If you haven't heard yet about Cigar City's Hunahpu’s Day madness yet, I beg you to read this excellent article and learn from it.  I saw this video on that fateful day, shortly after the incident, and I couldn't help but think, "What a bunch of entitled douchebags!"  
But counterfeiting tickets takes it to a whole different level.

To those who 1)counterfeited tickets or, 2)bought counterfeit tickets: You have gone against everything that Craft Beer stands for and I hope you rot in a tub of Coors Light for the rest of your days and throughout all of eternity.  You are clearly too fucking stupid to realize you have just shot yourself in the foot by ending this event (and, likely, other events like it) and taking the rest of us well-intending, reverent and respectful craft beer enthusiasts with you.  Actually, even Coors light is too good for you.  May you drink rat piss.

I feel terrible for Cigar City - a craft brewery who put Florida on the craft beer map and inspired other breweries to follow. They've lost a ton of money in trying to provide counterfeit  "customers" with bottles of beer, then trying to compensate the loss to legitimate customers by providing free pours for a day.

I can't help but feel ashamed to be a craft beer enthusiast and it makes me SICK!

Maybe it's inevitable.  Like all great underdog movements of the past - the beats, the hippies, the punks...now the craft beer brewers and enthusiasts...all the movements that were willing to accept all who didn't quite fit in, all who went against the grain to challenge the status quo: it eventually gets ruined by entitled, douchebag opportunist fucks who start to think they're cool because they're "part" of that movement. 

My message to the counterfeiters and those who supported them:  You never were part, and you never will be - because you just don't get it.  Even if you managed to get your three bottles of
Hunahpu, you are tragically uncool, and everyone who knows you sees right through your bullshit.  But now is your opportunity to change your ways.  You made some bad decisions.  You learned from them.  You still have a chance to be cool.  But you have to commit to stop being a parasitic asshole.  Your choice.    
 
 
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New Belgium/Cigar City Brewing Collaboration
Lips of Faith Series
8.5% ABV, 50 IBU

Malts: Pale, Carastan
Hops: Target, Centennial, Cascade, Pacific Jade, Wakatu, Simcoe

An ale brewed with Bier de Garde yeast,
anaheim and marash chilies, and aged on Spanish Cedar.

I've been wanting to try a Cigar City collaboration for a while...a collaboration is the only way to get Cigar City in Oregon, and I don't see making it out to Florida anytime soon.  Cigar City did the Gentleman's Club collaborative series with Widmer not too long ago but the reviews were not stellar, and honestly, I haven't been impressed with Widmer's collaborations thus far, so I never bothered trying it.  My experience with New Belgium's Lips of Faith series has so far been great, though – and I've always been a fan of New Belgium, not only for their beer but also for their sustainability practices and employee ownership – so I was pretty excited to try this one.

It pours a crystal clear medium amber with a short head that settles but retains some nice lacing. The aroma is good: you can smell the chilies very slightly, but there's also a sweet tropical fruit, caramel and pineapple. Moderate body and not nearly as sweet as the aroma would indicate. Actually very dry, with a woody earthiness and very slight chili spiciness fading slowly into a lasting bitter finish. No strangely incongruous, green vegetal flavor that you get from some chili beers.  A little surprising that there isn't more hop complexity, though, given the number of hops varieties they used. 

This is an interesting beer because the flavor changes throughout and all the flavors are well-integrated, it's a very drinkable beer and hides its 8.5% quite well.  At the same time, I feel myself wanting more from it – maybe a more complex malt profile, but definitely more chili bite, as it's barely detectible - to my palate anyway. (To put this into context, however, I do like my spice. A lot).

My unsolicited opinion on chili beers:


Unless you're brewing with a type of chili that has a distinctive flavor profile worthy of showcasing or accentuating – like chipotle, with its great smokey flavor – you're basically just adding spice to accentuate what's already present in the beer, and there needs to be a flavor profile which stands on its own.  I always enjoy it when this includes a little something extra – such as fruit or a touch of chocolate – to provide complexity and balance for the heat. Personally, I still prefer these beers very dry with only the subtle insinuation of sweetness (similar to the effect of adding cinnamon to a savory dish) – but I would say that's a matter of personal preference. There's no doubt that a good chili beer is hard to pull off and it seems so few have done it well, although I always look forward to trying a new one.

To me, a great chili beer is Breakside Brewing's Aztec, which has a good amount of bite balanced by a great, dry chocolatiness – an excellent combination which has stood the test of time – over thousands of years in fact (hence the name). Another pretty good chili beer was Vertigo's Tropical Heat Wave, which was on tap at Bailey's Taproom for the Killer Beer Fest - it combined a pretty good bite with some pineapple to balance it out. I'm also told that Burnside Brewing's Sweet Heat is pretty great, which combines chili with apricot. Another great take on the chili beer is Stone's Chipotle Smoked Porter, and I know they're not the only ones who have done this style well.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Drink well, be safe and don't kill your family!  Cheers! ~CBG


 
 
Great news for both Oregon and Florida.  Finally Oregonians get to try Cigar City and Floridians get to try New Belgium.  Lips of Faith is a great series and with two great breweries, this one should be one to look out for!
Read more about it on Beer Pulse