Wednesday, January 02, 2008


What do you know about Half Moon Bay, California? Well, I’ll tell you what I know. This “sleepy little hamlet” is a foggy beach town about 30 minutes south of San Francisco, and is a mix of working- and middle-class sea worshippers. They have this big-ass pumpkin festival every year, and it’s the place to take the kids for pre-Halloween pumpkin shenanigans. Recently the town has been threatened with bankruptcy due to some ill-fated decision to declare some private property as “wetlands” , which brought the wrath of both the developer and the courts, and has resulted in a judgment that may, in fact, force the town close its doors and become of unincorporated part of the county. Oh, and it’s the home of HALF MOON BAY BREWING, and has been for many years.

Recently I tried my first HALF MOON BAY BREWING beer in many a Harvest moon. (pictured here is their IPA, courtesy of William Brand). It’s the winter seasonal, and it’s called OLD SOULSTICE. Good name. It pours a very glassy, opaque dark brown, and from the get-go is the embodiment of a “winter warmer”. A little syrupy, with some hop tingling. It has light spicing that reeks (in a good way) of dark fruits and maybe some nutmeg. I honestly thought it was mediocre through the first half of the pint, and then pretty damn good as it warmed. A “strong finisher”, you might say. And I’ll probably never, ever find it again, nor will you. But wait – it’s on tap at San Francisco’s Toronado! Perhaps there’s a little at the bottom of the keg for ya. 6.5/10.

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