Moon Dog Henry Ford’s Girthsome Fjord

MDHFGF in my Baird Boston with my trusty Fish-Pen.

MDHFGF in my Baird Boston with my trusty Fish-Pen.

Beer: Moon Dog ‘Henry Ford’s Girthsome Fjord’
Style:
  Hybrid Belgian/American Imperial Brown Ale
ABV: 8.9%
From: Hashigo Zake
Date: 22/01/2013

One day I’m going to write a set of guidelines on how to name beers and when I do, Moon Dog are going be mentioned at least twice.  Firstly for having Dog in their name, and secondly for breaking all the rules (that I haven’t written yet) but still making it work.  Seriously, ‘Henry Ford’s Girthsome Fjord’?  That’s a terrible name for a beer!  It makes no sense and tell and tells you nothing about the beer.1 But still I love it.  Probably because the words are full of O’s and R’s, which makes them round and delicious to say and also because ‘girthsome’ and ‘fjord’ are words I find inherently funny.

Anyway.  People who know me know that I have a mania for good brown ale.  So of all the Moon Dog beers Hashigo is now distributing, Henry Fjord’s Girthsome Ford was the one I was most keen to get into.

The Beer

It hissed and gushed at me when I capped it and when poured it gave me a big fluffy brown head.  Smelling it, it was hoppy, sweet and caramelly but also had a strong hint of tartness.  I began to suspect infection, but then checked the bottle.  It apparently uses three yeast strains: Trappist, American Ale and Whitbread Ale.  Presumably the Trappist strain is giving the beer a slightly Orval-like character?2

Chunky bits!

Chunky bits!

I was about to take a sip when I noticed what looked to be an insect wing floating on the head.  On closer inspection it turned out to be a chunk of hop cone.  Bloody hell, I know Australians like cloudy beer (don’t we all), but that’s a bit far isn’t it?  No matter.

The flavour was a combination of fruity hop character, slightly tart yeast and a big toasty caramel malt finish.  Oh and plenty of booze on top of all that.  Now those are all really good characters that I like a lot but to be honest, I felt like they were a bit jumbled up together.  If I had to describe it I wouldn’t say ‘integrated’ so much as ‘a party in your mouth’.  But at the same time, I also kinda dig that.  Certainly the label with its rather suspect collage (see below), promises a side helping of crazy with the beer and that’s kinda what I got.  I also have to admit that as I got further through the beer it smoothed out, and I found it quite easy drinking.  At 8.9%, this is bit of dangerous thing.

"Lets put a horse on the label!""Um, why?""No idea!  Also, it needs a hat!"

“Lets put a horse on the label!”
“Um, why?”
“No idea! Also, it needs a hat!”

Overall I’d say I enjoyed Girthsome Henry’s Ford Fjord and it’s definitely well worth ago.  As an aside, I found out recently that Josh and Karl from Moon Dog are going to be at Hashigo this Saturday night (2/2/13).  Despite the 7’s it should be pretty relaxed down there, so if you want to meet them, head on down.


  1. Well, they sorta justify it on the bottle.  A bit.
  2. Although I may revisit that infection theory, depending on how the beer develops.
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