Friday, September 28, 2007


I love bestowing awards, like I’m some sorta expert or something. And calling someone brewer of the year in late September – why, there’s an entire quarter left of beer exploration! Yet let me tell you why Santa Barbara, CA’s TELEGRAPH BREWING are easily the ones to beat this year, and why they should get ready to come collect the hardware at our headquarters on January 1st. I thought that perhaps the CALIFORNIA ALE of theirs that I told you about last month was a fluke; a wonderful, moderately experimental brew that probably just happened to be their best, the jewel in the crown as they say. I now know this to not be true. They have at least TWO jewels, and believe you me, I’m going to find out if there are any more, by hook or crook.

What’s got me all worked up? TELEGRAPH BREWING’s GOLDEN WHEAT ALE, that’s what. The best – certainly the most interesting – wheat beer I’ve had all year. A lightly tart, very cloudy/unfiltered wheat ale, one that certainly ups the lemon zest and clove-like tastes to take this into the realm of the greats. It is moderately bready, but the overwhelming mouthfeel is this total “zing” – fresh, alive and robust, like a fizzing tart dissolving on your tongue. Haven’t heard of Telegraph Brewing? Well, join the soon-to-be dwindling club. They are a small brewer in Santa Barbara, one that’s not even been live for two years yet. They’re only open for a few hours on a couple of days, and the only way you’re going to find their wares is to travel down there (consult this list for a good rundown of who sells it and who is serving it). Those two 22-oz. bottles I went out of my way to find in Santa Barbara last month were among the best investments I’ve made since those 20,000 shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock. And now they’re gone. And now I must have more. Telegraph Brewing’s GOLDEN WHEAT ALE8.5/10!

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