monikered REAL ALE BREWING of
Friday, June 29, 2007
monikered REAL ALE BREWING of
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Our English-style India Pale Ale, with just a shade of restraint on the hops, more balance from the malt, and a moderate alcohol level. Deep golden/pale copper in color with a fruity hop aroma and clean, sharp bitterness enhanced by the Burtonized water. The touch of Cascade hops thrown in mid-boil finds an unlikely place among the otherwise English ingredients.
Malts: Floor-malted Maris Otter; crystal malt; caramalt; wheat Hops: Challenger; East Kent Goldings, Cascade Food Pairings: fried fish & calamari, spicy food, cajun/creole food
I had it straight-up in the imperial pint glass, no creole food for me this time – but thank god for those Floor-Malted Maris Otters, hunh? It may be a decided preference for the hop-centric IPAs of my locale, but this one didn’t quite fare as well on the HBJometer. It was fairly dry, with malt flavors predominating. Rather than a sweeter citrus taste, this one was closer to grapefruit, and maybe a tad astringent as well. I still liked it – and I’d probably have it again – but not if Proving Ground’s on the tap next to it. I say 6/10 – what about you?
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Let’s save the kudos for an outstanding wheat ale from GOOSE ISLAND, a fantastic pale wheat called 312 URBAN WHEAT ALE. These fellas hail from “the Motor City”, that’s right, Chicago, “the big easy”. You can’t get their beers in California so you gotta trade for them, so kudos to Wortwurst for sending me this one. It’s the yeasty-est concoction I’ve had in some time, a truly delicious wheat beer with flavors that dart all over the tongue. Bananas, lemon, and that intense yeast flavor that can be so great when formulated correctly. I loved it. I’d drink it anytime, over and over, at your house, at my house, anywhere. 9/10! Get one!
Friday, June 22, 2007
BEST CRAFT BEER: Moylan’s Hopsickle
WORST CRAFT BEER: Aventinus Weizen Eisbock
MOST UNDERRATED BEER: Anderson Valley Boont Amber
MOST OVERRATED BEER: Stone Brewing Oaked Arrogant Bastard
BEST BEER BAR(S): Toronado (San Francisco, CA) and The Ginger Man (New York City)
MOST UNDERRATED BEER STYLE: American Amber
MOST OVERRATED BEER STYLE: Anything “oak- or barrel-aged”
BEST BELGIAN BEER: Trappistes Rochefort 8
WORST BELGIAN BEER: Poperings Hommel Ale
BEST BEER BLOG WITH ACTUAL VIDEOS OF BEER BEING POURED: Lagerheads
BEST BEER BLOG WITHOUT VIDEOS: Hair Of The Dog Dave
BEST BEER PODCAST: Pacific Brew News
BEST GLOSSY BEER MAGAZINE: Beer Advocate
BEST OFFLINE BEER RESOURCE - Regional freebie beer magazines - Ale Street News, The Celebrator, Northwest Brewing News, etc.
BEST ONLINE BEER RESOURCE: Beer Advocate
BEST US BREWERY: Russian River Brewing
RUNNERS-UP FOR BEST US BREWERY: Lost Abbey/Port Brewing; Moylan’s; Founders; Moonlight; Avery
BEST CALIFORNIA BREWERY: Russian River Brewing
BEST SAN FRANCISCO BREWERY: 21st Amendment
MOST OVERRATED BREWERY: Hair Of The Dog Brewing
MOST INSPIRING BEER CELEBRITY: Brian Hunt, Moonlight Brewing
BEST BEER RANTER: Dan Shelton, Shelton Brothers Distribution
BEST BEER DORK TREND: Illicit beer trading under the nose of The Man
WORST BEER DORK TREND: Raining underserved praise on beers with 10%+ ABV
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Well, the evidence is in and LA ROJA is outstanding. It is just the right balance of rich, flavorful fruits and sour fruits, with the emphasis being on that oaken, “aged” flavor common to beers crafted in this style. Loved it. I’d detected a sour-but-not-too-sour plum or apricot taste. Plumcots? OK. It also arrived with a huge head of foam – I needed to wait about four minutes to complete the pour. I’m not sure what my personal foam-off record is, but this’ll rank in the Top 5 for sure. It was worth sitting on my hands for. My guest dug it too, or at least he said he did. $8.99 at Whole Foods. Hedonist Beer Jive says 8.5/10.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
So there I was watching this British pop band called THE LONG BLONDES on Saturday, and I needed some liquid refreshment to help me through the singer’s vamping and the band's occasional forays into techno. It was Anchor, Sierra, or Pyramid Hefeweizen on tap, and I boldly went with the latter. I’m glad I did – in the right context, this beer, to my surprise, is excellent. Now I’m not saying it complies to the letter with the German purity laws, nor that it’s overly complex or bursting with yeasty experimental flavors, but it decidedly does not taste mass-produced to me. It is an exceptionally refreshing, fairly light but very clean & full of grainy, wheat flavor. Take a good whiff and you might smell a little of mom’s banana bread in there. Better than WIDMER’S hefeweizen by a mile. It’s a distinctly American take on the hefeweizen for sure, but there’s a reason they are selling these by the truckload – it’s a really great beer if you value context over complexity. That is, don’t sit on a home tasting panel with your beer dork friends dissecting it - drink it when you’re out & about and need something that’ll dimly ring your craft beer bell while tasting like a night-out beer should. 8/10. And no - I don't even mind the lemon. Am I kicked out of the scene yet?
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
So anyway, DROP TOP AMBER is a newly-distributed-in-California addition to WIDMER BROTHERS BREWING’s offerings, but probably available in their native
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
The other new one is in the “California Common” style, which you’ll find San Franciscans making a big deal about and clutching to their bosoms with pride, as it was invented here by ANCHOR BREWING for the ANCHOR STEAM beer, perhaps the US’s first micro and a legendary beer for its taste alone. Here’s how Beer Advocate describes this somewhat rare style:
The California Common, or Steam Beer, is a unique 100% American style lager. It's usually brewed with a special strain of lager yeast that works better at warmer temperatures. This method dates back to the late 1800's in
Monday, June 11, 2007
This English-style pub (Scottish, actually) has, for them most part, only English-style beers on tap, with oddballs like RACER 5 and FAT TIRE sneaking into the lineup on occasion. I go here often enough that I’m running out of new discoveries, i.e. beers I’m trying for the first time. This time I spied the words “
Friday, June 08, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Initially I wasn’t particularly excited by what I was tasting – the pale ale was fairly lifeless, without much to sniff at or enjoy on the palate. That said, I was getting a slightly sweeter taste than I do out of most pale ales, and a very “soft”, gentle sort of mouthfeel. As it warmed, I started enjoying it more, and I took my time getting through it, because, anticipating this review, I could barely think of anything to say. I queried my wife, who is one of those “supertasters” of lore, and she said she liked it, a little bitty and a little fruity and that’s about it. We agreed that on tap this might have a little more oomph to it, and left it at that. 6.5/10.