The cult section of the literary world

Thirsty Thursday: Deviant Dale’s IPA

by Ross E. Lockhart

It takes about an hour, sometimes more, to drive from Petaluma, where I live, to the Dogpatch district of San Francisco, where the massive warehouse warehousing the Night Shade Books office is located. Depending on traffic, and other motorists’ habits of driving like idiots, this can be a monster of a commute. So I fill my time as best I can, listening to music, catching up on short fiction, or checking out new and engaging podcasts. One I’ve recently started tuning in to is John Harvey’s Dirty Beer Guy, “One tragically unkempt man’s journey through the wonderful world of beer.” Along with sidekick Jason Barrow, John weekly explores a grouping of artisan and craft brews, filling the hour-long show with plenty of humor, talk about movies and books, and, of course, beer reviews.

A recent show focused on a quartet of IPAs, including Stone Brewing Company’s Tenth Anniversary Ruination IPA, which I recently sampled and loved. Thing is, John and Jason are unabashedly stout and porter drinkers, and while I’m not typically a fan of schadenfreude, I found Jason’s reaction to the more palate-scowering aspects of strong, extra-hoppy IPAs hilarious, as he sputtered, swore, and suffered through every sip. “Fuckin’ hell,” chokes Jason at one point after sampling Ruination. “What kind of sick, demented human being…? You know, it’s the same people who wear latex and nipple clamps. Same people. If you’re drinking this, you’ve got a nipple clamp. I swear to god. Oh my god. Or a penis ring. One or the other. Jesus. God. Fuck. […] BDSM with your IPA with a high IBU and ABV, PDQ!”

Hey, I resemble that remark. Okay, so I don’t wear latex (too sweaty), but I do like bitter, palate-blasting hop bombs. Does that make me some kind of deviant?

Of course it does. But then, isn’t everybody a deviant? Doesn’t everybody got to deviate from the norm? And doesn’t deviation itself depend upon where one is standing? Contrast me with Willard “Mittens” Romney, the obscenely rich plutocrat currently running for US president. To him, I’m sure I come across as a deviant, with my long hair (put down the scissors, Mitt), tattoos, piercings, and tendency to hang out with freaky people like you, dear reader… or this guy:

But then, to me, Mittens, with his magical underwear, five grandmothers, and habit in college of dressing up like a cop in order to pull over and “meet” girls, comes across as a total deviant. Or worse…

Which brings me to tonight’s Thirsty Thursday offering, Deviant Dale’s IPA from Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery. An award-winning American craft brewer that cans, rather than bottles their beer in order to target a particular demographic of deviants—backpackers, mountainbikers, and pack-it-in, pack-it-out campers—Oskar Blues were the first American microbrewer to brew and can their own beer.

Deviant Dale’s IPA pours a deep, nearly opaque copper with a frothy white head and notable retention. Nose is peeling tangerines with a Xmas tree, tons of citrus and pine. Candied oranges and caramel on the tongue, with notes of white pepper and grapefruit. Thin-bodied and moderately carbonated, with a roof-of-mouth stickiness and lasting bitter bite. Easy-drinking, with a dry, refreshing finish.

Suggested literary pairings for the deviant in your life:

Ross E. Lockhart is the managing editor of Night Shade Books. A lifelong fan of supernatural, fantastic, speculative, and weird fiction, he holds degrees in English from Sonoma State University (BA) and San Francisco State University (MA). In 2011, he edited the acclaimed anthology The Book of Cthulhu. A follow-up, The Book of Cthulhu II is coming October 2012 from Night Shade Books, and his rock-and-roll novel, Chick Bassist, is coming this winter from Lazy Fascist Press. He lives in an old church in Petaluma, CA, with his wife Jennifer, hundreds of books, and Elinor, who is fitting in nicely. Visit him online at

3 responses

  1. Drinking Sapporo. I would like to be more adventurous with my beer, but I drink it so infrequently- wine drinker mainly – it’s hard to “risk” new things.

    July 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm

  2. Wow, I haven’t had a Sapporo since some time in the early 90s. I may have to revisit that one. But I’ve got an Aooni IPA (from Japan’s Yo-Ho Brewing Company) lined up ahead of it.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm

  3. Pingback: Beer – #38 – Epic – Hop Zombie | Pdubyah

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