Beer: Moon Dog ‘Henry Ford’s Girthsome Fjord’
Style: Hybrid Belgian/American Imperial Brown Ale
From: Hashigo Zake
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.
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
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.
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.
- Well, they sorta justify it on the bottle. A bit.
- Although I may revisit that infection theory, depending on how the beer develops.