Today’s we woke up a little tired. We thought, What should we do?
Of course we didn’t ask ourselves–we’re trying to get away from ourselves, after. Enter The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™ .
So we asked again: What should we do?
The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™: Have a beer, friend!
We were like, okay, sure. We got dressed, walked down the bar, and sat down. So many taps anymore! We wondered – what beer, Keith?
The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™: Good question. What are the choices?
We reviewed the taplist, telling Keith our options: pilsner, stout, bourbon-barrel aged stout, gose, lager, sour, berlinerweisse, IPA, hazy IPA, session IPA, strong ale, red ale, brown ale, blonde.
The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™: What on earth are you saying? Am I in Prague??
We described the beers.
The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™: West Coast IPA.
This surprised us. We asked Keith if he was sure about this.
The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™: West Coast IPA.
Why the West Coast IPA, Keith?
The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™: Teddy Roosevelt DEFINITELY WOULD HAVE DRUNK WEST COAST IPAs.
Excuse us, Keith?
The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™: Listen. It’s rare that American produces something singular, distinct, not watered down—especially nowadays, with all these nambypambies. The West Coast IPA is the perfect hop expression, drawn basically from Cascade, Chinook, Columbus, and Centennial, the Four Cs of Hop. Everything else is either a fruity gimmick, or might as well be whiskey, or is quote-unquote “easy drinking.”
What about Hazy IPAs, Keith?
The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™: Ha! Hazy IPAs are the Fruity Pebbles to West Coast IPA’s plain Cheerios! The mai tai to a straight shot of dark rum! West Coast IPAs are the distilled madness of beermakers, while everything else is just madness: yes, they are unbalanced. But as you might know, I’m against balance, I myself am unbalanced. Listen: West Coast IPAs are our nation’s most difficult beer. Love them. Also I’m from Pacifica and I like saying IPA.
So: we present to you
THE BEST WEST COAST IPA tournament
as judged by The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™
(all tasting notes are actual Keith Hernandez quotes!)
Ballast Point Sculpin (#1 seed) vs. Lagunitas IPA (#8)
Ballast Point Sculpin: They don’t like me too much in San Diego. Which reminds me—a grasshopper was going along, bothering nobody, and now…he’s all spiced up! What balance! What depth on that breaking ball! Uses the whole field—serious coin!
Lagunitas IPA: No hip rotation. Can I say this? It’s like kissing your sister.
El Segundo Mayberry (#2) vs. Pizza Port Swami’s IPA (#7)
El Segundo Mayberry: You can hold the coffee—I’m wide awake now. This guy is built like a fire hydrant!
Pizza Port Swami’s IPA: El stinkaroni! You’re in for a tough night and a rough morning. Throw it in the nearest trash bin!
Alpine Duet (#3) vs. Stone IPA (#6)
Alpine Duet: Is that a slight haze I detect? How much sugar they put in this thing? Me, I throw Tootsie Pops and make friends all over the place. I just don’t think this beer is well-executed. “I didn’t execute well” – I love that term. Gimme a whiskey, please!
Stone IPA: Well, we have a wild and wooly one! I smell something rotten in Denmark. It’s what’s behind it that’s ferocious—it stretches all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. A scaldy dog there, let me tell you.
Knee Deep Breaking Bud (#4) vs. Bear Republic Racer 5 (#5)
Knee Deep Breaking Bud: Has fluidity, like a rocking chair. Slight maltiness—more hoppy than bitter, a bit tropical, hints of melon. Very crisp—and I like them crisp.
Bear Republic Racer 5: What are you sending me, balsa wood? I feel like a marsupial with his pouch! This is a small storm. It’s going to pass quickly.
Semifinal 1: Ballast Point Sculpin (#1) vs. Stone IPA (#6)
Ballast Point Sculpin: If it was a linguist, it’d be Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady! Bring on the dancing bears!
Stone IPA: Another guy with his hat not straight! Oh, I just had a cramp in my hamstring. Sorry folks. Minor.
Semifinal 2: El Segundo Mayberry (#2) vs Knee Deep Breaking Bud (#4)
El Segundo Mayberry: I’ve always loved pine tar. This stuff is inspiring within!
Knee Deep Breaking Bud: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I get you. This guy’s a wiseacre. You gotta pound that thing down!
Ballast Point Sculpin (#1) vs. El Segundo Mayberry (#2)
El Segundo Mayberry: Needs to pull that mask down a little bit and get some oxygen.
Ballast Point Sculpin: It’s like Caesar coming home in triumph.
Ballast Point Sculpin
So there you have it folks: the best West Coast IPA according to The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™ is, perhaps, unsurprisingly, Ballast Point Sculpin. Get a bottle, get a can. Go to the Gaslamp District, take a boat ride in Long Beach. Find the West Coast. Find the beer. Sit back, channel your inner Keith Hernandez, sip, enjoy, exuding all the charm in all the world.
**Inputs into the The I’M KEITH HERNANDEZ Experience™ matrix include but are not limited to various facts about Keith Hernandez, eg that his father was a stern if loving authoritarian, he’s happy to take pictures with fans, his father and his older brother also played baseball but never made it past the minors, he’s been divorced twice and is not a womanizer but very much a woman-liker, his nickname is Mex though his blood is Spanish (and Scottish and Irish), he’s from northern California, he used to wear shoes 1.5 sizes too small because as he says they fit better, he loves the History Channel and red wine, especially together, he was a huge supporter of Carli Fiorina in 2016, he believes in fundamentals and intangibles, he definitely trusts the eye test more than advanced statistics, he loves crossword puzzles, he’s done his fair share of cocaine, he smoked in the dugout during baseball games, he resists authority, he has a sweet tooth especially for Tootsie Pops but he hates cotton candy, he is worth $15 million and would like to be worth much more, he likes the game Strat-o-Matic, and he lives with this guy: