Sunday, October 31, 2010

Quaff Review #9: Earthquake High Gravity Lager

I ran a bit of a project while I passed through the United States. As the route my father and I took through the northern states was one that I doubted I'd be along again in the foreseeable future, whenever I had the chance I picked up some local beer from the spots we stopped. Though I was able to find local, unfamiliar stuff in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Montana, other states posed a bit of a problem. In particular, the couple of hours I was in Chicago for were not nearly enough to find a store that sold local brews.

So instead I went to the very same 7-Eleven in the Loop where I bought a can of Hurricane High Gravity Lager more than a year ago now, and upgraded to what appears to be the Next Level: Earthquake High Gravity Lager, which is presumably marketed toward people who think Hurricane is for wimps. If Budweiser truly is the king of beers, as its advertising claims so, so often, then Earthquake High Gravity Lager is the Super Kami Guru. By which I mean it's massive, powerful, and insane. Presumably Drink Four Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin is naming its output after progressively worse disasters; there doesn't yet appear to be a "Supernova High Gravity Lager," but I'd say that's only a matter of time.

I thought that Hurricane's 710-milliliter, 8.1% alc./vol. hit me hard last year. As it turns out, what it packs is a love tap next to what's crammed in every can of Earthquake; a can that, mind you, seems like nothing but a comic overexaggeration of the American predilection toward bigness given form. It holds twenty-four fluid ounces of beer - to put it into perspective, that stein next to it holds one liter, and the contents of the can just barely fit in to it. It would appear, then, that the intention is for this to be drank straight from the can - because really, how many people have liter steins? Not very many, I can be telling you!

Oh, and there's also one other important note - this is an alcoholic beverage. A really alcoholic beverage. This is, in fact, the most alcoholic thing I've encountered that wasn't a kind of liquor or spirit. This can of terrors clocks in at 12% alcohol by volume. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that this is an entire six-pack in one can.

So how's it taste, you ask? Horrible. Like how a train wreck must taste, pain and panic and engine oil blasted all around. At first drink I picked up a strong, sharp taste that seemed vaguely familiar, and it took me a while to realize that it was the alcohol, overpowering everything else in the brew. I had to wonder if drinking paint thinner felt like that. Plus, that was when it was cold: as it warmed up, the beer became more and more bitter and impossible to get down my gullet.

Plus, after only a few sips and a lot of introspection, I was getting seriously concerned that drinking so much beer with such a high alcohol content at one go might be legitimately dangerous. So I did what I'd never done before, but what I had to do - I tipped the greater whole of it down the drain and out of my life.

ANDREW'S RATING: 0/5. Do not buy this if you value your dignity or your health. Even if you don't I would seriously not recommend it.

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