ranger in the future.  So how about you?  Did you drink anything fun or interesting?  Did you do anything interesting this weekend for the “holiday” or did you just stay home and do yard work like we did?  Let us know in the comments.


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41 Comments on “Its the Day After Easter…Have You Come Out of Your Sugar Coma Yet?”

  1. April 25, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Have you had Stone’s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale? I had a fresh one Saturday and it was one of the best Cascadian Dark Ales/Black IPA’s I’ve had.

    I like the Ranger a lot. New Belgium does some nice beers, once you get past Flat Tire.

    • Don
      April 25, 2011 at 11:42 am #

      Agreed. They do some good, and some…not so good, lookin’ at you Blue Paddle…Yuck! I didn’t really care for the SSR. Here is my review.

      • April 25, 2011 at 11:55 am #

        See, I love a hoppy CDA/BIPA that pushes the malt to the background. From brewing my own – which is in the same strain as SSR – the roastiness qualities only really came out as the beer aged and the hops faded. However, tasting that beer throughout its life and having had older, now fresher vintages of SSR, I can get just enough malt to satisfy. I don’t want an IPA-Stout. I want roasty IPA and that’s what SSR does for me.

        Either way, your write-up was good. I remember reading it last summer. Although I don’t agree with your final assessment, it was well-stated. One thing I can agree is that the Cali-Belgique is so-so. I had never had it until this past weekend and was not overly impressed. I still have a bottle in the stash and will have to re-examine soon.

  2. April 25, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    I agree about Ranger IPA, it’s a good fall-back for me if none of my favorites are available, and it’s a good American IPA to boot. I actually looked forward to tasting it before it was released, the design blogs had been showcasing the new branding for months before it hit shelves and I was intrigued.
    I drank mostly Bristol’s Compass IPA over the weekend, but had a few Hazed & Infused at my parent’s place for Easter; they usually get a variety pack of some brewery or other before I come over to visit.

    • Don
      April 25, 2011 at 11:47 am #

      Well at least they think of you Will. That is great. When Jim and I go to our folks house we have to make a beer run when we get there! Haven’t tried the Bristol’s Compass IPA yet. Don’t think they sell in Idaho. The can is really what sold me on Ranger. All things equal I’d rather drink the Laughing Dog or the Teton Brewery beers, but the convenience of the can is tipping the scales for me.

      • April 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

        When it first came out here it was only available in bottles and on tap, it’s only been recently that we could get it in cans.

        • Don
          April 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

          Here too Will. I think they just started selling in cans a few months ago. I would jettison it in a heart beat if there was a better alternative, but with all these breweries contracting, it might be quite some time before a better canned alternative exists.

      • April 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

        Do you get Avery up there? If so, Joe’s Pilsner is great canned beer for the summer. They bill it as a pilsner for IPA lovers, crisp and hoppy!

        • Don
          April 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

          I’d love to try it, but so far it is a no go. Seems they send all their cans directly to the Portland and Seattle markets bypassing Idaho entirely. I do get most of what they bottle, but my understanding is that Portland and Seattle get first dibs, then if there is anything left over Idaho can get in on it. I guess all the canned stuff gets sucked up and doesn’t make it our way.

  3. April 25, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Well, I’m supposed to be sticking to unleavened beer for another day but so long as either my Rabbi or Princess Amedala are subscribed to your blog I can confess….

    Hiding the Easter Eggs for my kids was a marathon undertaking requiring extensive revisions and replacing of fallen eggs that were knocked haphazardly about by some overnight rain. After helping rescue the drowned eggs I rescued my spirits with a few acceptable – if not exceptional – craft brews:

    Avery White Rascal (quickly becoming a renewed favorite domestic Wit)

    Sam Adams Latitude 48 (eagerly anticipating this “professor brew’s” “lecture” as part of the upcoming beer school in a box release)

    Sierra Nevada Glissade (nice, uncomplicated and refreshing Spring brew)

    Again, nothing terribly interesting but nothing objectionable either. Waiting until tomorrow night to let a Stone Lukcy Bastardt out to play……

    Cheers and Hoppy Easter!

