Here in Seattle we have easy access to one of the most hipster-y beers out there. It’s called Churchkey and it’s made in steel cans with a seam and completely flat tops and you have to open it with, guess what, a churchkey. The box and cans are so very pretty. So very Don Draper putting the playhouse together. A while back Scott brought home a six pack of the beer and I remember liking it a lot. Last week he told me about somebody who found the beer just eh. And so we hatched a blind taste testing plan.
We got six different beers for the test, three low brow and three middle-ish (?) brow: Budweiser, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Rainier, Churchkey, Red Hook Pilsner and Laguinitas Pils.
I labeled two sets of cups with numbers then we each poured a bit of each beer into the cups in a random order for the other person. I printed out forms where we could keep notes and guess which beer we thought each was. Then we sipped and evaluated.
the unsurprising results
We could both tell which one was the Churchkey beer, it had a distinct metallic tang. Not bad, but very easy to pick out of the bunch. We both also identified the Budweiser as the least exciting beer in the bunch. I also got the PBR correct, probably due to some deep familiarity.
the surprising results
We both thought that Rainier was a more expensive beer. I guessed that Rainier was actually the Laguinitas, Scott though it was the Red Hook. Each of us also put one of the more expensive beers under the less expensive category.
the most important question
Which beers did we actually finish after the tasting was done? The PBR and the Rainier. I have no explanation for it. It’s like the opposite of that champagne blind tasting where everybody liked the less expensive bottles best but went back for more Cristal afterwards.
I like the Churchkey beer, it’s novel and good and just plain fun to hold and open. These days the box comes with a churchkey opener of it’s own, but we don’t remember that being included in the first box we got. It makes me wonder if so few people own churchkey openers that the beer company had to include them. I’d love to know for sure. We have enough beer left over to host a larger blind tasting, who wants in?
update: I hear from Justin, one of the creators of Churchkey beer, that the six packs have always included an opener, which settles the debate between Scott and I over whether we initially had a six pack or just a few cans. A beer loving friend gifted us a couple of cans to start with. I win, thanks Justin!