If you follow me on twitter or are a regular blog reader you know that I have a deep love affair with Jackie O’s Brewery in Athens Ohio. I think the Jackie’s is the best brewery in Ohio by a pretty large margin. Beer Advocate and national blogs may not recognize Jackie O’s for just how special they are, but that is largely due to the fact that you are not able to find their bombers on store shelves. They started canning this year, which was a huge step for them, but the specialty barrel aged magic they bottle is currently available in only one place, a bottle release.
The anniversary party is basically run the same as any Jackie O’s bottle release, but with a bit more pageantry and applause. They tap a ton of their own beers Friday and hand out calendar days (tickets for purchase) Friday night. In order to make sure we got some of the stellar beers available we got to town on Friday. The “opulence” on peaches and sour apple sour “farewell my friends” stole the show and everyone was in good spirits awaiting the day drunk onslaught of awesome that was the Saturday bottle release.
We rolled out of bed early enough to make it to the brewery by 9 for opening despite a bathroom accident that resulted in a chipped toilet. Don’t ask. We stood outside for about 20 minutes. In order to build full tables and keep the amazing servers from cutting a fool, they slowly let people in. This may seem like a pain, but it actually works really well and kind of puts the tables on different schedules so that servers can magically appear just as you need a beer. The breakfast is amazing. Order the breakfast pizza AND sausage gravy. Trust me, you will need the base in order to survive the day. They allow for 8 three oz samples at a time and they range in price from $1.50 to $3.00. This is the way to go because you want to try all of the amazing beers. The best beer of day two for me was Dark Apparition imperial stout that was on cherries and chocolate. It tasted like a box of Chocolates that would have made Forrest Gump ROCK HARD. The only real negative on the day was the brutal bottle allotment. All of the beers that I wanted multiples of were single bottle limits. While I complain about this, it is also a very cool thing because they do allotments based on attendance and this party pushed the bottle limits over the edge. Single bottles also mean that I will refuse to open them without friends around which is also extremely cool. We had our bottles by about 2 P.M. which is much later than past events, but was okay because we got to try pretty much every beer on tap. We even bought a 2011 bottle of 3Font Kriek for the table which resulted in me having a sour cherrygasm right at the table.
THE AWESOME NEWS
Remember when I said that bombers were only available at bottle releases? Well in addition to Hop Ryot cans being released in 2014, they announced that bombers of Dark Apparition and Oil of Aphrodite will be on store shelves in 2014! If you haven’t passed out from that news you may want to sit down. They will also be releasing barrel aged bottles in 3-packs similar to the way that Rockmill and Brothers Drake do their gift sets. Yeah, that means some of the best sours brewed are finally going to be on store shelves.
I usually review things that are kind of hard to come by. Multiple people have pointed out to me that this is kind of a dick move. While I generally enjoy being kind of a dick, it’s a good point so I decided to a quick write up of a beer that was at the release, but also currently available around Columbus.
Mandala is one of Jackie’s fantastic double IPAs. The particular version under the drunkroscope tonight is a single hop IIPA brewed only using only Columbus hops. The beer pours a dark orange from the tap (it’s only available in kegs) with a small white head. This beer smells like I imagine/hope Anna Kendrick smells, lovely, hoppy, sweet and grapefruity. Tiny biting carbonation delivers a nice punch of columbus hop flavors. As with pretty much all american style IPAs the malt is nowhere to be found and nobody really gives a shit because the floral and grapefruit flavors assault the pallet with bitter sweetness. The beer finishes with a nice pine bite that dries the mouth and demands a follow up sip. Repeat until the beer is gone, then order another.
Sessionability: I drank 5 pints the other night, so 6 pack if you own daddypants
Overall:It is a 6-pack, you will not find many better 2x IPA out there
Would Be Best Consumed: It was good with an Italian sub, so, uh, do that.