Back in his WWE heyday, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin made a show of chugging cans of beer in and around the ring. He would dramatically crack open cans and spray foam everywhere, pouring beer in his mouth, on his head and all over the ring. There's no doubt the wrestler loves a cold one, but it turns out there's more to his love of IPAs than just chugging them.
Austin teamed up with El Segundo Brewing Co. to make Broken Skull IPA, available Nov. 13.
Austin, who lives part time in the South Bay when he's not at his Broken Skull Ranch, became a regular at the El Segundo Brewing Co. tasting room over the last couple of years, and he's especially fond of the brewery's Citra Pale ale and Mayberry IPA (an opinion we share). Though Austin is mostly retired from the ring, he's still under contract with the WWE, hosts reality TV shows and produces a podcast (ESBC's founder and brewmaster Rob Croxall was a guest on the podcast back in July).
Broken Skull IPA was designed to be Austin's "ultimate IPA." The ale is focused on hop flavor over bitterness, and the mix of classic American hop varieties (Cascade, Chinook) provide a resinous citrus character, while the ever-popular Citra hop adds a dose of tropical fruit and even more citrus flavors. A moderate alcohol content (6.7%) and low bitterness combined with a bone dry finish means it's drinkable for more than one round.
If you frequent the El Segundo Brewing Co. tasting room, you may have unknowingly had a preview of Broken Skull IPA. The brewery served a test batch of the beer, then called Malt/Hops 2-3-1, in the tasting room over the summer.
You can get the first taste of the final version of the IPA at the brewery's release event on Nov. 13, where Austin will be behind the bar pouring beers (and signing autographs). Tickets are required for the event, and $40 gets you into the brewery for one of the two hour sessions, a bottle of the beer, a signed poster and sticker, a glass and a photo op with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
El Segundo Brewing Co. predicts a big demand for the new brew from Austin's legion of fans. The brewery made more 2,000 gallons of the new beer, but don't expect it to last long.
"His reach is like nothing I ever expected," said El Segundo Brewing co-owner Tom Kelley. "Far beyond what we can supply."
The initial release will be limited to distribution throughout El Segundo Brewing's usual territory in Southern California, with a small quantity being sent to the Bay Area. Kelley says the brewery hopes to open new markets with the new beer over the next year, perhaps starting with Austin's hometown of Austin, Texas.
Fans of Austin who live in other parts of the country and are thirsty for a taste of the iconoclast's personal IPA can try to score bottles from Internet-based beer retailers such as Inside the Cellar and Kings of Craft Beer. And Kelley says they hope to create new retail partnerships to help get the brew to more of Austin's fans.
140 Main St., El Segundo, (310) 529-3882, www.elsegundobrewingco.com.