In the classic 1979 arcade game Galaxian, swarms of aliens floated down the screen, aimlessly trying to attack your ship. Three ships, a sweaty joystick, and 25 cents later, you were happy the annoying 8-bit arcade sounds were over. Perhaps paying homage to the vintage space-shooter game, Bootlegger’s Brewery in Fullerton is back with a classic of its own: Galaxian Barleywine. The big 100 IBU beer is loaded with Australian Galaxy hops (a personal favorite), which bring flavors and aromas that attack your taste buds in a final-frontier way.
Huge notes of raw pear juice, passion fruit, caramelized sugar, and toffee make up the early stages of the game. As Galaxian warms, hints of peppermint, citrus peel, and Easter peeps pop out. At 11 percent ABV, a bottle is a two-player effort, and well worth the mission.
The popularity of American Barleywines has declined in recent years due to the popularity of double IPA, but ultra-hoppy versions still find their way into a beer geek’s cellar. The style is definitely on the high-score list for strong ales, but it’s difficult and expensive to brew because of the high alcohol and cost of ingredients. Bootlegger’s latest release is on par with its previous award-winning versions, most notably the bronze award that Galaxian picked up at the Great American Beer
Festival in 2014.
Since you’re drinking local, pair Galaxian Barleywine with the orange-thyme creme brulee from Grits Fullerton, the Danish blue burger from Burger Parlor, or a Florentine pizza from at the always-hopping (and nearby) Two Saucy Broads Pizza.