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Fall is upon us! For hop heads, this means an abundance of pumpkin and Oktoberfest-styled beers popping up on draft and in bottles across the land. But how do you navigate through this tricksy autumnal beer market? Enter EP and Matter Ov Fact, who perform as the discerning upstate rap duo the Doppelgangaz and who have graciously agreed to act as your official fall beer taste-testers. (Gratuitous product plug: You can cop the Dopp Gang’s Ghastly Duo EP on tape or vinyl now.)
Holed up at the graffiti-splattered Pop Bar in Astoria, EP and Matter Ov Fact sampled a selection of seasonal brews (including a can of slopwater PBR, in the interests of balance) and then anointed an approved beer for fall. Read on for the Dopp Gang’s ruling. (Beer snob disclaimer: Key descriptions include the terms “grandma’s attic” and “my inner white girl,” and also involve a discussion on breast milk.)
See also: The Doppelgangaz: ‘We Hold Dipset Near and Dear to Us’
Coney Island Freaktoberfest
Billed as a “big ol’ pumpkin ale with espresso beans,” this beer clocks in at a perky 6.2% ABV.
EP: This is citrus-y, it’s nice. [Informed it’s pumpkin] OK, yeah, when you taste it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a pumpkin beer but this reminds me of getting a pumpkin-spice latte in Starbucks, which is something I like to get. I think Starbucks should sell pumpkin beer for the fall, maybe drop a little shot of espresso into the beer, call it the Bukkake Bomb. This beer is nice — it’s got a bitterness to it, but in a good way. When you bite, it bites back. Food-wise, I’d pair this with pumpkin pie to keep it cohesive.
Brewed by Keegan Ales up in Kingston, Mother’s Milk is a “dark and creamy milk stout.” The ABV count reads 6%.
Matter Ov Fact: I’m dying to try this one. [Sips beer] First impression is I was impressed with it, but I almost wish I wasn’t — I think it’s like a baby was meant to drink a mother’s milk, and this shit right here makes me envious of that. I never had mother’s milk. This takes me back to my childhood, ’cause I drank beer as a kid.
EP: You’re meant to come out wiser off mother’s milk and breast milk.
Matter Ov Fact: I think this shit is going to taste nurtured.
Matter Ov Fact: Yeah, I should feel warm and secure. [Sips again] It’s good, that’s good.
EP: That reminds me of a Guinness-y feel in the sense that it’s kinda sweet and desserty.
Matter Ov Fact: There’s definitely some breast milk in it. The bottle is definitely kid-friendly, like cereal boxes.
EP: This is geared towards kids.
Matter Ov Fact: If I was a baby and I saw “Mother’s Milk” in blue, I’d reach towards it. Blue is like a boy’s color, you know, and it’s a boy with blue socks on and a blue onesie, you know? I like that shit, it’s good. Would we ever do a song called “Mother’s Milk”? Why not. It would be a PSA to all the mothers out there to breast-feed their children so they come out smarter. That’s how we were in the wild.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
A 4.74% ABV that bills itself as “brewed in the finest traditions of an American Premium Lager dating back to 1844.” Times were different then.
Matter Ov Fact: Shit, you can never go wrong with PBR — it’s a classic.
EP: As a fun fact, we drank that while shooting the “On the Rag” video. This is kinda like water, and I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Matter Ov Fact: You could drink this shit with anything. It’s washed down — you could drink this with a calzone or something with mad cheese. It makes perfect sense to drink this with pizza.
Peak Organic’s Hop Harvest Oktoberfest
Hailing from Portland, this 4.9% ABV beer claims to evoke the moment when “rich malt dances with remarkable aromatic hops.”
Matter Ov Fact: I want a disclaimer that I’m not a beer aficionado, but I do like drinking beer and this reminds me of like a Guinness stout after-taste. I’m thinking this shit right here, I’d drink this on an empty stomach. Like if I had no food but I had this? I think I’d be fine. Or maybe I’d pair it with something light, like a salad.
Kelso Nut Brown Lager
Brooklyn-based Kelso’s Nut Brown Lager rolls in at a 5.75% ABV and attempts to marry a “full malt flavor” with a “spicy hop background.”
EP: I don’t really get much of a smell off this one. [Sips beer] It’s nice. Shit, it reminds me of, like, a cracker, like drinking a cracker. Doesn’t it taste like a food, almost?
Matter Ov Fact: [Tastes beer] Hold on, I almost got it.
EP: My second taste wasn’t as intense — the first was like a shock to the system.
Matter Ov Fact: It has like a musky taste. That shit tastes like an attic, you know what I’m saying? That shit reminds me of, like, I don’t got grandmas like that, but I can only image that if you breathe in the air of a grandma’s attic, the air has like that musky feel to it — but not in a bad way.
EP: No shots, and this is not going to sound complimentary, but because I feel like it has this crackery taste, I feel like this beer is a palate-cleanser. I’d sip this and then try something else. I’m not really left with anything — this is powerful. There’s nothing wrong with it.
And the winner is…
Matter Ov Fact: [Picks up Coney Island Freaktoberfest] I’m going with this joint right here.
EP: Yeah, I like the pumpkin. I don’t know why it’s meant to be a thing with white girls and pumpkin spice, but my inner white girl really does like this one.
Matter Ov Fact: I like the more hard-body joints like this.
EP: Just for the season, I’m gonna go with the pumpkin.
EP and Matter Ov Fact muse on what a Doppelgangaz beer would taste like…
Matter Ov Fact: Piss, sweat.
EP: I was in the gym yesterday. This dude had on an armband thing to help with the elasticity of his arm or something and he’s running next to me and he takes it off and the stench of that shit — it was literally one of the worst smells — it was like when sweat is so nasty it becomes piss.
Matter Ov Fact: It’s like a funk.
EP: I feel like that’s what our beer would taste like.