    • April 25, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      Almost forgot (well, I guess I did)

      I had my first and only Ranger IPA in Scottsdale a couple months ago. I liked it but made the mistake of following it up with a Firestone-Walker Union Jack. As more of a West Coast IPA fan, the Union Jack really hit the mark and left the Ranger a distant second (not that there were any real losers in that race). Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try a Ranger again to see how it stands on it’s own.

      • Don
        April 25, 2011 at 11:57 am #

        The Ranger isn’t a rock your world IPA. Just a good flavored crisp and refreshing beer that is easy to drink and available in cans. They really make the difference for me.

    • Don
      April 25, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      I picked up the Lat 48 deconstructed 12 pack on Friday. Got the last one at the Boise Co Op. I’m struggling a bit as to how to drink it. See I want to do a comprehensive review of Lat 48 and the 5 single hop varietals that come in the box, but I can’t drink all that beer at once. So I’m musing out a strategy that unfortunately involves keeping notes. I hate to do that. It really detracts from my enjoyment. Ahhh the things I do for our readers!

      • April 25, 2011 at 11:55 am #

        LOL. If you makes you feel any better, we appreciate your sacrifice. 😉


      • April 25, 2011 at 11:58 am #

        You need some co-conspirators. We had a party a while back where someone showed up with 4-5 of the Mikkeller single-hop beers. We opened them all and took small samples throughout. Even with one other drinker, you’re only drinking 2.5 beers. No notes required.

        • Don
          April 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

          Good point. Now if only anyone in my house was a beer drinker, other than myself!

      • April 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

        Don’t you have any friends who drink beer? Even if they drink Bud, you can teach them a thing or three about beer.

        • Don
          April 25, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

          Problem is Most of my friends are in Boise, 40 miles from my home. So unless I have a DD to get me home, or a place to hang for several hours I’m pertty much stuck. My best friend doesn’t drink, so it is a bit of a style cramper when I need to try a number of beers like this.

      • April 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

        Damn. I thought I lived in Misery.

  4. bigploch
    April 25, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Snagged a case of Weyerbacher’s Heresy oak barrel aged stout. Man is that stuff good. Only need a few to set the mood. I can’t really enjoy IPA’s as a whole because of the grapefruit flavor you mentioned. I did however enjoy BIB when I had it a few months back. Nicely offset. As far as IPAs go, Sculpin by Ballast Point is a nicer mellow version I enjoy.
    There was a time when pilsners and pale ales were all I cared for, but now, if it doesn’t pour like used motor oil, I’m not interested.
    Love the blog, two of my favorite things. Keep it up.

    • Don
      April 25, 2011 at 11:56 am #

      You and Jim would get along famously. He too is a Stout head. Loves the Heresy too. I wish I could get Weyerbacher out here. I like the Heresy, but the Insanity is my favorite.

    • April 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      I love Heresy – one of my favorites for sure. Buying it by the case is a bit daunting – best I recall seeing was $48. Worth it, but a commitment for sure!

  5. April 25, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    I’ll have to give the Ranger another go. First time I had it, I felt the same. I got the sense that they were just trying to do bitter hop to prove to everyone that they could do it. To be honest, that’s all I got out of it.

    I’m headed to Colorado this summer. Expect I’ll be bringing back some Oskar Blues. I still have a lone can of Dave’s in the closet. Waiting for a hot lawn mowing day to pop that open.

    • Don
      April 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

      Funny Chad, perhaps because we haven’t had any in such a long time, but in my post I refered to it as Dick’s Pale Ale, in your comment you called it Dave’s Pale Ale, and in reality it is Dale’s Pale ale! I had to look it up!

      The Ranger is good. But it is the can that will keep me coming back to it.

      • April 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

        I though the “Dick’s” was a not-too-subtle jab at OB. I know you’re holding a grudge against them for leaving Idaho!

        • Don
          April 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

          Truth be known, I’m just an Idiot. There is a Dick’s IPA out of Walla Walla Washington that is pretty damn tasty, but I got it confused with Dales. That said, they are Dicks too! 😉

      • April 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

        We’ll, they’re not hear any more. We can call it whatever the fuck we want!

