When you consider the cachet that modern craft brewing has, it’s surprising how few celebrity beers have emerged. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin made the citrus- and bicep-forward Broken Skull IPA with El Segundo Brewing, and Wil Wheaton (accompanied by Drew Curtis of Fark.com and Stone Brewing Co. CEO Greg Koch) raised the imperial stout ante with the decadent Stone Farking w00tStout. But beyond that, there’s not a lot of celeb-backed beer to get starry-eyed over.
Whether podcast titan Adam Carolla realized there was a underserved “celebeerty“ category or not, he definitely was interested in growing his personal Carolla Drinks catalog (currently centered around his “Mangria” wine cocktails) with his first craft beer release. It was only the minor snag of having neither brewing experience nor a brewing facility that limited his progress. So when he was approached by Phil McDaniel, head brewer at Redondo Beach's King Harbor Brewing Co., with a collaboration proposal (as well as a case of the brewery's IPA) in 2015, the first seed of Endless Rant IPA was planted.
Carolla was an admitted neophyte on hop profiles, but he had little doubt on what he wanted to target. “I like Stone [Brewing], and I like Pizza Port. I like their IPAs a lot,” he says. “So I just sort of went: ‘This is what I like, let’s not reinvent things too much. Let’s just land in the middle.’”
The result is a beer that embraces traditional IPA flavors without any gimmicks or affectations. That’s hardly surprising for a man whose broadcast history is dominated by tirades on the needless doctoring of his iced tea with fruity adjuncts. “It’s sort of the way I feel about vodka,” Carolla says. “I don’t need cotton candy–flavored vodka. Vodka-flavored vodka and beer-flavored beer is fine.”
The Endless Rant IPA certainly reflects those values. It’s a dim amber brew with mild floral and tropical fruit aromatics. Citrus notes reminiscent of lemon rind and Sunny D (in a good way) dominate the flavor, courtesy of Azacca hops and specialty “honey malt.” It has a bit more fullness to the body than is typical for a West Coast IPA but finishes clean, with a distinct nip of lemongrass.
Though he concedes that his primary vision for this venture is “not losing money,” Carolla isn’t discounting future craft brew endeavors. “I would assume that if I’m out with a beer now, there will be some more beer that comes out at some point,” he says. “But we’re trying to enjoy this one — or at least get this one off the ground.”
Endless Rant IPA is currently available in King Harbor’s brewery tasting room, via carolladrinks.com and at select retail outlets.