One day I would like to do for beer what sabermetrics has done for baseball, but until that point my pet theories will just have to exist as rants on the Internet. As an example, the law of diminishing returns does not just apply to the world of economics but also beer geeks, though in a slightly different manner. Instead of the idea that each output in production leads to lower returns, my theory is that beer enjoyment starts to decrease as time and consumption rise. The beer world is filled with new tastes and surprises to someone beginning to explore craft beer, but eventually our taste buds become accustomed to all the wondrous flavours and styles. A great beer is still very enjoyable, but it is harder to reach the same level of enthusiasm after repeatedly drinking American IPAs, barrel aged imperial stouts and Belgian gueuzes. How can anything compare to the first Cantillon or Péché Mortel you ever have? (It helps if you’re like me and tried them in Belgium and the Dieu du Ciel pub, respectively.) Our respect for great beer may improve, but our zeal may temper.
Those rare times when a new beer does manage to captivate us then becomes all the more important. One of the last times this happened to me was with the Central City Red Racer IPA. My expectations were high, but the first sip still brought on a rush of joy. (My friend said it looked like I had an o-face. Apologies if that is too much information.) So I was delighted to see that Keep6 Imports (formerly HMH Negotiants) had managed to get the Red Racer into the LCBO, if only for a brief period of time. It’s hard to describe what makes the Red Racer so much better than other American-style IPAs. The aroma is huge, the flavours are bold and it comes together so well. A big, juicy IPA thanks to a lot of citrus (grapefruit, tangerine, mango) that has a big pine resin backing. Nice bitterness and great use of west coast hops. Substantial malt base that doesn’t let the hops get out of hand and a great body. Best of all, the flavours are bright and clear – the individual parts shine while working together in harmony. Just beautiful.
I feel a little bad for posting such a positive review for a beer that is just about sold out of the LCBO. The Red Racer came and went in just over a weekend – mighty impressive for a stash of over 1,000 cans at $2.95 each. My apologies if you missed out, but some of the better beer bars will have the cans for sale and they won’t cost much more than a pint. I’d place lots of money that the Red Racer will be back in the LCBO soon after how well it sold. The biggest challenge was no doubt getting it by Social Responsibility (perhaps it helped that the lady on the can was riding a bike and saving the environment), so the path is clear to bring back this phenomenal beer.
Recommend If You Like: Ogling cyclists. Flying Monkeys Smashbomb. West coast hippies. Gingers. Beers from heaven.
And if you’re curious, check out my other post about beer-metrics.
Update: Lots of cans showing up in the LCBO again as of today (Friday, August 5th). Hope everyone can get some for the weekend!