The other day, I learned that a friend of mine had passed away. I’m ashamed to admit that it’s been a full year now since his passing, and that I’m only learning about it now. I guess I wasn’t as good a friend as I thought I was, but distance takes its toll. I’ve lived in Georgia for almost 15 years now, and Facebook was my main way of keeping up with Carl Burnham, the friend I lost. Just this week, though, I realized I hadn’t seen anything from Carl in a while, and only then learned he has passed away in March of 2015.
If you didn’t know Carl, then I’m a luckier man than you for having done so. Carl was a few years younger than I. We both attended Coventry High School, though I didn’t meet him there. It was later in life when I met him at his homebrew shop, Brew Horizons. Carl helped me with my (admittedly limited) forays into homebrewing, but I bought quite a few books on beer styles from him. Later, Carl brewed professionally at the Union Station Brewery in Providence, and when I began writing for the Yankee Brew News we regularly met up. It wasn’t only beer we talked about, though; we both loved the New England Patriots, too.
I remember to this day sitting at the bar at Union Station and talking to Carl about the John Harvard’s Brewhouse in Atlanta (Union Station was acquired by that chain); I never imagined I would live down here. His beers were at Union Station were always superb, I wrote about him several times in the YBN and on usenet, but perhaps there was no greater compliment to his brewing skill and knowledge than a comment I had made in 1999 on some of the fine people I had met in the business:
great people like Mike and Ray McConnell, John Jepson, Brett Marcy, Peter Egleston, Conrad Seidl, Rob Teach, Carl Burnham, Michael Jackson, Lew Bryson, the list goes on and on.
Notice Carl got a place right next to the Beer Hunter, Michael Jackson. I’d like to think that would make him happy, and that somewhere in heaven they’re both sitting at a bar enjoying a beer. Maybe Carl’s even brewing one up for MJ to critique.
I’m remembering Carl this evening as I sip a glass of Foolproof King of the Yahd Imperial India Pale Ale. It’s only fitting I do so with a beer from Rhode Island, and this one seems apropos to me. Foolproof of Pawtucket is a very impressive operation, and a fine example of the state of brewing in Rhode Island today.
From the can label:
Pour a glass, embrace yourself, and become King of the Yahd….Meet the royal big brother of our beloved Backyahd India Pale Ale. We’ve taken our IPA to the next level with this specialty beer. The King’s got a big malt backbone-piles of pilsner, Maris Otter, rye and spelt-topped off with a mighty crown of hops. King blends a selection of rare and delicious American and New Zealand hops in 11 individual additions. So take a seat in your lawn chair and enjoy!
Foolproof King of the Yahd Imperial India Pale Ale has an alcohol content of 8.5% by volume and I paid $9.99 for a 4-pack.
Foolproof King of the Yahd Imperial India Pale Ale pours to a bright orange amber color with a thick creamy head and a strong resiny pine nose. Taking a sip the beer has thick chewy caramel up front with a hint of spicy rye followed by in your face resiny pine hops with a hint of citric grapefruit and a long dry herbal grassy finish.
King of the Yahd doesn’t seem as strong as it is, but I do so love the malt and hops here-especially the complex malt, so lacking in so many of today’s India Pale Ales. This one, though, is for you Carl. I’m sure you’re King of the Yahd wherever you are, just as you always were here on Earth.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.