Virgil’s Beer(s) of the Week

Our good friend Virgil Dickerson from Suburban Home Records returns with another pick for our weekly segment known so beautifully and simply as: Virgil’s Beer of the Week.

We hope you have a designated reader, because today Virgil gives you not one beer, but seven!

Once a month, some friends and I get together to play poker. Our poker crew numbers around 8 or 9. Pretty much everyone in the crew are craft beer enthusiasts and bring either a six pack or a bomber of something they find interesting. It’s a great way to sample a lot of beers and not spend a ton of money. Until technology finds a way to download beers off a computer (and I know that this will happen one day), this is the closest thing beer drinkers have to peer to peer sharing.

Instead of one beer, I figured I’d share with you my thoughts on the bombers that were brought and give you an opportunity to identify the silver canned beer with the Wynkoop Brewery sticker.

Mystery Beer by Wynkoop Brewery – For this week’s contest, you must guess the seasonal beer that was canned and brought to our poker night. Note that this beer isn’t officially canned by Wynkoop and it is one of 13 seasonal beers coming out this year. (Scroll to the bottom of this post to find out how you can enter the contest, last week’s winner, and what they won).

Grey Lady Ale by Cisco Brewers –  A Belgian-Style Wit that pours a cloudy /hazy pale yellow. ABV clocks in around 4.5%. Not really my favorite style of beer. I’d say that the beer was brad (not bad, but not rad). It’s not something I plan to pick up again.

Harvest Dance by Boulevard Brewing – Another Wheat Beer, this time a Wheat Wine Style Ale. I actually didn’t note that this was a Wheat Wine Ale as someone had just emailed me asking if I had tried this type of beer before. I am a huge Barley wine fan and this beer was my first foray into Wheat Wine Ales. I’m not quite sure what goes into making these types of beers, but this beer is a lot stronger in ABV (9.1%) and in taste. There is no doubt that this is a wheat beer, but this one is absolutely huge. This beer reminds me of a really big Saison. Definitely interesting and worth seeking out. Part of Boulevard’s Smokestack Series.

Imperial India Pale Ale by Green Flash Brewing Co – Probably my favorite beer of the night. This IPA smells amazing, the hop smell is almost overpowering. My friend Rob described it as somewhere in the middle of Russian River’s Pliney the Elder and Oskar Blues’ Gubna and it’s amazing how well that description works. Clocking in at 9.4% ABV with 101 I.B.U.s, this beer is no slouch. While I have heard of Green Flash before, this could be my first taste of one of their beers. I assure you that this beer as well as their other beers will be on my radar from now on.

Friek by Odell Brewing Co – An Ale with Cherries and Raspberries added, aged in Oak Barrels, I wasn’t prepared for how sour this beer is. Sour/Wild Ales are not my favorite style of beer, but I do my best to try anything new by Odell as I love most of their beers. This Sour Ale is fermented with wild yeast and aged in Oak Barrels. While it is definitely an interesting beer, it served as yet another reminder that the more sour a beer is, the less I like it. When it comes to sours, The Dissident by Deschutes is my end all, be all.

Collaboration not Litigation Ale by Russian River and Avery – at some point both breweries realized they had both been making a Belgian Style beer called Salvation. Instead of fighting over the rights to the name, they came up with the interesting idea to blend the 2 beers to get the best qualities fro each beer. I always say that Craft Brewing has a lot of parallels to Independent Music and I feel that this Collaboration is not unlike 2 labels co-releasing an album. The beer taste ranks up there with some of my favorite Belgian Style Ales, and like Belgian Style beers, this one tastes rather fruity and drinks really easy.

Black Gold Imperial Stout by Full Sail – A Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout could be my favorite style of beer. Having long been a whiskey fan (before I ever found a taste for beer), I just love this combination. Whoever first thought to age an Imperial Stout in a Bourbon Barrel deserves the most incredible Hi-Five anyone has ever received. When it comes to these types of beers, Goose Island’s Barrel Bourbon Stout is easily my favorite. For reasons unknown to me, last year’s BBS by Goose Island never made its way to Colorado liquor stores. That, my friends, is truly criminal. When I asked about this Black Gold Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels, I was told this beer was the closest thing to my beloved Goose Island variety. I didn’t hesitate to pick it up. While the beer is very delicious, it just doesn’t stand up to the Goose Island BBS. It smells amazing, tastes great, but it lacks some of the whiskey taste that makes Goose Island’s so amazing. Don’t get me wrong, this beer is great. If Goose Island again skips over Colorado, I will continue to pick this beer up.

Contest: While there were a couple of correct answers, Brandon Miller was selected as our winner for correctly identifying the mystery pint glass as belonging to Lagunitas. He was given the album of his choice from Suburban Home Records and picked Drag the River’s “Closed” on vinyl.

This week’s contest involves the mystery can of beer featuring the Wynkoop brewery sticker. Correctly guess the seasonal beer canned in this beer can and you could win any album of your choice from Suburban Home Records. Note that this beer isn’t officially canned and that it is one of Wynkoop’s seasonal beers. Good luck.

Virgil Dickerson

Email your guess to – and while we love for you to comment on each post, guesses made in the comments section will not be drawn from – only guesses sent to the email inbox.  We’re old fashioned that way. One winner will be drawn randomly from the correct guesses.

Virgil Dickerson is the owner of Suburban Home Records.  Support his beer passion by supporting his fabulous label by checking out one of these recent and upcoming SH releases.

Out Now:
I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In the House “The Sounds of Dying” LP/CD, Two Cow Garage “Sweet Saint Me” LP/CD, The Gamits “Parts” LP/CD. Austin Lucas “Collection” LP/CD, Micah Schnabel “When The Stage Light Goes Dim” LP/CD

Coming Soon:
Michael Dean Damron “Plea From a Ghost” LP/CD, Josh Small’s Juke LP/CD, Under the Influence Volumes 1-10 dbl LP/CD, Drag the River “Hobos Demos/Chicken Demos” LP/CD, Ruiner/Attica Attica UTI 7″, Cheap Girls/Noise By Numbers UTI 7″, Dead to Me/Flatliners UTI 7″

4 Responses to “Virgil’s Beer(s) of the Week”

  1. Churchyard Ale?


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