The Brew Zoo is the topic selected for The Session #7. The basic rule is that either the brewery or the beer must have a real live creature in its name. We will also allow beers with prominent animal label art (think Geary's Ale from Maine and its Lobster) to be added to the Brew Zoo.After I read this, I realized that nearly every other beer had some sort of animal connection. What was I to do? As I was heading home from an appointment this afternoon, the answer came to me. I drove past Bee Gee's Mini Mart, known to have some rare beers that you can't find in other local stores. Rumor had it that they still had some of the Stone Vertical Epic 03.03.03 and 04.04.04 (gargoyles count, right?). Turns out they didn't, but they did have Rogue's Old Crustacean, vintage 2002. This was too good a find to pass up, so I picked up a few bottles and steered home.
Inspired by its name, this beer conjures nautical adventures. When it sets sail from its home port, it is an intensely hoppy beer. This vintage sits at 120 IBU, and even 5 years later, the hops bellow out like a ship full of drunken sailors, pillaging the senses. But it's also a huge beer, cresting at about 11.5% ABV. As a result, it's a hugely malty beer. Swimming beneath the hoppy chorus is a leviathan of licorice, caramel, plum, and port flavors, poised like an overgrown lobster to rise up from the depths and destroy the noisy drunkards. This will be an epic battle worthy of Melville and Verne, one that I'll gladly be following (from the shore, of course).