I’D TAP THAT: Justified arrogance

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First Posted: 4/8/2013

Beer: Arrogant Bastard Ale

Brewer: Stone Brewing Company

Style: American Strong Ale

ABV: 7.20%

Description: Stone’s Arrogant Bastard Ale pours a crystal clear burnt amber red color with an off-white cloud-like head that lingers throughout the drinking experience while at the same time leaving a wonderfully thick lacing on your glass. Upon your first sniff, you will notice a strong hop presence which may falsely allude you to thinking that you are about to drink an IPA, but you would be oh so wrong. The hop aromas dance between fruity, floral, and piney and all mingle together with a slight bread-like yeasty character and some subtle hints of caramel malt to create a truly magnificent aroma. This is certainly one complex beer, and the first sip makes you completely aware of this fact. The strong hop bitterness surfs across your taste buds and fuses beautifully into the full bodied sweet character of this beer. The body of this beer has a nearly creamy texture to it, but somehow finishes completely dry. The lingering tastes are complex and leave you constantly guessing what you taste, and this is certainly a beer that many experience differently, but suffice to say that all will certainly enjoy!

Food pairing: Now the food pairing for Arrogant Bastard is one that requires some thought, as this beer can easily overwhelm dishes that have no heft to them. Also, the full body character of the beer needs to be considered as well, as this is a beer that when the perfect pairing with food is found, it is a true match made in heaven, or hell if that’s your thing. Arrogant Bastard is a dream match for nice hearty pork chops and seasoned Brussels sprouts dinner, as the fat from the pork chops melds beautifully with the creaminess in Arrogant Bastard. Another dish to try is some delectable duck tacos; again, it is the fat of the meat that makes this pair just a dream. This is also a great beer for a nice night in of beer and cheese pairing; again, think strong and creamy/fatty cheese. Goat’s milk and sheep’s milk cheese are by far the best pairing you are going to find for Arrogant Bastard. Above all else, though, take the time to enjoy this beer and all of its complexities; it is worth every second, as sometimes the answers to life’s questions are found at the bottom of glass!

Is it worth trying? Absolutely! First, a personal confession – this is the beer that introduced me to the craft beer market many years ago, and I still love it just as much today! Stone Brewing is a company that most fans of craft beer are very familiar with, especially those who enjoy very hoppy beers. Arrogant Bastard has been on the market for a number of years and is very widely available at great prices and has remained popular throughout the extreme growth in the craft beer market. There is but one reason for that – because it is just one damn good beer! So put down the paper already and get some whether you have had it before or not; hell, grab two and just enjoy a great craft beer! Also, be on the lookout for some wonderful variations of this amazing beer: Oaked Arrogant Bastard, Double Bastard, and Lucky Bastard. All of these variations also carry my seal of approval!

Rating: W W W W W

Where can I get it? Currently available in 22 oz. bottles at: Exit 190 Beer & Deli, Dickson City; Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Backyard Ale House, Scranton; Goldstein’s Deli, Kingston; J & H Beer, Wilkes-Barre.

Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

-Derek Warren is a beer expert, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be reached at NEPABeerGeek@gmail.com.