Ten beers that will make you a man -- if they don't kill you first
You're a man, so by definition, everything you do must be manly, right?
There are hundreds of beers out there to choose from, lining the liquor store shelves and bar taps like kids waiting to get picked for a game of recess football. But only a very few of these beers can change the game. The following are the beers that have the power to actually transform you from a boy into a man.
Hair of the Dog Brewing, Portland, Oregon
This is a beer so tough that they just called it Fred. Jacked up at 10 percent alcohol by volume and loaded with ten hops varieties, Fred's maker says he packed the entire world into this beer, not to mention 65 international bittering units (IBUs). And Fred's not the type of beer to just come when you call: you'll have to go get Fred, either by plane, train, car or on horseback -- if that's how you gallop. Why? Because Hair of the Dog Brewing is located under a bridge on a dead-end street on the shady side of Portland. Directions? I won't give them to you -- because you weren't going to ask anyway, were you?
Alaskan Brewing, Juneau, Alaska
Do your flannel shirts smell like woodsmoke even after she's washed them twice? Do you clean your fingernails with the point of a Swiss Army knife? (Do you clean your fingernails at all?) Are chainsaws for pussies who can't handle a saw and an ax? Yeah? Then maybe you're ready for an Alaskan Smoked Porter, a beer that is forged each year inside the smoke of a fire so huge it has to be doused with an entire iceberg.
Oskar Blues, Longmont, Colorado
This is a beer so big that Oskar Blues only sells it in four packs. They figure you can't handle six -- if you can handle even one. Dark, thick and pungeant, Ten FIDY pours more like 10w50 than 10w40 motor oil, and if you don't know the difference, then you don't drive a big enough rig to need this beer after work anyway, Granny.
120 Minute IPA
Dogfish Head Brewing, Milton, Delaware
Sixty minutes? That's not why she's with you. Ninety minutes? Only on a bad day. No, you're a 120-minute man, and that's why you need a beer that can last that long, too. One of the highest-alcohol IPAs made in the United States (18-20 percent ABV), 120 Minute also flirts with a hop count so high (120 IBUs) that it tests the human threshold for bittering sensitivity. So if you're limp afterward, you'll know why.
Avery Brewing, Boulder, Colorado
Is this a beer, or is it the godforsaken bastard of a bottle of pirate's rum and the devil himself? Actually, it's just beer, but if you try to drink it like one, it will raise you up and knock you to the ground faster than you can pray to God for foregiveness. To make it, Avery's brewers had to summon their evil powers of demonry. Otherwise they wouldn't have been able to shove this much black malt and hops into a tiny little 12-ounce container. At 15 percent alcohol by volume and 107 IBUs, you're bartender will try to serve it to you in a shot glass. Make sure to ask for the whole pint.