Friday, March 02, 2012

Pompously Illegitimate Red Ale

Arrogant Bastard
It is not a secret that I am a fan of Stone Brewing Company and their Arrogant Bastard Ale.

It is not just that I like to drink the beer (although I really do). Stone just has this in-your-face craft beer arrogant attitude. They know they brew great beer and they celebrate a snobbish attitude that not everyone is going to like their beer.

As they say right on their bottles and website:

This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.
Isn't that cool? Call me a sucker for marketing if you want, but that description influences me want that beer. Seeing half-naked women in multimillion dollar BMC advertisements doesn't make be want a particular beer, but I have to admit that Greg Koch telling me that I am unworthy sort of does make me want to drink the Arrogant Bastard. Of course the fact that I love the beer's flavor profile doesn't hurt.

I am also a fan of the Brewing Network's "Can You Brew It" show (CYBI). I've never really had the desire to clone commercial beers, but I do enjoy listening to brewers talk about their ingredients and processes. I pick up all kinds of brewing knowledge from the show.

Part of the whole "charm" of Arrogant Bastard is that Stone brewery does not share its recipe for the beer. You can get all kinds of information on every other beer (or at least most of them) that Stone makes on their website. They published lots of the recipes in their book, "The Craft of Stone Brewing Co". Mitch Steel (Stone's head brewer) has even been on CYBI sharing detailed information on more than one of his beers.

But, no one at Stone Brewery is allowed to share any recipe or process information on Arrogant Bastard.

And, of course, the CYBI guys have taken on the Arrogant Bastard challenge. You can read a fair amount about their quest on this blog by reading through the "Arrogant Bastard" label ( Personally, I think the guys nailed the recipe. Tasty McDole (who brewed it for CYBI) psyched himself out and continues to chase the recipe even though the rest of the guys declared the beer cloned.

Anyway ... the CYBI recipe (or at least before McDole started his psychotic deviation from the truth) is beautiful in its simplicity. It uses one base grain, one specialty grain, and one type of hop. I've posted the recipe a few times on this blog. Follow the link I gave you above and you'll find it if you want to.

SheppyBrew's Pompously Illegitimate
So, in honor of Arrogant Bastard and the CYBI quest to brew it (not to mention that I would like to have a West-Coast Red on tap), SheppyBrew Brewery has developed a recipe for a beer called "Pompously Illegitimate Red Ale".

This is not meant to be a clone of Arrogant Bastard, but I am using the simple design on the CYBI recipe. In fact, I am using the same malt bill and yeast that CYBI used. Instead of using Chinook hops, I am using Citra, which is a hop I've been wanting to play around with for some time. I also did throw in some CTZ for bittering because I could not get enough Citra when I went to buy ingredients.

I bought the Citra hops from one of my local home-brew shops on the way home from work Wednesday. On Thursday, I went into my other local home-brew shop to get the grains and yeast. Thursday night, I made a yeast starter. If I think of it, I'll step-up the starter on Saturday. I should brew on Sunday.


Best Beers in America
Totally unrelated ... I voted for the 2012 Best Beers in America list this week. Actually, I guess it is somewhat related as I voted for Arrogant Bastard as one of my 20 top beers.

If you follow this blog at all, you probably know that I am working through Zymurgy's Best Beer in America list. Sometimes I even tell you about the beers and/or my progress (see Until a couple days ago, I have never actually voted for the list. But, now I have.

You may have noticed that sometimes I complain about how many IPAs are always on the list. I did find myself voting for an awful lot of hoppy beers, so maybe I am a bit of a hypocrite and should stop making that complaint. In my defense, though, I did throw in West Coast Reds and a couple of Black IPAs.

Of my 20 votes, 13 are Colorado beers. That is certainly because I drink mostly Colorado beers. To be honest, it was sort of hard to come up with 20 beers that I would call considerably better than other beers I've had. Like most craft beer fans, I am a promiscuous drinker and generally speaking, my favorite beer is always the one in my hand. So, my list today is probably different than it would be in a week or a month or a year.

The form did ask me to rank my 20 favorite beers, but I did not pay a lot of attention to the order of the beers. In case you are interested, here are my votes for Zymurgy's Best Beer in America:

Stone's Sublimely Self Righteous
New Belgium La Folie
Dry Dock Double IPA
Dry Dock HMS Victory ESB
TommyKnocker Hop Strike Black IPA
Arrogant Bastard
Odell Brewing Red Ale
Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale
Breckenridge Brewery Lucky U IPA
Dry Dock Two Tasks American Stout
Backcounry Brewing Telemark IPA
Odell Brewing IPA
Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout
Surly Brewing Furious
Bell's Brewery Two Hearted Ale
Green Flash Brewing Hop Head Red
New Belgium Fat Tire
Avery Brewing Company Ellie's Brown Ale
Boulder Beer Company Flashback Ale
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

I will try to remember to match my list up with the 2012 Zymurgy List.

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