Note: This post is out of sequence from normal because of a birthday, a special gift and a brewery visit. It will become apparent below.
Friday was a semi-family get together. My #1 son will be celebrating a birthday on Sunday and his wife wanted to surprise him with a gift of a case of 3 Floyds Zombie Dust. She invited whoever was available and could make it to Munster, Indiana. We’d commiserate and maybe get some lunch and good beer.
I snagged a ride with the other son who was off that day and I sat in the back seat while he drove and his babe sat shotgun. I was just like a dog with my head out the window gawking at the world as it went by.
The trip to 3Fs had been made many times over the past 5 years or so and it usually takes about an hour or so for us. Not this time. We were delayed by a long stretch of traffic right where I-80 merges with I-294. By the time we hit Floyds, the others were there and had a table waiting.
We all had a little lunch with big price tags. Familiar food with alien ingredients. Hipster food. Instead of some sports games on the TVs, they were showing vintage cartoons from the ‘30s. The place was busy with empty seats quickly becoming occupied. The food was good but my burger had some weed on it in place of lettuce. My wife thinks it was “arugula.” Bore a resemblance to a dandelion. It did have an outstanding alien version of a Big Mac sauce. Damn good food, damn good beer.
I’d pop outside from time to time to see how long the line was at the take-out counter. Every time I checked, there were at least 15-20 people waiting. By the time we were wiping our chins from lunch and packing up to leave, the line dwindled down to 3. I jumped in. I scored a case of Zombie Dust in no time. 40 bucks, no tax. That was this old guy’s highlight of 2016.
I decided to revisit Zombie Dust and write about it Saturday night. But I was in a quandary. My daughter-in-law planned on gifting my son a case of ZD for his birthday on Sunday, but he always reads my reviews after work on Saturday. That’s why this post and the Frankly are delayed. I hope it works. Sorry for the disruption.
I had no doubt that writing about Zombie Dust would be as easy as drinking it. I had no qualms about anyone complaining of a beer rerun on SPT. I could hardly wait.
When the time finally rolled around, I grabbed a glass and poured.
The first sip was divine. A nice medium body with malt flavor slightly overshadowed by the citrusy, slightly bitter finish. What a great beer. The beer is a 100% Citra hop beer. Citra is an aroma hop with flavors of citrus and tropical fruit.
The malt had a certain slight bready flavor which helps enhance the hop notes at the swallow. There is a very slight bit of sweetness in the body of the beer and that’s what made it truly enjoyable for me.
There are many other pale ales out there that appear on the beer rating sites but Sierra Nevada’ Pale Ale and Zombie Dust are predominantly ranked 1 and 2. The main difference is that Sierra’s Pale Ale is available everywhere while ZD has a very limited distribution. Here in north central Flatland, we consider ourselves fortunate when a beer store puts a few bottles of ZD on the shelf for around 5 bucks a bottle.
What some people do around this area are call stores like Binny’s once week to ask for it. What we do, is take a trip to the brewery in Munster, Indiana after Floyd updates the BEERS TO GO section of the website.
Zombie Dust has made quite reputation for itself and 3 Floyds. ZD and Dark Lord are now synonymous with the brewery. Many of their other beers, Gumballhead, Alpha King, Yum Yum and others are also gaining fans and more notoriety for the brewery. I still have a special place in my heart for Arctic Panzer Wolf.
Many folks who try ZD for the first time remark that it tastes like an IPA. Hell, that’s what I thought when I first tasted it. If you go by the BJCP style book, you find that the names of the styles change as the numbers change. Now we have an American Strong Pale Ale in between Pale Ale and IPA. However, brewers aren’t held to style guidelines. They brew the beer and they call it the damn style that they choose. Here’s an article that may be of interest.
Knowing that Zombie Dust is one of the top 3 rated pale ales, my opinion is that it should take the #1 spot, specifically for the hop characteristic that it has. Many people want a heftier beer than the ones their Dads drank after work when they were a kid. A BEER beer. I’d consider Sierra’s Pale Ale and Dale’s Pale Ale to be just that. BEER beers. But Zombie Dust? It’s a beer that takes your taste buds on a tropical cruise.
Style: American Pale Ale
Taste: A dream right in your mouth.
Smoothness: Easy coming in, something to remember going down.
Drinkability: Don’t worry about it. Have another.
Bang for the buck: Can’t beat the brewery price.
Amount paid: $40 for four sixpacks of 12-ounce bottles.
Get it again? Hell yeah!
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sniff) I don’t know what it smells like. (sip) It’s fruity but… hot fruit. Like when you make applesauce or something. (sip) I don’t particularly care for it. It’s strange. (Ten thousand replies to that just entered my head, but I’ll leave it at that.)
If you care to watch an in-depth review of Zombie Dust, Alpha King and Sierra Pale Ale by Chris Quinn: Link. [21:51]