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Beer, Legendary Monsters, and swag. That’s how the tap takeover went down at the Flying Saucer, in Addison, Texas.
An eyewitness report from Benjamin Wilson
Right. The beginning. I traipse into the Flying Saucer in hopes of getting a pint and some nosh, and notice a couple of dudes hanging around, wearing Great Divide shirts, and minding their own business. Yeti is on the menu, which is fortuitous; it’s one of my top 5 Imperial Stouts. Generally speaking, it’s a fairly smooth, tasty dram with chocolate overtones, some delicious maillards and a ketone-like flavor that sometimes makes me taste raspberries and other times pecans. All told, it’s a great, stomach-bombing alcoholic glass worthy of Valhalla, pouring from Heidrun to fill the cups of all true warriors who love hops, dark malts and a kickass brewing team.
I order one; the delightful valkyrie, a friendly ‘beer goddess’, as the Flying Saucer terms ‘em, says, “Do you want to talk to the brewer?”
And I say, “yes.” Provided my mouth still works after the pint of Yeti, yes.
Ro Guenzel, Brewing Manager at Great Divide, is mostly minding his own business, so I talk primarily to Justin; a super friendly dude who is a Great Divide brewing rep, out of Austin. Justin lets on that this is a tap takeover for not just regular ol’ Yeti, but the entire Yeti clan. Yeti, the good ol’ standard, weighing in at 9.5% and 75 IBU, chock full o’ toffee and caramel; Barrel Aged Yeti, adding on some sweet bourbon and molasses notes with a little more alcoholic bite; Oak-Aged Yeti, with some of the barrel concentration of Barrel-Aged, but more of a tannic bite to balance out the sweetness.
There are Yetis, and rumors of Yetis; Velvet Yeti, a lower ABV Yeti with even more smoothness, Chai Yeti (a rumor? A possibility? A delicious tease?) – and more, but any additionals don’t make it through my alcohol-muddled brain after one glass of each of the first three.
After a bit, Justin brings Ro over, and we chat. Ro is a homebrewing enthusiast turned pro, with a great track record of kickass beers and breweries under his belt. I could try and recount his CV here, but why? Just drink the beer. You’ll understand.
Oh, and on deck, (look for them in stores) Orabelle, a spiced Tripel, Hop Disciple, featuring a brand new hop each year, and some fun stuff with pumpkins and Roselaire yeast (Roselaire delivers a flavorful punch to the mouth for fans of wild fermentations and funky flavors), and Velvet Yeti, mentioned above, which should show up in the Texas market.
And then, the fun begins. The Yeti shows up. Sometimes called the Abominable Snowman, he is a pretty chill dude. We hang out a little bit, but more importantly, he walks around, scares the unaware and hands out swag, and sweet, sweet beer. In the end, it is one of the best surprise parties I’ve ever walked into. Not bad for a giant simian with a fearsome reputation, who hangs in the Himalayas and scares early 19th-century English explorers.
“There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says ‘Good people drink good beer.’ Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public barroom and you will quickly see: bad people drinking bad beer. Think about it.”
– Hunter S. Thompson