Fritz sounds like he's speaking in air quotes when referring to the big data there, almost as if there's a mistrust of the statistical approach to finding great beer. Kind of the way some folks think of "The People's Choice Award", I suppose. Not exactly a high class Oscar, is it?
According to his biography blurb on the Going Out Guide at The Washed Post, Fritz also writes about everything "from Civil war battles to sailing classes"... so there's that and that.
But having been down this fermented river before, I concur with those proud few on Ratebeer.com (and BeerAdvocate.com too, where Heady Toppy is rated #1 out of the top 250 beers), who count themselves lucky where Heady Topper is concerned. See, http://www.beeradvocate.com/lists/top/
It may just be the best hop experience in the world... you know, I mean, with a nod to FFF's epic Zombie Dust in Indiana and this tasty, delicious and amazing Half Acre epic Daisy Cutter in Chicago, or Tall Grass' 8 Bit in Kansas. There's a lot of great beer in many states out there.
Nonetheless, according to Fritz at the Washed Post, tonight a bar in DC is hosting a VT Beer tasting event, for which it's charging $35 doll hairs to taste beers that are only available in VT... unless you can monkey your ass to VT and bring back the liquid gold for a limted release. Very hush hush you know. Just you, me and the readers of The Washington Post's "Going Out Guide" know about it. You'll find that here:
All this prompted hillarious tweeting on the subject of these black market, out-of-state tastings from the yet another best beer in the world (one you literally have to drive the farm to taste)-- Hill Farmstead
And since it's Fat Tuesday, it put me in the spirit, prompting me to damn the 13 degree day and dig into the snow to make a snow table, then go to the vault to peel off one of my prized cans-- The Alchemist's Heady Topper for a little show and tell.
Fat Tuesday-- the day before, a celebration of all death to the flesh, with lent impending, you know, when we all give up something important to us to show our devotion to God, albeit maybe not as vital for survival as beer. Although I like to drink these as I take off my boots near the trunk of the car after a few hours X Country skiing, Fat Tuesday is also a good day to drink a beer "to die for", as they say in parts of Brooklyn, cooled in 2 feet of snow.
Heady's froth and aroma were absurd-- as was the drinking temp-- I fully recommend taking your cans into the snow bank to bring down the temp. I think the aroma chased birds away out there on the deck, mild to sharp cheese, the good stuff, way better than the government offers to celebrate a birth (as the writers on the FX series "Archer" put it last night) or McDonald's puts on burgers. The hops are the show here, and they are storied and layered in aroma and flavor, so you don't even realize that you are smelling and tasting something that's probly strong enough to melt the paint off your car.
The color, you can see-- hazy golden hues. The flavor, like the aroma, storied and layered, balanaced in bitterness and sweetness, all of which is contrasted as it floats upon the malt like different parts of, say Puccini's Turandot. It really is something to see... smell, and taste.
At 8% ABV, you'll need to pump the brakes, as I found out after the phone rang and I had to speak in a way others could understand after a pint of it.
Alchemist's Heady Topper is sure worth a trip to VT, especially if you're going up to ski anyway. It's only really available there, so you'll need to bring it home if you plan on enjoying some in a snowbank in other states.
But if you can get it in DC at a bar looking to capture the beer geek marketz for a fee, I say, what would Frank Underwood to, right? Use it to wash back a few episodes of House of Cards on Netflix before the phone and cable companies drive it into a forced sale in exchange for cheap bandwidth.
By the way, talking of DC, according to Beeradvocate.com-- there's another extraordinary beer event taking place inside the beltway today, March 4th that should be of interest to beer geeks within driving distance, and backed by another storied, out of state brewery that is not in VT or Maryland: Bell's.
So, I'll just leave this here:
Tuesday - March 04, 2014 @ 04:00PM / Ends: Tuesday - March 04, 2014 @ Midnight
Beer & Food Event
Birch & Barley / ChurchKey, Washington, District of Columbia
email@example.com (202) 567-2576
TUESDAY MARCH 4TH AT 4 PM
POSTPONED FROM MONDAY MARCH 3RD DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER
Bell's HopSlam Cask Tapping + BBCK's Final HopSlam Kegs & Cases!
Let’s get right to the details: this Monday, we will tap the one and only Cask of Hopslam to hit the DC market this season. We’re tapping it right at 4pm and once it’s gone, it’s gone until 2015…so come early!
In addition to the Cask version, we’ll also have our final Hopslam keg of 2014 as well as our final bottles of Hopslam.
There is no admission for this event, and all Hopslam on Cask & Draft will be priced individually by the glass and in 4 oz. taster pours!
The Bell's Hopslam Beer List: