We're drinking the flagship craft beer from every state in the Union, counting down from 50-1, to find which is home to the President of Beers.
#28 Liberator Doppelbock: Thomas Hooker Brewing Company, Bloomfield, Connecticut
State: In-between the Tri-State area and the greater Boston metropolitan area, Connecticut is a hotbed for wealthy suburbanites and the people who serve them. The nutmeg state combines one of the highest per capita incomes with one of the greatest income disparities in the country. It also boasts one of the nation's premier country club cultures. But Connecticut’s also given us proles such delightful distractions like hamburgers, lollipops, ESPN and WWF.
Brewery: Named after the founder of Connecticut, Thomas Hooker Brewing Company grew out of the brewing arm of the Trout Brook Brew Pub in 2003. The brewery has since quadrupled in brewing capacity and produced numerous award-winning beers.
Beer: Thomas Hooker’s Liberator Doppelbock is an impressive beer. And I’m not just talking about the name. It currently boasts a 99/100 rating on RateBeer.com and a 94/100 on BeerAdvocate.
Difficulty of Obtaining in Oregon: Hard. Thomas Hooker does not distribute west of Eastern Pennsylvania and it is difficult to find a store that carries it and can ship it to Oregon.
Rating: 62.3. (The tie-breaking battle between New York’s beaver and the sperm whale off the coast of Connecticut was over before it even started.)
PHOTO: Cameron Browne
Liberator Doppelbock is a wonderful dark beer loaded with malty and hoppy goodness. Rich, full-bodied and sweet, it gives the feeling of eating fine bread–which may be why Paulaner monks drank doppelbocks as “liquid bread” during fasting.
We’re not entirely sure how it ended up in the middle of the pack. Many tasters mistook it for a porter in their notes. If one were judging it on the expectations of what a good porter is, it probably wouldn’t fare too well. It’s too hoppy and too acidic. Perhaps it simply did not stand out during the marathon of beer that was our blind taste-off. Whatever the reason for its mediocre results, this beer tasted damn good on the second tasting.
Connecticut has a small but growing brewing scene, and the state is doing everything in its power to help it along the way.
Last year, the state’s breweries, brew pubs, and beer bars banded together to make the Connecticut Beer Trail
. Modeled after the state’s wine trail, the Connecticut Beer Trail connects these various beer establishments through a series of signs, special events, promotions and social media. The Connecticut Brewers Guild was formed in 2012 to continue bringing the brewers closer together.
On May 14 earlier this year, Governor Dan Mally signed a bill
allowing the sale of alcohol on Sundays and brewers to serve beer by the glass in tasting rooms among other updates to the state’s booze laws.
OK, so the state is embracing it’s local beer culture, but which would be most appropriate after a round of golf at the Greenwich Country Club? Beer is the drink of the common man, the uncouth, boorish unwashed masses. It lacks the elegance of wine, the succulence of a snifter of power, and the bite of a nice glass of Glenfarcla’s.
Surely there is a beer worthy of being served to these job creators? You betcha!
Samuel Adams’ Utopia - $150/750mL
Sure, Sam Adams’ may have been one of the poorest of the Founding Fathers, but this is the most expensive beer brewed in the United States, which makes it the best.
Tutankhamun Ale - $75/500mL
While the price has dipped from its initial $7,686 value, we assure you that it is still a beer brewed for a king. An eligible suitor for the country club members’ palates if e’er there was one.
Brewdog’s Sink the Bismarck - $75/375mL
Another step in the battle to make the most alcoholic beer, Sink the Bismarck packs quite a wallop in dollar by volume. Also, it’s 41% ABV is nothing to sneeze at.
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