Baxter's has a refined beer palette, and sometimes sacrifices have to be made to please his high standards. That sacrifice today was several hours of Saturday-morning sleep.
Everybody's favorite Pekapoo has reviewed a beer from Lawson's Finest Liquids before, and he typically doesn't like to repeat breweries. But this time the beer is a collaboration with Brewmaster Mike at Otter Creek Brewery (OCB is a much larger brewery with a wider distribution), so Baxter figured he could let it slide just this once.
Last night I let Baxter have a taste of that collaboration beer: Double Dose IPA. He loved it and really wanted more. Unfortunately, Double Dose sold out of stores in Vermont almost immediately after it was released. It was a one-off variety, so no more will be produced.
Luckily, Lawson's Finest Liquids likes to take their rare beers to the Farmers' Market in Waitsfield, VT once a month. This time around they promised to have the last cases of Double Dose in the state, along with many other delicious varieties.
But getting Lawson's at the Farmers' market isn't as simple as striding up to the booth and asking for your favorite selections. People drive from hours away for a chance to get the beer, because it is sold in just three stores and typically runs out within an hour of delivery.
The Farmers' Market opened at 9 a.m., but Lawson's fans could show up as early as 8 a.m. to get a ticket. Those tickets would then be called in order for the rest of the day.
The plan was to leave the house in time to get to the market at 8 a.m. sharp. Well, my girlfriend and I aren't exactly morning people and we held up Baxter, who was ready as soon as he woke up.
We finally arrived at 8:30 to get ticket No. 134 and an estimated time of 11 a.m. for our number to be called. That meant going to find breakfast somewhere (that didn't allow Baxter inside -- the nerve of some people), then walking around and around the Farmers' Market until it was our turn.
That didn't matter much to Baxter, there were plenty of children and other dogs to play with.
By 10:50 our name was called, and Baxter had me go up to the table (he's not tall enough to reach and it's tough for him to carry even one bottle of beer). I got three bottles of our favorite Lawson's, Double Sunshine IPA, one bottle of a Maple Barrel-Aged Maple Stout (yes, that is maple twice) and Baxter's Double Dose.
So, when Baxter and I enjoy our beer during the game today, we will know we earned it.
Craig's Review: Lawson's is known for making some delicious, juicy (as in, smells like citrus) and balanced Double IPAs. Double Dose is no different. The beer has a wonderful grapefruit smell. The hop character is more bitter than the Double Sunshine, but it is balanced by a good malt presence that brings the beer to 8.5% ABV. The carbonation seems a bit higher than other DIPAs I've had, giving it a little more bite.
It's sad to find a one-off you really like, and I'm glad I was able to snag a few more bottles before it is gone forever. Kudos for Otter Creek and Lawson's for making something amazing.
Baxter's review: What a day! So many other dogs and people. I met this little girl. She pet me a bunch, so I snuggled up into her lap. Then she told her mom she wanted her own "Baxter." Silly girl, I'm the only Baxter.
The beer is delicious. I wish Craig would give me more, but he said something about me being a lightweight (12 pounds of pure muscle and teeth). Whatever, I'm glad he got me another four-pack to share.
That is what Baxter and I will be having as we watch the Cougs take on the Beavs. What will you be enjoying?
(P.S.: My girlfriend is amazing because she wakes up early on a Saturday so we can go wait three hours for beer).