Friday, June 05, 2009


Any tourist with children who visits San Francisco almost always sets foot in the city’s Exploratorium – a science and mechanical-wonders museum devoted to teaching children how to invent, explore and ask questions about the world around them. We used to go there on field trips when I was a Sacramento youth in the 1970s. Now I live in SF and have a 5-year-old, and naturally we became yearly members so we can go check it out anytime we want to, for free. Last week my son & I checked out the “members-only” appreciation night, a night where the door is barred from the touristic hoards, the padlocks are placed, and it’s full-on locals-only as the children run wild.

There were free hot dogs & burgers, potato salad, and juice drinks for the kids. As we toured the exhibits for the umpteeth time over the past 24 months, but this time without chattering Germans or Kansans blocking our access to the good stuff (tongue in cheek, people – tongue in cheek), I saw a few happy dads walking around with cups of beer. And this beer was not yellow. Nay, this was dark-bodied, hazy beer – the kind I might be interested in. “Pray tell good sir, but where did you find that glass of ale you’re imbibing?”. Once properly directed, I ripped my kid from whatever it was he was stimulating his cortex with & dragged him by one arm to the beer table. There I found two fellows pouring free beers from MOYLAN’S BREWING, the medium-sized Novato, CA brewer whom we’ve lionized on this site previously, and who make the outstanding “triple” IPA HOPSICKLE that’s one of our favorite beers of all time.

These gentlemen were not pouring HOPSICKLE this time, and that’s probably OK, since I would have asked only for that. I got to try two from the lineup that I’d never enjoyed before, and likely would not have bought a bottle of in the next 12-24 months in any case. Both were high-quality and good – one very much so. From the top:

MOYLAN’S DANNY'S IRISH-STYLE RED – Led me in from the get-go with a very sweet aroma of honey, which was also reflected in the taste. The malts were actually quite light, not deep & murky the way a lot of craft brewers’ red/amber ales are (and which I happen to like, most of the time). Medium carbonation. I found it to be a very drinkable red ale, and proceeded thusly to quaff it with extreme prejudice. 6.5/10.

MOYLAN’S CELTS GOLDEN ALE – Surprise, surprise! I expected this to taste like a boring “blonde” ale – no way. It’s a musky, rich & thick golden ale, surprisingly close to a Belgian tripel in all aspects save for the spiciness. Really tangy, and a little bit of that olde-world earthiness as well. Really good beer, and one I’ll be buying in a 22oz.-bottle in the near future to see if the magic can be recaptured. 8/10.

These were small cups, mind you, not giant pints – and yet who knows what it was that made dad break down and buy a toy in the gift store at the end of the night.


Aaron Goldfarb said...

I'm still kicking myself for the one and only time I saw Hopsickle in a NYC Whole Foods and inexplicably passed on it. I've never seen it in NYC again. And every time I ask I get the same response: "Why that's impossible, Moylans doesn't even ship to NYC." But I saw it! I swear!

Rational Realist said...

Sacramento youth in the 70s, trips to the Exploratorium, beer blogger, no longer in Sacramento... too weird..... Made the mistake of trying a bomber of Hopsickle after a Pliny the Younger on draft.