Worthy Brewing

Year: 2014

By in Worthy IPA 0

Worthy IPA Deemed Worthy

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:55:00


Draft magazine recently judged Worthy’s IPA and gave it a 96.

What’s a 96?

Here’s how Worthy IPA stacks up against other great beers.

Oregon brewed IPAs

Worthy IPA 96
Caldera IPA 94
Gigantic 93
Pelican India Pelican Ale 93
Laurelwood Hop Monkey 91
Widmer Broken Halo 90
Bridgeport IPA 90
Full Sail IPA 90
Hub IPA 89
Ft George Vortex 89
Goodlife Descender 85
Deschutes Inversion 85

Supra Oregon brewed IPAs

Russian River Blind Pig 95
Firestone Walker Union Jack 98
Redhook Long Hammer  90
Hale’s Ales Mongoose 85
21st Amendment Brew Free! 88
Ballast Point Sculpin 97
Green Flash West Coast IPA 88
Lagunitas IPA 92
Moylan’s 89
Big Sky IPA 93
Alaskan IPA 93
Maui Big Swell 91
Deviant Dale’s IPA 96
Racer 5 IPA 96
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale 95
New Belgium Ranger IPA 91
Stone IPA 96
Sierra Nevada Torpedo  95
Anderson Valley Hop Ottin 87

Congratulations Chad, Dustin and everyone in the brewhouse.

Not too shabby!

Here’s a link to the review in Draft Magazine.





By in Local 36, Red Lager 0

Local 36 Red Lager:  Put Out the Fire

Mon, 30 Jun 2014 18:55:00

When you’re hot and bothered, and it’s time to put the fire out, cool your thirst with Worthy’s Local 36 Red Lager.

Local 36 Red Lager, the “lagger’s lager,” is a zippy, zesty, and robust reddish lager spiced handsomely with Ultra, a rare Oregon grown aroma hop with “noble” Bavarian roots. It’s brewed with Czech-style yeast and a mix of domestic and imported malts. It’s muscular without being hulking. Lean without being mean. And it delivers a smooth, clean and happily hopped finish.

“I’d like to say that we toiled, sweat and bled to brew this lager,” said Chad Kennedy, Worthy’s Master Brewer. “But actually, we had a blast. It all just sort of came together. It was fun to brew and it felt good knowing it was dedicated to a worthy group of men and women who helped build our great state.”

Local 36 Lager is named after a labor union in Portland, Oregon – the Local 36 Heat and Frost Insulators Union, also known as the “Asbestos Workers.” Why would Worthy Brewing name a lager after a labor union? Is Worthy celebrating asbestos, the most toxic mineral on Earth? And what’s with the salamander on the logo?

Read on, as we connect the dots.

100 Year Anniversary

100 years ago, when the Industrial Revolution was revving up, Local 36 was formed to organize insulators, also known as, “laggers.” Laggers applied insulation on hot surfaces to keep the heat in. Most of the insulation materials at the time were made of asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral renown for it’s heat retention properties.

Laggers kept the fires burning hot. They insulated pipes and boilers in ships, paper mills, refineries, powerhouses, as well as in hospitals, schools and churches. After a hard day’s work, laggers would be covered in white dust, dust which they brought home to their wives and children.

Little did the laggers know that asbestos, touted by industrial magnates as a “magic mineral,” was in fact a toxic, carcinogenic “wicked white powder.”  The asbestos fibers infiltrated their lungs like tiny, ticking time bombs, set to go off 20-40 years after exposure. By the 1970’s, across the nation insulators began to die by the hundreds from “white lung.”

A Fire is Lit

At about that time, a college kid from Corvallis spent his summers working at oil refineries in Houston, Texas. The lad was asked to clean the inside of boilers and furnaces. The upstart asked for a dust mask. The “safety manager” said he didn’t have any and, besides, “asbestos wasn’t that harmful.” The kid went on to law school, graduated and decided he wanted to represent industrial workers afflicted with asbestos diseases.

