Thursday, December 31, 2009


Considering they're my favorite brewer in my hometown of San Francisco, I've done just an awful job of staying current with the beers of 21ST AMENDMENT. Since they opened well over a decade ago, all sorts of new non-TORONADO beer options have sprung to the fore in town & nearby, and so when someone wants to go grab beers these days, 21A tends to be the afterthought to The Trappist, La Trappe, the Monk's Kettle and so on. When HBJ started out (four years ago!) we worked almost across the street from the place, and thus filed frequent dispatches from the bar. Now we're over in the east bay during the 9-5, and I miss the easy access to 21A's many excellent beers of all stripes and colors, particular the many experimental Belgians they unleash during the winter months.

All that's a long way of saying I was stoked to buy a can of their brand new MONK'S BLOOD offering the other day. It's great to see a complex Belgian-style ale in a can, and it's even better when it's really good. MONK'S BLOOD is dark and malty, with an undercurrent of sweetness the dominates the brew. I taste molasses and something that tastes like bourbon, or some spirit of unknown origin. Why there it is on the spec sheet - "aged on oak". You don't get that in yr beer can every day, now do ya. It's a medium-bodied beer with almost no head retention (that's dork-talk for "no foam"), and I'd put it close to the dubbel and/or abbey ale categories if I have to pick. 7/10 - and oh yeah, happy new year folks. We'll see you with bells on in 2010.

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