About a year ago (as of this writing, November 2017), we decided that we needed to add additional video content. At the time, we’d been doing the podcast every other week for about 18 months and only added a video component in February 2016. We realized that we should fill in the off Wednesdays with some other video content, so we came up with the concept for our #Versus series, where we put two similar beers up against each other to see which one we liked better.
TBH, we still haven’t drilled it down to a perfect science. We focused on finding hard-to-get beers, as we know that’s more interesting for all of us, however it was tough to always get two beers that were similar enough to compare. The purists most certainly let us know when we were off, but hey, we live in Canada so we’re not going to be fussy about any can of Trillium that arrives in our hands, mate.
With well over 20 #Versus videos in the stash, we figured it was time we highlighted our faves...with whales.
Broken Spoke vs Focal Banger vs Heady Topper vs Crusher
This video is by far our most viewed on YouTube, and it’s not surprising why. I went to Vermont in September of 2016 right after I received my Work Permit, which finally allowed me to travel again, so of course I went directly to The Alchemist and picked up everything they had. They actually were out of Crusher at the time, but I got to try it at the brewery and lost my mind. Luckily, I did a podcast with Julien of Brewster Club and I expressed my love of Crusher to him, so he brought me a can. What a legend.
So with Crusher to complete the lineup, we were able to do a full comparison of The Alchemist’s Pale Ale, IPA, IIPA and IIIPA in spectacular fashion. These videos are supposed to be like 5-10 minutes long, but we rambled for over 30 minutes and people seemed to stick around. You can likely guess which beer won.
All of the Tree House and Trillium
One of the biggest wins of our regular Vermont trips was always getting our hands on cans from Massachusetts’ finest breweries, Tree House and Trillium. These videos have mostly been the recipients of the criticism from the online beer community as, apparently, we weren’t comparing the right beers. As I mentioned earlier, we did the best we could given we had zero control over which brews landed in our sweaty palms. In the end, the winners were generally unanimous and my personal taste preference for Trillium over Tree House most certainly got a few online commenters upset.
There are a few other videos with Tree House or Trillium beers, but these are our faves.
Heady Topper vs Russian River Pliny The Elder vs Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
Heady would likely be the whale we’re most able to get our hands on regularly, and after a late summer ‘17 Vermont trip, I hung onto a couple cans and brought them to San Diego as a gift for my mate Craig, and one for Scott (the batch I had honestly tasted pretty bad so he had to try it). We managed to pick up a couple bottles of Pliny - finally - so we figured we should grab a can of Two Hearted as it recently beat out Pliny as the Best Beer In America. The beaming Cali sunshine helped us put these three back-to-back to determine which lauded IPA is truly the GOAT.
Hill Farmstead Anna vs Dorothy
This was another video that got a few punters mad at our comparison game. We were blessed to be gifted these beers from Jason of Beverage Warehouse as we told him we hadn’t tried Hill Farmstead, so of course we had to shoot a video to see which one we liked best. Sure they’re not the exact same style, but damn, it ain’t every day we got a couple bottles from the legit best brewery in the world.
Lawson’s Sip Of Sunshine vs Fiddlehead Mastermind 2016
I picked these two up on my first VT trip in late 2016. Funnily enough, we heard about both of these famous beers in somewhat interesting ways. We met these ladies in the car park of The Alchemist (one was shotgunning a Focal Banger coz she said “it split open”) who told us about this strangely named brew, and we then found a four pack of it in the fridge of the AirBnb - so it was fate, really. The next day we were at Shelburne Winery doing a tasting, and we told the server that we were in town on a beer adventure. She asked if we’d been to Fiddlehead and we said we hadn’t and asked where it is. She pointed out the window to a building across the street. So we wrapped up, headed over, and copped a four pack of Mastermind on a whim (or maybe we were tipsy, who knows really). This was a fun one as I was totally off as to which beer I preferred. I love it when that happens.
Bellwoods Milkshark Pink Guava vs Mango
I had to add this one. If y’all follow us, you already know of our obsession for all things Bellwoods and Milkshark. The Pink Guava and Mango versions were released pretty closely together over the summer, so I happened to have a bottle of each at the same time. These two were quite similar overall, and it was super cool to actually put them side by side to see which took the W, especially as generally you’d have to drink them long before the next one dropped (damn quick dropping fruited artisanal dessert IPAs). Who knows if this will ever happen again?