For the inaugural brewery event at the still virgine venture of restaurateur and pilot, Robert Cobun, BrewGrrs wisely chose the bombastic Bells Brewery of Comstock, Michigan. Brainchild of the charismatically eclectic Larry Bell, his beers are broad in their flavor spectrum and style designs with a soft spot for stouts I am always willing to savor any day, any time, all the time. With time on my side, I started stashing kegs of brews both dark and delicious, mysterious too. While stouts are key to Bells brewdentity, there is another key ingredient which sets Bells apart from others: hops and honey.
Okay, technically two ingredients.
The beer in question is none other than the coveted Hopslam. Uber limited and seasonal only, at the start of every new year hopheads and beer geeks everywhere Bells is to be found (and sometimes beyond) eagerly await its release.
Bars galore plan extravagant Bells Bashes centered around this heavenly brew and BrewGrrs was no exception. With our own keg of deliciousness squirreled away along with a small mountain of sixtel barrels awaiting their time to shine, that moment arrived Wednesday February 23rd. On draft all day long were Best Brown, Special Double Cream, Cherry Stout, Java Stout, Expedition, Oberon, Two-Hearted, and a BrewGrrs staple, Amber Ale. Reading through such a stellar list, one will notice a glaring absence: Hopslam.
Fact: The best brews in life are worth waiting for.
Sign-up for Hopslam started at 7pm with the auspicious tapping going down at 8pm. Being a ¼ keg, the total glasses her stainless steel confines would relinquish averages 65 – 70 max. Her vessel of choice for the first of many brewery events was the ever dashing Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Winos, grappa enthusiasts, and scotch fanatics (to name a few) have long heralded the benefits of a proper glass for the proper wine/spirit. Beer is no exception and all good brews deserve their own proper glass to showcase all that the five senses eagerly await to savor.
Come B-Day (that’s Brew Day for the uninitiated), beerholics from Vero Beach and beyond descended upon BrewGrrs to get their name on the Hopslam List. In-between sign-ups and tapping, eight other fantabulous Bells brews flowed nonstop from gleaming nozzles of fermentable delights into eager hands. Yum and yum! Having tasted all the beers in bottle form, it was a personal treat to relish the flavor symphony of such kegly treasures as the Cherry Stout, Best Brown, Java, Special Double Cream, and Expedition. The others I’ve savored many times over and shall continue to do so.
As 8pm knelled, I climbed atop my pedestal ala BrewGrrs bench upon which I crowned lucky Hopslam recipient after lucky Hopslam recipient. In no time flat, 48 minutes to be exact, thar she blew and Hopslam floweth no more…at least, not until next year. Hopslam may have flown the coop, but there were still other tastetastic Bells brews to enjoy which, judging by the sea of laughing smiling faces, they were and then some. As I left my pedestal with voice still intact and wandered amidst my merry posses of peeps, the warm melody of camaraderie, love, and beer filled my heart to overflowing. Though my own tears were kept in check, Rob, enjoying the festivities via Skype, couldn’t hold back wave after wave of proud happy tears.
Truly some of the best days in my life revolve around beer, beer and my Love who though unable to be there in person was there in my thoughts and in my heart.
Both during and after the festivities a few necessary tweaks were duly noted and stored for future brewery event reference. One in particular was that trying to read names is a big no-no and reading 50-50 ticket numbers is a big yes-yes. I apologize for all the names I butchered that night for there were plenty. And regarding glassware, as much as I love the Samuel Adams Perfect Pint, for special brewery events it is better to have a special glass of singular dedication.
As I reminisce, for BrewGrrs first major brewery event executed in short notice, the generous showing of veteran beerventers and newbies alike were beyond even my always optimistic dreams. To each and every one from brewery to distributor to the peeps who helped us shine that night not so long ago, Cheers!
Remember: Life is short. Drink good beer.
Until next time...
(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)