Locals over Hype!

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by RayOhioFelton, Apr 1, 2013.

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  1. RayOhioFelton

    RayOhioFelton Devotee (416) May 24, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I recently have acquired quite a nice collection of beers from around the country through trades and a day trip to Grand Rapids (I'm from Cleveland) to pick up some KBS. Two of these beers, Pliny the Elder and Heady Topper, are considered two of the best beers in the country. I had to try a blind taste test against a local favorite of mine, The Brew Kettles White Rajah!

    A buddy of mine joined me in this venture and we both ranked them the same.
    White Rajah
    Heady Topper

    I realize White Rajah is not a double IPA but they are all a hop heads dream come true!

    I found it very interesting that we favored the lesser known local over the nationally acclaimed brews. I'm sure there was some bias as out palates are use to the local taste but it was a cool experiment that made me all the more proud of our local brewery! We also finished the night with a Shorts Huma Lupa. At that point we were feeling pretty good but had we included this beer in the mix I feel it would have been close to the top as well! Hurray for the local heros!
    19etz55 likes this.
  2. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (560) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    First, How were the dates on PTE and HT?
    Second, Yes, locals over hype.
    MIA4IPA and jRocco2021 like this.
  3. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    How fresh were all of these beers when you drank them? Personally I would take fresh Pliny over fresh Rajah, but would agree with fresh Rajah over Heady. Just do not love Heady.

    In other news: local BA with White Rajah avatar prefers the highly-rated Ohio beer over two highly rated beers from either coast. More on this development tonight at 9. :wink:
    sliverX, slentz, M1k3y and 18 others like this.
  4. Tchfunkta

    Tchfunkta Initiate (0) May 14, 2009 Kentucky

    I try to drink local as much as possible for a hoppy brew just because I know that it will be fresher and the myrcene, humulene and caryophyllene hasn't oxidized as much.
  5. RayOhioFelton

    RayOhioFelton Devotee (416) May 24, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    All three beers have been bottled in the last three weeks.

    Just found it interesting that all along I've been longing for these other beers and have great beer that holds its own right down the street. Still going to keep enjoying beers I can't get at home but have a new appreciation for the things I can get locally!
    kemoarps, sirsteve42 and MarkIntihar like this.
  6. miketd

    miketd Zealot (524) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    If it truly was a blind test, this is kinda irrelevant. Although I agree that we all tend to favor our local beers, probably one reason being we get it fresher than anyone else.
  7. Premo88

    Premo88 Meyvn (1,445) Jun 6, 2010 Texas

    Is Heady and Pliny nationally-acclaimed?

    Wouldn't they have to be available nationally to be so?
    ktblue22 and LambicPentameter like this.
  8. bryanole27

    bryanole27 Aspirant (227) Jun 24, 2011 North Carolina

    Even if it was 'blind' doesn't mean he didn't recognize it. I've done a blind taste test and recognized all the beers, so I really could 'rank' them however I wanted. Self-fulfilling prophecy perhaps?
  9. miketd

    miketd Zealot (524) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    I suppose, but it's still the best way to confirm your preferences. Why do a blind test in the first place if you're not going to be honest with yourself? Serves no purpose.
    bryanole27 likes this.
  10. bryanole27

    bryanole27 Aspirant (227) Jun 24, 2011 North Carolina

    Oh I agree, I just think there is a tendency to lean towards local...whether on purpose or sub-consciencely.
  11. Frankinstiener

    Frankinstiener Initiate (0) Jul 28, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Um no, in fact the exact opposite is true. Check the top 10 beer list, none of them have wide national distribution. To be one of the top rated craft beers distribution must be very limited.
  12. JM03

    JM03 Initiate (0) Nov 12, 2010 Ohio

    Rajah is one of my favorite beers. I love having local access to it. That being said, I like Heady much more.
    In fact, I think the best local IPA is actually Columbus Bodhi.
  13. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    Completely missed the fact that it was a blind test. Good catch. Though if they were able to see the liquid then Heady should have been easy to pick out, lol.
    sliverX, OneBeertoRTA and miketd like this.
  14. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Meyvn (1,473) Aug 29, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Perhaps this says something about how much people tend to factor in the difficulty of access when scoring their beers, no? Or inversely, people tend not to put a scoring premium on things that are readily available...
    Cvescalante likes this.
  15. Tchfunkta

