Tailgate Throwdown: Go Big or Go Home, Miami vs. UVa, 11/22/14 – @CampWahoo

Posted by  VBR Staff   in  Other     4 years ago     962 Views     1 Comment  

It was cold.  Like, frak it was cold.  But it was also the last home game of the year, the last tailgate of the year…the last throwdown of the year.  Our beloved ‘Hoos desperately needed a win to keep their bowl hopes alive, and we desperately needed to stay warm.  There are some very large beers in this lineup, but on a day when I chose to voluntarily drink some Bell’s Winter White Ale at room temperature to stave off hypothermia, they were needed.  We got so swept up in the whole day that I didn’t get around to finding some food to go with the beer, but given a lunch of cheese fries, buffalo chicken dip, and nachos, methinks that by the time night fell food was the last thing I needed.

Miami crowd
Tailgate Throwdown:  Go Big or Go Home
Game:  Miami vs. UVa, November 22, 2014

Featured Beers:  Wild Wolf Wee Heavy, AleWerks Coffeehouse Stout, Devils Backbone Schwartzbier, Starr Hill Shakedown, Legend Bourbon Barrel Brown, Heavy Seas Yule Tide
# of Tasters:  10

Miami lineup
There’s no one style represented here, but this is as about a wide a variety as you’ll get in terms of heavy, dark, winter, or imperial beers.

Beer #1:  Wild Wolf Wee Heavy
Profile:  Scotch Ale
Tasting Notes:  “tart” “filling”
Overall:  If there’s one thing that seems consistent about Wild Wolf beers, it’s that they almost all seem to pack some sort of Belgian influence.  I think this is a beer which is much better experienced on draught than from a can.  My score for the tailgate is much lower than when I visited their tasting room.
Crowd Score:  6.0
My Score:  5.0

Beer #2:  AleWerks Coffeehouse Stout
Profile:  American-style Stout
Tasting Notes:  “yummy!”
Overall:  This was the perfect beer for being outside, in the dark, in sub-40 degree temperature weather for several hours.
Crowd Score:  9.0
My Score:  9.0

Beer #3:  Devils Backbone Schwartz Bier
Profile:  Dark Lager/Schwarzbier
Tasting Notes:  “mellow”
Overall:  It’s almost like they can do no wrong.  I do think, however, that the AleWerks was a tough act to follow on this occasion.  I don’t really find this a mellow beer, as it more simmers with a taste that lingers.  Well deserving of the recent GABF accolades.
Crowd Score:  6.0
My Score:  8.0

INTERJECTION:  I made a very bold claim that despite having not played beer pong in well over a year, and having had the aftereffects of two full-length tastings plus the tailgate to -ahem- blur my concentration, found out I was quite wrong.

Miami Tailgate
Beer #4:  Heavy Seas Yule Tide
Profile:  Imperial Red Ale
Tasting Notes:  “raspberry” “caramel”
Overall:  From that profile description, none of us were expecting that kind of flavor.  I did find just a hint of fruitiness to balance the spices (nutmeg, maybe?)
Crowd Score:  7.0
My Score:  8.0

Beer #5:  Legend Bourbon Barrel Brown
Profile:  American-style Brown Ale
Tasting Notes:  “sour” “reminds me of fourth year”
Overall:  This was also my second time with this beer, having gotten a taste of it at the Mad Fox Brewers Bash back in August.  You really do get hit with a fistful of bourbon flavors, but none of the oak you’d expect.  I think if they went imperial for this one they’d really be on to something.
Crowd Score:  6.0
My Score:  6.0

Beer #6:  Starr Hill Shakedown
Profile:  Chocolate Cherry Imperial Stout
Tasting Notes:  “not overpowering”
Overall:  This is a complex, sweet beer.  One thing about all the Winter seasonals is you start to see a variety of spices, so while this was a good find it may not have been the best fit as it’s more of an end of evening rather than sipping brew.  That being said, everyone else disagreed with me which I guess is only appropriate for our last beer of the season.
Crowd Score:  8.0
My Score:  6.0

Miami game
Final Thoughts:
  I had a lot of fun doing this over the course of the season.  I understand at a much deeper level why brewers (and even bartenders) love their jobs – everyone who’s stopping by for a drink is there because they truly want to be, and you already share something in common.  I met a lot of people doing this, but also got myself into a lot more varieties than I would have had I simply grabbed the nearest sixer the night before.  Even better, the ‘Hoos won in convincing fashion, leaving me without a voice for almost two full days.  As this is the last entry for the season I’ll have to come up with something new for the next few months (and no, basketball does not lend itself to tailgates).  Happy to hear your ideas, and hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I did putting them all together!

Overall Winner:  AleWerks Coffeehouse Stout

Miami sleep


Former founder and writer for LambethField.com, now Co-Founder and writer for Virginia Brew Review. Life is too short to drink bad beer, but just long enough to write about it.