It's been a while since the last one of these has been posted, but such are the struggles with a new home purchase. Now, as I settle in and summer begins to take over, it looks like the perfect time to visit the BOAT vs Yacht discussion. Other than the controversy over the "naming" and the fact that both beers are low in ABV, they really don't have much else in common. In other words, I'm doing this for fun and not for direct comparison. Yes, I might be a year too late to this, but why not go in depth about the beer while others went in depth about the naming and descriptions of the beer?
Stillwater's Yacht is a dry hopped session lager. For anyone who has had deep beer conversations with me in the past few weeks, they'll know that I have this fervent obsession with pilsners and lagers. In that regard, Yacht did not disappoint. I cracked this bad boy open after a mowing session in my backyard. The nose is light on hops and definitely has the smooth taste of a lager without being too light to the point of just being hoppy water. Now, I know that a lot of people in the beer world come down hard on lagers and pils in the past few years in favor of the IPAs that are out there, but there is nothing more refreshing after a long, hard summer day than a crisp lager with a citrusy taste to it. Stillwater's Yacht delivers in being one of the best ones I've had yet, but I recognize that I have a long journey ahead of me in that spectrum of the beer world before I can even come close to declaring this king. For now, at about $8 to $10 for a 4-pack, this is a wonderful introduction for people who might want to go light on hops but retain the lager familiarity.
Carton's BOAT - the session ale that everyone on the East Coast knows about and the session ale that is definitely making waves in the beer world everywhere else. Light in ABV and in existence for over 5 years, BOAT was always a tougher sell in 2012 than it would be in 2017. Ask many, and they'll define BOAT as summer drinking. For something a little hoppier with a much lower ABV, this brew can do no wrong. It's citrusy without sacrificing taste for ABV. This is perfection for anyone wanting to take a beer out for fishing, or after a bike ride, or mowing a lawn. This is the beer you want to have if you want those classic hop flavors while compromising on something that won't get you tanked after the first beer.
Both beers make for good summer drinking but almost address two entirely different types of beer drinkers. I get that some might not agree with this, but although they are set up to compete, in my own mind, I envision two different palates enjoying this more than the other. For Yacht, I see people who might be turned off by excessive hops in their beers or anything too bitter fully enjoying this beer. For BOAT, I see people who want to have their hops while retaining a lower ABV. Yacht seems to be more approachable to someone just entering the craft beer world while BOAT definitely is something worth appreciating while drinking. I wish I could say this is tougher than I thought it would, but in this case I'm giving a nod to my own palate:
- Stillwater Yacht: 4 / 5
- Carton BOAT: 4.5 / 5
Both beers are great, but personally, BOAT comes out the winner for me. It might be my location bias and constant exposure to BOAT, but the beer holds a special place in my life. That said, do not sleep on Yacht, it's definitely a good lager, and maybe... just maybe if Carton ever re-releases Sit Down Son, I might actually do a Versus just for those... but... wait...
A CHALLENGER APPROACHES:
BAH GAWD - that's Founder's All Day IPA's music! If I'm going to declare Carton BOAT a winner against a lager, it's only fair that I go apples to apples and match it up against a classic of backyard drinking. Available to pretty much everyone, Founder's All Day is usually a go to for BBQ's when trying to buy on a larger scale. If I ever find myself scrambling for a beer at a bar with lesser local options, Founder's All Day and/or Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale are always good options. The beer is straight up citrus and pine and much, much better when consumed fresh. It's a little heavier and maltier than Carton's BOAT which inevitably gives the edge to Carton's session ale. Back in the dark days of pre-2016, I'd see myself buying this all the time, but with Carton's regular canning rotation, All Day IPA is more of a once in a while now.
I like both Founder's All Day IPA and Carton BOAT a LOT. They are consistenly in my top 5 session ales and I don't see them being knocked out of there any time soon. The art of the session ale is something that can be challenging and not very many people can pull off quite well. With New Jersey craft beer booming, it's nice to know that our state has a gold standard for session ales that we can all appreciate. With that said:
- Carton BOAT: 4.5 / 5
- Founder's All Day IPA: 4.25 / 5
I love that we live in a day and age where so many options are available. I just love Carton BOAT. Choice is always nice though. I can go with Stillwater's Yacht when I'm in one of those lager obsessed moods or get a case of Founder's All Day for any upcoming BBQ's or just stroll down to the brewery or a local bottle shop and get a 4-pack of BOAT. Either way, to all of you who get to enjoy any of these, neither will disappoint. Salud!