Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hoptimum, Hopslam, and Nugget Nectar (and by the way - we’re hiring)

In the swell of gloom and doom that tends to be the winter months, my mind slows down, much like the hibernating heart of a mother bear, and the events of the winter and preceding fall season tend to get neglected by the secretary in my brain in charge of filing stories away.  Apparently she is too busy sneaking smoke breaks in the ladies’ room - a practice that has led to several meetings and too much corporate “no smoking” signage around the Beer on my Shirt offices.  And let’s not forget about all the plotting she does to steal the petty cash from my office safe - digging tunnels must be time consuming - an exercise that certainly takes away from the actual filing tasks she should be performing.  Also, it should be pointed out that my brain’s capacity for memories was severely handicapped when we had to make room for a ladies room to accommodate the addition of a cerebral secretary, something we clearly didn’t consider when we hired her.  Prior to that, she refused to use the men’s room and just pissed all over the place - things were starting to smell a little musky - it was just getting to be too much.

So, needless to say, there have been a few things worth mentioning that have yet to be mentioned - until now.  At the same time, I am constantly drinking, constantly trying new beers, and even though I rarely leave the house, I have managed to find new solitary ways of embarrassing myself (file under “difficulty with belts“).  So along those lines, the plan is for the next few posts to have a bit of the past and a bit of the present.  Chronologically speaking, here is something I should have mentioned back in January…

Beer on my Shirt… is hiring!

In line with the new corporate structure that was decided on at this year’s holiday party, it has been decided that we are ready to expand.  The office construction has been finished - we now have both a men’s and ladies’ room - and a few part time positions have already been filled.  Thus far, the few interested candidates have each had the same prying, yet appropriate questions:

“What exactly is the current corporate structure?”

Well, some of details are highly secretive, but there is a CEO, or at least a mythical beast whose name that shant be spoken can be abbreviated with those initials.  That said, the CEO mainly provides memos and directives via telepathy and an antiquated Dell computer server.  Rarely seen, but heard regularly as a voice inside your mind - the CEO of Beer on my Shirt will burn your soul from the inside out if you choose to cross him.  Or if you use the restroom without washing your hands afterwards.  And he expects to hear you sing “Happy Birthday” not once but twice while hand washing.  And we don’t use the term ‘sing’ loosely around here - you better be in key or you’ll be soulless before you know it.  Could you maybe sing a few bars for me?

“What exactly will I be doing?”

You’ll be drinking craft beer, sometimes in excess, and writing about your experiences with the beer.

“So I’ll be writing beer reviews?”

Not really - we’re actually not really in the review writing business because that generally requires knowledge.  Our “reviewing” process focuses more on consumption and whether or not we would consume again, and how much, and for how long.  Sure, adjectives tend to come in handy when describing a beer, but per our CEO you will be provided with a word bank/flowchart to reference when attempting to describe a beer.  Working outside of said word bank/flowchart will result in swift justice.  However, feel free to explore new words, new uses for otherwise old words, inappropriate similes and metaphors, and general delusional imagery when writing about your experience with the beer.  Think of beer as a lady - now think of the letter you would write to Penthouse describing your time with that lady - that is your job description.  As a Beer on my Shirt employee you will quickly learn that we are more about the “shirt” and less about the “beer”.

“May I see said flowchart?”

Not at this time.

“So who will I be working under?”

While there is a CEO, there is no real boss or manager or president.  There is however a large conch shell filled with crystal skulls.  I hold the conch shell 90% of the time.  If you don’t like it you will be subject to electric shocks of incrementally increasing voltage until you do like it.  Or until you die. 

“How much will I be getting paid?”

Ass wipe - writing doesn’t pay the bills - I don’t care how many times you’ve seen Midnight in Paris.  But in terms of compensation, you will be paid in bad habits, poor choices, and suspect hygiene - and paid handsomely.

“What is that smell?”

I’m gassy.

“no, the egg smell…”

Yeah, that’s me.

“oh, that’s horrible”

I know, it’s an issue.

“it smells like pure evil”

That’s because it is pure evil.

“Does it smell like that all the time?”

Pretty much.

So in summary, the CEO is invisible, you’ll write about beer like it was a one night stand, we have a men's room and a ladies’ room, I’m in charge, and the office constantly smells like pure evil - or eggs, depending on your level of olfactory tolerance.

If interested, please apply via email or the comments section.

And now some exciting, present tense, beer news… 

It is that time of year when some of my favorite hoppy seasonals are on the market.  I bought a case of Bell’s Hopslam this year.  And while it is a little pricey- I think I paid $70 for it - I really enjoyed the few I had last year and at 10% ABV it will take awhile to get through it all.  Or I’ll get so drunk that shame about my bank account will be the least of my worries.  Hopslam is a double IPA using all kinds of hops and a little honey.  The hops are so potent that it is hard to differentiate between the bitterness and booziness.  It pours a nice yellow color and the honey gives it a palatable sweetness that makes this surprisingly drinkable.  But again, while I could drink it all night, at 10% all night consists of about 2.5 of these.

