I got a text message from a friend back in Detroit. It read: "Drinking a toasted, hemp seed, and potato double "Twice Baked" IPA at Lib St. This means he was drinking a Double IPA made with Potato and Toasted Hemp Seed at the Liberty Street Brewery in Old Town Plymouth.
Two thoughts immediately came to my mind:
1. Who are you and what did you do with my Friend?
2. You are Welcome.
On Number One: My friend has been known to drink Michelob Ultra by choice and a Double IPA is too much beer for even me (actually just too much hops for me). Knowing both of these items leads me to believe that my friend has been abducted by some hop head craft beer drinking criminal, or Double IPA doesn't mean the same thing in all parts of the country.
A Double IPA is a high starting gravity beer with hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma to match. Some would call it balance, I call that bullshit. It is a conveyance of hops and alcohol. But, local variances do exist in the beer world. For example, the American Amber Ale is a starter craft beer (medium gravity, medium hops) in many parts of the country, but on the West Coast, it is a red or amber IPA. I call them West Coast Reds, but even my homebrewed version of a Westie (West Coast Red) is no where near as bitter or high gravity as the ones found commercially in California, Oregon, and Washington State. Racer 5 is an excellent example of a West Coast Red from Bear Republic Brewing in Healdsburg, California, while Pliny the Elder from the Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, California is an excellent example of the Double IPA style.
Even if Liberty Street's Double IPA is a highly drinkable beer (not exactly to west coast standards), I am lead to thought number two: You are very welcome. I have been plying my friend with decent homebrews and dragging him to breweries at every turn for at least 15 years. I have finally rubbed off on him. And you are certainly welcome Liberty Street, as while he had been there without me, he has started going there on a regular basis. I am glad he has abandoned the Rusty Nail (the trailer park version of a bar) as his regular hang out. If my friend can convert to naturally choosing better beer, anyone can. This says good things for the local craft beer movement.
My mission continues, but this is a nice milestone.