The “lad” is of course me, the owner of Worthy Brewing. In 1989, fresh out of law school, I came back from Texas to my home state of Oregon to meet with local labor unions about representing their tradesmen. The first union to take a chance on this fresh-faced, eager beaver was Local 36.

Fighting For Workers Rights

For the next 24 years, it was and continues to be my honor and privilege to represent some of the finest people in the world — hard working men and women who helped us win wars, build industries, and advance civilization, but who in so doing were deliberately poisoned by the worst corporations in the world.

Quite frankly, my law firm’s representation of laggers, pipefitters, boilermakers, carpenters, welders, drywallers and other tradesman and women afflicted with asbestos diseases has helped build Worthy Brewing. Local 36 Red Lager is Worthy Brewing’s way of honoring Local 36 on it’s 100th anniversary. And it’s my way of saying “thank you.”

Why a Slimy, Cold-Blooded Salamander

Now, about that salamander. The salamander is featured on the Asbestos Workers logo. Oddly enough, it’s shown casually roasting on a pipe over a red hot fire. Why did the founders of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators way back in 1903 choose this toothless, cold-blooded amphibian as their mascot?

To answer that, you have to go back in time. Way back before Aristotle and Pliny the Elder. According to the prevailing legends of the time, the cold and clammy salamander was imbued with the power to extinguish fire. That’s right. You could roast ‘em, you could toast ‘em, but they would not burn.

One Talmudic scholar scribed that the salamander was “created by Fire.” It’s not unimaginable, and here’s why. Salamanders hibernate in old, moist, rotten logs. It’s likely that an old timer tossed a wet log on a fire, the salamander sleeping inside woke up, and then scampered out of the smoke. And thus the legend was born.

In the 1200s, Marco Polo famously sojourned from Italy into Siberia, where the local merchants offered to sell him garments that would not burn. They called this inextinguishable fabric, of all things, “salamander’s wool.”  But Marco Polo was no dummy. Salamanders had no hair. He traced the weirdly named wool to a local mine, from which a glassy white mineral fiber was extracted, an infamous mineral which today we know as “asbestos.”

Apparently Leonardi da Vinci didn’t get the memo. In the early 1500s, Da Vinci observed that the salamander “gets no food but from fire,” the flames of which, he wrote, “renewed its scaly skin – for virtue.” Yes, it makes no sense. But it shows that even the most skeptical mind is no match for the seductive power of a loveable legend.

Love The Workers, Hate the Poison

It should go without saying that we deplore the “wicked white powder.” We wish that asbestos had remained in the ground, where it could do no harm. And we deplore the merchants of death who kept mining, milling and selling asbestos products long after they learned about it’s ugly toxicity.

But we adore the salamander. It reminds me of my youth, playing in the frog ponds in Corvallis, where the orange colored salamanders used to come out by the thousands after a heavy rain. In a tragic way, it’s fitting that the asbestos workers chose the salamander as their mascot. Today, probably because of climate change, there are far fewer salamanders. And, because of asbestos poisoning, there are far fewer laggers.

A Toast to Local 36 Laggers

So, on the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Local 36 Heat and Frost Insulators union in Portland, Oregon, we raise a toast. We honor Local 36’s legacy of craftsmanship. We honor the work they did to insulate our ships that fought the wars, from WWI, to Vietnam, to Afghanistan. We honor them for keeping our boilers warm and our coolers cool. We honor them for their hard work, their energy, their fight for living wages and safe working conditions. And we honor Local 36 laggers for their sacrifice. Despite the decline in the shipbuilding business, and the ravages of asbestos, which too often wiped out entire families of laggers, Local 36 has soldiered on, with pride, strength and good cheer.

Local 36, we salute you!  Solidarity Forever.

Now pass me a cold beer ferchrist sakes.

Roger Worthington, Esq.


Asbestos Lady first appeared in Captain America comics in 1947.

