We made a friend! or: Guest post on Knee Deep Ryedentity Crisis and Stone IPA

Surely I can’t drink all the beers by myself? Now I’ve got some help from Friend Of The Program David Gonos. He was kind enough to take a few beer recommendations and report back. It’s all a matter of setting him on the path of righteousness – and he’s already learned a lot from doing some homework at Beer Advocate! Good man.

David headed over to his local Total Wine, so let’s grab a pint and get social. On with the fireworks … This Is Why He‘s Drunk:

Here are my analyses of two of the beers that Bryan assigned me. This first beer was tasted before I learned what to look for, how to taste it and how to describe it. I learned it recently and I can only hope I learn more as I try to become a better amateur beer expert!

Knee Deep Ryedentity Crisis
Knee Deep Brewing Company, Lincoln, California

This was the very first beer I drank as part of my “assignment.” It’s a mild, fruity beer that actually reminded me a little bit of Leffe Blond from Belgium – my favorite beer ever. Heck, even their website is classy!

An American craft beer that tastes like a beer I drank from Belgium!?! Identity crisis indeed!!!

A couple years ago, I traveled to Germany to visit Erik and Rachel, two friends from back-in-the-day. Erik was stationed there in the army and he introduced me to several beers while I was there. But a trip to Belgium with Rachel one day turned me on to Leffe Blonde – which means I like this new beer aplenty!

This Ryedentity Crisis is absolutely fantastic – and I fear it will be the best of the bunch. Eating this along with some warm, fresh crusty bread and butter would be perfect. It has a nice, soft, sweet taste that goes down well as a pre- or post-dinner treat.

(Note: I can NOT believe that I compared it to a Belgium beer, and then read that it is a saison (French for “season”), which is a beer generally associated with Belgium. This is like making a guess for a pie in Trivial Pursuit and nailing it!)

This Amateur Beer Expert Says: If warm buttered bread isn’t doing it for you, then consider drinking it with a huge bowlful of mussels cooked with garlic, butter and white wine?

This second beer was tasted after I did some reading and discovered what I’m trying to taste.

Stone IPA
Stone Brewing Company, Escondido, California

After pouring a Stone IPA for myself and one for my brother Mark, I began to read the side of the bottle out loud. “We hardly keep it a secret that we revel in our love for big character ales. We have way too much fun creating our brews to even think for a moment about brewing anything that’s less than truly unique and outstanding.”

Then my brother said, “It tastes like earwax.”

Finally, I took a sip and was thankful to find it did NOT taste like earwax. It was a little bitterer than some IPAs I’m more familiar with, like Sierra Nevada.

It has a bright blonde color, and it went down smooth. I could see plowing through a six-pack of this stuff while mindlessly powering through a bowlful of pistachios.

Do not – I REPEAT – do NOT pour this over cereal.

As Mark smacked his lips after finishing off his Stone IPA beer, he said, “No, not earwax. It tastes like stagnant water from a bucket with a rusty anchor in it.”
Not the most rousing endorsement.

Here’s my “official amateur beer expert” take:

Look: It’s a beautiful, soft, golden color for a beer. I didn’t hold it up to the light (which Beer Advocate says is bad), but I looked through the beer with a window of daylight shining behind it. As I looked down the pilsner glass, where the shape thinned, the color lightened to a crisp yellow.

Agitate: I swirled the beer around a few times, but I’m still a rookie. I was just happy I didn’t slush it out of the glass. I think I overpoured too, so the beer and its head were right at the rim. I should have poured about three-quarters in for this tasting. The beer pictured is actually the second beer I poured.

Smell: Fragrant, with some citrus smells. But I do smell some pine or other hint of wood. In trying to sniff my way through this beer, I nearly passed out. Now THAT”s dedication.

Taste: I enjoyed the taste quite a bit. I’m learning that I enjoy hoppy beers and IPAs are just that. This IPA seemed more bitter than most, but it wasn’t unpleasant.

This Amateur Beer Expert Says: I have to say that I liked this beer. I bought a six-pack of it from Total Wine, and each bottle went down better than the next. I had some pepperoni and spicy habanero cheese (Cabot) on Triscuits, and I have to say, this beer went well with it – and it continued the heat. It didn’t fight it, and it didn’t dampen it, but it pulled the flavor through the heat nicely.

I hope these two beer reviews made sense to you, and maybe I even convinced you to try them. I promise that if I think a beer tastes like crap, I’ll tell you. Obviously, I’m no shill for these guys, and it does me no good to have you taste a bad beer.

The other beers on my assignment list to review from Bryan Roth are:

  • Laughing Dog The Dogfather
  • Flying Fish Farmhouse Summer Ale
  • Pike XXXXX Extra Stout
  • Diamond Knot Whip Ale
  • Diamond Knot Brown Ale
  • Knee Deep Tanilla Porter
  • North Coast PranQster Ale

Let me know what you thought of the beers I already tried or some of the beers on my “Futures” list!

David Gonos has been writing online about Fantasy Football and Fantasy Baseball for over a decade, including five years at CBSSports.com. His stomach would tell you he’s a professional chicken wing taster, but it’s untrue. On his website, DavidGonos.com, he discusses Fantasy Sports, chicken wings, beer, and life’s little lessons.

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4 thoughts on “We made a friend! or: Guest post on Knee Deep Ryedentity Crisis and Stone IPA

  1. I rarely leave remarks, however I browsed a few comments here We made a friend!
    or: Guest post on Knee Deep Ryedentity Crisis and Stone IPA | This Is Why I’m Drunk. I do have 2 questions for you if you do not mind. Could it be just me or does it look as if like a few of the comments come across like they are written by brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing at other places, I would like to keep up with you. Could you post a list of every one of all your public pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    1. It’s very nice of you to come by and want to get involved in conversation! Thanks!

      You’re obviously welcome to interact with me via my blog, so feel free to leave messages or thoughts on my posts, but you can also message me on twitter at http://twitter.com/bryandroth (@bryandroth).

      My Twitter feed should be available via the right-hand sidebar.


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