The powers not delegated to craft breweries by the Bill of Beer, nor frowned upon by drinkers of craft beer, are reserved to homebrewers respectively.
The Homework Drinker
[Home] Brew Crew
Craft beer owes a lot to the ingenuity of SoCal brewmasters. SoCal has been and remains a center of craft creativity for microbrew lovers all over. Of all the great breweries in the San Diego region, Ballast Point Brewing Company stands out for five tasty reasons: the five offerings of The Homework Series. Today’s beer is 20% of this limited line: Ballast Point Brewing The Homework Series Batch 5.
We know what you’re thinking: “The last thing anyone cares to do during the summer is homework…” (or maybe it is just high school memories coming back to haunt me). This is a far more palatable version of summer homework. The brewery challenged its employees to an all-employee brew-off and produced a series of limited-run brews based on the recipes of the victors. Ballast Point Brewing The Homework Series Batch 5 is one of the winners. Someone cue up Queen because this champion is a palate-pleaser.
High 5, Batch
Ballast Point The Homework Series Batch 5 makes one go, ‘Hmmmm’ and scratch the hairs on one’s chinny, chin, chin in a contemplative manner. It is a Belgian, comparable to a mild abbey ale. It threatens the bitterness of an IPA, but quickly subsides. It is a Pale Ale – yet it has more layers. Wheat. Ester. Spice. Malt. Hop. (The wax seals are the flavors we identified in Ballast Point The Homework Series Batch 5. ) Each flavor takes the stage and shines at a unique moments in the drinking experience.
Homebrewers, craft enthusiasts, and craftholes, i.e. we who proclaim: “Gimme craft or give me death!” – Ballast Point has us in mind. Not only are we their constituency (so to speak), but the reason why homebrew-turned-microbrew is a successful idea. Ballast Point is neither stingy nor secretive about the contents in a glass of its Batch 5. Think I’m kidding? Take a gander at the recipe. Cool beans, right? We thought so, too. Bottoms up, Ballast Point.
The Homework in the Series
Ballast Point Brewing The Homework Series Batch 5 is a Belgian-I(PA) ready to satiate your senses. It challenges your palate to decipher its true identity. We chose this beer today for a variety of reasons. The first is that one would be crazy to pass up a limited-run beer from Ballast Point. Seriously. The second is that today’s is a special double post featuring John Stradley, our first guest contributor and dear friend/band-mate/teacher. He was kind enough to identify a problem at Craftstitution. Our old bottle opener kept putting two dimples in the damned bottle caps! (I can’t buy Fallout 4 with dimpled-ass bottle caps) The little green dude in the pictures is not a random Keith Haring character come to life. It’s a handy bottle opener with pizzazz gifted to us by the Strad-man. Take it away, John!
The Homework Giver: John E. Stradley
The Problem in Popping Caps Carelessly
Perhaps you, like me, have an appreciation of the humble bottle cap. In addition to a myriad of post-removal uses, these caps can be shot through the air with a trained snap of thumb and finger – though the accuracy of aim might be compromised with each consumed bottle. My appreciation might be a combination of nostalgia and utility, but either way, I prefer my bottle caps intact and not creased, dented, or flared by poorly-designed bottle openers.
Unfortunately, the engineers who have designed openers over the decades have obviously not revered the bottle cap in their various designs, for their spawn deface the cap and render it unattractive and virtually useless for repurposing of any sort.
Don’t be a Tool…
A solution to this dilemma comes in the form a little man with a big tool – no, it’s not what you are thinking – it’s a perfectly designed bottle opener produced for Daiso Japan, a Japanese version of the 99¢ Only Store that is expanding its presence in southern California. Available in a variety of colors, this little ABS plastic and metal soldier stands defiantly on shoulder-spread feet with his hands on his hips, but his real appeal is the absolutely pristine cap he leaves behind after being pressed (or pried) into service. The bottle cap, once removed, is not creased, dented, flared, nor scratched. At last!
There are, of course, other openers that will perform in a similar manner, but as with many things, one has to kiss many frogs to find one’s prince (or princess, as the case may be). I have a drawer full of vintage promotional bottle openers produced for brewers of old, but none holds a proverbial candle to the Daiso opener – he literally stands above the rest and does his job with aplomb. While one can pay dollars for a vintage opener at an antique store or flea market, the Daiso opener is a bargain at $1.50 at the retail locations. Unfortunately, the best opener ever designed for the money is not available from Daiso’s online store.
Some might be wary of the dubious durability of the plastic material used in the opener, but the Daiso opener is surprisingly sturdy. In my home, it has survived a party and numerous gatherings by avid beer drinkers unscathed. Earning the ultimate testimonial, the Daiso opener is now the preferred opener of Craftstitution’s hosts.