This week Team Chug will be focusing on the pioneer of canned craft beer: Oskar Blues Brewery out of Longmont, CO. They’ve been putting huge, delicious beers into cans since 2002 and keep churning out new ideas every year, like the 19.2 oz imperial pint cans for Dale’s Pale Ale.
I have a special place in my heart for Oskar Blues because it’s the brewery that first got me interested in craft beer. I grew up drinking Busch Light (because it was cheaper than Bud Light) and when I moved to Colorado I switched to Keystone Light (because it was cheaper and basically indistinguishable from Coors Light.) Though these beers were easy to chug, they didn’t provide much in the way of taste, which at the time wasn’t an issue for me. Living in a shitty apartment and bouncing around temp jobs meant that price was the issue. When I first became interested in craft beer I wanted something that was reasonably-priced, but also had a high enough ABV to still get me properly buzzed. If I was going from 30 Keystones down to 12 craft beers for the same price, I required something that had double the alcohol as my chosen pale lager. That’s when I came across Old Chub. At the time I could get a 12-pack for around $16 and it was boasting an 8% ABV. Boom. That was my magic number. The rest is history.
February was an interesting month for us here at Team Chug. We introduced our first brewery themed week with Stone Brewing. It was a hell of a week with some badass beers, Stone never fails to impress. Following that was our Fortnight of Stouts. We ventured into two straight weeks of beers that most people tip-toe around even when it comes to sipping because they’re intimidated. As professionals, we came out triumphant and chugged 8 beers for your viewing pleasure. Finally, wild card week brought you a look into what just happened to be sitting in the back of our fridge. The beers listed below have set themselves apart from the others this month. Team Chug brings you the Chugs of the Month for February 2014!
Some breweries use the space on the side of the bottle to tell a story. Stone brewing is one of the best when it comes to entertaining their customers, but with this beer they don’t have to. It speaks for itself. Self-Righteous Ale (Black IPA / American Black Ale..call it whatever the hell you want) is a beer that literally tastes like everything. It has the perfect balance of hops, malt, citrus, chocolate, coffee, and carbonation. It seems like as they were brewing it one flavor kept overpowering the others, so they just upped the amount of everything else and kept doing so until it all balanced out and was chuck full of every ingredient that they had in the brewery. Whatever they did it worked to perfection, not to mention, the 8.7% ABV is enough to knock your ass out! Cheers!
Overall Rating: 9.3
I’m a big fan of this beer. I always have a six pack of “everyday” IPA’s in my beer fridge and Stone IPA is fully in the rotation. It’s reasonably-priced, mega-hoppy and super smooth. That’s everything I need in a daily drinker. I like trying lots of different new beers and anytime my liquor store brings in a new IPA, I always have to give it shot. I always come back to Stone, though, because I have yet to find one good enough to dethrone it. Take note, all you other brewers, cause Stone has got the IPA nailed down.
Overall Rating: 9.1
For comparison, we wanted to show you how these two brews stacked up against the rest of the playing field when it came to overall rating. Check it out.
Average February Rating: 7.8
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Stay tuned for March. Staying true to our style, we have a few tricks up our sleeves. We’ll have another brewery themed week, this time with a brewery that has a few locations, East Coast and up in the Rockies. Then with Spring rolling in, we figured you’d like to see a few beers of the lighter fare. Pale Ales don’t need to be boring tasteless low ABV brews. We hope to show you that some are actually extraordinarily delicious. As always, great beers, fast chugs, and ridiculous outfits. Chug on!