About this Blog

Inspired by the documentary "Beer Wars" I have taken on the daunting task of profiling a different beer every day in the month of November. The idea is to shine a light on some of the fabulous beers that don't have huge advertising budgets and don't command shelf space in the local super markets. These are the beers that you will find in the local taverns served by people who know and love beer.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Purple Haze" by Abita (supplemental beer number 1)

A recent trip to LA provided me with several hours of "nothing to do" so I pulled up a bar stool at Dillon's Irish Pub at the corner of Hollywood and Vine.  I counted 37 beers on tap and they were all just $3 a pint.  Since I had already tried many of the beers I decided to try something new.

The Purple Haze by Abita look interesting.  Abita's description of this beer reads; "Purple Haze is a crisp, American style wheat beer with raspberry puree added after filtration. Therefore, you may see raspberry pulp in the beer. The raspberries provide the lager with a subtle purple coloration and haze, a fruity aroma, and a tartly sweet taste."

It was definitely worth trying and I would suggested to anyone that likes fruit in their beer.  For me I will stick to a lime in my Corona if I want fruit in my beer.  Luckily there were 36 other choices for my second pint.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 30 "Christmas Ale" from Anchor Brewing

It's beginning to taste a lot like Christmas..... la la la la.  With December only a day away, Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us the Christmas season is officially upon us and tonight presented the perfect excuse to break out a magnum of Anchor's Christmas Ale.  With notes of nutmeg and gingerbread this exceptional ale rounds up our 30th day of great beers.  Although Anchor has been brewing this delicious holiday treat since 1975(click here for some history), 2010 is the first time that I have had the pleasure of sampling it.   
Anchor Brewing has played a significant role in California  brewing history. For the past 36 years the Christmas Ale has been brewed using a top secret and anually adjusted  recipe. 

Even after sampling 29 beers I still had a plethora of options when it came to filling the final post of the 30 Beers of November Blog.  Somehow Anchor's Christmas Ale just seemed to be the best choice.  You can find the Magnum of Christmas Ale at BevMo and Nugget Markets.  The magnum makes for a great gift to bring to a holiday dinner and you can purchase six packs to keep in the fridge.  If you happen to find it on tap please let me know where.

I would like to send out a huge thank you to all of those that followed the blog.  I had a lot of fun creating it and I hope that you enjoyed reading it.  My lovely wife suggested that I continue the tradition once a season so keep an eye out for future posts.  Also look for auxilary posts with beers that were great but didn't quite make the cut.



Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 29 "Alaskan IPA" from Alaskan Brewing company.

Surfing in Alaska???  You bet.  The inspiration for this beer is comes from Alaska's own surf mecca Yakutat.  The label features a surfer riding a wave while Mount Saint Elias looms at an impressive elevation of 18,000 feet in the background.  Who would have thought to go surfing in Alaska?  Probably the same adventuresome folks that will enjoy this bold and tasty brew.  I normally stick to the Alaskan Amber but had to try the IPA since I had never seen it on tap before.

Tasting notes come from the http://www.alaskanbeer.com/ website; "Alaskan IPA is honey gold in color with a fruity, citrus aroma. An enticing blend of hops and our dry hopping process, in which hops are added directly to tanks during fermentation, give this brew a very intense, complex aromatic character with a refreshing hop finish."

I enjoyed my Alaskan IPA at Plainfield Station (see day 28 for more info) where we braved the cold(but sunny) weather to enjoy the back yard/picnic area.  The kids played football and others played horseshoes while I sat back enjoyed the late afternoon sun and sipped my Alaskan IPA. 
Alaska has a long history of brewing and beer drinkers from the explores in the 1700s through the miner's gold rush there was plenty of local beer to be had.  Of course prohibition put a damper on most of the local production.  In 1986 Marcy and Geoff Larson opened the first brewing company in Juneau since prohibition and the Alaskan Brewing Company has flourished ever since.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 28 "Guiness Stout" at Plainfield Station

Well of course Guinness needs no introduction as it is probably one of the most recognizable beers in the world.  When you have been making beer for over 200 years you certainly know how to do it well.  But in case you haven't taken the leap of faith and tried a Guinness it is about time that you give it a taste.  As my sister stated today "That's pretty good for a beer of that color".

