Monday, March 19, 2007


Like a lot of Northern Californians, some Berkeley friends of ours are sort of in the beer snob-lite camp; only good, well-distributed craft beers grace the shelves of their fridge: your Red Tail Ale s, your Sierra Nevadas, your Boont Ambers and whatnot. The kind you can get at Safeway. I decided to give them a present the other day when they came over to our crib & presented them with a new beer dork favorite, ALESMITH IPA. Now I actually hadn’t had this one yet, as it’s only available in Southern California, but I got lucky and a few craftily-procured bottles were stocked at my local store. I’m going to go out on a limb and say bravo, another strong product from the folks at Alesmith, one of the west coast’s top up-n-comers. Their IPA is definitely more interesting than the typical offerings on the Safeway shelves for sure – far more sour than even the normal IPA, and full of flavors both citrus-y and bitter. Really carbonated, large head, and again, pretty bold in terms of both hops and that funky-sweet taste that would take some serious getting-used-to for an unravaged palate. My pals told me they liked it, but their slow drainage of their glasses told me otherwise. What that also tells me is that this is one for the beer dorks more than it is for the hoi polloi, with a 92 score on Beer Advocate, no less. Hedonist Beer Jive takes it down a notch but still opines with enthusiasm, “great beer, let’s drink it again, 7.5/10”.


Beer Retard said...

Sounds interesting, looking forward to the bottle I just got. I remember liking it when I had a sample at AleSmith a few weeks ago. From looking at the bottle, I'm seeing it's bottle-conditioned and you have to beware of yeast chunks when you pour. Can't remember too many IPAs that have that. Maybe that accounts for the funky sweet taste?

Anonymous said...

Beware of the wheat chunks? That's the good stuff! When the bottle is almost empty, twirl it around and pour the rest in slowly, as Germans do when pouring a hefeweizen. It adds body and flavor to the beer, not to mention some good B vitamins!

Anonymous said...

By the way, it was yeast chunks I was talking about, not wheat chunks. I actually just had one of those alesmith IPAs myself and it sure is tasty stuff. But by all means, do not waste the yeast chunks from the bottom!

Reader from Santa Barbara, Calif.