Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Wrestling Blog Drinks the Steve Austin Beer

A swig of beer for the bloggin' man
Photo Credit: TH
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly. Enjoying a cold one was never just gimmick, for better or worse. But as a self-proclaimed man of the people, he'd always stuck to mainstream macrobrews or name imports like Corona (or Corona Light). But one day, as he regaled on his podcast (which Scott reviews here for most of his content), he tried a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and changed his outlook on beer. So it was only natural that not only would he start drinking more craft and microbrews but that some enterprising smaller brewery would try to partner with him to create a branded beer for Austin and his podcast.

Enter El Segundo Brewing Company. The California suds-slingers got with Austin, and they made their own beer. Enter Steve Austin's Broken Skull India Pale Ale (IPA). Okay, for the uninitiated into beer culture, basically, anyone that starts into craft brewing makes at least one variant of IPA, if not several. The style caught wildfire in the last decade for whatever reason. Some are very good, like Dogfish Head 60 Minute, 90 Minute, and Burton Baton IPAs or Harpoon' IPA. However, many brewers don't do IPA correctly because they assume that the only way to make one is to overload with hops and thus amp up the bitterness. I've had so many IPAs that just socked me in the mouth with bitterness to the point where I couldn't even see straight let alone taste any other supposed notes in it. So I had my apprehensions about trying Austin's beer. Also, El Segundo's distribution had not reached the Philadelphia area.

However, I recently made my way out to California and was able to pick up a 22 ounce bottle of the brew in question. When I got home, I put it in the refrigerator and didn't get around to drinking it until last night. I drank the whole bottle, chilled, with dinner, and let me tell you. It was worth the purchase. Obviously, it had a bitter background; it wouldn't be an IPA if it didn't. However, the bitterness was a component, not the overwhelming majority element. It mostly drank as a dry, crisp, slightly sweet beer like another one of my favorites, the French-brewed Kronenbourg 1664. The bitter bouquet in the background heightened the experience. And as with most great IPAs, it had a deep floral aroma. Remember, you taste things with your nose first.

If you're not into bitter beers or IPAs in general, then I wouldn't recommend picking up a bottle of Steve Austin's Broken Skull IPA. You won't like it. But if you're into IPAs bigtime or if you're a casual IPA drinker, this beer will definitely be for you. It is the quintessential wrestling beer snob drink. So buy a bottle, pour it, and take a swig for the working man and woman. It will be well worth your time and consumption.