Asbestos Man was first issued by Marvel comics in 1963

During World War II, Portland and Vancouver were part of one of the largest ship building yards in the country, turning out one Liberty ship per day.

Pipe coverers stitching insulation around some of the 7.5 miles of piping that went into each Liberty Ship

Earl Kirkland. First elected Business Manager for Local 36 at the tender age of 26.

On the Bridge. Best Gotdamn Sandblaster Ever. Special Dedication to Punch Worthington, Ph.D, my asbestos investigator and Dad, who succumbed to the disease in 2006.

Working the Boilers. Punch Worthington on a fact finding mission at the old Brooks Scanlon Powerhouse in Bend, circa 2002.

Clean, tight and shiny. Worthy appreciates the stellar work by Local 36 union insulators in the brewhouse. The sun heats our water and the insulation keeps it piping hot.

Cascade Cycling Race Fans: Get Hopped Up!

Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:55:00

Normally, Worthy’s all about balance. But when it comes to the imperials, Worthy likes its big beers like it likes a criterium bike race: totally hopped up!

We really don’t want to watch a bunch of grown men in tights casually riding around in a circle. We want to see big, bold action: lung-busting attacks, epic bridges, out-of-body solo efforts, and crowd-energizing desperate breakaways.

In short, we want to see hopped up racers.  Athletes who throw caution to wind. Redliners who give more than they got, who go to failure, but seem to find a way to replenish the tanks. We want to see animated racers-cum-super heroes who attempt the impossible.

In that hard-charging spirit, as a sponsor of the 2014 Cascade Cycling Classic, Worthy is pleased to introduce the Most Hopped Up Racer award.  We’ll be giving out a customized Worthy jersey along with cold cash at the Downtown Twilight Criterium on July 19th.

We’ve selected three categories: the Category 2 race, the 35/45+ race, and the marquis event, the Men’s Pro 1 race, which begins at 7 pm in downtown Bend.

Now choosing the most hopped up rider, which is basically the same as “most aggressive,” or in my lexicon, “most combative,” is a subjective thing. I’ll be on the announcer’s stand with Splinter Wren to help pick the winner. But our panel of judges will include a few guys who know a thing or two about high-testosterone, smash mouth, stuff-the-punks-in-the-hole competition.

We are pleased to include on our Hopped Hop Expert Panel two home-grown Superbowl Champions, Mike Walter, who won three rings with the San Francisco 49’ers, and Kevin Boss, who won a ring with the New York Giants. It takes a gladiator to know one, and these guys know what it’s like to win in the Biggest of the Big Games, against the Baddest of the Bad. C’mon down during the event, get an autograph and selfie. They won’t bite!

Also, Worthy will be sponsoring the prologue, which kicks off the 35th Annual CCC on July 15th. The prologue is a 2.5 mile race against the clock on a twisty, turny course that will require raw power and deft bike handling. The prologue begins at 6 pm at the Tetherow Golf Club.

Worthy will have a tent at the start/finish line with plenty of Easy Day, IPA and Imperial Eruption on tap. Whether you want to talk Big Rings or Big Beers, there will be plenty of like-minded sports enthusiasts to bench race with, from whippet thin endurance dogs to burly, bar banging field sprinters.

Come on down.  The CCC is the best and oldest stage race in America. Every year it attracts the top racers in the country. Worthy is pleased to help support the race that laid the foundation for Bend’s national reputation as a cycling mecca. And beertopia.

For more about the race, or to register, click HERE.

Drink Up. Dream on.

Roger Worthington


Hit Fit! Oregon’s very own Mike Walter, one tough mutha. Three Super Bowl rings. And one of the nicest guys you’ll ever want to share a foxhole with.

Kevin Boss, another Oregon standout. Won a Superbowl ring with the New York Giants. He’s still fit enough to play. A bona fide bell ringer. Had to hang it up on the advice of his docs in his prime.

By in Pickers 0

Calling All Hop Pickers

Fri, 20 Jun 2014 18:55:00

Worthy’s looking for a few good pickers.