I enjoyed my Guinness at one of my favorite watering holes, Plainfield Station.  Plainfield Station is an old gas station on Road 98 between Davis, Woodland and Winters, Ca.  It is a place were a group of hunters in their orange hats can sit next to two nurses in scrubs who are sitting next a pair of burly looking bikers in black leather.  At the table across the room a young couple (with their newborn asleep in the car seat on top of the table) dined on half pound burgers while I along with 7 other family members enjoyed a large plate of nachos.  This hole in the wall bar has a substantial selection of beers on tap which ranges from Pabst to Guinness and from Widmer Heff to Boont Amber Ale.  And of course they have all the old standby beers like Coors and the line of Buds.

Plainfield has a very large back yard with picnic tables, a horseshoe pit and a stage for small concerts.  The food is great and the menu boasts everything from jalapeno poppers to teriyaki chicken sandwiches but for my money the Tacos are the best around. If you are ever in the area you must stop in a grab your favorite libation and game of pool.  Everyone is welcome and the staff (at least these days) is very helpful and friendly.  The beer is always cold and the people watching is second to none.

Plainfield Station on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 27 "PU 240" from Auburn Ale House

With Thanksgiving past us I have heard that the "autumn beers" are about to give way to the Christmas beers (4 weeks ago I had no idea that beers changed with the seasons).  As I understand it the Christmas beers have more of a lean towards maltiness and sweetness.  If that theory holds true I am glad that I had a chance to sample this 100+ IBU creation from the Auburn Ale House before switching to the "holiday beers". 

The Auburn Ale house puts out some seriously flavourful brews to match their tasty food offerings.  The PU 240 is no exception to this rule. 

"Named after the isotope essential for nuclear grade weapons, this
“Weapons Grade Ale” is the hop bomb you didn’t see coming!
At 100 bittering units, PU240 captures the explosive hop flavor and aroma necessary to achieve a critical mass that you won’t find in other high-hop ales. A classified and combustible amount of Summit and Galena hops along with a double Dry-hop bombardment of Simcoe, Columbus and Nugget contribute to PU240’s high rate of spontaneous hop fusion."

If you enjoyed "Pliny the Elder"and the beers profiled in Day 12, Day 21 and Day 23 then you will love PU 240.  Word of warning, this is nuclear grade stuff so be careful with it.  You can find this wonderment at the Ale House located in Old Town Auburn or in Old Town Folsom at Samuel Hornes.

Auburn Ale House on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 26 "Powerhouse IPA" from Lockdown Brewing Company

Long before I moved within miles of Folsom Prison and called “Old Town Folsom” my home I was a fan of Johnny Cash’s ”Folsom Prison Blues”. I have long been fascinated by the lure of the famous granite walls that surround one of the most infamous correctional facilities in our American culture. My morning jog often includes touching the perimeter fence of the area aptly named Represa, CA.

Accordingly I have been intrigued by the beers produced by Lockdown Brewing Company (LBC). Since I moved to “Old Town Folsom” I have heard rumors that LBC would open a brewery on our famed Sutter Street. I have heard friends rave of their beers for years. So when I noticed the hand written Lockdown IPA label on a tap at the local Beach Hut Deli I had to try it out.

