There were many valuable learning moments to be had at the first-ever Beer Bloggers Conference – and a lot of topics for thought. But one of the things that I know I’ll never have the opportunity to do again, and was incredibly lucky to eperience, was to taste Brew Dog’s 55% alcohol beer, The End of History – served in a bottle stuffed inside a road-killed stoat (or as they are known in the US, an ermine). While this might sound like an awful idea, I thought of it as one of those things that will just stick with me for a long time whether it tasted good or not.
So, I entered a contest sponsored by Beer Tap TV (www.beertaptv.com) that required a 30 second video describing why youshould be able to taste the End of History at the Beer Bloggers conference. At 2am, I put some makeup on, sat in front of my computer and made a joke about moose, and referenced some Monty Python. I entered, then started a three day quest to get anyone and everyone who knew me to vote in the contest. After exhausting campaigning, I was ahead of the other two entrants – (both women, interestingly) – but overnight the day before I left, Tamre from Girls Pint Out had me thoroughly whipped. I gave up and smiled when asked about it. It was fun, and it was fun just to have a chance and to see the outpouring of support from people who know me only online. And if I got just one person to laugh at the Monty Python jokes, that was enough.
After talking to the guys at Beer Tap TV at the conference itself, they were nice enough to offer me a taste after the filming of their show was over – if there was any left. Flattered and excited, I waited for the moment to come. I watched the look on the faces of The Beer Wench, the Beer Tap TV guys and Tamre as they took their sips of the brew.
Pure pain, distain and, well, burning. I couldn’t hear too much else of their analysis, but by the time my opportunity to drink it came around, I was expecting paint thinner.
But, what I got was entirely different.
Imagine, if you will, a strong, strong IPA with lots of malt. So, something like a Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA or a Stone Ruination. Then, subtract a little hops but leave that extreme beer flavor… and follow it with a healthy serving of moonshine. When swirled in the glass, the legs were ridiculous – it acted like whiskey. Basically this beer started out as a beer, and you could still taste that is what it was, but ended as a too-warm-to-enjoy liquor. It finished with a burn, for sure, but it’s a beer through and through. And that’s the answer to the question that I’ve had on my mind since I heard about Brew Dog’s insane ventures… is it still a beer?
My only regret in this situation is that the beer wasn’t colder (Though I wouldn’t have wanted to see it put on ice or else there’d be quite a soggy stoat sitting on the table) but it was probably one of the most interesting things I’ve ever consumed.