Flight of the Cricket – Six Beers from Rickety Cricket

There are two breweries in Kingman.  I spend most of my beertime at Black Bridge.  It was the first and it is still my favorite.  However, I do need to spend some effort on Rickety Cricket’s beer.  After all, this blog is about the Beer World of Kingman.  And so, for you, the community, I have made sacrifices.  I have dedicated myself to drinking beer at more than one location.  You are welcome.

Upon arriving at Rickety Cricket you will be met by the smiling face of Nicole; if not, find out why – she is the bartender you want.  She knows beer and can provide good guidance on tap choices and stories about the local brews.

Now, the title of this blog post indicates I had six beers.  This is true, but I also decided to add one more.  I’d found these brief notes made during a dinner at the Cricket.  They are in regard to the Coffee Porter.  Terry had told me when it was debuting and I wanted to make sure to try it right away.

So, seven, seven beers!  Once again, you people types are welcome.

Coffee Porter:

Dark. Medium body. Good tan head. Head dissipates quick. Cold brew coffee added. From Beale St. Nice subdued addition. A little bitterness added but not too much. Subtle touch. Comes up on back end to add a nice touch to the porter. Elegant. Balanced.

Slight coffee aroma no hops evident. Brown porter. Gone before I knew it.

Rickety Cricket has eleven beers on tap, to my surprise.  I only expected six.  I only tried six.  Look!  More opportunities for me to diligently apply myself to the consumption of barley based libations for the betterment of all Kingman.  I feel so altruistic.

The Flight of the Cricket:

Anaconda Squeeze. Rebranded an IPA.  That works.  Danky hops, dry body, good legs.  Smells like the APA below. Much better now than it was a few weeks ago.

Angry Ex Girlfriend (once called a blond, now an American Pale Ale). Splendid aroma. Citrusy. A little chalky maybe? That could be me. This is better as an APA than it was a blond. Not hoppy enough to warrant “angry.”  But good.

Bearded Bagpipe.  Meh on the name. More meh on the taste.  I think this is a miss. There is a sharp, dark flavor I can’t quite figure out. But it’s not quite right.  It’s off in some way I can’t pin down here at the bar.

Porter. Roasted grain. Dark toasted flavor. Yeah, lost track of notes while drinking. Fantastic.

Stay Puft. A stout. Let’s see … nice. Lactic character at the end. Sugary.  A sweet stout to be sure.  Good color.

Bird Cage Blonde.  Well done. A little more hops than I anticipated but not bad at all. Dry but decent body. Great color. Impressed.

Overall, the beers seem solid, stable.

Anaconda Squeeze started life as New England IPA, but it wasn’t right at all.  Making it a straight IPA was a better idea, although I would have just kept it as is and left it as my American Pale Ale.  Angry Ex Girlfriend could have then be re-designed into Bird Cage, which is just a fabulous light, easy beer. What?  That would leave them without an IPA?  Oh, heaven forbid that a brewery exist that has no IPA!  What blasphemy!  But, anyway, my real point behind all that chatter is that Anaconda Squeeze has turned into a pretty good beer.

The Irish Red, however, the Bearded Bagpipe, was not so delectable.  It suffered from some temperature issues, I was told, resulting in a woody character that didn’t fit.  This round of that beer was not good at all, but Nicole says they’ll have more ready in about two weeks so I’ll give it another go then.

The porter was my favorite of the flight.  I’ve got a growler of it at home so I’ll spend some more time with that beer later.  There’s also a black IPA, a collaboration beer with Black Bridge, that I’d like to further study.

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Dark Penance by Founders Brewing

That word, penance, it intrigued me.  So I did what an intrigued person would do.  I visited OneLook.com and perused the definitions of the word.  Here was the first one displayed: “punishment or suffering that you accept, especially because of your religious beliefs, to show that you are sorry for something bad that you have done.”  The rest were all variations on that.  So, is Founders saying they are sorry for making this black IPA?  Are they saying they are sorry that there are black IPA’s?

I shrug and move on.

IMG_0803

That Smell …
It smells of lemon and lime and Chanel Number 5 and all that implies.  Yes, those fruity hops were dancing a dance in the nose.

In Appearance …IMG_0805
For a moment I thought I was pouring a cola.  Or perhaps a really dark tea.  That really created some dissonance in my cranial area.  It smelled like Sprite and looked like Coke.  But it’s a beer, man, a beer … .  Head retention was superb and the collar itself was a stoutish cream color.  Hmmm, this beer is all about deceit.

But the Taste …
If hops madness is your bag, baby, this is your beer.  If I’d not had the bottle with the label containing the name of the brewery right there in front of me I’d swear this was a Sierra Nevada or Stone libation.  I think I’ll lean more towards Stone for the hops artistry did not seem as refined as Sierra Nevada’s.  Yes, the hops are prominent, but what did I expect?  This is an IPA.  It’s dry and bitter, like the desert.  The bitterness lays like a blanket upon the tongue right away.  It lingers then stands and dances.  There is some slight malt character that bursts out as the beer gets warm, but it’s not very strong and lasts about as long as a rainstorm here in Kingman.

Join Me For A Plate Of …
Scalloped potatoes.

The Conclusion Of The Matter Is …
It reminded me of late summer, just as the weather is getting ready to change.  It made me think of late 80’s girl pop bands that are fine to look at and are occasionally in vogue, but, really, just hard to listen to.  This beer is similarly hard to finish.  It’s a harsh glass of achromatic despair, which is exactly what it’s supposed to be.  Yes, this is an IPA worthy of the moniker.  It’s hits all the right hops notes and malt chords.  As I drank I read the BJCP Guidelines for American IPA’s and this was a Goldilocks of the style.  I did find myself wishing that the roasted malts had leant some body and not just color to this black IPA.  However, I seek no penance for having this beer.