It’s no secret, I am a HUGE Jimmy Buffett fan. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him and his music, fans of his are called “parrotheads” and I’m guilty of being one. He encompasses the island and beach lifestyle, and that’s exactly how I strive to live my life. Now some of you might wonder what the hell I’m doing in Buffalo, NY? I ask myself that same freaking question every day. But as for now, this is where I call home.
This past Sunday we returned home from our annual trip to Detroit, Michigan to see the yearly show he plays there. My wife’s birthday is at the end of June and he usually schedules the show either a few days before or a few days after it, which is a win win for me. Killing 2 birds with 1 stone. I get to see Buffett play, and It also doubles as a great gift for my wife.
I was lucky enough to find us 6th row tickets a few days before the show, surprisingly this is not the closest we’ve ever sat. A few years ago when he played Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (Woodstock) we had front row seats, landing our drunk asses on the big screen more than a few times. You can find those videos on YouTube, they’re pretty entertaining to say the least. Anyways…back to Detroit.
We set up shop at our tailgate a few hours before the show, because going to a Buffett show, it’s an experience, almost religious, and most of the craziness happens there. We enjoyed a few beers, mixed up a few margaritas, grilled some food, took some pictures with dudes in coconut bra’s and grass skirts and relaxed before heading in an hour before he took the stage. Oh, because Huey Lewis was the opening act.
Every year the first thing I do is start the endless search for some kind of craft beer. It’s usually pretty hard to find at a lot of these bigger concert venues, because it’s easier for them to carry the Macro-Brewery beers. You know who they are, I don’t need to tell you which ones. Well, this wasn’t the case at all. Within minutes of walking in, I hit the jackpot! Michigan has too many great breweries and great beer for them to not carry some, and the way that craft beer has exploded into an almost a cult-like following, they’d be crazy not to. I came across a nice little craft beer stand that had a few great selections. But a lot of them I can get back home, I was looking for something Michigan born…and I found what I was looking for.
Norms Raggedy Ass IPA, brewed by Griffin Claw Brewing Company, out of Birmingham, MI. Finally found what I was looking for, an IPA! Now mind you, I was a few beers deep when I started drinking this but definitely sober enough to give you an opinion on it, seeing that I was given a sobriety test by my drunk wife, and I passed with flying colors!
The beer poured a fairly hazy looking golden yellow color, with a nice white creamy head. This beer has a very heavy orange and citrus nose to it. Also picked up on were some tropical fruit notes, some peach, and also some pine and resin as well. The taste follows the smell with a little more of the tropical fruit and peach coming through, with the orange in the background, but definitely not hidden. This beer has a nice clean and non harsh bitter to it. The 7.2% ABV is hidden well. One thing i did notice is a little bit more of a malt backbone than I’m used to. Not that that’s a bad thing at all, it actually taught me something. Don’t fear the malt. You don’t need to only drink hop bombs. Let the malt work in unison with the hops. So that was kinda cool for me. Overall, it was a really good beer for a really good day!
If getting to a Jimmy Buffett show is not on your list of things to do, it should be. Better yet, here’s what you do. You plan a trip next year to go see him in Detroit. You pick up a bunch of Norm’s Raggedy Ass IPA on your way there. I’ll tell you where my tailgate is located the day of the show and we all can each hammer back a baker’s dozen of this delicious beer and rock out at the show! Cheers!