It was in his Collective Arts Spiegelau glass - the style created several years back by the German glassware manufacturers in tandem with American brewers, Sierra Nevada out of Chico, California and Dogfish Head out of Milton, Delaware, meant to optimize the taste of your IPA and blah, blah, blah, other stuff I don't buy.
However, the fact that he referred to his beer as a "slow Sunday sipper" also meant he was watching Drunk Polkaroo videos (as we all do) because that is one of Polk's folksy catch-phrases. It simply means the beer is probably high-octave, say, an ABV of 8% or more. When they're darker like Imperial Porters, Stouts or Belgians, he switches it up to "big boozy bastards." They're like original genuine bonafide Made-by-Polk Phrases. The man's an Ontario craft beer legend.
Eventually, Jay and I just started referring to any and all good IPAs as a "slow Sunday sipper in my Spiegelau" regardless of the day of the week. We simply liked Polk's alliteration... all those S's. And because I got tired of constantly Googling the damn word for the correct spelling, I simply started referring to the glass style as my Spee-gah-loo. You ever have one of those words that you simply can't remember how to spell, like, ever? Yeah, "Spiegelau" was mine. That it's a German name doesn't surprise me. I mean, their bloody word for pen is "kugelschreiber." Linguists will tell you German is the easiest language to learn because it's the most logical but a 14-letter word for pen? Work with us here, Germany!
Now because those stupid Spee-gah-loo things are more fragile than your 90-year-old Grandma on ice skates, I broke both of mine within months. One time, I had simply washed it and was putting it in the drying rack. Nothing near it. *Ping* It broke. I probably should have turned off the ceiling fan in the kitchen first so as to not expose it to raging high winds like that. Perhaps it brushed against a spoon. Who can tell?
But they both kacked it and I thought, meh, that's that, then. Except I popped into Collective Arts Brewing in Hamilton a short time time afterward and holy cow patties, they had branded Collective Arts Spiegelau's for sale. I could have resisted, I suppose, but Collective Arts makes some of the best IPAs in Ontario and it is the official hipster IPA glass so... Also, Spiegelau glass, you are a foul and ruthless temptress. You show no mercy.
Well, I broke it, too (no way you saw that coming, eh?) so during Collective Arts' next big IPA release (like, six days or maybe six minutes later), I bought another. But I thought, "That's it. When this one dies, the lineage ends. The Spiegelau Family is over. Kaput. Nicht mehr." (No more.)
Anyway, I recently made two trips into Collective Arts within a week. The first was to buy Beer Bro Glenn some of their new beers that he was dying to try and knew he wouldn't be able to get his hands on because he lives in Oshawa. And the second was to replace the new beers that Glenn was dying to try because I drank the first ones. But between the two trips, I had managed to break my fourth Spiegelau. Do I give it one more try or... Nope! Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to my sexy in a plain way Collective Arts pint glass. Fully functional!! Not as achy breaky.
So at some point, I'm gonna have to break it to Polk that there will be no more slow Sunday sippers in my Spee-gah-loo at Donny's Bar and Grill. Will he be gutted? Absolutely. (Polk: "Wait... what?") Will he get over it? Probably not. (Polk: "Get over what again?") But the man is a brave soldier and I know he will carry on. (Polk: "Wait? What exactly am I carrying? What the hell, man?")
Now I can invoke Polk's name here because I know he's broken a couple himself. One simply blew off his patio table once. I heard no mention of wind so I assume a mosquito flew past and the shock-waves from its wings were enough to send it flying. Beer Bro Glenn has broken a few himself though he only cops to two. He's klutzier than me so I'm not buying that bill of goods. Barrie Beer Brother Hago saw his Collective Arts soldier die at the hands of his lovely wife who was (ruthlessly and viciously) doing the dishes. But the most recent loss of a Spiegelau came at the hands of my Twitter buddy, Burlington Dave (@puckywuckums).
