Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"
The Minutemen, as the stories go, were always at the ready, capable of responding at a minute's notice to military needs in the era leading up to the Revolutionary War. I figure, to combat such a timely enemy, we need a beer that understands the importance of time; one that uses the clock to its advantage. A beer that makes the passing minutes a rite of passage, if you will. You'll need far more than just a minute's notice to brew this week's beer; in fact you'll need 90 minutes, at least. That's right, this week's gameday beer-o-the-week is Dogfish Head's epic 90-minute IPA.
90-minute was one of the original Imperial IPAs to adorn the nation's craft beer shelves, and is potentially still the best out there. Continuously hopped over, you guessed it, 90 minutes, and then dry-hopped to finish, this beer embraces not only the glory of the hop, but its complexity at the most basic level. Probably not as bitter as you would expect (conveniently, 90 IBUs), this is still a massive beer, and can overwhelm the taste buds of the unready. Drinker be warned.
For my taste, Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione, who I once got to meet (!!!!!) at an event in Vail, hit it out of the park with this one. It's hop forward, certainly, but that tidal wave of hops comes with a surprising amount of malty balance, and doesn't strike me as resinous or 'dank' as it could be. Maybe not one for the hop freaks out there, but one for people who enjoy everything that goes into big, hearty 'Murikan craft brewing.
This is the ship that launched a thousand copy-cat IPAs, so it's best to honor the classics. Get yourself a four-pack of this one, and sip it easy while contemplating the meaning of time itself. Let the hop flavors swarm over your tongue, and just... relax, man, it that uniquely Boulder way. Certainly don't go too hog-wild; 90-minute clocks in at about 9% ABV. Maybe best to split that pack with a buddy or two.
Happy Friday! Go Buffs, beat the Minutemen!