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