Hops & Heels: 5 A.M. Saint (redux)

Over and over you’ll hear from food bloggers that part of the great thing about baking or cooking is that when life is going haywire, when your friends fail, when your romantic life is a little clumsy, and when work is stressful you can reliably put together some delicious baked good or meal. No matter what, butter and sugar is a winning combination. Always and forever. And from the cooler, I can grab a 5 A.M. Saint and be wowed.

Aside from the amazing taste, I’m so pleased with how dependable yet surprising beer can be. I immensely admire many brewers’ insistence on exceeding our expectations, and not only exceeding those expectations, but presenting us with entirely new standards. It’s not enough for some of them to have a “decent” product, because they know we’re smart, have good taste, and we don’t want to settle anymore. Well, frankly, they’re also smart, have good taste, and they don’t want to settle anymore.

So much in life (relationships, personal growth, friends, etc.) is about standards. Standards for yourself and for others. Wouldn’t it be so disappointing if no one expected anything from you, or if they just expected mediocrity? Wouldn’t it be boring if you just expected others to be okay, or good enough? If you didn’t expect someone to be a great friend, a great boyfriend, a great brother, or a great parent? What if we didn’t expect the beer we order to taste great? What if the brewers tasted their finished product and said “That’s alright I guess. Let’s roll with it.” I have high expectations, not because I want people to do things for me, but because I want others to expect more from and for themselves. The tragedy is not when we fail those expectations or fall short. The tragedy is when we stop expecting anything or when we just expect “good enough.”

As long as we settle for good enough, we’ll never have great.

I’ve been all over the place in the last three paragraphs…let’s get on to the Brewdog.

All in all…
Last time I wrote about the 5 A.M. Saint I was very wide-eyed and blown away by the hops, mainly because I just wasn’t expecting that from an amber ale. This time around they’re still a pleasant surprise, and the beer is still great. It does what an “iconoclastic” ale should – it destroys what you think an amber ale should be. Each time I have this, no joke, I think “This doesn’t really taste like an amber ale…what is an amber ale supposed to taste like, anyways? Should it be this hoppy? Should other amber ales taste more like this instead?” You think twice. And just look at that red color! What an amazing shade…I can never get over their color palette choices.

Recommend to a friend?
If your definition of an amber is milder like, say Bell’s Amber, and you aren’t looking for anything different, I might not recommend this today. However, you do need to try this at one point or another.

Lightweight safe?
5.0% Yesss

Plus one?
For sure. Go on and grab another. This has a lot of flavor I love for a lightweight safe beer.

Get a six pack?
Yes, I think so

The Hops
Brewdog – Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire (Scotland)
Amber Ale…ahem, Iconoclastic Amber Ale
5.0% ABV
Friendly Package Liquors, Muncie

The Heels
Pollie Strappy Espadrille
Target (2012)

1 comment
  1. G-LO said:

    We often have this discussion over a couple beers or a dram or two (or 5 or 6) of whisk(e)y, i.e. “is ok good enough?”. Why have “just ok” when you can have great? And that’s how I have felt about Amber Ales. They are just ok. The Great Lakes Conroy’s Irish Ale is a prime example. While there is nothing empirically wrong with it, it just doesn’t thrill me. Brew Dog’s 5AM Saint sounds like a definite beer worth finding (I’ve only had one of their beers and I can’t remember which one). Somewhat light, but definitely flavorful.

    Once again, great post!

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