    Tchfunkta Initiate (0) May 14, 2009 Kentucky

    I'm glad we all have different pallets, leading to such a great variety of beer!
    nchophead and rails like this.
  16. Hanzo

    Hanzo Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    Well there's your problem, you tried some bootleg bottled Heady. Try the real stuff in the can and your opinion might change.
  17. bryanole27

    bryanole27 Aspirant (227) Jun 24, 2011 North Carolina

    And everybody knows Pliny falls off after 37 minutes of bottling.
    mcrago, kemoarps, Cvescalante and 2 others like this.
  18. Frankinstiener

    Frankinstiener Initiate (0) Jul 28, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    It definitely does. People want what they can't have and can taste the hype. When a beer is distributed pretty well and still appears high on the list you know it's truly tops in it's style.
  19. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    I've done the exact same with local IPA's and in ruined the locals for me. :slight_frown:

    In fact I learned something about my (then) favorite local that I didn't see before - it was incredibly thin/watery bodied compared to the best IPA's on retail shelves from other states. Now I notice the thin body every time and can hardly enjoy it as much as I used to. So, to promote happiness I still drink local - that is, someone else's local. :slight_smile:
  20. Herky21

    Herky21 Crusader (717) Aug 7, 2011 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    thanks for forcing those big, science-y words on us.
  21. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Certainly true. But I think more people should do a blind test with their locals vs. the highest rated stuff that is regularly on the shelves for them locally, but isn't local.
  22. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    They can with the readily available stuff too, but it isn't always a discount. There's a widely known "homer" factor in local areas where the local beers can get an elevated score because they're local. Gotta support the home team, right?
  23. deuce9259

    deuce9259 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    From NW Ohio and did the same thing about a month ago with a few friends. Didn't have White Rajah on the shelf, but included Head Hunter and GL Alchemy Hour from your area. Hopslam was the only thing that was a little old. Heady and Pliny were 1 & 2 for most people. Still love Rajah though, and all IPA's in general. I do agree on the locals. There are so many things readily available that I enjoy...probably not worth the hassle to get Pliny and Heady again.
    Saviorself and OneBeertoRTA like this.
  24. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2013 Illinois

    White Rajah gets good ratings. It's currently a 96. Plus, it's even more difficult to get than Pliny. I can taste the awesomeness just by looking at the label. Want!
  25. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (957) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Palates like the local flavor. I dont really care for white rajah or pliny enough to acquire them.
  26. seeswo

    seeswo Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    The quality of local, distributed D/IPAs in many places, OH included, was terrible not all that long ago. This is how beers like Pliny because THE beer to get. Pliny is still the same great beer, it's just that now the local options in many places are so much better than they used to be.
    aasher likes this.
  27. SadMachine

    SadMachine Meyvn (1,335) Mar 14, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    While I have known that hop-forward beers need to be drank fresh for quite some time, I've begun to get more and more of an appreciation for how important it truly is lately! Perhaps it's the fact that I've had the pleasure of having some of the top DIPAs and other hop forward beers incredibly fresh in the past 4-6 months, but now I pretty much can't stand any of these styles if they are even mildly "old". I was amazed the other night at how much my last can of Heady had fallen off in the mere 5 weeks since canning! I mean if I didn't know what I was drinking and when it was canned I probably would have thought it was just some half-way decent DIPA.

    All that to say, before making such a ranking make sure you know for sure that all your beer is incredibly fresh! I for one am going to be careful when rating hop-forward beers that aren't local. If I'm not drinking it within 3-4 weeks of bottling (I think Heady falls off even faster than this) then I'm not sure if I can give it a fair rating at this point...
  28. seeswo

    seeswo Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Another potential contributing factor could be that reviews of local D/IPAs are fresher/travel doesn't treat them well?
    aasher and MarkIntihar like this.
  29. HopCraverDave

    HopCraverDave Initiate (0) Feb 20, 2013 Ohio

    White Rajah is good, Bodhi is better, and IBUsive is the best!
  30. brewsader

    brewsader Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    glad to see you're appreciating local beer, but if you took heady out of the can then it's not a fair comparison. i realize i sound like a jerk, but it honestly does make a difference.
  31. BlackDragon

