Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Arrogant Bastard Ale

Lut is something of a beer snob*; he dislikes big-name brands, especially American ones, and generally likes to try microbrewery beers. One of our criteria for restaurants is "do they have good beer on tap?" And if not, "do they have good beer in bottles?"

* His word, not mine.

A few times, I've gone off to buy beer for him. Sometimes this involves him telling me to get a specific brand that we know will be available, like 1554. Today, he emailed me a general "beer guide", which was not a "brands to get" but a "types preferred/not preferred list" (eg: abbey ales good, fruity beers bad). Armed with this, I went picking beers.

Alcohol is an acquired taste that I've never personally seen the point to acquiring. Unlike cigarettes, this is a passive aversion -- I have no problem with other people enjoying alcohol, I just don't myself. Weirdly, though, I quite like shopping for beer in a decent liquor store. There's such a variety of products, and many of the names and labels are very entertaining. The last time I went beer-shopping for Lut was as a surprise, and I tried picking a few brands I knew he liked as well as ones that had neat labels. This time, I got eight bottles. One was the only abbey ale I could find, another was a Newcastle dark that I was pretty sure he liked, and the remaining six were "this looks interesting!"

Of this selection, my Best Name Award has to go to Arrogant Bastard Ale. It had been in the refrigerated case, so I handed it to Lut when I got home. "It's still cold."

Lut took one look at it and said, "You got this because it was me, didn't you?"

"Yes. Yes I did."

I hadn't read the rest of the label, but Lut did. I will now share it with you. You're welcome.

Arrogant Bastard Ale
This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.

At Stone Brewing, we believe that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny - a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Brought forth upon an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste. As the progenitor of its style, Arrogant Bastard Ale has reveled in its unprecedented and uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many nods to Arrogant Bastard Ale…even outright attempts to copy it… but only one can ever embody the true nature of liquid Arrogance!

INGREDIENTS: Nothing but the finest barley, most aggressive hops, clearest water, our proprietary yeast strain and abundant arrogance.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS: If you don't like this, keep it to yourself -- we don't want to hear from sniveling yellow-swill-drinkin' wimps, 'cause Arrogant Bastard wasn't made for you.

After reading the label, I said, "It can't possibly be as good as this label." It has a good aroma and initial taste, but an extremely bitter aftertaste that settles in the middle of the tongue and roof of the mouth. Lut figures it's a good beer for people who like bitter ones, like India pale ales, although it's not really to his particular taste.

Which is kind of a pity, since the marketing is so him.
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