2014 promises to produce a banner hop harvest here at Worthy. So far the hops are right on schedule, with our Chinooks, Sterling, Santiam and Nuggets the first to reach the top of the 12 foot trellis wire.

In 2013, we planted over 20 hop varieties, including three experimental plants from the OSU-Indie Hops aroma hops breeding program.  The OSU-IH “magic hops” are looking very strong. Jack in the Beanstock strong.

We are expecting about 6-7 pounds of fresh hops per mound. For a second year harvest from an urban farm on the East Side of Bend and not too far West of the Badlands Wilderness area, we’re hoppy with that.

We will start picking in late August and will likely harvest our last hop in early September.  We’ll pick no hop before it’s time, so those precious hop oils will fully mature. More oil, better flavor.

Worthy will be pleased to provide beer and lunch to those hearty hop lovers who wish to participate in this sacred tradition. We will dry a portion of the fresh cones, and use the rest in our 5 barrel pilot system.

If interested, and you can climb a ladder, and have reasonably good balance, and are not afraid to get scratchy (hop bines are stickery!), please email our hop gardner, Lisa Kronwall, at Lisa@worthybrewing.com.  We’ll let you know when the noble flowers are ready for plucking.

Please, for your own good, no flip-flops and board shorts. We recommend long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and gloves. We don’t want you tossing and turning all night with a bad case of the hop scratchies.



Worthy Hops Up SoCal

Thu, 08 May 2014 18:55:00

Dana Point, CA.  When it comes to bike races, Worthy likes the action like a good IPA: fully hopped up to the last sip.

Worthy recently ventured down into SoCal to sponsor the 8th Annual Dana Point Grand Prix, the nation’s top criterium. Under sunny blue skies, the day featured a Cycle De Mayo Street Festival, massively cute kids races, the nation’s fastest bike racers, and two beer tents: one sponsored by Karl Strauss (for the 5th Marine Support Group) and the other by Sierra Nevada (all proceeds to the DPGP non profit charity).

Although we’re not licensed yet in California, Worthy gave the Socal locals a preview of things to come. To help energize the racers — so they in turn would electrify the thirsty fans — Worthy offered up special prizes to the most combative racers, the so-called Worthy Idiot Pounder Prize (WIPP).

The “incentive” program was a smashing success. The action was as fierce as it was entertaining. Seldom did the peloton bottle up or slow down. Instead, the racers whiffed around the six turn course on the bluff overlooking the Dana Point Harbor in a single file line at full stick.

The premise behind the “Pounding Idiots” prize was that racers sometimes are prone to sit back, ball up, hide and wait to unleash the froth on the final few laps. We wanted to reward those racers who threw caution to the wind and simply attacked for the thrill of it, the podium be damned. In the mens 35 plus race, the competition for the WIPP was so fierce that our three judge panel decided that there were no idiots in need of pounding, that in fact everybody was on or over the red line, so we gave the award to four worthy racers on the same team.

Congratz to our 35+ WIPP winners: MJ Johnson, Karl Bordine, Randall Coxworth and Phil Tintsman, all of Monster Media.  They helped push up the average speed to 29 mph. In contrast, the Pro Men averaged 28 mph (granted, the pro men raced 30 minutes longer). In the pro race, we awarded the WIPP to Kyle and Brandon Gritters, two brothers who raced like ten guys, never sitting back, always attacking.

And finally congratulations to the 45+ WIPP winner, Chris Genghis Hahn, who edged out fellow hammerheads Thurlow Rogers, Brett Clare and Mike McMahon.

Thank you to all the racers, as well as all the sponsors, race organizers and volunteers, for the best DPGP ever.  All proceeds from the event were donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group, and the Dana Point Community Cycling Foundation.

We also want to thank the John Johnson family for sponsoring the Mens Pro Race and calling attention to the need for the VA to provide better medical treatment options to veterans poisoned by asbestos and suffering from mesothelioma.

Worthy can’t wait to work our way down into Southern California by the start of the 2015 Dana Point Grand Prix.

