When I took my first sip of Green Dragon's King Ghidorah, on Saturday at Rogue's Brewer's Memorial Ale Fest, I had no idea its namesake was a three-headed flying beast who is Godzilla's bitterest enemy. I'm not sure who Green Dragon's version of the monster - a Bière de Garde, or French/Belgian style of beer similar to a Saison farmhouse ale - was intended to attack, because my nose, tongue, and belly loved it. Maybe this means I belong on the side of evil, and if that's the price of enjoying King Ghidorah, I'm totally fine with it. This beer was so good, if King Ghidorah is one of the bad guys, screw the good guys. This beer was tangy, fruity, fragrant, intense, complex, quizzical, and old-timey yet futuristic. I wanted to drink it while reading handwritten letters scanned into an iPad sitting on a vaguely mildewed bale of hay surrounded LEDs, candlelight, and the sounds of Titus Andronicus.
Unfortunately, King Ghidorah is destined to fade into a dreamy memory like the mythical creature it's named after. I will probably never drink this beer again, unless I track it down next time I'm in Portland. But all is not lost! I looked up Green Dragon - some Portland peeps had heard of this pub-turned-brewery - and though they don't yet have a real website*, they do have an elusive facebook page. There, I found information from the King Ghidorah release party (which already happened, dang), which included these tidbits:
"We formulated and brewed this with Brad Winter of the Oregon Brew Crew; it is quite unique and we took the unknown path. The majority was fermented and aged in a used Rogue Dead Guy whiskey barrel then blended with a portion fermented in stainless to smooth the whiskey and oak contribution - 87% barrel and 13% stainless. Within find hints of oak, vanilla, apricots, clove, cinnamon and whiskey with firm mouthfeel and subtle lingering flavors.
Bière de Garde
OG 20P ABV ~9.2% IBU 25 Color ~10 SRM
PCTBB Yeast / Wyeast 3726 Farmhouse Ale"
So the breadcrumbs have been dispersed. Maybe one day, once I've cut my homebrew chops, I'll be able to recreate it (or some equally progressive and otherworldly** Bière de Garde).
*Green Dragon folks, if all the beers you make are as good as King Ghidorah, I will so build a rad website for you - the only compensation I would require is enough beer to get me through the build process.
**The real (and by real I mean fictional) King Ghidorah is actually a dragon-like alien. Awesome!
P.S. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of it -- they wouldn't have turned out very well anyway because the Brewer's Memorial cups were plastic and opaque. Anyway, it was a slightly cloudy orangish/amberish color with a good head.
Image is from Flickr user bweisner shared with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license