Beer and the outdoors are kinda like bears and salmon. You don’t necessarily need beer or salmon to survive but you damn well enjoy knocking them back when they’re around.
To celebrate our frothy love for malt, hops and adventure, we’ll be hosting a weekly report on our favorite beers for the outdoors.
Helping us do so is a trained professional by the name of Nick Sheehan. Based out of Colorado and hailing originally from our home in Hawaii, Nick is the only person we know who went to Napa Valley for his 21st birthday and got offered multiple jobs based on his wine pallet. He then realized wine was too pretentious, became a hipster beer snob, developed multiple beer programs, beer clubs and works closely with Colorado’s saturated craft scene. So we’ll let him take the rest from here…
Nick Sheehan: The rain was pouring, the hail was a-comin’ but I had a task to achieve…. Get the fick outside and drink a heckin’ beer. If there is one thing that I do not do, it’s letting my friends down. So, I went outside and sat down. (literally what he did if you view the photo above)
My name is Nick Sheehan and today I will be telling you about a kick ass beer that I really enjoy. There is a brewery in Louisville, Kentucky that I have really been diggin’ on lately. They’re called Against the Grain. Just as their name suggests, they are anything but normal, and produce beers that are so elegant and delicious, it’s not hard to understand why they’re blowing up right now.
The beer I’m going to be rambling on about today is a beer called Rico Sauvin. Rico, is a DIPA (Double India Pale Ale) showcasing one of my personal favorite hops, Nelson Sauvin. This is a hop hailing from New Zealand and much like the actual Kiwi, this hop is loaded with flavor.Before we dive right into this beer, I wanted to talk about the history of the DIPA.
It all started back in 1994, a beautiful man by the name of Vinnie Cilurzow brewed a beer. That beer was called Blind Pig Inaugural Ale, brewed at Blind Pig Brewing Company in Temecula, California. Fast forward 3 years to 1997. Krobel Champagne Cellars decided that they wanted to try something different from wine so, they opened a brewery in Guerneville, California. Who did they hire? Mister Vinnie Cilurzow. This little fun project would become Russian River Brewing Company. Now, I’m not sure if a lot of you have ever heard of Russian River, their amazing sour beer program, or other beers like Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger. A lot of people consider Pliny the Elder to be the best beer in the world (ehhm, John Purinton).
Would I? Absolutely not. But is it the most important beer in the IPA category? Hands down, yes.
Pliny the Elder was the first packaged Double India Pale Ale and for that, this beer is unbelievably important to all things related to modern beer, hoppy or otherwise. In addition, Vinnie at Russian River made the first DIPA back in 1994! What this little company (60 employees as of 2012) has done for our beer culture is second to none. Russian River was purchased from Krobel by Vinnie and his wife Natalie in 2003. But I digress.
Rico Sauvin comes in a bright pink 16oz can with a shirtless hipster (that looks a lot like Nick) caressing his nipple, grapes bulging from his crotch, the standard thick-rimmed glasses, standing next to his trusty sheep with a ball gag in its mouth (funny Kiwi humor if you get it).
This is a car crash of a can, so bad you can’t look away.
Despite this fantastically cringe-worthy can art, this beer is flawless. Rich hop profile with fantastic notes of green apple, guava, and pineapple while still holding onto a darker malt characteristic. The mouth-feel on this beer is second to none. Luscious and rich without being offensive or overpowering. All and all this beer is nice to take on a hike or a bike ride and surprisingly, at 8.5% ABV, it’s incredibly crushable. It goes down like nothing else. 10/10 Against the Grain. Keep it up!