BatShit Crazy 5.6% ABV
English Brown Ale
I walked into Chammps, not sure what to expect other than that they would have some craft beers on hand, they were celebrating American Craft Beer Week after all. I walked up to the bar and immediately saw a few New Belgium tap handles and an Ale Asylum one. Things were looking good. I then took a seat and checked out the Draft Beer list. My eyes shot to the “Stouts, Porters and Strong Brew” section. To my utter amazement, I saw 2015 Founders KBS Imperial Stout. I had hit the jackpot.
I knew I would have to get a glass of that fantastic beer on draft, but wanted to go with a local Wisconsin beer first. The gentleman behind the bar was very knowledgeable and gave me a brief description on MobCraft. I was easily persuaded to buy a pint of the MobCraft BatShit Crazy. This was great! I was drinking a beer I knew absolutely nothing about, from a brewery I had just learned existed.
The beer is very dark brown, almost black in coloration. The aroma, well, it is slight if anything at all. The taste of the beer is very smooth and light. It is very easy to drink. There is a subtle creaminess to it. I wasn’t impressed at first, but boy this beer grows on me with each sip. Towards the end of the beer I started to pick up on a bitterness, not a hop bitterness, more like a coffee bitterness.
So those were my notes as I drank the beer, with no research. Basically I was drinking the beer blind.
I decided to pull up the MobCraft website 1 and do some research on the beer. Wouldn’t you know the beer is an English Brown Ale brewed with milk sugar, hence the creaminess, and a blend of Guatemalan coffees. Not to pat myself on the back (which is the way you start a sentence when you are going to do that very thing), but I was able to pick up on the different ingredients in this beer with no prior knowledge!
Maybe after all the beers I’ve had, well over 500 unique brews and counting, my palate is actually becoming refined and knowledgeable. To bring my ego back down to earth, I’m nowhere near even attempting to take the BJCP Exam. I’d need to train 3 hours a day for over a year to get to that point, but maybe now I have the impetus to start looking into the process.
Back to the beer in hand. I highly recommend this brew, especially if you are a lover of coffee beers. The milk sugars real balance out the coffee notes and this is a unique beer, a nice melding of different styles. I’m used to most coffee beers being stouts, not brown ales. Now to an even more interesting aspect of this beer, the brewery behind it.
What is MobCraft and how does it work?
Basically the people behind MobCraft decided to use crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to determine what beers they make. They have opened it up to anyone over 21 who has an internet connection. They ask for people to submit beer recipes. The recipes include a name for the beer, a description of the beer, and the beer style.
If your submission wins they will even include your name on the label, if you so choose. You can be a beer expert and submit an actual recipe, or just submit something as simple as “I want a beer that tastes like Chocolate and Cherries.” The MobCraft people will figure out a way to fill in the gaps.
Once submissions are made the next step in the process is the Pre-Order stage. Basically this is where the different submission ideas are voted on. Each Pre-Order is counted as a vote for that submission idea. The voting takes place each month. If the beer you Pre-Ordered or voted on wins, your credit card is charged and you can either pick up the beer from the brewery or it is shipped to you through an authorized online retailer2. If the beer you voted on (Pre-Ordered) doesn’t win you can either get the beer that won, or take no action and your credit card is not charged.
This is the best use of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding that I have yet to encounter. The most important part is, MobCraft makes really good beer, well at least they did a damn good job with the BatShit Crazy.
- Chammps has stellar free WiFi. ↩
- Not all states allow beer to be shipped to residents, so sadly not everyone can take advantage. If you live in a state that doesn’t allow beer to be shipped in, well I can’t think of a better reason to start talking to your state legislator to change the law. ↩