Beer and Cake in Vermont: The Consumption

Welcome back, my friends
to the show that never ends.
We’re so glad you could attend!
Come inside! Come inside!

An admittedly odd start to this post and one that certainly warrants debate.  Most shows should end, at least before they “jump the shark” and some shows should’ve been given a fighting chance before Fox cancelled them (it’s been 15 years but I’m still pissed!  RIP Firefly, you burned too bright!)

But none of that has anything whatsoever to with this.  So let’s deep dive into the murky (dare I say ‘Hazy’?) water that is the Vermont beer in my fridge to see if my palate can handle these heavy-weight, East-coast contenders.

If none of this makes any sense, let me apply some fines to the carboy and clear things up.  There is no cake to be had here.  A friend of mine went to Vermont to watch Cake (the band) perform.  He brought me back some Heady Topper IIPA from the Alchemist Brewery and some Sip of Sunshine IPA from Lawson’s Finest Liquids Brewery.  If you want, you can read the first part right here and if you’re good then let’s continue, shall we?

Soon the Gypsy Queen
in a glaze of Vaseline
Will perform on guillotine
What a scene! What a scene!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I got’s me a reno to do.  Our house is in shambles, our kids are on demand, and MBW is tight-rope walking along her last lovely nerve.

Who has time to drink?  I do.  I’ve consumed just as much, if not more craft beer than ever before!  Yet my waist-line has maintained it’s slightly pudgy perimeter without expansion: I’m sweating off everything I’m drinking in.

Who has time to rate and reflect on craft beer?  Not this guy.  My written output is suffering “second-fiddle” status and that makes my soul sad.  But I’ll endeavor to carry on: blogging before bathroom tiling, writing about beer while fresh paint dots my ear, waxing poetic whilst wiring electric, et cetera.

Here’s a basic break down of what I found with these most hallowed brews:



The Heady Topper was sublime in one sense and quite good in all the others.  The sense that this beer transcended?  The olfactory, man!  My sense of smell was given a gift the moment my prominent proboscis kissed the can.  The damn thing smelled like a giant bag of wet, dank hops!  It smelled so good there was just no way the taste could compare- and frankly, it probably shouldn’t.  There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  If the taste did match the smell it would be like holding the rope a little too tight for a little too long during your Tuesday night auto-erotic asphyxiation session: sure it’s the best feeling you’ve ever had in your whole damn life but…now you’re dead.

Performing on a stool
we’ve a sight to make you drool
Seven virgins and a mule
Keep it cool. Keep it cool.

Do you remember the first time you smelled fresh brewed coffee?  I’m not talking about the bilge-water at break time during your first foray in the work force.  I’m talking about a good cuppa Joe that arrived in your hands at a time when you were ready to appreciate the dark elixir’s nuance.  That first whiff of coffee was so exceptional and surreal you spent a lifetime trying to replicate the experience.  That is how I felt when I first dipped my beak to the tall-can of  Heady Topper.

The nasal inhalation took me to a meadow in my mind, man!  And in this other-worldly meadow, instead of flowers and vines there were hops on the bines.  It was a place of pleasure where the aforementioned bines wrapped ’round your form with each bud bursting on contact and every cone giving off gobs of aroma as you became forever entwined in a Gordian knot of hops.

Ummmm…The Sip of Sunshine from Lawson’s Finest Liquids was pretty good.  I wish I’d taken the time to record my findings, but I think we were in the middle of mudding and taping and it was a drink drunk of desperation for salvation.  It took me to another place, which is exactly what I needed, but I don’t remember what that place looked like or much of anything else that happened that week.  I won’t say any more on this one because it doesn’t do justice to the fine liquid from Lawson’t Finest.  My apologies.

We would like it to be known
the exhibits that were shown
were exclusively our own,
All our own. All our own.

In closing: I liked the Heady Topper more than the Sip of Sunshine.

Is that fair?  I don’t know.  Certainly not based on the word count I gave one over the other.  They’re both strong IPA’s brewed in the style that has become known as North East.  The former, one could argue, is the Godfather of this style.  The latter, one could argue, is the apprentice grown into a master with a following of it’s own.  They were both VERY good but  I didn’t find either beer head and shoulders above the high-grade talent brewed on this side of the continent.

If you disagree please feel free to go f-

Sorry.  If you disagree please feel free to go f- nope.

If you disagree.  Please feel free.  To go to the comments section of the blog and let me know your reasons why.  Frankly, I would love to hear them.  Honestly.


The reason for the rhyme.

PS – I’ve no real explanation for the Emerson, Lake & Palmer lyrics spread betwixt my tale, other than the fact it was hotter than the ninth layer of Hell today.  In a futile attempt to bring down my core temperature I chugged back a Mac’s Extra-Large Lime Froster in less time than it took to purchase the damned thing.  My mind is starting to bend and dip from the diabetic bomb drop that comes with so much sugar in so short a time and a consequence of this, hopefully temporary, condition is that my choices aren’t always clear.  They’re the right choices, mind you, they’re just not always clear.  In fact, you could say they’re pretty hazy.

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