The act or quality of being arrogant; haughty; undue assumption; overbearing conceit.
Way back in 1995, while Greg and Steve, the brains behind Stone Brewing were toiling to perfect the brewing process for their Stone Pale Ale, they made a glorious mistake which, far from being resigned to the bin of beer gone wrong, eventually fermented into Arrogant Brewing..
With an official release following 2 years later, the Arrogant bad boy found runaway success and officially split into his own brewery in 2015. With several variants on sale yearly the Bastards are bolstered by seasonal releases and a small batch series.
So with a brief family history in the bag, it's time to meet The Bastards, two brothers of differing size and strength. Like most families the eldest overpowers the youngest, which at 7.2% is a potent mix of classified hops!
It's a beer that's billed as one you shouldn't like, you won't like and in fact your not worthy of, as you my friend are more suited to the mass priced fizzy water that the zombie like population buy and drink on a weekly basis...
Well I for one saw the craft beer light a few years back and having been baptized into the world of Hoppy goodness think I'm ready for such a challenge.
Fast approaching his 20th Birthday, Arrogant Bastard Ale is brewed in the USA and Berlin by the European arm of its parent, Stone Brewing. Pouring a strong hazy mahogany this thick headed Bastard is very impressive in the glass. It's mighty strong both in flavour & ABV with a bitter taste and mouthfeel. I found it to be quite caramelly, with a whole lot of Arrogant thrown in
At 4.7% the little Bastard is a step down in strength but is it a Reduction in flavour? Brewed exclusively in Berlin (& on sale in only 7 European nations) at a lower ABV to satisfy the alcohol content rules of some EU nations, little bastard pours almost identical to its older brother. This is where the shared genetics stop! Of course it doesn't have the punch of Arrogant but it stands up on its own as a decent English strong Ale. It's a little lacking in flavour though, with a slight watery finish. Caramel is once again the present flavour.
I think the little guy suffers when enjoyed directly after the stronger sibling, but then with a reduction of 2.5% that's unavoidable. They may be family but to be enjoyed on their own merits you need to crack the smaller of the two and then work up to the big guy.
I picked up the Bastards in the Vineyard on Belfasts, Ormeau Road.
I may not be worthy, but I don't give a shit! I'll be back to drink more you Arrogant Bastard...