What beer will unseat Heady Topper?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by leedorham, Apr 20, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    This beer has launched itself to as firm a grip on the top spot as I can remember and, besides being a transcendent beer, it has a lot going for it in the way of keeping the spot -

    - It's a style very popular with craft fans, not very polarizing
    - It has a large volume of reviews that is growing at a good pace
    - It's raw rAvg is higher than practically all the beers in the database with any significant number of reviews. For a little perspective, Cantillon, Russian River, and Hill Farmstead all currently don't have a single beer with a higher rAvg.

    So what up and comer do you see as having a chance to unseat this beer?
  2. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Defender (652) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    vanilla bean bourbon barrel aged Heady Topper
  3. tvl89

    tvl89 Initiate (0) Feb 3, 2013 Texas

    It will remain at the top for quite a while.
    Gatch likes this.
  4. BenTenison

    BenTenison Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2013 New Jersey

    It is a perfect storm of BA love.

    It is limited enough to not be considered common.
    It comes in a can which makes it easy to trade.
    It's a Double IPA.
    It's a damn good beer.

    It will take something special. Bring out the Bourbon Barrels!
    Bluecane, kemoarps, scud and 2 others like this.
  5. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (152) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    Yeah, I have thought this same thing. Heady has the perfect availaiblity for a top spot. It's not easy to get (unless you live in Vermont), but it is year round and with any determination at all, you can get some. Plus, the quality if it deserves the praise.
    leedorham likes this.
  6. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Something that hasn't been made yet.
    Damien, acevenom, Gosox8787 and 6 others like this.
  7. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,290) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Okay, I have just used Conan yeast in my first two beers, one a simple APA, and the other a complex IPA (Conan is the yeast used by Alchemist in Heady). Here's the deal. No beer is unseating Heady.

    This yeast is the perfect yeast for a big IPA, it really eats and gives a dry beer, yet it has a slight peachy sweetness of its own. Apparently it is a yeast that responds incredibly well to some non traditional methods such as underpitching, bring down the temp. as it goes along, cold crashing it with dry hop. Right there you know this is a yeast that takes a master to use. Kimmich uses 6 or 7 different hops, no one knows what they are, when they go in, when he cold crashes/dry hops and at what temp. He uses a malt bill no one knows, a mash regimen no one knows.

    The beers I just made with Conan are the finest I have ever made, and I don't think it is possible for any brewer to make a finer beer than Heady without using this yeast, it is that good.

    The only beer capable of unseating Heady would have to be a IIPA. Unless some other master brewer figures out all the technique it took Kimmich 10 years to master with breeding Conan, and then improves on it, I don't think there will be another beer as fine as Heady and that is my opinion and the reasoning behind it.
  8. dpjosuns

    dpjosuns Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2009 Illinois

    Its going to be a Double Cascadian India Black American Belgo Extra Pale Ale.

    Book it.
  9. themind

    themind Defender (696) Mar 14, 2011 New Jersey

    Rogue Maple chocolate bacon salami provolone porter will smoke it!
  10. runfoodrun

    runfoodrun Aspirant (229) Jun 18, 2008 Minnesota

    Is this barrel aged?
    mtmonroe9, BigE90, Dagsy and 16 others like this.
  11. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (152) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    Did you harvest the yeast? Where did you get it if not?
  12. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,290) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, harvested it from two cans of Heady. Wasn't easy, but wasn't that hard either.

    Culturing Conan
  13. gueuzedreg

    gueuzedreg Crusader (747) Jan 18, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Arthur Bryant Westy 12 presented by Toyota
  14. Docrock

    Docrock Defender (686) Jan 21, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I agree with a couple of others that it will have to be a DIPA. Reason is most other highly sought after beers styles that were the tops before or now develop different characteristics depending onthe age. A couple of examples, Westy 12, always on or at the top until it was released inthe US ( limited ), but everybody consumed right away while it was still relatively young. I have yet to find a beer that beats Westy 12 that is 18 mos to 2 years old. But with the rash of people who drank it right away, many rated low. Another example, Kuhnhenn Rasp Eisbock ( for many a Whale ) large volume released this year and many consumed again right away, while good fresh, it is completely a different animal after some aging. Finally, many of the top Stouts or Barleywines also can be very good fresh, but develop wonderful traits with age so there is a huge variation in the profiles with these styles.

    DIPA's onthe other hand are all/most consumed very fresh so any varaition is minimized.

    my 2 pennies worth...
    KVNBGRY, koopa, ridglens and 5 others like this.
  15. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Meyvn (1,048) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Supporter Beer Trader

    High Gravity Heady with a special "shotgunning" tab for perfect streaming velocity.
  16. PeterJ

    PeterJ Initiate (69) Dec 5, 2012 California

    When Heady is distributed everywhere, it will fall off the top. Or when people get over IPAs. I don't know which will happen first
  17. checktherhyme

    checktherhyme Initiate (152) Apr 8, 2008 Washington

    Neither will happen in my liftime.
    fmccormi likes this.
  18. runfoodrun

    runfoodrun Aspirant (229) Jun 18, 2008 Minnesota

    Not sure I agree. Heady is amazing. If I could have it every week it would be my go to beer. I think it's one that truly lives up to it's hype. Just MHO
  19. DevilsCups

    DevilsCups Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2010 New York

    For my personal tastes, I can't find a fault in Heady at all. It's my perfect beer.
    M1A2, kojevergas, stafford2 and 2 others like this.
  20. PieOhMy

    PieOhMy Devotee (415) Feb 23, 2013 Minnesota

    Well now you're just being crazy.
    raynmoon and kemoarps like this.
  21. BenTenison

    BenTenison Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2013 New Jersey

    Considering the IPA style is the more prevalent style in beer I don't think people will "get over IPAs".
  22. runfoodrun

    runfoodrun Aspirant (229) Jun 18, 2008 Minnesota

    The maple would best be served by some wine barrel aging. A nice white wine I believe.

