Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Founders Red Rye PA

Founders beer is so unbelievably good that it makes me a little suspicious. How could one brewery make so many incredible beers? Do they sprinkle their mash tuns with magic dust? Are they privy to mysterious techniques and alien technologies provided by the albino elitists who live under ground and secretly control all the world’s governments? Do they top off every bottle with a drop of blood from a virgin sacrifice? I've tried six of their beers so far, and every one has been out of this world. There are still at least nine more Founders varieties I've yet to taste, but rest assured I'll get there. My bucket list is full of references to Founders beer.

I'm not saying that I reserve Founders beer for special occasions. But in the event of a special occasion, you can bet I'll be drinking Founders. Last night for the BCS Championship Game, I broke out a bottle of Red Rye PA - a Christmas gift from my wife's godmother. After one sip, my taste buds were rejoicing in heavenly song. The Red Rye PA is essentially a cross between a rye beer and an IPA. Like any good IPA, it's hoppy as hell. Super-hoppy doesn't always work for me, but in this case it totally does. The piny hops, so common in beers of this style, are assertive to say the least. But it's the Amarillo dry-hopped grapefruit taste that flat-out dominates. Mmmmm! This is a big, bold beer - yet so clean and smooth! A hearty dose of Belgian caramel malts and the spice of the rye add balance and complexity, but the citrus notes are large and in charge. This is a dangerously drinkable ale. I thought I would savor it last night but ended up draining my glass before a single point had been scored! Never fear, I had a Founders Porter in the fridge and game night meant a beer doubleheader. What a game it was, too. Not quite what I expected, but definitely a true classic and ultimately worthy of all the hype. You could say the exact same thing about the Red Rye PA!

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