Thursday, March 30, 2006


I knew this was going to happen – starting up a beer blog was gonna make me consume more beer, just as doing a music blog prods me to seek out new or ignored music. Human nature, I suppose, at least for those humans with an innate, recessive need to hector others into enjoying everything they themselves enjoy. Anyway at this pace I’ll have had all the great beers tasted and noted by May, most likely. Two I’ve enjoyed the previous week are both from the much-heralded RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING CO. in Santa Rosa, CA. These guys make 2 beers I have not had, but which seem to win every beer dork award out there: “Pliny The Elder” and “Pliny The Younger”. They are HIGH on my list. That said, I want to give full props to their seasonal REJECTION Belgian Black Ale. Wow. This is darker than dirt, and is really sweet and smooth. It doesn’t taste like most porters nor stouts I’ve had, though I’d be lying if I didn’t tell ya it’s as pleasant on the mouth as SIERRA NEVADA PORTER. And that’s quite pleasant. I’ll bet this one will be really hard for most folks to conquer, so if you find yourself in San Francisco, you can get it on tap at Park Chow on 9th Avenue. Slightly lower on the quality scale – but still not half bad – is the brewery’s DAMNATION Belgian Style Strong Golden Ale. They love this one over at Beer Advocate, and I guess I can see why – but it didn’t knock me for a loop. It was really bitter and super yeasty, and maybe with fruit flavors that interacted with the alcohol in an unusual way. That said, it went down easy – because I like bitter and yeasty in a big way, and before I knew it this thing had quickly disappeared from the cup into which it had been poured. A testimonial in and of itself for sure, but I had put on my “beer blogging critic dork” hat on while tasting it, and at the time remember giving it a “moderate buy” rating. But this brewery’s totally onto something – I can’t wait to get those Plinys down my gullet in the near future.

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