12th Annual Strong Ale Festival, Rogue Overpriced
It’s nearing that time of year again, Pizza Port Carlsbad is holding their 12th Annual Strong Ale Festival.
Last year, we attended, and heard the buzz all around about all of the special kegs and casks that were for the VIP session only. Special one offs from Firestone Walker, Stone Brewing Co., and of course, Port Brewing/Lost Abbey. While the beers poured the following day were no slouches, we decided not to miss out this year.
With that being said, we will be rolling VIP style to the Friday, December 5th 1pm – 4pm VIP session. This session will have 25 extra taps, totaling in 100 strong ales to POSSIBLY try. Even if you can’t take off work, you should check this out Saturday, December 6th. Because of the short amount of daylight, the cooler temperature, and the strongness of the ale, it makes for one of the best festivals out there.
As mentioned, arrange for a designated driver or cab, this strong tasty ale WILL creep up on you, even after 8 small tasters.
Last week, I found a special Rogue beer, Rogue Double Dead Guy. As with the other Rogue beers, I was very impressed with the packaging. Usually Rogue has a beautiful silkscreened bottle that captures the imagination of the drinker. Rogue also came out with their XS series a few years back, packaging their stronger ales in a 750ml ceramic bottle. Make no mistake about it, sometimes you can judge a beer by its cover. My problem with the cover is the price tag on it.
Plain and simple, Rogue beers are overpriced. While the Rogue XS line in the ceramic swing top bottles look cool, and make for cool bar paraphernalia, they go for $14 to $17 a pop depending on where in the country you buy it. While I enjoyed the XS Old Crustacean Barley Wine and Imperial Stout, it wasn’t something I was willing to buy on a regular basis. Back to the Double Dead Guy, it was in this sexy, bright red bottle that almost seemed like it was coated with glossy porcelain.
This beer set me back $10.99. After drinking it, I found it to be a dumbed down version of Double Bastard Ale. It had the same consistency and color, but didn’t pack the complexity I was looking for. It was good, but not great. Would I have enjoyed it better if it was under $7.00? Possibly. There are beers that command a gourmet price tag. You can get a regular run Lost Abbey beer for under $10.00, you can get a Stone Special Release for under $7.00. While I don’t know the ins and outs of Rogue, I know they brew on a much larger scale than Lost Abbey, and many other favorites in the West. I can’t tell you why Rogue is charging a considerable amount more for their premium lineup, but from a consumer standpoint, I think I’ll pass next time on the sexy, flashy, expensive bottle.