On February 3rd, he took to Twitter to praise Collective Arts Collective Project New England Style Double IPA No. 5 as not only the best of the brewery's numbered IPA series so far but also one of the best beers he's ever had. Within the hour, he was back on Twitter, mourning the loss of his Spiegelau in a tragic dish-washing accident. That struck a chord with me because it was also the last beer my Spiegelau held in its delicate frame before its demise.
Is it possible that the Collective Arts Collective Project New England Style Double IPA is so bursting with flavour that a glass so thin simply can't contain it and literally bursts? And is this, in fact, the perfect segue for me to talk about the new Collective Arts beers? And would I do something that transparent and lame? You bet your damn ass I would. Burlington Dave called it. Okay, for the record, their Ransack the Universe IPA will always be an all-time favourite but this is that hazy, glorious New England style, baby, and that's a different birdie altogether.
The minute I tried this beer, I couldn't even remember what my favourite of their previous four numbered IPAs was. (I think maybe it was No. 3.) But it doesn't matter. This one was such a step above the others - all of which were very good - that it defies description (though that won't stop me.) Jacked with Simcoe and Citra hops, you get a blast of citrus on the nose, melon and orange on the tongue. This 8.2%, probably 45 IBU nectar of the gods has to become part of their regular line-up! I will actually beg if I have to because there is no actual dignity in this space. Actually, this is kind of a morally-bereft space altogether, come to think of it. Meh. But hey, now it's 100% Spiegelau-Free! (The Devil's Chalice, I say...)
Okay, apparently their Life In The Clouds Hazy IPA was previously released as just Hazy IPA and I somehow missed it. I was probably distracted by a squirrel or something. It happens. With alarming frequency. Okay, since it now has a proper name, that means it must be in the regular line-up which makes me happy. Not quite the same kind of thrill-seeker as IPA No. 5, this is nonetheless a strong entry into the New England IPA (neee-pahhh) marketplace. Simcoe and Mosaic hops in this which means tropical fruit swirling in a hazy jug of tasty-ass. At 6.1% and probably also about 45 IBU, it won't kick you in the arse like the No. 5 but hey, after a couple, I absolutely guarantee you that you will believe you have Buns of Steel. (Disclaimer: Guarantee not valid in Ontario.)
Okay, from the glorious Neee-pahh style I worship, let's move onto a style I am far more dubious of - the Milkshake IPA. Because every brewery needs at least one of these, the Raspberry Milkshake IPA is Collective's entry.
So let's get back on track outside the dairy world with Collective Arts Collective Project Black IPA. I snap this seasonal up whenever both it and myself land at their retail counter at the precise same moment. Why? Because I love this beer. The 6.8% bowl of black magic smells like a regular west coast IPA (pine and grapefruit) if you close your eyes but on the tongue, lots of cocoa and licorice. I will always have time for this style. Okay, so while all of these Collective Arts beers are winners in their own way, in a far more realistic and accurate way, that New England Style Double IPA No. 5 smoked them all and is officially the New England IPA to beat for my Best of 2018 list. Good luck with that.
Okay, moving on from beer business to the much more serious business of my upcoming birthday. It's February 14th (jot that down please) so I have taken all of next week off.
But suddenly, Twitter craft beer lover Clevareno jumped in with a crazy suggestion.
|I finally figured out where on the strip this sign is so|
this time, it's me, this iconic landmark and many tasty
Nevada IPAs. It's actually just a 10 minute walk away
Right now, I have Brittany at Champion Print Studios in Oakville on the case, making this shirt happen by the weekend. That cartoon on a simple black T-Shirt, size large because I'm totally jacked, man. Ripped. Buff. All the buzz-words that people who actually exercise use. Brit got back to me and said the best they could do without losing resolution was a six-inch-by-six-inch image (not sure why as David's original art, which he sent me and I relayed to her, was easily 12-by-12-inch) but it's getting done in two days so it's coming to Vegas. I'll get a proper big-crested one done when I get home. But this insanely-brilliant idea of Clevareno's that David made real in minutes had to make the trip. So it's coming, too. Okay, Scooby Gang, that's it, that's all and I am outta here. I'll be back with those Glenn beers on the weekend but until then, I remain...