Go hard at what you love!



Check out the DPGP photo gallery at http://www.keenan-photo.com/Private-Galleries/Worthy/n-V3fmH/

Gritty Not Pritty. Kyle and Brandon Gritters pounded the pro field like ten guys.

Genghis Cracks the WIPP! Chris Genghis Hahn, 45+ WIPP winner, donning his “most combative” Worthy jersey. With cash.

Smiles for Miles. Racing hard for a worthy cause. The Johnson Family proud to sponsor the Pro Race to honor fallen hero, John Johnson.

Worthy 35+ Podium. Charon Smith repeated as fastest Master, with runner up Aaron Wimberly and hard charging Surf City teamate Kayle Leogrande in third. Who’s the poser?

A Worthy Hand Up. Plenty of takers after the race, but during? Going a bit too fast to handle the Worthy IPA six pack offering.

It’s Easy Day Kolsch Time! After hammering the Women’s pro field, winner Shelby Reynolds is thirsty for an Easy Day. Flanked by runner up Mary Maroon and bronze medalitst Angelica Frayre.

Calling All Hop Bombers!

Wed, 30 Apr 2014 18:55:00

Worthy is pleased to sponsor the 8th Annual Dana Point Grand Prix and Cycle De Mayo Street Festival, this Sunday, May 4th, in Dana Point, California.

The DPGP, with a prize list of over $32,000, will include a full day of kids races, public races, and amateur and pro criterium races.  The marquee event, the John Johnson Family Men’s Pro Race, will start at 4pm.

To “hop up” the racers, Worthy Brewing will offer a special $1,000 cash prize and jersey to the most combative rider. A three judge panel, include former Olympian Steve Hegg, race announcer extraordinaire David Towle, and our founder Roger Worthington, will choose the winner.

The panel will be looking for the same qualities in the racers that locals want in a San Diego “Hop Bomb” – over the top hop zestiness, gnarly barleyness, foamy headedness, inexhaustible bubbliness, and crowd electrifying punchiness.

Worthy is not licensed to sell beer in California, yet. We are pleased to join with friends Karl Strauss and Sierra Nevada, two outstanding breweries who have been sponsoring the DPGP the past several years. Sierra Nevada will be serving great craft beer all day in their beer camp on Turn No. 1.

Prior to the Johnson Family Pro Men’s Race,  local guitar legend KK Martin will play The Star Spangled Banner.  If you liked Jimi’s version at Woodstock on Youtube, you’ll Love Martin’s amazing showmanship live.

Worthy would like to thank the City of Dana Point for their steadfast support of the DPGP the past 8 years. Los Angeles and Orange Counties lately have become notorious for their high incidence of car-bike related fatalities, ranging from simple negligence to manslaughter.  Kudos to Dana Point for promoting bike safety and respect when too many neighboring cities seem to be turning a blind eye on the rights of cyclists.

We’d also like to thank the Johnson Family for their advocacy efforts on behalf of mesothelioma victims. John Johnson was poisoned by asbestos as a plumber, contracted meso, pursued aggressive medical treatments, fought the legal fight, but succumbed to the deadly cancer.  The Family continued the fight by helping change the rules governing depositions of in extremis plaintiffs, as well as championing efforts to create a meso treatment program for veterans at the West LA VA.

As always, Go Hard at what you love. And whenever reasonably possible: Drink Up and Dream On.



Pounding Idiots! Worthy will be handing out the Worthy Idiot Pounder Prize (WIPP) to the most hopped up rider.

Go to the WIPP! Calling all agromaniacs: $1000 cash, plus a jersey, plus Worthy Beer. All you have to do is attack, pound and flail in fine epic fashion.

Worthy Flashing the Colors.

Semper Fi! The Johnson Family before the start of the 2013 DPGP Pro Men’s race. John Johnson was one tough marine.

