What’s the first thing any good son and daughter in law do on Mom’s birthday? Wake up, pick up the phone, and sing as loud as humanly possible! And of course, you go visit to spend some time with her the weekend before, which Kendall and I most certainly did last weekend. It’s always nice to go and hang out with them, and, as we referenced in our last post, we decided to give Mom and Dad a chance to sample some craft beer and tell us what they thought. Admittedly I did not do the best job in picking these out, leaning heavily on IPAs when I should have gone with some lighter beers, but I accept the flak sent my way and will learn from it. We are going to do another family taste test the Friday after Thanksgiving and we’ll blog about it then.
One thing that I did not take into account was the lack of beer glasses at Mom and Dad’s. Kendall and I threw away the collection of sampler glasses we have accrued throughout our years visiting Brew at the Zoo, so we decided to use these glasses that have a weird map of SC on them that is probably not to scale.
The first beer we tried was Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA. As I previously mentioned we did not have beer glasses. This photo is from when we reviewed it. I wanted to start with an IPA because I seem to be on a kick of them lately, but I also wanted it to be relatively easy drinking so that’s why I selected this one. Mom liked it and said she smelled grapefruit. She felt that the bitterness gives it a little bite, but that it blends in to give it some flavor. “It definitely has more personality than Bud Light.” I think we all agree on that one Mom! Dad agreed that it was a little bitter, but that it was refreshing at the same time. Ultimately they both liked it, although Mom isn’t sure if she “could drink my usual 5 or 6 because of the heaviness.” Overall we had a really good first start!
I thought about upping the ante after the initial success of the Pinner and try the Fatty’s or the River Rat next, but I decided to bring the bitterness flavor down which may have backfired in the long run. Instead we went to Westbrook’s White Thai. I rinsed out our glasses and made the pours, making sure to leave a little head in each which is easier said than done trying to balance that out in these tall glasses. This ended up being their favorite by far. Mom said that it smelled white while Dad note that it was “effervescent” and tasted lighter than the Pinner. Mom felt like it wasn’t as distinctive as the Pinner but that it was easier on the stomach because she could taste some ginger. There is ginger in this beer so great job Momma! Mom ended her sample with this quote, “It does make Bud Light seem a little Plain Jane doesn’t it.” Yes it does Mom, yes it does. Because this is now Mom’s favorite craft beer, Westbrook White Thai earns itself *****.
Next I decided to spike the hops up a little and go to River Rat’s 803 IPA. Mom said she smelled grapefruit again while Dad felt like he smelled some orange. Suffice to say that was all the compliments this got from them. They weren’t quite ready for the hop of this guy. I loved it and can’t wait to buy it again, but Mom said it made her purse her lips it was so bitter. I’m going to save the rating on this for a later time, but I obviously pushed the envelope a little too much with Mom and Dad on this one.
After going too high on hops, I opted to forgo our other two IPAs in the mix pack for a fruit beer, Ballast Point’s Mango Even Keel. This is also a beer that we have reviewed before. Well, I say we, but really, I have reviewed before. I felt like this would bring their tastebuds down a little while providing a pop of fruit since they both like Blue Moon. Boy was I wrong. Mom felt like she smelled a little apricot and Dad felt like it smelled very citrusy. How did it taste to them? “Bitter,” said Mom. “Bitter bitter,” said Dad. Mom said it made her feel like she wanted to spit up. Dad closed by asking if he could have his Jack Daniels now.
So that ends our first family craft beer tasting. The Fatty’s and the Conquest IPAs are still in the fridge so we will enjoy those next time we head home. Or, if Mom or Dad decides to try them, I’ll have them report back. Ultimately Mom and Dad enjoyed two lighter crafts and did not enjoy two of the more bitter ones. Next time I’ll seek out some professional help in picking out beers for the fam to sample during Thanksgiving. I’m going to head to Vino Garage a little later to pick up a new mix pack so we’ll be back later this week with a few more reviews.
Cheers and Happy Birthday Mom, all the beer drinkers in the family (which is the entire family) love you very much!