I absolutely should have known better.

Having braved standing in line for eight hours in unseasonably cold weather while contending with an extended illness to secure six bottles of Darkness back in October, I neglected to draw upon my previous experience and completely underestimated the popularity and clamor for Surly’s latest one-time offering, 16 Grit Double IPA. Thanks to a new state law going into effect in 2009, Surly won’t be able to sell growlers since their production capacity has exceeded 3,500 barrels. So to commemorate the passing of an era, Omar decided to brew up this masterpiece, which has of course received nothing but A+ ratings on Beer Advocate over the weekend.

So why aren’t I offering up my own review of this one? Well, because you see, The Captain is a moron. I foolishly assumed that when 16 Grit went up for sale on Saturday that there would certainly be plenty of growlers left when they opened the doors again on Monday. I mean, they brewed 30 barrels worth…plenty to go around, right? Wrong. I rolled up to the brewery this morning shortly after 11 a.m. to discover 16 Grit was all gone. In fact, one guy laughed and mocked me as the woman at the till broke the terrible news to me. I stood there with a horrified and dejected look on my face. She may as well have told me my dog just got ran over by a bus…twice. How could this be?  How could I have let what is likely one of their best beers ever quietly slip out of my grasp? I was dazed and stunned by my own stupidity. I just simply didn’t count on the rabid cult following that is Surly Nation beating me to the punch*.


So, to get my mind off my bonehead maneuver, I left Surly and drove down to my local homebrew shop to pick up ingredients for a nice Belgian dubbel. If I can’t buy good beer, well then I’m going to set my mind to making some. I’m planning to brew tomorrow, assuming the temp stays in the mid to high 20’s. Here’s what I’m planning to use:

6 lbs. Munich
6 lbs. Pale Ale
1/2 lb. Aromatic
1/2 lb. Caramunich I
1/2 lb. Special B
1 lb. amber liquid Belgian candi sugar
2 oz. Styrian Goldings
1 oz. U.S. Fuggles
White Labs WLP530 Abbey Ale strain

Shooting for something reminiscent of Chimay Red. I actually have some of it in my beer fridge at the moment, so if I get real ambitious tonight I may put the brewing on hold for a few days and try to culture some of the yeast from the bottom of the bottle to make it as trappist-ey as possible.

* If there are any kind souls out there willing to share their 16 Grit, I’m ready and able to make some trades.