Absence Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder – Even for Beer
Some beer lovers would do anything to get their hands on one more bottle of a bygone brew. Whether it was ahead of its time, or just a victim of rotation nation, we decided to find out which retired beers brewers miss most.
So, we asked five brewers, “If you could bring back any retired beer, which would it be and why?”
“I would bring back Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout. It’s super delicious and fulfills every stout desire I have. It’s roasty, chocolatey, complex and rich in character. It exemplifies everything good that can happen when you marry craft beer with culinary inspiration. I LOVE IT!!!!” – Bryan Selders, Dogfish Head
“Without hesitation, I would bring back my old and dear friend Pale 31. That beer won more awards than any other Firestone Walker beer and, in my book, has a perfect and timeless balance and drinkability. One of my favorite memories is meeting Professor Ludwig Narziss for the first time, by far the most important brewing scientist and teacher of our time. I was totally star struck and approached Dr. Narziss tentatively, stuck out my hand and introduced myself. Without hesitation his eyes lit up and he asked me for a Pale 31, telling me that he was very impressed by this beer. I could have died right there and my career as a brewer would have been complete. Pale 31 left an impression on drinkers and brewers around the globe.” – Matt Brynildson, Firestone Walker
“I’d bring back Dead Pony Club in the USA! BrewDog’s sessionable American-style pale ale was one of my favorites when we were still making it here in the States. The caramel malt profile and piney hops were massively well-balanced and at 3.8%, you could drink those all day. It was the perfect beer to cap off a long shift. We even had a “funeral” for it when we retired it. RIP DPC!” – Kayla McQuire, BrewDog
“Harpoon Alt – this is a style that I love, and it also happens to be the first recipe I ever created for Harpoon. It brings back great memories of brewing the beer. It’s incredibly drinkable and smooth, and designed perfectly for social activities. At Harpoon it was the summer seasonal that followed the introduction of Harpoon IPA. Unfortunately, back in 1995 Alt was a completely unknown style of beer and people didn’t know what to make of it. While they liked the flavor, they called it A.L.T., like IPA. When you tried to explain that Alt meant “old” – referring to brewing with ale yeast, not a lager yeast – it simply confused them more because they thought the beer was old. Maybe I should schedule a batch on the pilot system right now!” – Al Marzi, Harpoon Brewery
“Sixpoint Barrel-Aged Signal IPA. It took me about 15 seconds to decide because, for me, Signal was one of those beers that gets seared into your memory when you drink it. I was intrigued before I even tasted it. I had no idea what to expect – smoke, bourbon, dry hops, cask? It’s clear to me now: my new colleagues really were a bunch of mad scientists. I took a whiff and a sip. In mechanical, rapid fire succession, each element blasted through. Signal was not an arbitrary concoction – it was an orchestrated symphony of flavors, nine months in the making.” – Adam Gordon, Sixpoint Brewery