I came to a rather unsettling conclusion this Thanksgiving: I will no longer make any effort to try to pick out beers for my extended family to drink. So far, I’ve consumed by myself two growlers, six bombers of homebrew and one New Glarus cherry tart. I’m not really complaining about the beer, I’m just tired of defending my position holiday drinking and about consumption in general. No matter how many times I mention that I favor “quality” over “quantity,” I get the same blank stares and a High Life. This holiday season, you can find hoarding Ale Asylum’s Mercy Grand Cru all to myself.
Yeah, whatever, I’m being a bit selfish, but a beer lover can only really take so much. When with family, we tend to yield to common conventions. This isn’t a complaint or a critique, but a simple observation about how things are. Mercy is a beer to protect—though it needs little protection, as the label implies. It’s not for sharing and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.
Sessionable? No, certainly not. Tasty? Incredibly. Mercy will put the color back in your cheeks, warm you up all the way down to the toes. In a Daily Page interview, AA head brewer Dean Coffee points out that Mercy takes way more malt than an average beer and takes almost twice as long to make than a normal ale. It shows, as Mercy leaves its unrelenting and unfiltered identity wherever it goes.
Best enjoyed: By yourself on a crowded holiday. Who says you have to share all the good stuff? Also, be careful with this beer. It makes usually tame individuals do things they wouldn’t normally do, beyond the normal effects of beer.
Pair it with: Holidays.
Find it: Madison, WI. Where else?
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