Monday, February 19, 2007


(Thanks to the now-defunct For The Love of Beer for the image)

Even though their beers are barely distributed north of Los Angeles, I keep on finding ways to drink the offerings of PORT BREWING here in Northern California. Why? Because they’re fantastic. All the awards they’ve won, all the cheering going on for their new spin-off line of LOST ABBEY beers – believe the hype. Two more pieces of evidence recently came into play to back this up. The first was a bottle of their WIPEOUT IPA that I found at the CITY BEER store. I enjoyed an entire 22-oz bottle one evening as I would a fine bottle of wine with a special lady friend – except I was by myself, watchin’ the tube. No mind, the mood was where I wanted it to be, and this just made it that much better. Wipeout IPA is a clean, fruitful and classy IPA, truly something you can envision being served in a great restaurant. It’s not dry in the least, and it’s not over-hopped. Smelled like pine needles & grapefruit, at least that’s what I thought at the time. A “big” taste for sure. It might have a tad too much carbonation for my taste (or at least enough to keep it from being a world-class IPA), but I still thought it was a big cut above the norm. 8/10.

I also found Port Brewing’s SHARKBITE RED on tap at that beer hotel in LA that I told you about two weeks ago. (so yeah, I guess that’s not really in Northern CA, is it?). It was a very dry, very hopped-out red ale, more bitter than I expected by a mile, but I still liked it quite a bit. Hard to say much about red ales – they can actually be pretty boring, and are fairly low in alcohol (this one’s 5.5%), but I’d be surprised if they are many much better than this (if you count ANDERSON VALLEY BOONT AMBER as a red, OK, there’s one head & shoulders better than this – but that’s an “amber”, right?). I give it a 7.5/10. These Port/Pizza Port/Lost Abbey folks are among the greatest in the game right about now.

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