Although...yesterday we PacificBrewNews types got together and braved the furthest back reaches of my fridge and managed to unearth a few interesting nuggets.
We started out with a couple of brews Mark The Beer Geek brought over, a can of IPA from 21st Amendment and a bottle of Irish Red from Sam Adams.
After that Terri insisted on un-screwing the top to a growler of Auburn Ale House IPA AND a growler of Sac Brewing IPA. Now we were talking.
I also brought forth an old growler of Beermann's 'Green Acres' IPA...but I'd waited too long on that one and it was without much carbonation or pleasant features.
After awhile Rick went digging through the fridge and came up with a 2005 bottle of Moylan's Hopsickle that he'd given me a few months prior. It was still in pretty good shape..typically gaining sweetness and losing a lot of the hop character.
Mark went in again and came out with a bottle each of Mad River Double IPA and El Toro Deuce. I had no idea I had a couple of those in there.
Not to be outdone I rummaged through the rutabagas (well not really but it was fun to type) and found the first bottle of Blue Frog double IPA I ever purchased. I believe it was from their original batch a couple years ago. It's a corked beer and Tracy noticed that the cork was barely in the bottle. But no worries ...the beer was fine..as fine as that Double ever is.
Suddenly I noticed that it was getting tougher and tougher to come up with many more hop monsters so I did what any honest beer drinker would do under the circumstances......I drug out some Sierra Nevada Big Foots from the drawer archives.
Fortunately there were still some bottles from 2001, 2003 and 2005 that Brewer Steve had given us back in 2006 (or was it 2005?) when we took the tour at the Chico plant.
All the samples were well received and enjoyed..... but the consensus was that the 2003 was in the best drinking shape. Or was it the 2005? The 2001 showed signs of it's age...it was obvious from it's great mellowness.
This led us to grab out a bottle of the 2008....just for historic comparisons mind you. It had to be done..... Frankly all the Big Foot samples aged like you would expect them too...picking up smoothness and sweet character with ever passing year while surrendering some of it's bountiful hop backbone in the process.
I'm already looking forward to the 2009 batch, which Rick tells me is due out in late January this year. Indeed I am ready, although first I must hustle on down to one of the local beer marts and grab me some of the 2008 Celebration which hit town recently.