From the Bottle Collection: Buffalo Bill’s Alimony Ale


  Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice: tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s; OR, cover them with…

The Bottle Collection.

Written by Ken Carman

 The collection has grown so big I have no more wall space. Now I’m cleaning out the house and have to throw out so much, be far more selective. In an old box I found Alimony Ale, billed as “the bitterest brew in America.” Hardly, though I do remember it being very bitter. Brewed by Buffalo Bill’s in Hayward, CA.
 I haven’t seen this brew in quite a while. I’m also thinking it’s probably been out bittered, due to the peak of hopheadedness.
 78 and 83 on BA, 38 and 11 on Ratebeer. Here is what RB said…

 ”This traditional India Pale Ale was first produced in 1987 for a customer going through a divorce. Alimony was one of the first craft IPAs and gained cult status after articles appeared in Newsweek and Playboy. Brewed with an abundance of hops from the Pacific Northwest, 70 IBUs and 6.8% ABV. “

  They say it’s brewed by Mendecino, which I am guessing is their vender. Kind of like how Matt’s Brewing/Saranac has brewed for Sam Adams in the past. Buffalo was started in 1983. According to their own site…

 ”In the early 1980s, beer enthusiast and famed photojournalist Bill Owens envisioned opening an authentic brewpub similar to those that existed in England. It would serve homemade, hearty libations with character and integrity. At the time, California law prevented the joint operation of a brewery and pub, and true beer lovers had few alternatives to watery, mass produced beers, unless they could figure out how to make their own home brew.”
 “The law changed in early 1983, giving brewpubs the green light to draft their own beer on the premises. Owens, a pioneer in the early brewpub movement, made his dream a reality and opened Buffalo Bill’s Brewery in Hayward, California.”
 “In 1994, Owens sold Buffalo Bill’s to then, brewer, Geoff Harries, who continues to carry on the brewing legacy. Harries started homebrewing beer in his parents garage, and began working with Bill in 1987.”

 Here is Wiki’s entry on Geoff.


 From the Bottle collection is a column by Ken Carman: homebrewer since 1979, collector of bottles and such, Certified beer judge and columnist. Ken Lives in Nashville, Tennessee, Eagle Bay and Beaver River, NY.
©Copyright 2017
Ken Carman and Cartentual Productions
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