Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A TRIP TO MARIN BREWING

MARIN BREWING, I’ve long thought, is a semi-forgotten brewer in the San Francisco Bay Area, nestled as it is within an hour of Russian River, Lagunitas, Moylan’s, Bear Republic and some other heavy hitters. Their beers have always satisfied me, though I’ve chided myself on recent occasions for not really exploring the lineup. They’re always available in bombers in & around this area, and they’re always on my “I’ll try it someday” list. So me an CM decided we needed to make “someday” “today”. Last night we headed up there to see what the dealio was with this place. Here’s what we found.

First, if you know anything about Marin County in 2008, it’s not at all about hot tubs, hippies and yoga. No, it’s about wealth, wealth, wealth – as it’s always been. With wealth and youth comes a certain brand of attractive, well-dressed, well-coiffed female, and their only slightly more slovenly male counterpart, out for a drink and a laff at 6:30pm on a Tuesday night. The brewery, located as it is within a shopping center (!) in Larkspur, was crawling with these types. Not your usual brew doggie scene at all. The place is jovial, loud, high-ceilinged, and a little by-the-numbers for my tastes. Food was quite good, if you like burgers and onion rings (and I do), though there was much more to the menu than your pub basics. Let’s talk about the beer. Here’s where the evening fell down for me a bit. I was expecting a good portion of the entire MARIN BREWING lineup to be on tap here, as well as 2-3 brewery-only surprises. I most wanted to try the ALBION AMBER, which I’ve heard good things about, as well as the TRIPEL DIPSEA , which I had last year and loved. Nope, only a mere 6 beers on tap – two of them were fruit ales, one light blonde ale, their stout, and then the two I tried. I reckon they may only have the ability to serve what they’ve just produced that week or month, but it sort of negates the need for me to make repeated road trips across the Golden Gate Bridge. Spoken like a true beer dork, right?

Anyway, first up was LEFT END PALE ALE, an unfiltered, tangy pale ale. More hoppy than I expected, with a sharp citrus taste. Somehow for an unfiltered ale, it was much more “clear” than I expected. Liked it, didn’t love it, but it’s certainly worth a go if you’re up here. 6.5/10. I then moved on to the only “special/limited” choice on the menu board today, and that was Marin’s DOPPLE WEIZEN. That’s “big-ass wheat beer” in English. It was served in a small 10-oz. glass, and has an ABV of 7.8%. It’s a fluffy, very strong hefeweizen with no head at all. Also very clear and thin-bodied. Doesn’t have that je ne sais quoi that Southern Tier’s Heavy Weizen has, not by a long shot. Very good beer, but I have to admit I was expecting to walk out of here with a couple of new ringers under my belt. 7/10.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tuesday is cheapy pint night there and they usually hold back on serving a few of their beers. Your better option is to go next door to Noonan's as they have both BrewCo and Moylan's beers on tap.

Kyle said...

"IIIIII've been in Marin..."

Rob said...

Cheapy pint night that used to be "two for Tuesdays", which then turned into "two-fitty for Tuesdays" and is now something like "three-ana-quarter for Tuesdays." Gone are both the cheapness and the alliteration.