    • April 25, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

      If you get a chance, stop in at Oskar Blues in Lyons or Longmont and have a pint; I think Dale’s tastes much better on tap!

  6. April 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    I had an excellent weekend. Not much Easter candy, but lots of my first batch of homebrew! My brewing partners and I were bretty dumbstruck over how well it turned out. We got together on Saturday to try the beer and have an early Easter dinner. At the end of the night I counted lots of empties. Along with our beer, we had some Great Divide 17th Anniversary Oak Aged IPA (very good), some Left Hand TNT (awful), and some iO Saison from Jolly Pumpkin (awesome).

    I’m glad to see you’ve come around on the Ranger. I agree that it’s a good, solid, and reasonably priced IPA. It’s nice that they decided to can it. I took some camping with me last summer.

    • Don
      April 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      The cans have only been available for a few months in Idaho, Alex. They are just so convenient. I really don’t have a great place to cool bottles (no dedicated Beer fridge). So the cans really are a plus for me. I’m gonna have to look out for that 17th anniversary brew. That sounds great!

      • April 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

        Rick had the 17th in a few weeks back, Don. I think I got won. Shit, can’t recall. I’ll have to check the bunker. Not sure that it’s in now, though.

  7. April 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I actually had a pretty tame weekend. Took my boy to the New York Auto Show on Saturday and had a pretty standard Easter. Didn’t eat much candy because I’m a like a god of self control. 🙂 Probably had ten jelly beans and one bite of a chocolate bunny.

    Beerwise I’ll share, but I’ll do it in a post of my own – just not right now. Stay tuned…

    • Don
      April 25, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

      You Tease.

  8. Dave SDC
    April 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Easter weekend at my household was a total washout! (NJ) I literally rained at one point or another all weekend. It didn’t stop me from furthering my beer knowledge. 2 different 22 oz-ers of La Chouffe as well as some Hefeweizens. La Chouffe is slowly becoming my “go-to” beer. I am dying to get my hands on some Gnomegang, but none of the liquor stores in my immdediate area (10 mile radius) sell it. I guess with Memorial Day and Summer right around the corner I am starting to phase out the porters and stouts. Although I will admit there is still a 22 oz Dark Aged Yeti in my fridge.

    • Don
      April 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      It is never too warm to drink the Yeti! Ommegang makes a nice Saison called Hennipen for the summer. If you can find it, give it a try.

      • Dave SDC
        April 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

        Hennipen is a great beer. Pretty much everything Ommegang makes I have had (and loved) at one time or another. Rare Vos is a personal favorite from them. My local mom and pop liquor store sells 22oz Ommegangs, but a select few. Hennipen, Rare Vos and Witte being the winners. The closetest place that sells a bigger variety of craft brews is about 25 miles away. Its coming to a point where I go, spend $100-$125 bucks and I am good for a couple months.

        • Don
          April 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

          On a total side note I love the way you east coasters talk about mileage like it is some sort of great wall! I live 40 miles from work and have made this commute for almost a decade now. My nearest grocery store is 18 miles away. My kids live 5 miles from their schools. You say 25 miles and I hear “a quick jaunt” and you hear “a huge hassle”. It is just funny to me how perspectives are so different in different parts of the US.

  9. Dave SDC
    April 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    To be honest, Its just pure laziness on my part. And part “me not wanting to hear my wife wonder where I was for an hour and then the ensuing argument when she sees a car full of beer.”

    • Don
      April 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      Understand totally.

  10. April 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Another study in the vagaries of taste.

    I actually like beers that have a nice, slightly sour grapefruit taste. In fact, I still think my favorite pint ever was a hand-pulled Bitter & Twisted at a tiny pub in Edinburgh, Scotland called The Kings Wark.

    Ahhh, to be back there now…

    • Don
      April 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

      I too like a grapefruity flavor, but not just that. I like it to have a malty backbone too, and I didn’t taste that at first in the ranger, but I got that this weekend. It isn’t equal parts to be sure, but it is there.

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