Ten beers that will make you a man -- if they don't kill you first
Flying Dog Brewing, Frederick, Maryland
Sure, you've partied. And, yeah, you might have been bounced from a bar or two -- but if you think you've got an anti-establishment streak, try this beer on for size. Not only does it unconventionally combine Belgian yeasts with American hops, but its bad name and worse attitude got it kicked out of the entire state of Michigan. And the in-your-face label on the bottle was designed by Ralph Steadman, the artist who partied with one of our favorite anti-establishmentarians, Hunter S. Thompson. Screw you, Michigan.
Russian River Brewing, Santa Rosa, California
Your Facebook profile says you live on the wild side. So does your account on plentyoffish.com. Your Twitter handle is @wildman. Yeah, right. Wanna get really wild? Try a beer brewed with brettanomyces yeast or lactobacillus or pediococcus bacterias. Or try all three together, as Russian River did in its latest barrel-aged masterpiece. With these three ingredients, a brewer never knows what he's going to get, and Consecration is a beer so funky that it scares cheese. Your first glass will make you doubt your manhood. So will your second. By your third, you'll be wearing a happy, crusty smile.
Bourbon Barrel Quad
Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City, Missouri
Most guys can drink bourbon without a grimace when they have to. Only some guys grimace when they can't drink bourbon at all. But just a very few of the toughest guys can drink 750 milliliters of 12 percent ABV beer that's been aged so long in a bourbon barrel that their rank breath smells of whiskey afterward rather than beer. Bigger, darker, stronger, Boulevard's Bourbon Barrel Quad has more -- more of everything. It's not a dubbel or a trippel. It's a quad. And the beer wasn't just mostly aged in oak bourbon barrels for a few months, it was 100 percent aged in these barrels for eight months to three freakin' years. You'll breathe fire, amigo.
Deschutes Brewing, Bend, Oregon
The Abyss doesn't care. It just keeps winning medals and awards, but do you know what it does with all that hardware? The Abyss melts it down in the fires of hell, pounds it on a blazing anvil and recrafts it into the sledgehammer that it will hit you over the head with, Missy. At 11 percent ABV, this immeasurably dark beer tastes like molasses, wood, licorice and the soul of mankind. Deschutes claims on its website that the Abyss pairs well with caramelized onions and cream cheese on pepper crackers. Bullshit! The Abyss pairs better with the nine horsemen of the Apocalypse riding steeds made of granite. Enjoy.
Espresso Oak Aged Yeti
Great Divide Brewing, Denver, Colorado
Having trouble waking up this morning? Maybe you should have "got" last night when the gettin' was good. Well, everyone makes mistakes. It takes a man to make them right. Pop a bottle of Espresso Oak Aged Yeti to clear away those cobwebs. Then make a heaping mess of bacon and eggs for you and whoever ended up in your bed. The roasted-coffee flavors should ease your headache and the vanilla oak could settle your stomach. But if they don't, the 9.5 percent alcohol content will soothe the pain. Enjoy one with the sunrise.