Currently, we are the midst of a brewing revolution in this great nation of ours. Craft Brewed beers(for the purposes of my arguement here- beers brewed by artisans, artists and passionate brewers- think non industrialists) are experiencing phenomenal growth. These are the beers that people like Allagash, Avery, Three Floyds and many other brewers make. These are also the beers of my good friend Vinnie who master brews at Russian River Brewing Company.
Vinnie has the amazing series of beers that may or may not be “Belgian Influenced” which all end in the suffix “tion.” We love Vinnie. We love the beers and it’s so much fun sometimes to consider the possibilities in the “tion” sequence. We also recently released a beer called “Devotion” and that sparked a consumer to ask me if I was looking to have a whole line of “tion” beers as well. I mentioned this was not the case but that I have fun with the naming process and have even lobbed a few Vinnie’s way.
So, today I thought I would finally blog about all the “tion” beers you may never see. These are the beers of my imagination and as such only based loosely on moderate innebriation. This is a list of beers that won’t be produced by Vinnie and his merry band of elves then.
10.) Caramelization– An all caramel malt beer. Vinnie abhors the use of caramel malt above a judicious amount. His notion of Judicioius is about 1/10th that of most brewers. He equates it with the Belgian ideals of spicing. If you can discern which Caramel malt he has used, he simply has used too much.
9.) Relaxation– Seriously! There is too much to be done. Vinnie is a tireless worker. I have heard through the grapevine that he works 20 hours a day and has developed a bat like ability to sleep upside hanging from the rafters after he is done dry hopping at night. I am hoping in the not so distant future to acquire this ability. Sort of a Jedi like “I am seeking Yoda” moment.
8.) Guestimation– This is another one of those beers you’re just not sure which style of beer it fits into. Therefore, you are left like most with a best case scenario approximation of where it fits. Me, I chose the word Guestimation as sometimes, we as brewers love to keep people guessing about the beers we’re making. Alternate name- See also Procrastination(keep them waiting too)!
7.) Profligation– An homage beer designed for the thoughtful and those wishing to bow at the altar of greatness that is Vinnie. Barrel aged and becoming increasingly easier to acquire these days. Most certainly, this will see more widespread distribution next year. This is great news for those making the pillgrimage to Santa Rosa to visit their Deity.
6.) Convention– A stronger version of Profligation, this beer brewed once a year will be released at the Winnie Convention. While this Winnie Convention has yet to be santioned by a formal organization, there will no doubt come a day when the faithful “Winnie’s” of the world organize and descend on Santa Rosa each year. You can only earn the Title of being a “Winnie”(wannabe Vinnie) by attempting to clone Pliny the Elder at home. Attempting to brew Pliny the Elder at home gets you bonus points into the club as well.
5.) Consternation– Hell hath no fury like the wrath of a Vinnie scorned. I know. I have seen it. Most are unlikely to have witnessed this. A beer the color of boiling red with vituperative laced bite. A bitter beer that makes an appearance only when the time is right.
4.) Pontification– Another one of those beers that just makes you go “hmm? How did he do it?” And like a magician, he will talk to you with his right hand all the while spiking your glass with Brettanomyces leaving you in awe of his magical powers. I know… I too have been amazed.
3.) Recollection– This is a very heavy beer. It bears the weight of a singular thought- the very thought of recalling a beer based world lacking the infusion of Vinnie. I shudder at the thought each time I recount my world before Vinnie. It’s a very ominous beer to say the least. Thankfully, our world is constantly enriched with Vinnie and as such, we are not force into moments of introspection and recollection of a pre Vinnie Brewing Society.
2.) Speculation– With all these amazing small batch beers being released, it is only a matter of time before he releases the greatest one bottle beer of all time known simply as “Speculation.” As only one bottle will ever be released, the owner is simply left wondering…” I wonder what it tastes like? I wonder if I will ever open it? Screw that, I wonder what it’s worth? ” And this goes hand in hand with all the people who are buying the other barrel aged beers in the hopes that they will be able to pay for their childs college tuition in a Post Vinnie society of brewers(OOOH the Horror!!!)
Drumroll please….. Here comes the Number 1 Beer from Russian River that you’ll never see released.
1.) Vindication– Many years ago, Vinnie gave me well deserved CRAP for naming a beer after myself. He told me he would never do that for one of his beers(name one after himself- not me!) So, if we are ever going to see Vindication, I am guessing that project will fall on my shoulders. The beer will have to be stark yellow lacking any caramel flavor. It will be easily dry hopped in a relaxing manner. We are only left with the best case Guestimation of when this will be. We’re quite certain the label will include a picture of Vinnie seated on the altar. It will most likely be released in conjunction with the First ever Winnie Convention(though not an officially liscensed product) which will force us into some measure of adjudication. He’ll be mad as hell that we used his likeness. The beer will force consumers everywhere to pontificate on whether to buy such a beer. Vinnie will still be one of only a handful of people able to recall a pre Vinnie beer society. There will be mass speculation for this beer. It will initially be offered for $1K per 187ml bottle and the project will crash and burn in Vindication because it’s not like I don’t have enough things going on around here either. I suppose we should get to work on Procrastination Vindication? An homage to our great friend to the north?