Those of you that have been the craft game for awhile certainly recall the great 'out-ABV' wars, when every brewery was engaged in a pissing contest to see who could essentially distill liquor in a beer bottle. Brew Dog eventually came out on top with their ode to rubbing alcohol, The End of History, weighing in at a whopping 344,000% (UPDATE-- there's an actual 70% beer out there from the now-defunct Brouwerij het Koelschip, which I assume exploded because there's no way they weren't brewing that shit in bathtubs in the basement). At some point the fervor died down, as consumers likely realized all of these beers ended up tasting like the trail a dog leaves after dragging its asshole on the carpet while being super expensive due to the amount of ingredients it takes to raise the alcohol to mythic proportions.
Cut to 2017, and my random discovery of a super-cheap and poorly designed beer by the name of Fuggin' Awesome. This is an imperial lager that features the abv (16%, flirting with being a liqueur) prominently on both the artwork and a tag around the neck. At $4 and some change for a 16.9 oz. portion, I knew I had to try this and dip my toes back into the absurd waters of the abv pool. Would this be as shitty as the offerings were back in the day?
Yes. Fuggin' Awesome is way more Fuggin' than it is Awesome, and also it is not Awesome at all.
Here's how it rates in some of the classic 'craft' categories:
Pour: Like Nestea(tm), right down to the distinct lack of carbonation and sickening stench of sugars. No head formed whatsoever, even on my attempt to glug the bottle and force it.
Nose: I wish I didn't have one during this.
Mouthfeel: Bad. Mouth feel very bad after drink, want bleach to kill mouth
Taste: Imagine maple syrup on fire. My wife asked me if it tasted anything like wine, as the sugar smell permeated our living room. She tried a sip. As she fumbled around for a napkin to spit this devil juice out, she ran to the sink and audibly retched. 'You deserve a medal for even drinking that. You're not going to finish it, are you?' she cried out as she gulped water in an attempt to salvage her remaining taste buds.
Finish: Somehow, yes, I did.
But did I get tore down?: Lord yes. About twenty minutes after I finished it I was suddenly able to sing and dance, as well as compliment my children on their stellar art skill. I immediately wanted to have another to keep the train a-rollin' even though it was a work night and we hadn't even started making dinner yet.
With its terrible taste, things floating in the bottle, unnecessarily high alcohol content, and a price point that can only invite trouble, Fuggin' Awesome is to craft beer what Boone's Farm is to wine-- that is to say, great. Turn your tongue off and ride this train all the way to the gutter. Let the dawn of the age of bum craft beer rise!!
Staff Writer- Last Rites
Follow me on Twitter: @chris_redar