It's a rare and humbling phenomenon ... this Auburn Ale House Triple IPA that somehow ended up with my mug on it along with the hilarious catch phrase "Drink to be Sober".
It is an interesting tale, an idea born at the end of one epic that may have created another. As the dying embers of an enchanted hop evening was about to ride off into the sunset of drunkin oblivion Brian Ford and I found ourselves surrounded by the remains of 50+ growlers from around the Western lands wondering "Now what do we do?"
Naturally we did what we often do....sitting with yet another pint creating stupid, and sometimes useful, beer names and slogans.
As best I can recall from that haze of washout memories it was a chance observation of my beard almost falling into the hoppy concoction in front of me or Brian thinking that somehow my scruffy facial hair might make a good cartoon character....In any event after a few free word associations later we both blurted out what came to be the obvious destination of our foolery ....."ZZ Hop!"
For me it was all just good fun and an idea that would have died....but Brian....being the clever, industrious and forward thinking lad that he is had the foresight to scribble it down on the brew board to be found later by a more rational clear thinking version of himself.
Unbeknownst to myself Brian started formulating his Triple IPA recipe during the ensuing months and hatching his diabolical plan to introduce his latest Frankenstein brew creation to the public at the next running of The Bistro's Double/Triple IPA fest that occurs every February as part of San Francisco Beer Week.
For me it is a great tribute that I have trouble wrapping my head around most of the time. Oh how is the beer you say? Good question ... I was fortunate to sample it several times in the brewing process and it put a smile on my face right from the start with it's yellow/Gold pale appearance and smooth reeking Hops flavors.
Today I will actually be sampling the ZZ again at the Sam Horne's Tavern "Folsom Hop Rodeo" along with a dozen or so other extreme IPA's. After that it's off to Sacramento Beer Week's big brew fest at Cal Expo....I'm thinking by the time I ride my bike to Folsom....check out the hoppy brews that Dylan has gathered and then make it out to the fest with The Beer Geek there will be few beers that will still be standing up to my wrecked palate.... Can't wait. As my good buddy Rick likes to say....'Life is good'