FredNovember 1, 2001 Portland, OR
Hair of the Dog
Available: AZ, CA, CO, IN, MN, NJ, OR, WA
This golden strong ale is brewed to honor beer writer, historian, and faithful “Beer Talk” reviewer, Fred Eckhardt. To honor Fred’s love of hops, 11 varieties of hops from five countries are used.
A dog you’ll like to lick. The name and label make you love this beer for its irreverence, and I do. Fred, like Peaches, our own performing bull terrier, is bursting with personality. Hold it to the light and you see the thickness of virtual beer soup. A fluffy head leaves tan spots on the glass. The nose is candy. Every component of this elixir is packed with flavor. Such fruity richness begs for a treat: We served it with organic, endangered Sun Gold peach pie. Good boy, Fred.
- Charles Finkel
Rich fruitiness and complex alcohols simply take me back to the yesteryears of homebrewing when a great batch of beer was not only extraordinary but loudly applauded. This isn’t homebrew, but it could very well be. What complexity! Called a “golden special ale”— okay, I’ll buy in. Fred is golden. Fred is special. And Fred deserves to be savored for the invaluable contributions made to the art and fun of brewing. Terrific beer.
- Charlie Papazian
Quite a month for off-the-wall beer names. This “golden special ale”—actually a deep copper color—is named in honor, and rightly so, of fellow scribe Eckhardt of That Ilk. This one is, hell’s bells, 10% by volume. It’s bottle fermented and, like Fred, will improve with age. It has an enormous aroma of glace fruits and marzipan: it’s Christmas cake in liquid form. Hops come bursting through the malt and fruit in the mouth, and there’s a big tickle of hop bitterness on the finish along with sweet malt and a fruit cocktail of vinous flavors. Like Fred, it should be laid down for posterity.
- Roger Protz
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.