Tommyknocker Brewery Butthead Bock

May 25, 2011

Am I even allowed to say this in the newspaper? I know it’s largely inoffensive these days but you never know. Okay, gonna get it out of the way. Here goes… Butthead.

Did anyone spit out their morning coffee in disgust? Who’s calling their church congregation to organize protests, anyone? Bueller? Cool, let’s move on.

As far as pop culture goes, there’s a couple of moments where “butthead” are most memorable. When Biff asks Marty McFly, “What are you looking at, Butthead?” in Back to the Future is always what my mind goes to first when I hear the word. The next line of dialogue from that scene has an inside-joke quality for me and my old roommate, Chris. “Say ‘hi’ to your mom for me.”

Of course, and probably most popular, is the character from the Mike Judge cartoon Beavis and Butthead. The pimply, metal-head spazz opposites of Vladimir and Estragon are near and dear to the hearts of many an impressionable young lad who grew up in the late 80s-early 90s. Hey, I hear the ironically-named MTV is trying to bring them back. Fire, fire! Oops, am I still not allowed to say that either? Parents, hide the matches.

Actually, for today’s lesson, the butthead in question comes from Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs — just a little to the west of Denver, Colorado. The brewery takes its name from the mythic mining elves that would sneak into camp in the quiet of night. The bad ones would blow out candles, knock over supplies and mislead the miners in the dark deeps of the underground. The good ones would knock on the walls of the mineshafts to point out where the ore deposits were hiding; hence the name.

Tommyknocker is one of those wonderful Colorado breweries that love to celebrate the state or region’s cultural and historical highlights. The connection between the Butthead Bock and Colorado are the rams that one can find all around the 4 Corners of the southwest. I was hiking the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon when one of those bighorn sheep came stomping up next to our group. Didn’t know if it was gonna bump us off the trail and send us rolling down the jagged rocks and cacti.

Butthead is a rather potent dopplebock at 8.2%, its name bridging the wallop connotation between alcohol content and rams. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty mahogany beer with lots of cream-colored foam. Nice scents of caramel, raisin and vanilla with a touch of booze present. It’s very creamy in texture with notes of maple, hazelnut and dried dark fruits.