Thursday, December 22, 2011

BACK IN BLACK (a rebellion of sorts)

Dude! Back in Black?! Micro-brew in a can?! Hell yeah! Now that's metal! The name is obviously taken from the song of the same title and while the Aussie heavy weight rockers themselves (AC/DC) may not be considered exactly "metal", shit man this beer’s name is more than appropriate for times like these - it is the Solstice after all (the longest night of the year)!

Those who live in the City (i.e. San Francisco) will undoubtedly be familiar with this particular type of beer since its brewed by 21st Amendment Brewery which is located in SF off 2nd Street. The beer itself comes in metal not glass. Yes good aluminum cans -- not your weak, shit-lined aluminum cans that you usually get from Oly, Coors, Miller, or Pabst -- so as to withstand some heavy drinking (I've inadvertently dropped a can or two and they have survived to tell the story).
Good beer in good cans = good drinking! Right?
(In my professional opinion, all beer should come in cans but that's probably just the hippie in me talking)

According to 21st Amendment, Back In Black is “inspired by Paul Revere's midnight ride, we rebelled against the British style IPA, embraced the more aggressive American version and then recast it in bold, brave, defiant black. Our Black IPA is a Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of the expected... Brewed like an American IPA but with the addition of rich, dark malts, this beer has all the flavor and hop character you expect with a smooth, mellow finish.”

Huh? Say what? Hold on let me get another beer...

Basically Back In Black is a "black IPA". It's an American-styled IPA that has been brewed with traditional top fermenting ale yeast and hopped with Columbus hops, brewed with Rahr Pale, Crystal, Munich, and De-bittered Black malts; it has been dry-hopped with Centennial and Simcoe hops thus resulting in 65 IBUS. Its alcohol content is 6.8% by volume, so it’s still drinkable but low enough that a six-pack of it won’t get you
entirely hammed. Basically it’s black in color, tastes like a hoppy stout but with the consistency of an IPA or pale ale and is more epic than that bier stein that your grandpa gave you last Christmas, sort of like this one here:

(I have a sudden urge to put on some Sacred Steel for some odd reason)

So why am I doing a post on beer you ask? Well I did do a brief post on a couple tasty and well-known beers not too long ago but it was centered around the music namely. To me, beer and music go hand in hand. Also now that I'm officially on "winter break" laziness has settled in and I couldn't come up with anything better to write about.

No, I'm kidding of course! Well, OK. Sort of...

Seriously though, this time around I figured I’d try something new on y'all. I wanted to share with you something that I enjoy – in the holiday spirit, of course. Plus, this beer rules and I have been drinking massive amounts of it recently and I think you should too! (I’m the Devourer of Spirits after all, so I must live up to my name I guess).
See, I'm all about this can-revolution that's been sweeping the micro-brew world recently. I think glass bottles are inefficient and using recycled aluminum is much more cost-effective than recycled glass bottles. More breweries should be looking into this option in my opinion... More on this another time perhaps.
Anyways, Back In Black is a great beer! I highly recommend it. It's got the best of both worlds (Stout meets IPA) and it gets you hammered! Incredible, I must say.
I realize that this beer may not be for everyone but 21st Amendment has other ales that they can also, and many other breweries are picking up the idea as well. It's almost like a rebellion of sorts!

In the spirit of rebellion, in which this beer was supposedly made, there’s nothing like listening to some dark, grim, incoherent, rebellious American Black Metal while downing a couple of these tasty brews on the eve of the Winter Solstice. So on that note, and in the spirit of keeping things traditional music-wise here at IllCon, I’ll share with you a link to some of the music I’ve been supposedly listening to while I have been rambling on here. Yes, I put together a mix of mp3s for y'all to enjoy. Lucky you!
(I guess this is my Christmas present to all of you but whatever you do, please don't call it a "mixtape" - that would just be unforgivable):

