The Righteous Brews: TRVE Brewing Co., North Coast Brewing Co., and… Pabst Blue Ribbon Utah 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, the second installment highlighting the best of the Northeast here, and the third covering the best of Wicked Weed. And now here’s Alex with column #4:
So here we are, right back in the region in which we began seven weeks ago. We have crossed this nation two times over at this point and it all seems like such a blur. In this edition I will be chronicling two harsh contrasts; on one end are the extremely generous and prolific people of TRVE Brew in Denver who hooked up our whole band with a long series of fantastic brews and treated us with unparalleled kindness. On the other hand we have something more offensive, more infuriating, and certainly more anti-American than any other beer I’ve come across.
TRVE Brewing Co. – beer flight
While enjoying a day off in Denver, the gang and some friends decided to stroll on over to TRVE Brewing Co. to see what all the fuss was about. The people were super friendly, and extremely sympathetic and enthusiastic in regards to us being in a touring band. The lighting, wall decor, even the upholsteries were tasteful, dark, modern and strangely appropriate. I opted for the flight first off. I chose the Wanderlust (a Belgian pale ale), the Hellion (table beer), Stout O))) (Stout), Cursed (sour pale ale), and the Alma (Belgian strong ale).
I began with the Wanderlust; it was rich and balanced yet keeping in line with the brewery’s ethos of being drinkable but not overwhelming. For a Belgian, the beer had a solid malt background. I’m normally more partial to beers that have a solid malty foundation upon which robust layers of flavor are introduced. This Belgian was rich on notes of clove, banana, a light breadiness and an extremely finite layer of spice that I may be misinterpreting. Some may find this beer slightly too sweet for a Belgian pale, yet I enjoyed every sip.
Next up was the Hellion, which is an American table beer; what that means is that it’s meant for drinkability above all else. This beer seemed like my first attempt at brewing in my sideyard. It had a strong presence of all the grains and malt used in its creation, yet in a less fermented and refined delivery. There was a hair of sweetness, a little bitterness, and in a post-apocalyptic world I’d be all over this like a fat diabetic on insulin, but the reality is that for now, I don’t think I’d ever order it.
Stout O))) is more than just a clever name. I am not a huge fan of stouts, yet I was pretty impressed by this beer. Full bodied, smooth and more reminiscent of chocolate cake than a piece of dark chocolate due to some kind of flour or bread note that I couldn’t quite figure out enough to describe.
Cursed was next in line, and I ended up getting two full glasses of this after the flight; I’d never had such a tasteful balance of a sour and pale ale before. As stated earlier I am a newb to the world of sours, yet I am well on my way to the path of enlightenment. This beer was citric, fruity, complex, and more mouthwatering than Kevin Spacey in yoga pants.
By the time I got the Alma, I was approaching wasted. I honestly don’t remember much about this beer but I’m sure it wasn’t terrible. All these beers, paired with a unique and top-notch aesthetic and the humbling generosity of the staff made our visit to TRVE Brew truly memorable.
5 out of 5 horns
North Coast Brewing Co. – Brother Thelonious
Man, when I look back on the endless chronicles of beers I’ve tasted in my life, this will always be one I remember. This is not a new beer for me, nor some huge discovery or revelation, but what Brother Thelonious represents is pure, refined American ingenuity. BT is one of those beers that stands on the West Coast and hurls backs of flaming shit over the US, crossing the Atlantic into an old angry Belgian man’s yard. This beer gives so many Belgian classics a run for their money, and each time that I come across it I am reminded why it will remain a classic in the development of my palette. It’s a Belgian strong dark ale coming in at 9.4% ABV with a dark rustic color that is nearly solid black, it and it has balanced aromatic notes of brown sugar, alcohol, and dark fruits (cherries or figs, I think?). The mouthfeel is very creamy, a bit heavy, yet appropriate for the style. I tasted banana, brown sugar, caramel, alcoholic sweetness and some kind of raisin. This is a go-to high quality Belgian dark ale, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to have their mind blown.
5 out of 5 horns
Pabst Blue Ribbon – Utah Edition 3.1% ABV
I ask one simple question: how does one come to cause such pain and sorrow without any acknowledgment that what they have done is immoral? PBR is as American as apple pie, as cherished as Bill Clinton’s saxophone skills, and as patriotic as a cruise missile. PBR is the constant that exists in a world of turmoil, where ISIS swarms vast regions, where Babymetal exists, or where an entire American state is still under the theocratic influence of a convicted murderer and con-artist that somehow managed to sucker a bunch of blonde-haired blue eyed twats into curating a Mormon utopia in the mountains and delegating that such American treasures must be defiled, uprooted and bastardized to suit their glasshouse of spiritual authority.
Utah has long demanded that PBR in the state of Utah must be diluted down to 3.1A% ABV from its normal 4.7%-5% range. How do the employees of the Utah DABC sleep at night? We have the threat of foreign usurpers, terrorism, and even homegrown radicals; yet not one time have we addressed the human rights violation and disregard of all truths we hold to be self-evident in the defiling of this American classic. Have we forgotten our roots? Our moral fabric? Drinking this beer with its weak and absurd flavor deviation made me shed a tear. I felt like one of the suckers who believed Joseph Smith’s “Seer Stones” were actually real, like the poor man unable to pay his “tithe” therefore denied entry to the highest Celestial Kingdom, like the older “less dashing” sister-wife cast aside for some younger spring chicken.
All self-righteousness and ostentatiousness aside, we have here a war crime, a human rights violation, dare I say a case of domestic terrorism? Shame on you, Utah, for being so pompous as to think you could walk in and vomit on a classic. You stole the stems of “Stairway to Heaven,” deleted Jimmy Page’s solo and threw your own dog shit rendition of that one time Lil’ Wayne tried to “play guitar” on top of it and resold it to unknowing victims like a cheap snake-oil salesman. To award this beer any horns is equatable to awarding horns to the 9/11 hijackers, so for this reason I shall do no such thing.
No horns, no apologies, no redemption