A Worthy Day in Boise

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:55:00


The craft beer scene in Boise is hopping. Michelle and I loaded up the wagon and headed East to check it out. Naturally, the Walter Mitty in me imagined what a few of Boise’s landmarks might look like with a Worthy touch up.


We rented cruisers from Idaho Mountain Touring, which is a great place with a friendly staff. We rolled over to the beloved Boise River Greenbelt, a smart, smooth and gentle path through lush riparian habitats, and headed upriver. First stop was Bronco Stadium, with the iconic blue turf. The curtains match the carpet, no?


We crossed over the swift Boise River on a foot bridge near a golf course and it seemed appropriate to break out a can of the Easy Day Kolsch. Cruising on a fat tire bike with a big soft seat and a wire basket, checking out the sights, enjoying the sunshine, with no particular destination and no clocks — this is what we invented Easy Day for.

We came upon a garden of bright pink and orange tulips and they just sort of reached out for us.


I’d never been to Idaho before. My impression going in was that Idaho was another word for “potato.” I expected to see shiny bronze monuments glorifying the almighty tubers.  After all, Idaho is the leading producer of spuds (in front of Washington and Wisconsin). But the locals shrugged off the association, educating me that Idaho was instead “the gem state.” I learned that pioneers flocked to Boise and parts surrounding in the 1860’s because of the discovery of gold. Not finding any spud statues, we pedaled over to the local co-op to lay hands upon a bushel of home grown Yukon Golds. No, our IPA isn’t made with potatoes.


We stopped by the State Capital and found the obligatory Civil War vintage cast iron cannon. Not sure the last time this big fella erupted in fury. We learned it was a “sea coast cannon” used by the Confederacy in the Civil War.  Idaho didn’t join the Union until 1890.


In 1906, a bunch of motivated Boise schoolchildren cobbled the funds to build the “Pioneer Monument,” which depicts a Nez Perce Indian counseling an apparently lost Lewis and Clark on how to get back on The Oregon Trail. No, they probably were not asking for directions to “Beertopia.”


Boise’s vibrant downtown pub and restaurant scene lived up to its reputation. I’m sort of a fan of the back alleys, where a spray can and an independent spirit can sometimes unite with brilliant results. We found “Freak Alley,” a dumpster strewn corridor in which local artists are encouraged to let their “Freak Flag fly.” Even without a black light, the colorful murals at dusk cast a three dimensional glow that opens the mind’s eye.


No, alas, we found no potato pedestals, but we did find an interesting tribute to those brave and adventurous souls who came to Idaho 150 years ago to pan for gold. Today, the locals seem more interested in prospecting for the latest golden IPA.


After a fabulous day touring the University, the Greenbelt, the Capital grounds, and the Anne Frank Memorial (my favorite motto: “Idaho is Too Great for Hate”), we settled in for dinner at The Fork. We were absolutely dazzled by the asparagus fries, the roasted beets on a bed of warm Golden Greek cheese, the pan seared Idaho trout and the ale-braised short ribs. Scrumptuous! As an added treat, Shaun, the bar tender and our gracious server, poured us a can of Worthy Pale Ale from his superbly stocked cooler.

We had a wonderful trip, the locals were super friendly and we can’t wait to return.




By in The Contender 0

The Contender’s Ready to Rumble

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:55:00

In this corner…

Every craft worth it’s salt has it’s heavyweight.  You know, a Big Sledge Hammer of a beer. A beer as thick, heavy and god awful powerful as Mike Tyson. A beer you don’t mess with. One you respect. Maybe even fear. A burly brew you certainly don’t poke in the eye.

Weighing in at over 100 IBU, packing a 10.1 ABV wallop, with Plato numbers off the charts…

Let’s face it: sometimes balance is not the thing. Sometimes you want extreme imbalance. You want to get punched in the face, wobbled a tad, just to know you can take it.  Look, you beard a lion you know you’re gonna get scratched, maybe even eviscerated, but you gotta try, just to know you’re alive. And maybe a bit mad.