Next up was the Troeg’s Nugget Nectar (7.5% ABV).  This is billed as an Imperial Amber, but as the label makes apparent it is really all about hops.  This beer is simply delicious.  The malts carry a sweetness that make a perfect backbone for the beer, but still take enough of a back seat to put the hops 100% in the driver‘s seat.  This brew made that fifty best beers list I’ve been mentioning in previous posts and it is well deserved.  Interestingly, going to the beer distributor and asking for Nugget Nectar is like code for saying “I’m a beer geek” because the clerk’s reply after getting me a case was “You know we still got some Hopslam in the back.”  It is like slowly being initiated into the Skulls, minus the danger and political intrigue.  And the fancy watch.

The Nugget Nectar and the Hopslam, if your lucky enough to have both laying around, make a nice little one-two punch.  I start with the Nugget Nectar and enjoy it and all it’s perfect hop harmony.  Then for beer #2, I make the switch to Hopslam.  This really exaggerates the impact of the honey of the Hopslam and makes the smoothness of it really stand out.  Andre and I went for it the other night while arguing Mets-Phillies baseball, an argument that as a Mets fan I just cannot win right now, and it made for a nice night - or as nice a night as possible while hanging with a Phillies fan.

And then there is Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum.  I just had this today at the Trapp Door, and in terms of hops, this was the biggest hop bomb I’ve had in a while.  It had the typical Sierra Nevada dryness, that personally I enjoy, and after that it was just back of the tongue bitterness for the first few sips.  This is a sensation I like to refer to, as of today, as Hop Breath - the need to exhale after processing the taste of a beer because of the bitterness melting the back of your mouth like a bar of soap.  However, as I worked my way through the glass the hops started attacking all of my tongue from all angles, creating a hop pucker that I can’t ever remember having - dare I declare this the hoppiest beer I’ve had.  It reminded me of Bell’s Expedition Stout, not in flavor, but the way it just assaulted your mouth with every sip. 

Any other hopheads out there that have had this?  Either way - what would you say is the hoppiest beer you’ve ever had?  Because right now, I think Hoptimum has the title in my book.


  1. I will work for you blog. Although I should mention that I've recently been fired by the Internet. Also, I will need to see that flow chart before I sign anything.

    1. No worries - the Internet didn't answer the phone when we called for a reference. The Internet is one lazy piece of shit. Google Images "World Map 1982" for some of the working drafts of the flowchart we've been using.

  2. I'm all about it!!! I'll add writing about outstanding beer on my resume!!!

  3. I'll help out for the ladies room!!! Add it to my stay at home hoppy hopster mom resume ;)

    1. FYI - there is only one stall, it's all we had room for.

  4. I was just sitting in the taproom at Troegs yesterday enjoying one of their scratch brews, Mighty Moose Mild....very nice and smooth session beer.

    I'll sign on to drink beer and write about it....never met a flowchart I didnt like!!

    1. That's good, cause this flowchart is very difficult to follow. It looks oddly similar to a world map circa 1982. Except the color printer is down so it prints out in shades of grey, adding to it's ineffectiveness. Around these parts, we replace the word "ineffective" with "mysterious".

      Also, should your name placard for your cubicle say 'anonymous' or should it just be blank? the blank thing would be great for this quarter's bottom line.

  5. I'd work for Beer on My Shirt, but I have a penchant for showing up for work drunk, and in stained clothes. But hey, if the constant scratching of the rear of my tongue to relieve the ages-old hops funk back there doesn't bother you, I'll submit an application.

    P.S. Not sure where this lies on your hop-o-meter, but my fave is probably the Stoudt's Double IPA.

    1. Well, at least you have clothes on. I had the Stoudt's DIPA. just once, at a pizza place, on tap. I remember I liked it but haven't see it since.

    2. While trolling the internet, trying to back track a tweet mention and traffic spike from a week or two ago, I came across a mention of me, by you, in the comments of a "Do Unpublished Writers Have to Blog?" from back in December of 2011. It was a good comment and and I appreciate the compliment of being mentioned in it. Thanks.

      Apparently you've been working here for months. It's a big office with a lot of employees so it's easy to be overlooked sometimes. I'll look for the drunk dude in the stained clothes next time I'm making my rounds with the floor manager. You deserve a Beer on my Shirt pen or pocket knife. And a certificate.

    3. Is it one of those little pocket knifes that you can tape to your ribs, and thusly won't be detected by airport porno scanners? If so, I'm not sure I want one. They come with a lot of responsibility.

    4. I want to change my answer. I had Oskar Blues Deviant Dale’s India Pale Ale at a place in Philly a couple weeks ago and it was almost too hoppy to drink. Like licking a skunk that's wearing beer scented perfume. I crazy loved it though.

    5. I saw that at Shangy's last week and was going to buy a case but at $70+, I decided I should probably try and find one at a bar to sample before I invest that kind of paper. Can't wait to try it.

  6. Hoptimum is a great beer. But actually not much aroma for a DIPA, almost seems more like a Barleywine. Come out to San Diego, or Nor-Cal, and then you'll see what a true DIPA is...

    1. What are some of your fave IPAs/DIPAs from out that way? I might be able to get some out this way. I'll certainly try.