Exponential Hoppiness

A selection of beers from the Alpine Beer Company; note the Exponential Hoppiness on the left.

There’s a long pour of creeping inebriation in this week’s edition of High Octane Growler, the result of special guest Garett Michaels and his bottomless cooler of Southern California craft brews.

In a previous edition of the show Garett, Scott Slonaker of The Others, and High Octane Growler host Tommy Hough enjoyed a strong sample of the Mother Earth Brewing Co. Kismet IPA, about as perfectly-balanced a Double IPA as any of the gang have ever enjoyed.

But for this High Octane Growler, the guys up the ante and dig a little further into Garett’s portable beach cooler and urban assault vehicle to try the Alpine Beer Co.’s Exponential Hoppiness triple IPA, a beer so perfectly formulated and delicately ramped up to an 11 percent ABV, Tommy even named this week’s show after it.

During the course of the conversation we learn Scott has no favorite bands or albums, and simply likes to build playlists on his iPod. Whatever music you may present to Scott, if it’s new he’ll probably like it, providing you put whatever it is on random.

Garett also goes through Tommy’s car CD magazine (very 2002) and finds little to mock or make fun of, while Tommy defends the first Bachman-Turner Overdrive album as one of the best driving albums of all time.

As part of the holy trinity of Donnie Iris (“Ah Leah,” “Love Is Like A Rock,” and “Do You Compute”), Scott talks about the physical record he used as part of his training at WLHS in Westchester, Ohio to learn how to cue and slip cue, Garett admits he partied with Henry Lee Summer, Tommy spills the beans on his first 45s, and Garett even manages to guess the first record Scott ever purchased. All this, and jokes about roofies and hairy buffalo.

Beers Enjoyed

Alpine Beer Co. Exponential Hoppiness
American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV 11.0%

To quote Beer Advocate on the virtues of Exponential Hoppiness, “This Hop Monster uses multiple kettle hop additions with the technique of doubling the hop amount each addition (exponentially). Add in the hop back and the continuous dry hopping and you start to get the picture.”

Music Enjoyed

Sadly, while putting together this week’s show, we got word of the death of Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and bass player for The Doors. We’ll do a special Ray Manzarek tribute edition of High Octane Growler soon, but to open up this week’s program it seemed fitting to kick things off with “Soul Kitchen,” from The Doors’ debut album from January 1967. And this song still sounds every bit as unique to The Doors and The Doors only as anything else they ever recorded during their brief lifetime. Rest in peace, Ray Manzarek.

Also threw in another 60s nugget for the midsection upon the completion of Garett’s forced inspection of Tommy’s CD magazine, in the form of “Last Train to Clarksville” from The Monkees, featuring one of the greatest guitar licks of all time. Of course, this was really Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and a pickup band of L.A. session musicians (some of whom may have included Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, Hal Blaine and David Gates) playing on the track.

Donnie Iris’s 1980 album Back On the Streets.

Most of The Monkees’ first two albums were recorded all at once under the supervision of Brill Building producer Don Kirshner in the summer of 1966, then The Monkees themselves were brought in to cut their vocal tracks on top of the already-finished music.

So say what you want about The Monkees. Their output holds up a lot better today than anything the Jefferson Airplane ever did after Surrealistic Pillow, so choo-choo, and hooray for The Monkees.

Finally, we close with an artist and a song which we’re pretty much hinting at and chewing on for several minutes. Much to Tommy’s delight as a native Pittsburgher, at Garett’s behest and prodding we roll out the great Dominic Ierace, better known to the world as Donnie Iris. The song? “Ah Leah,” of course, from Donnie’s 1980 debut solo album Back On the Streets. Accept no substitutes.

Thanks to broadcast brother Mike Hansen for the killer High Octane Growler imaging.

Big thanks to Ken Wright and Steve Wagner for their ongoing support.

Thanks to Phil Smith for helping get the beer-to-radio ball r0lling.

Words to live by. And we didn’t go to bed.

The Alpine Beer Company is in the same small business strip as a book store, so if you’re looking for big and splashy, keep going to the Viejas Casino.

Garett on the doorstep of the High Octane Growler World Domination Headquarters, somewhere in Southeast Portland.

The Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles, along with several other clubs and establishments on Sunset, turned their lights off the night of May 20th in observance of Ray Manzarek’s passing. RIP Ray.


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