Packed with so much malt the mash tun runneth over.  Dry hopped 3 times, squeezing the juice out of 8 firebrand hops, including Amarillo, Citra, Chinook, Cascade, CTZ, Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial and Nugget…

Big may not be better but sometimes you want it loud, like “We Don’t Get Fooled Again” at full throttle. Or absurdly heavy, like a 2 door, 1971 Cadillac Eldorado.  Or wickedly powerful, like 190 proof Everclear on an empty stomach. Or just gluttonously huge, like that 72 oz Big Tex Steak down there in Lubbock.

….Tipping the scales at about 5 pounds of hops per barrel,…

Lets face it. Hop Bombs may not be the rage in the Pacific Northwest like they are down in San Diego, but  we Oregonians don’t back down simply because it may blow up.  We understand the rite of passage, the therapy of pushing the envelope, of flirting with foolishness. Go ahead, we say, hit me with your best shot.

Cooked up by Chad Kennedy, the Bard of Balance, normally a stick and move middleweight, fleet of foot, a lean and mean endurance guy who prefers to go the distance… The Bard trained hard for this, on red meat, potatoes and rotgut. Punched the sand-filled heavy bag off its supports.  Decapitated a small army of sparring partners.  Studied loops of Raging Bull, Rocky, Cinderella Man, and Along the Waterfront.  Repeats up the brewhouse stairs hoisting 200 lb sacks of malt. Tossed around 50 L kegs like popcorn.  Fired the medicine ball from a cannon into his belly without wincing. Stuck his arm in a jar of black widow spiders and rattlesnakes to vaccinate against the pain…

Can Worthy compete with The Heavyweights? Worthy likes to take balance to the extreme. Can we follow Blake’s infamous “road of excess to the place of wisdom?” We know what’s enough, yes yes. Can we toy with more than enough? Trespass into the danger zone? And yet: for all that brute bigness, the question taunts us: is it conceivable that even for a Big Muthuh of a Knockout Triple IPA, can Worthy deliver a knockout punch with a sliver of poise, panache and, wait for it… balance?

Ladies and Gentlemen, we introduce the challenger: The Condender!  Wait… What’s he doing? He’s fiddling with those big pillowy gloves. Is he? He looks like he’s… yes.. he’s .. taking them off! The Contender is removing his gloves. He’s showing his knuckles, taunting the Heavyweight Champion.  Folks, looks like we’ve got an old fashioned cage match…

Who will win? You decide. We’ve got a scant but dense six barrels. Prepared to be floored with over the top, freshly plucked, apricot fruit flavor. On tap Thursday. Step in the ring with … The Contender … if you dare.




The Contender will be released at the pub on Thursday. It’s Big, and Hop Punchy, but light on it’s feet. Keep your eyes open and your guard up.

The Contender floats like a butterfly, stings like a … honey bee. A honey bee that’s soaked up the sweet nectar of your juiciest apricot.

The brash Cassius Clay, against 8-1 odds, knocks out the indestructible Sonny “The Bear” Liston. The strategy? Pretend insanity. But wear him down and deliver a knock out punch.

The Thrilla in Manilla. With the crowd chanting “Ali: Bomaye!” (translated: Ali: Kill Him), Ali stunned the world with the coy “rope a dope.” When the cagy Ali finally came out swinging, the fatigued George Foreman was no match for Ali’s sweet revenge. Boom! Done.

By in Badlands Black IPA 0

Drink Badlands BLACK IPA. Get Good.

Wed, 02 Apr 2014 18:55:00

We don’t sojourn to the Badlands because it’s “bad.” We go there because it’s good. It’s where we go to escape the noise, the hustle, and the daily trespasses. It may be vast, Paleolithic, simple and stark, but finding yourself on the sandy floor of an ancient ocean does wonders for the imagination, as well as the senses.

In the same way, our Badlands Black IPA looks anything but complex. It’s dark, a color we tend to associate with roasty heaviness… stoutiness….and porterness.  Yet, if you close your eyes, and take a whiff, and let your senses truly lock in, you can visualize the fresh cut grapefruit, the juicy lemon and a fat and fragrant joint.