Judas Iscariot - Heaven In Flames
Nachtmystium -
My Vengeance
Leviathan -
Summoning Lupine
Valdur -
Wound Fires In The Afterlife
Elk -
Blood Under Stone
Unholy Crucifix -
Desecration Priest
Miasmic -
Xasthur -
Keeper of Sharpened Blades (And Ominous Fates)
Ash Borer -
Untitled (Fell Voices/Ash Borer split)
Fog -
By This Axe We Rule
Krieg -
Sick Winds Stir The Cold Dawn
Weakling -
No One Can Be Called As A Man While He'll Die
Nightbringer -
Upturning the Seventh Chalice
Blackgoat -
The Black Goat
Hemlock -
Loyal To Evil
(NOTE: All of these bands can be found on Encyclopaedia Metallum
and via their respective websites)

For more info on Back In Black and 21st Amendment Brewery's other ales, check out their website at:
Contact your local distributor to see if they can carry their beer
(if we can get it here in bum-fuck-egypt-Humboldt County, you'll likely be able too)
or if you're visiting SF, stop by the brewery itself!

Remember to drink responsibly!

Oh, and Happy Holidays and such!
(or Holidaze if you prefer)


phyte club katie said...

Did you mean to post this at 4:20p.m.? Just sayin'.

I, too, love this beer. Though I feel like it's all the way an IPA, with the only suggestion of stoutness being in the color, the fact that it is a black IPA makes drinking it such an enjoyable mindfuck! I must, though, heartily disagree with this statement: "Its alcohol content is 6.8% by volume, so it’s still drinkable but low enough that a six-pack of it won’t get you entirely hammed." Speak for yourself!

The brewery I used to work at (Magnolia) puts on several beer events with 21A. I always got too lazy (like your polar bears) to make it all the way out to our "sister brewery" of sorts, but whenever I had their beers I was always stoked.

Erik (Drunketh) said...

I've been meaning to try all of the 21'st beers. Only tried Monk's BLOOD so far, and that one blew me away! I fuckin' loved it!

Aegipan said...

@phyte club katie: yes... and yes... and yes!

even though I don't smoke it doesn't mean I don't got it... also, it is possible to get hammed off a six pack of it (as was evidenced tonight)... ehem! ;)

@erik: Monk's Blood is great! however, if you're a newbie to that style of beer, I can give you some "starters" first as the BLOOD is an acquired taste... prost!

post-felix said...

That beer is indeed superb. The Decibel beer column focused on black IPA last spring, I never got around to finding any others though.

Any other widely available suggestions?

Aegipan said...

@post-felix: It appears that the "Black IPA" thing is taking off as a lot of breweries are attempting to brew their own versions. Me and a couple friends inadvertently made one a few years back that turned out pretty good. Stone has a really good one which is an Imperial Black IPA and Deschutte's "Hop In The Dark" is also good. At the Boonville Beerfest last year I tried one from Alaskan that was superb.

Since peeps are digging this post, I plan to do more beer reviews/shout-outs in the future. So stay tuned!

phyte club katie said...

Aegipan -- Yum, I'll have to try Stone's imperial one. I also tend to like black lagers, even though it's the only time I'll usually drink a lager unless I'm trying to save money and am already drunk. Yes, it is silly that that fact it is black makes it way more palpable to me, but it does!

As for the 4:20 thing, it's sort of how even though I'm not a Satanist, every time "666" comes up on a receipt or whatever, I get really happy and have to show it to anyone around me!

Merry Christmas! Looking forward to more beer posts.

bloodler said...

great post man, i havent had the pleasure to try this one yet. but stones sublimely self righteous ale and stones 15th anniversary escondidian imperial black IPA are both killer examples of the black IPA style. im gonna have to hunt this one down...

Manslaughter said...

Also, Ninkasi brewery did two seasonal ales this year: Maiden the Shade- IPA- (obvs Iron Maiden nod) and SLEIGHER (slayer-duh) both pretty good. Ninkasi is from Eugene Oregon. Please enjoy, and drink responsibly.

Aegipan said...

I've had Ninkasi before. They were at both Hops In Humboldt and Boonville last year. I had one beer that was exceptional from them at both festivals, which of course I unfortunately can't remember what it was, but the rest was alright. I have yet to try Maiden the Shade and Sleigher, both of which phyte club katie has recommended!