The Righteous Brews: The Wicked Weed Edition
With his band currently out on tour with The Black Dahlia Murder, Fallujah vocalist Alex Hofmann has combined his passions for all things brutal and foamy into one unified pursuit: to find the most Righteous Brews that America has to offer! Throughout the tour, fans have been dropping off cases of some of their favorite local beers for the band to enjoy, and Alex has been chronicling his opinions of the nation’s finest suds for his very own MetalSucks column. Read the first installment on Colorado beers here, and the second installment highlighting the best of the Northeast here. And now here’s Alex with column #3:
What’s up, you animals? This is the third edition of “The Righteous Brews,” and this time I have a special edition featuring Wicked Weed, who were kind enough to bring me a care package during our stop in Spartanburg, SC. I got to sample a wide array of the awesome options they offer and may have finally broken into a new territory of the beer world that had previously gotten the best of me… sours! I got a taste of a few other good ones that I will be talking about below.
Bedeviled Golden Strong
This beer came into my world at a time when I was suffering from possibly the worst case of “the Itis” or “Tour AIDS” that I’ve ever been subjected to. I was feverish, irritable and otherwise shot as fuck, so I was not necessarily in the mood to be drinking because: 1) alcohol is bad for your immune system (duh), and 2) my palette was all kinds of fucked up and nothing tasted right. When I finally was well enough to try this beer, we made a makeshift cooler out of the sink in our hotel and I sat inside wallowing in my own self-loathing.
I was not able to enjoy this beer in a glass — and it’s a fairly heavy beer — so for this reason I think the flavor was slightly compromised. The hotel was also in Florida during a wave of 90-degree weather and equal humidity. This is a beer for the fall or cooler months, meant to be enjoyed in a glass and most ideally with food. It’s a classic Belgian option with notes of Belgian yeast, bananas, and a hint of citrus the way any Belgian Golden Ale should have. Mouthfeel and carbonation were pretty standard, but overall quite balanced. The high ABV (9%) was not nearly as heavy in flavor as many of its contemporaries and given my state of being at the time, a little bit of alcoholic kick was welcome. Be it the circumstance, or my post-sickness recovery period, this beer fell a bit short, yet I found myself drinking every single one that was given to me.
3 out of 5 Horns
Oblivion Sour Red
The memory of this beer burned and lingered in my mind like the losing of my virginity, first experience with ecstasy or the first time I saw that scene in Black Swan where Mila Kunis goes down on Natalie Portman… feelings you take with you ’til the mortician lays those gold coins on your eyes and casts you off on the River Styx. Trying this beer curated a moment of clarity, a peace of sorts, in my long journey of understanding sours. I’ve never gotten the hype with this style, why everyone thought they were so great. I always thought sours were a tangy and tart copout for people who like to talk like they enjoy beer without actually having to drink one.
This beer was like the moment of adulthood where you understand the lesson your parents were trying to teach you by whooping your ass all the time. It was like every bad experience leading up to tasting it was conditioning me to finally understand what sours were trying to accomplish. The Oblivion is a masterpiece, a symphony of sorts; Oblivion is the Hanz Zimmer, the Robert De Niro, the Hall & Oates of sours. The beer pours dark, and knocks you out at the first sip. Your jaw muscles clench, your mouth waters, you find yourself in a sickening warp of abuse and arousal, like your first experience in that German techno club you never told anyone about. There are flavors of dark fruit, a vinegary tartness and something like an almond or Vanilla sweetness that I cant quite place. The tart red wine astringency mellows out as time goes on, opening up an even more nuanced level of flavor that didn’t quite develop as the aromatic assault first played waste to my taste buds. I think I can now approach sours with enthusiasm instead of pretension. Thank you, Wicked Weed, for opening this door. I don’t know how I carried on before it.
5 out of 5 Horns
Pernicious American IPA
This beer (like the Bedeviled) was consumed in my post-sickness-Robotussin-induced daze. While this one seemed like a poor choice given my state, it picked me up out of my stupor and got the ol’ taste buds fired up. I consumed it from the bottle, perhaps not very ideal as seems to be the trend with WW’s beers. The nose was dominated by a strong hop aroma, with some layers of bright sugary fruit (perhaps pineapple? grapefruit?) in the taste that began to come into focus as I drank more of it. It may seem at first to be a bit harsh, but as you drink more you realize that for its IBU’s and ABV it’s actually a very drinkable beer. The citrus and clean yeast finish make this beer easy on both stomach and palette and you could easily find yourself in a spear fight with a Volvo if you don’t keep an eye on your intake. This beer like the numerous others I tried from Wicked Weed inspired some new enthusiasm for beers that I previously had minimal interest in.
I thank Justin and the others for hooking us up and showing me how Asheville, NC does it!