Happy visual pun day, everyone.
Let me just put this out there: in about five minutes, I'm headed down to The Beagle, where I will drink heroic amounts of Race Rocks and watch millionaires with bad haircuts either win victoriously a la Gladiator: Blood and Sand, or soil the bedsheets like mad George III after a feed of mushy peas. I like Lighthouse. I like Dean. I think they've got an established fanbase, a passionate new brewer, and a great product lineup.
An Imperial Pilsner?
Let me just frame this for you: I've harped on time and again about how great everything Imperial is. Imperial Pint? Better than the short-bus regular pint. Imperial Tie Fighter? Better than the X-Wing, and apparently environmentally-sensitive as it doesn't have any engines. Imperial measurement system? My car gets forty rods to the hogshead, and that's the way I like it.
So too with Imperial beers... up to a point.
Obviously an Imperial Stout is a fun playground for barrel-aging and the like, and an Imperial IPA (if done right) can be a standout of the brewer's artifice. Even Howe Sound's King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen bumps up the banana-clove esters to monkey-aphrodisiac levels, and that's pretty delicious.
And yes, I love experimentation and despise half-hearted crossover Xerox beers as much as Adem Tepedelen does. And yes, I'm first in line to taste the newest brew, and yes, everybody up to and including Samuel Adams and Brewdog do an Imperial Pilsner...
This is a good beer. It's hoppy and drinkable, packing a wallop without alcohol-heavy smarminess. It ain't no Fubar-style shotgun special, and will certainly appeal to those who enjoy ze German-style heavyweights.
For me, it's just not a seek-out beer. The up-coming Barnacle Wheat IPA? That, I'm going to track down. That sounds crazy and intriguing. That sounds like an experimental beer that blazes a trail nobody else has done before.
Lighthouse, (and apologies for the pun) you need a beacon. I see no reason why a company that's already got a steady income steam from its mainline brews shouldn't be further out in left field for the experimental stuff. Overboard is a good beer. Navigator was a pretty good beer. Deckhand was a great beer. Next one? Turn it up to eleven.