It’s like stopping amidst the gnarly junipers on the volcanic scree of the Flatiron Rock Trail to pick up a fossil, closing your eyes, and imagining a lush, long ago world where hungry T.Rex’s and scary finned and teethy shark-like creatures roamed the jungles and seas, respectively.

Well, maybe that’s a stretch. Let’s just say, the Badlands Black IPA plays tricks with your mind and delivers the unexpected.

The complexity comes from the way Chad brewed this beer, which we tapped from our 5 barrel system as part of our beloved “Heart and Soul Series” last week.  When it comes to balance, Chad is like a zen master. He will not abide a beer that is too bitter, or too sweet. His mission is to add here, subtract there until he finds that bittersweet spot.

Chad layered in hop additions during the boil every 15 minutes, as opposed to a simple bittering acid bedrock at the base and an aroma push at the end. It took more time, and a uni-tasker’s strict attention – not easy for a guy who’s simultaneously running a canning line, bottling line and a production brewhouse – but the fruits of said labor were more than worth it.

Chad carefully dosed the dark, roasted wort with the Church of Four C’s – Centennials, Chinooks, Cascade and CTZ — but his hop supplications were far from finished.  After fermentation, Chad double dry hopped his Heaven-bound brew with citrusy Citra with another “new” hop, El Dorado, renown for it’s stone fruity notes.

Is our Bad any Good? I had my first pint yesterday and took notes.  As you can see, with the rich crema head and mahogany blackness, my pre-quaff prejudice was towards a porter or stout. But the aroma came in with bright grapefruit and lemon, with a low to the ground dank pot-ness.

The first taste on the tongue was a strong roasted maltiness.  As it warmed, I detected notes of chocolate and coffee, although these sensations may simply have arisen from a mixture of auto suggestion and romance. As I said, the Badlands IPA is a tricksterish beverage that toys with the head and tongue.  My friend  took a pull and  imagined a chocolate tort with a raspberry drizzle, a strong and fairly unshakeable description I confess I was unable or unwilling to let go of.

All of this sounds “desserty” and “heavy” and yet the beer alights on the tongue with all the weight of fairy dust freshly sprinkled by a fasting Tinkerbell.

The finish is “hoppy,” which translates as a detectable coat of hop field bitterness on the tongue. And here’s the fun part – it’s pleasant.  The alcohol is warm and buzz worthy.

Folks, Badlands Black IPA has got legs. What does that mean? It means it’s got a future. It’s destined for The Mother Ship and eventually for delivery via cans or bottles or both.

“We’re limited on tank space but in June that will change,” predicts Chad, who never met a stainless tank he could not fill, on the double, on the spot.  “When we’ve got the new tanks, I’d like to share our Badlands Black IPA with everybody.” It has occurred to him to horde, a thought ratcheting up in its intensity as we approach our final keg.

“This is my favorite Worthy brew of late,” the Balladeer of Balance continued. “Drinking this beer is like getting lost in the Badlands — it helps me get shut of all the noise. And it opens my eyes to the amazing lights and colors all about, like a rainbow after a fresh rain in the high desert.”

OK. Those were not The Chadster’s exact words. The Badlands tends to make everything sound better.

Get Good. Drink Badlands Black IPA.


BTW – Please go chase a rainbow along the trail in the Badlands Wilderness Area, about 16 miles East of Worthy Brewing off of Highway 20.



A few minutes before this shot, Chad was in a foul mood. And then he clutched a pint of Badlands Black IPA, and the World Became Good.

Another Worthy Paradox: Dark but light. Malty but fruity. Simple but complex. Rich but may I have another?

Happy Customer! We found one. “I cant believe how good this tastes! It’s like a chocolate torte drizzled with rasberry sauce — without the calories!” We can’t make this up.

“Wait, I’m getting apricot here. And Bing Cherries….” Badlands IPA, perfect for good girls in search of a great time.
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