    BLACKENEDPLAGUE Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2013 Ohio

    Scotch barrel aged belgian barleywine quad
  24. gueuzedreg

    gueuzedreg Crusader (747) Jan 18, 2013 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Pappy barrel aged Horchata Stout from anyone... this would be epic. Goose Island, Founders someone.... cmon
    Budinetz and Doc_Hops like this.
  25. Zbyler

    Zbyler Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 Connecticut

    heady topper maple ;-)
  26. Cvescalante

    Cvescalante Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    The beer that knocks Heady off it's throne better be the absolute best in it's style. In my opinion, there is no APA, IPA, or DIPA out there that is even in the same league as Heady. In the "hoppy" beer catagory, there aren't many beers that I would consider my among my all time favorites (even though I do enjoy many) but Heady DEFINITELY is, which is why I think it deserves the #1 spot.
    Many rare barrel aged imperial stouts, and sours are great, but those beers have quite a few competitors and don't dominate their style as much as Heady does.. Just my opinion though
    Roguer and DevilsCups like this.
  27. VTMoondog

    VTMoondog Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Vermont

    Even here in VT, it's a bit tough to get...you have to be at the few stores where it is sold on the day it arrives, to get any. That being said, it's relatively easy I guess...but I see 30 cases go in 3-4 hours. Fortunatley, here in the Burlington area, they stagger the deliveries by a day, so you can pick it up wed-fri at one place or another.
    Many local bars and restaurants carry it on their menus.
  28. PeterJ

    PeterJ Initiate (69) Dec 5, 2012 California

    I think many people will. Not any time soon, but one day.
    Roguer likes this.
  29. DevilsCups

    DevilsCups Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2010 New York

    I enjoy your area very much, and enjoy even more so coming up from NY and injecting money into your local economy every 3 months :grinning:
    kemoarps and FrancisT like this.
  30. DoctorB2B

    DoctorB2B Devotee (477) Jun 29, 2009 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    If Apple Brandy Hunaphu was made regularly available, that might be the only beer to top Heady for me personally .... but even then I'm not going to drink AB Huna every day like I do Heady .... so the answer, at least for me, is no beer will unseat Heady.
    Miamilice likes this.
  31. errantnight

    errantnight Meyvn (1,086) Jul 7, 2005 Iowa
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Come to sunny Southern California.

    I can't guarantee you'll find an IPA/DIPA you like better, but you'll find a bunch that are in the same league.
  32. jmich24

    jmich24 Devotee (447) Jan 28, 2010 Michigan

    East Coast Yeast is working on a release of Conan:

    "ECY29 Northeast Ale. Very fruity from an amazing DIPA in the NE - very interested how that will come out."
    cavedave likes this.
  33. superacct2004

    superacct2004 Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2008 Michigan

    Either Bourbon Barrel aged Coors Banquet Beer or a Quadruple hopped version of Miller Light. Both are likely to be unveiled at GABF this year to universal acclaim.
  34. Docrock

    Docrock Defender (686) Jan 21, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Also, this has been stated before but I am not sure how anyone can rate Heady a 5 on appearance? Seriously, if you are drinking out of the can as instructed, are you grading the appearance of the can, or if poured in a glass, you find the haziness and floaters worthy of a 5? Great beer, don't get me wrong, but I don't see how anyone can rate it a perfect 5 when part of that total is Appearance..
  35. DevilsCups

    DevilsCups Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2010 New York

    When it's very fresh I get little to no floaters and it's super hazy. It's only after a few weeks that you start to get the bigger floaties and the beer starts to clear up.
    M1A2 likes this.
  36. MetalMountainMastiff

    MetalMountainMastiff Initiate (0) Oct 1, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    3/4 heady 1/4 orange juice.....a brass heady...who's with me!!!
    Zbyler likes this.
  37. Gunch43

    Gunch43 Aspirant (268) Jan 15, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Tough to say. Younger was up there for so long so it seems like its the style that appeals to the BA community. As I have had more Younger, I've found it to be over hyped. Don't get me wrong, it's a damn good beer, but if it wasn't so scarce I think you would see it drop a few notches much like Westy 12 did. Heady never disappoints no matter how much I get my hands on.
  38. PieOhMy

    PieOhMy Devotee (415) Feb 23, 2013 Minnesota

    Is the white wine Merlot?

    " I'm not drinking any f**king Merlot!" (Sideways)
  39. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    If you use a deduction model of scoring and find nothing wrong with the appearance, then it is a 5.
  40. Giovannilucano

    Giovannilucano Devotee (447) Feb 24, 2011 New Jersey

    It really is wild how a beer can just be so amazing that many people would crave it.
    No1Smitty likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.