Thursday, April 8, 2010

What we're drinking: Avery Maharaja

Back a few years ago, you might remember the Great Hops Shortage. Experts blamed it on drought or floods or locusts or plague or something. But we may have finally discovered the real cause: Avery Maharaja.

Avery's own description of their imperial India pale ale seems to admit to being a hops glutton. "The Maharaja flaunts his authority over a deranged amount of hops..." They ain't kiddin'.

We got ours at HiPS and, once we reached the Beermingham corporate offices, popped the top on our half gallon. Immediately our noses were assaulted by massive hops wafting from the jug. We've opened many containers of Good People's Snake Handler, and have never experienced hops like this.

Pouring elicits a medium, short-lived head that leaves no lace. Don't let the beautiful amber color fool ya. This ain't no Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Take a taste, and your uvula is drop-kicked with the full force of 102 Bittering Units. If you can keep it down, and are man enough for another taste, the next one is no kinder or gentler. If anything, the 10.24% ABV just makes you think you can drink more. With concentration we could detect a bit of sweetness between the first taste and the finish. But maybe that's just the alcohol talking again.

Then are we calling Avery Maharaja a bad beer? Not at all! Sure, it's a brutal assault on your palate, and you may never taste anything ever again, but maybe you're into that kind of thing. We like our pale ales a bit more balanced, but can appreciate the attempt of one brave brewer to rid the world of hops. If you like the hoppy stuff, get some.

We're back: Easter edition

The Beermingham staff took a little vacation and gave our livers a break for Easter. Eh, they deserved it. But we're back, and draft listings for HiPS and Vulcan are updated. We'll do our best to get Dee's and Bottle Stoppe up as soon as possible.

We also hope to have a Good People update very soon. So check in often.