Monday, March 1, 2021

Ten years in, this Hammer still hits

Image credit: Peticolas Brewing Co.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the first time I drank Velvet Hammer.

How is this possible you ask? I mean, Peticolas Brewing Co. didn't go into production until December 2011. Well, let's just say the beginnings of a blog and the beginnings of a brewery came together around this time 10 years ago.

In fact, the coming together came to be in the parking of the Bavarian Grill in Plano. There was a meeting, and there was a beer...the latter delivered by way of the trunk of Michael Peticolas' car.

At the time, the Hammer didn't have a name. It was a test batch to gather feedback from anyone willing to meet Peticolas for an impromptu beer share. Of course, the test batch evolved into a debut offering that dared to defy convention. Rather than follow the standard blonde ale and IPA playbook, Peticolas had the idea of opening with something a wee bit bolder. Enter the Hammer, an imperial red ale with an ABV of 9%.

The beer was poured publicly for the first time on January 24, 2012 at the Meddlesome Moth. Before long, the band Shotgun Friday had written a song about the beer. The tune was played at the brewery's first anniversary bash - an event, incidentally, which featured a somewhat unusual wedding. You see, what happened was...a cheesemonger married a beer.

But I digress...

I bring this all up for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it recalls great memories dating back to before the local craft beer boom got started. There's more to it, though, when you consider exactly what it means.

Not many North Texas beers have stood the test of time for 10 years. Like it or not, today's market operates with a one-and-done type mentality. If you like a new beer nowadays, you better get it while you can, because the NEXT new thing is right around the corner.

Yet, here we are 10 years later, still drinking Velvet Hammer. It's always been like the trusty tool you always reach for, which makes for the perfect analogy, given the beer's name and its status as a sturdy and reliable brew.

So, what am I getting at?

Take the quality, consistency and longevity and add this - I believe it's fair to say Velvet Hammer fits the definition of being "widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence." Those aren't my words in quotes, they're Webster's.

And, maybe I'm wrong, but I think that means it's iconic.

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