Last night I walked into the local bottleshop on my way home from work to check out a Pittsburgh Beer Week promotion– discounted pints of a certain IPA that comes out at every year at Christmas. Not sure I agree with hanging on to a keg of this particular beer until this late in the year, but I sort of understand it. Some (misguided) people often like age this beer for up to a year, and it seems to hold up reasonably well compared to most other beers in the style.
It tasted pretty good, and I perused the shelves looking for anything new. Lo and behold, they had tallboys of Oskar Blues G’Knight– a beer that holds a special place in my heart. It was a true gateway beer for me, back when it was called Gordon, that helped me understand what a hoppy beer could be. For me, a fresh, piney, danktastic can of G’Knight is about as good as American craft beer gets. But I almost never drink it. I can’t find it fresh.
Oskar Blues has a large presence in Pennsylvania. Most bottleshops have conspicuous (usually unrefrigerated) OB displays packed with sweet looking cans of Dale’s Pale Ale, Old Chub, and the like. The flagship Dale’s does a brisk business and you can generally find new cans of it fairly easily. But G’Knight, whether it’s the elevated ABV, the new name, or some other factor, just doesn’t sell as well. So it tends to sit on the shelves.
The reason I know this is because OB launched G’Knight in 16 oz cans during GABF week. Since then, I’ve kept an eye out for the new format, because new format = fresh beer. I drank some G’Knight tallboys in New York last December for a memorial gathering for Magnus Skullsplitter, and it tasted great. But this is the first time I’ve seen it displayed at my local bottleshop.
So I ask they guy working behind the counter about them– are they new? I’ve had my eye out for them. He replied: “We’ve had them in the back for awhile now. We had some of the regular cans to get rid of, and if we put the new ones out it would highlight the difference. So once the old ones were gone, we brought them out. They’re not that new.”