Thursday, June 16, 2011

MAXED OUT: The coolest growlers evah!

Who's up for a little bit of a road trip? Yeah? Well, then... we'll just throw it over to Maximus.

Well hello there, my gangsters of growlers, it’s good to be seen.
Maxed Out has had a pret-ty busy week in the craft beer biz, so I had a little trouble deciding what this week’s article was going to be.
As you may know Hoffer’s had an AMAZING tap list this week, featuring
several of Port/Lost Abbey beers. Some of the highlights include
Adlib which is a combination of bourbon barrel aged Midnight
Expressions, bourbon barrel aged Judgment Day, and rye barrel-aged
Serpent Stout. The ABV is unknown and the style is unidentifiable as
the three beers are different but similar. We also had the Old &
Older Viscosity which are big and bigger stouts. The Old is 10 %
while still remaining smooth and delicious. The Older is 12%, very
rare, and over the top in this humble writer’s opinion. Bear
Republic’s Apex was also on, as well as Firestone’s Double Jack,
Maui’s Coconut Porter, Maui’s Mana Wheat (a pineapple hefeweizen…
yum,) Delerium Tremmens, North Coast’s 2009 Old Stock. Let’s just say
the line-up was boom goes the dy-no-mite!

But the big event this past week was a brewery, a new brewery called
Iron Fist. Saturday, tough guy, Dean and I made a trip up to Iron Fist
in Vista, California some 45 minutes north of San Diego. We met his
big bro and nephew up there (Yo, K, you were late upon late, I’m
calling you out.)
I digress. Let me drop a little knowledge on ya’ll
about Iron Fist. They are about a year and a half old and their head
brewer just so happens to be 21 years of age. Just old enough to
legally enjoy his tasty brew and he’s making some of the most ground-breaking stuff available. What an a-hole! They take established
styles of beer and break the mold in fantastic fashion. Their most
popular beers are Gauntlet IIPA, and the Velvet Glove Imperial Oatmeal
Stout. Come again! An imperial oatmeal stout? Yes, that just

So, the service is grand to say the least. I walked up for a beer and
a beer was presented. I dropped the Hoffer’s line, the fact that I
worked there, and the operations manager (Mark?) came out to talk with
me. He even gave me a mini-tour of the facility. I know, rough life
I lead. But the beers, oh the beers! How delightful they were
indeed! I had all of their “hands” which included the Out of Hand,
Off Hand, and the Hired Hand. They are all saisons, however the Out
of and the Off are seasonals whilst the Hired is a regular on their
rotation. They are all awesome, and I got a growler (pitcher to go)
of the Off Hand. Saisons were originally brewed in the winter for
summer drinking which is what they should be, because a saison is
light crisp and refreshing. Look it up.

Did I mention the growler? Their growlers are slightly larger than a
typical growler with a hand carved handle and the most tasty of brews
inside. Thank you Ouuuuut of Hand! Trust me, it’s impressive! And
Dean and I will be returning. And a quick shout out to K and Toey!
You guys made the trip. Especially when nephew Toey decided that he,
tipsily, would challenge Mr. Tough Guy (Dean) to a B-Ball one-on-one.
Chris, I stand by my 2 to1 bet. If Dean wins by less than 5 I will
call it a draw.

So, when are we going to Iron Fist, kids? Let’s do this! So rad, from
time of conception (some 3 hours before execution) to the regulation
which was epic! If you wanna go or just tell me that I’m a drunken
who-so-ever, hit me up at, on facebook, or
in the comment section downstairs. You dig?

Until the next time my beer-loving brethren, have a drink for me.

(ed. note: We had not had the Apex IPA from Bear Republic in quite some time. Let's just say that it was quite nice to get re-aquainted with it last Friday at Hoffer's.... We believe Max may have understated just how cool the experience was up at Iron Fist this past Saturday. Of all the throw-open-the-aluminum-sliding-door-in-the-middle-of-a-non-descript-business-park brewery experiences we've had, the one at Iron Fist was, hands down, the best. The Great American Beer Festival ought to have a category for this. As committed West Coast IPA types, we don't even really care for Belgians and Saisons. However, we will hammer any of the "Hand" beers mentioned above any day of the week. Having said that, our favorite remains their Spice of Life. Highly recommend it with some sushi.)

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