    BlackDragon Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2013 Michigan

    I had to edit my post accidentally hit submit before I meant to.
  32. BuckeyeOne

    BuckeyeOne Zealot (517) Mar 9, 2008 Washington

    When Russian River announced that they were not longer distributing in Washington state, the news was met with much sadness and wringing of hands. I for one was a BA who bought my allotment of Pliny each time we got a shipment in town. Turns out, that with an abundance of super-tasty IPAs and DIPAs being churned out around town, I haven't missed Pliny at all. I've never had Heady and don't plan on wasting any energy tracking it down. If a friend had some and offered it to me, I would be excited to try it. But with that said, I'm more than content with what our locals have to offer.
    beertunes and Chelsea1905 like this.
  33. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Possible. But many regionals are fresh dated, and many local beers here in AZ are not dated. Stone IPA, Odell, FW Union Jack, Bell's 2-H, Racer 5, Goose Island IPA, Sculpin, Big Eye among others are freshness dated. There isn't a single local that I'd put in that league of IPA's, in my opinion.
    highdesertdrinker and BuckeyeOne like this.
  34. imduffman

    imduffman Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2012 Ohio

    White Rajah is hands down my favorite ipa. Being from Ohio I'm sure it a bit of local pride but I run a local beer store and wouldn't consider buying any other ipa besides Enjoy By or Dreadnaught when available. I enjoy the drink-ability of Rajah. Its big brother Old 21 is quite good as well.
    M1A2 likes this.
  35. koflaherty

    koflaherty Initiate (194) Nov 11, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I agree on the White Rajah love and I'm not surprised that some folks would prefer it in blind taste test. Although Pliny and HT are two of the best IIPA's around, it's not that hard a style to brew and I think a lot of regional breweries can and will continue to make very good examples. I also love Columbus IPA (in sixers no less) and like Headhunter, plus I know there's a number of harder to get locals like Bodhi that get great reviews. Ohio is rich in local hop goodness. I wish Mass had better local hoppy choices, but I'm seeing more breweries here go for the style and I expect we'll see some better regulars.
  36. TheLostGringo

    TheLostGringo Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2011 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    It is the rare person who is honest with themselves.
    ThatCracker and yemenmocha like this.
  37. miketd

    miketd Zealot (524) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Well then I guess we have to take a person's opinion for what it is... an opinion. We all know many things factor in when talking about our favorite beers and nobody is immune. That's why I take ratings and comments with a grain of salt until I get to try the beer(s) in question.
    TheLostGringo likes this.
  38. alysmith4

    alysmith4 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2005 District of Columbia

    Semi-related, but why don't people store D/IPAs in the fridge to keep 'em fresh? Does that not work?
    loafinaround likes this.
  39. RayOhioFelton

    RayOhioFelton Devotee (416) May 24, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    In terms of making this a true blind taste test my buddy and I did our best to make it as genuine as possible. My wife had gone to bed and waking her up at 11:30pm while she is 7 months pregnant and had to get up at 5:30am for work was an idea we discussed we ended up going with the alternate option.

    I set up three glasses with numbers next to them, 1-3, and poured the beers into their designated spot while turning my head and trying not to look at the color or smell the aroma but still maintaining the best pouring process I could...I then wrote down which numbers were which beers and put that paper in my pocket. My friend was in the other room while I poured. We switched spots and he did the same on the other side of the kitchen away from the pour I set up for him...We then tasted the beers, clearing our palates with a glass of water and wrote down the order in which we liked the beers.

    I know it was not the most scientific method but we did our best to keep it as blind as possible.

    In the end we did find out one thing for sure. Beer kicks ass and all three are really tasty! We finished the brews we had opened and went on to our first ever KBS experience! WOW! What an amazingly balanced delight that was! Ending the night on a Huma Lupa put us in dreamland and when I woke up I felt like it had all be an amazing beer dream...

    Now if you will excuse me I believe a box full of Heady Topper has just arrived. BM Problems!!!
  40. grrrah

    grrrah Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I agree, local is usually best. But thats probably limited to a handful of locations around the country. Just happens that Pliny is the best local IIPA to me.

    Side note - I guess some are reporting issues with the 3-08-13 batch of pliny, if that's what you had.
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