Thursday, October 12, 2006


I am rooting for this underdog microbrewery from Santa Cruz called SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN BREWERY. They are part of the vanguard for this whole new “organic beer” movement, which I honestly could give a tin sh** about, but just the same, they are a tiny brewer with limited distribution and a couple of beers so far that are rock solid. I tried their ORGANIC DEVOUT STOUT a few months back and gave it a 7/10, which means I’d drink it again in a heartbeat. Well, we were down in Santa Cruz a few weekends ago and I decided to try another one of their 22-oz. bombers sitting on the shelf at the New Leaf hippie market downtown, and picked up one of these ORGANIC DREAD BROWN ALEs instead, even though the stout was staring me in the face. An English brown ale, yet named “dread” after – what? Pirates? Rastas? I’d venture the latter, given the target audience in Santa Cruz. Here’s what I liked about it: it had a medium malty taste, very unsticky and quite smooth. Almost no carbonation. Here’s what I was less-than-impressed with: it had very little character of its own; it was sort of a basic brown ale off the brown ale chopping block, and no zesty bold flavors to leave as a calling card. You can imagine drinking these all night, actually, and depending on your mood, that might be just what you want. I figure only a year+ in business and they’ve already got two pretty good beers going. I hope they get wider distribution, and I plan to keep bringing ‘em home each time we head into or drive through Santa Cruz. 6/10.

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