Alan Sprints of Hair of the Dog Brewing created “Fred” to honor beer writer Fred Eckhardt who was one of the leading voices in the craft beer revival. One of Sierra Nevada’s 30th Anniversary beers, Charlie Fred and Ken’s Bock, was brewed with Fred and Charlie Papazian. Fred Eckhardt is certainly a pioneer of the good beer world in the United States who should be honored with beers! Hair of the Dog’s Fred is made with aromatic and rye malts and uses 10 different varieties of hops. This bottle was from batch 86 which was bottled in March of 2012. You can find a listing on the Hair of the Dog website that shows the batch number and corresponding dates.
Appearance: Gold with brown highlights and thick, fluffy off-white head.
Aroma: Brown sugar, figs, raisins, alcohol
Taste: Loads of dried fruit: figs, raisons, prunes. The rye adds a spicy note that helps balance the sweetness. The spicy hop finish adds notes of candied orange and keeps the high malt level from being too sweet. There is a slight alcohol burn to the finish. The overall finish is long and pleasant.
Overall Impressions: Don’t drink this beer too cold. It’s definitely a beer you’ll want to share with a friend or sip over a long period of time. It’s a big, complex beer that needs time to unwind, both in your head and the bottle. It can be aged for those who like cellaring beers.
Availability: Extremely limited. It’s brewed year round in small batches, but doesn’t make it too far from the west coast. Check top notch bottle shops.