Beer #114 - W/C 1 May 2017
BREWERY // Like so many of the best things in life, Arrogant Bastard Ale was a mistake. In 1995 Stone Brewing co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner were working on a recipe for Stone Pale Ale when a miscalculation resulted in an aggressively flavoured ale which was not at all what they were aiming for. The brand took on a life of it's own spawning various other beer progeny including Crime, Punishment and Bastard's Midnight Brunch until Arrogant Brewing broke free from Stone in 2015. This brewery is dedicated to creating aggressive beers not constrained by the walls of a single facility. Independence saw Arrogant hitting the road to seek out other breweries to collaborate with. The Bastard has descended upon a number of breweries in the past couple of years to brew a single batch of Arrogant Bastard Ale. The results of this tryst are available only to drink in the host brewery's tap room with proceeds going to charity.
BEER // Koch believes that Arrogant Bastard Ale has always existed and that he and Wagner were just the fortunate discoverers of it. Michelangelo once said "I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free". Which is sort of the same thing only with beer and a gargoyle instead of marble and an angel.
When they mashed far too much malt into the Pale Ale recipe, the brewers know they were onto something new and special but also too challenging for most 1995 tastebuds. They held back on releasing it for a couple of years and when the public finally got to drink it, their concerns proved correct. Fortunately for us, the people who didn't hate it loved it. This is an aggressively hoppy beer and also a very malty one. These two pillars of aroma and flavour don't so much balance as co-exist. It's bitter and sweet with grapefruit and pine needles alongside caramel and fresh bread. As it warms you may discern nuts, smoke and vanilla all the while accompanied by those resinous hops.
BREWERY // Arrogant Brewing
BEER // Arrogant Bastard Ale
STYLE // American Strong Ale
ORIGIN // California
ABV // 7.2%
TEMPERATURE // 13C
FOOD MATCH // Peanut butter, bacon & chipotle sandwich. Washed rind cheese. Lamb cutlet with rosemary new potatoes and a rhubarb jus. Creme Brûlée.
GLASS // Chalice. Conical Pint