Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vidya Beer

Blaugust Day 12

Have you ever thought "I wish there was a beer for me, a beer with a video game theme"? No? Me neither, but last year I made a point to try out all the Kansas breweries. Tallgrass became one of my favorite breweries. Their main beers include a Buffalo Sweat oatmeal stout, an Ethos IPA, and an 8-bit Pale Ale. The company recently expanded to a larger operation. Yesterday I found out they released a 16-bit Double Pale. I had to try it!

For comparison's sake I had to taste 8-bit Pale Ale before hand. Most people will probably conjure up NES or Atari 2600 game screens, or maybe Master System if you grew up in a more metropolitan area. Tallgrass chose to go with an arcade theme. A shameless Pac-Man look-a-like is the part of the can that drew me in. Terms like "PUSH START," 1 PINT (a play on 1 POINT?), and HOP ROCKETED over a Galaxy Hops ship sold me on the beer. True to the label, this ale is full of hops. You can smell a very strong aroma hop from a foot away. The taste is very hoppy and full of citrus. The head is fluffy and creamy. The 8-bit Pale Ale has a light orange color with a thin, cloudy sediment. This leads to a bit of syrupy mouthfeel that I really enjoy. Overall, it's a great beer that's easily made its way into my go-to rotation.

The 16-bit Double Pale Ale has different take. The Pac-Man face has become perfectly rounded, even too rounded for the game consoles it's trying to mimic. The can over all doesn't scream "video games" but if you look closely you'll see a reference to Mortal Kombat and the Super Nintendo logo. The color of the 16-bit Double is a light yellow, and much more transparent. The beer itself has a very faint hop aroma. The taste is more bitter but less flavorful. There's almost a sweet aftertaste, but it doesn't last very long. The smell, the head, the body, and the mouthfeel are all underwhelming.

According to Tallgrass's website they were going for a more drinkable beer. I don't go to Tallgrass for a subdued drink I can use to wash down a good meal, I go to them for their full-flavored stand-alone beers. I'm sure there is a market for this beer, though. For now I'll stick with their 8-bit Pale Ale.

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