Dinner was excellent, and we also got the chance to sample an IPA J-Dawg had crafted. I thought it was excellent, reminiscent of a fresh/wet hops IPA like Sierra Nevada’s wondeful Harvest series. J-Dawg does not fear the hops (he was co-brewer on our “Pale Ryeder” RyePA last year), and I was reminded of a story he had told me last time we were hanging out.
It would seem J-Dawg, some time ago, had brewed up a beer with a friend. To make a long story short, the grain for this particular brew was not milled. At all. Like, not even cracked a little bit. Now, you experienced homebrewers are probably groaning as you know where this is going, but for those who might not realize the significance of this fact, let me explain.
Beer gets its flavor from malt and hops. The sweet malt and the bitter hops ideally balance one another out, creating the harmonious flavor experience we call beer. When one of these flavors is not in proportion to the other, you get an unbalanced beer. When one of these flavors is completely absent, well…
J-Dawg does not like to talk about this beer, and he wears an obviously pained expression when the story comes up. However, for whatever reason, he has held on to a cache of said beer, which I now wanted to try. Luck was my lady that night as a bottle was produced!
I drank some, and I must say, it was indeed the hoppiest beer to ever cross these lips. However, it wasn’t THAT bad. I swear, somewhere on the West Coast lives a hophead who would brew this on purpose! It might not be the most drinkable session beer out there, but I could definitely see some cooking applications for it.
So, in honor of J-Dawg’s Hoptastic Bastard Ale, I’ll throw out that old standby of brewing discussion topics: What was your worst brew, and what did you wind up doing with it?