The Beach Hut Deli is known for their enormous sandwiches so I was pleased to find that the the Lockdown “Powerhouse IPA” was a bold enough libation to wash down my mammoth sandwich. Further investigation of this almost "underground" brewing company produced more intrigue. I have discovered that LBC has recently opened a facility in nearby Rancho Cordova.
LBC’s most recent release is an exquisite example of an American IPA with a ABV of 7.5 and an unknown (to me) IBU which I estimate around 80-90.  This IPA is a crisp and very drinkable brew with enough flavor to catch my interest even after 26 days of tasting many wonderful beers. If you are lucky enough to find it I insist that you try it out.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 25 "Painkiller IPA" by Paul Crescione

Home brewer and member of Team Pain Train (a local cycling group) Paul Crescione's most recent brew is humorously named Painkiller IPA.  Paul is an established home brewer and friend of mine who lives just across the river from us.  His Painkiller IPA is an example of a true home brew using Chinook and Cascade hops grown in the backyard hop garden of one of his neighbors in Orangevale, CA.  In his words the beer is not as hoppy as he intended but I felt it was a perfect mix of flavor and drinkability.  The members of Team Pain Train like to train hard and require a beer that will take the edge off after a hard ride.

After 9 years of producing exclusively kegged beer Paul chose bottled this brew to test out a beta version of a mini keg that another friend is developing.  The mini keg is a whole other story which will most likely be making its way to the commercial market soon.  You won't find Painkiller in stores but if you are lucky enough to know Paul you may just get to try some.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 24 "Celebration Ale" from Sierra Nevada

Day 24 brings us back to Folsom and my trusty neighborhood pub Samuel Hornes.   With 16 beers on tap I don't expect to run out of unique beers to profile.  That said I have whittled away at more than half of their selection for this Blog.  Luckily their inventory rotates on a regular basis so I should be able to sample a few more of their offerings before the end of the month.

Today's beer comes from Chico, California's Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.  Officially dubbed Celebration Fresh Hop Ale this seasonal masterpiece was originally brewed in 1981 and has continued as a holiday tradition to date.  Here is the stat sheet for the 2010 version of this dry hopped ale:
Alcohol content 6.8% by volume
Bittering hops Chinook
Beginning gravity 16.0 Plato
Finishing hops Cascade & Centennial
Ending gravity 4.0 PlatoDry hopping Cascade & Centennial
Bitterness units 65Malts Two-row Pale & English Caramel
Yeast Top-Fermenting Ale Yeast

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 23 "Hop Rod Rye" from Bear Republic

For Day 23 I am profiling another fabulous beer from Bear Republic.  The Hop Rod Rye is a high gravity IPA brewed with 18% rye malt.  I enjoyed this hoppy little number along with a cheese plate and sausage roll at Murphy's Irish Pub in Sonoma. 

According to the Bear Republic's website "Hop Rod Rye has a floral hop aroma and subtle caramel notes with a slightly earthy and spicy rye character."  According to me it is a delicious compilation of malt and hops. 
Hop Rod Rye is essentially a Strong Pale Ale with a huge hop aroma and a sweet malty finish.  Awards include  2004 California State Fair, Silver Medal Winner; 2002 National Real Ale Festival, Chicago, Gold Medal Winner; 2001 San Diego Real Ale Festival, Silver Medal Winner & Best of Show (Runner Up).

Hop Rod Rye is no joke folks.  If you are serious about beer and you haven't tried this little gem then you are doing yourself a major disservice. This is a great beer and I would suggest picking some up for Turkey Day this year.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 22 "Alley Pale Ale" from Murphy's Irish Pub in Sonoma

If you have never been to Murphy's Irish Pub then the name of their flagship beer may sound a little funny.  If you have been there then you will certainly understand.  Murphy's is located in an alley (really more of a paseo or breezeway) smack in the middle of downtown Sonoma.  Voted the number one place to hear live music in Sonoma this quaint little bar serves up multiple beers on tap and some delicious pub grub including traditional Irish fare. 

Their Alley Pale Ale is brewed exclusively for Murphy's by Dempsey's Brewing in Petaluma.  With an ABV of 5.2% this beer is a medium bodied smooth & flavorful pale ale with gentle hop character.  This very drinkable and flavorful beer that goes perfectly with their Fisherman's Pie. 
Murphy's Irish Pub on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 21 "Little Chief Pale Ale" from Sonoma Springs Brewing Company

Sonoma Springs Brewing Company is a fairly new brewery in Sonoma, CA which opened nearly two years ago.  Although we drove right past the brewery without noticing it I was able to pick up an imperial pint of their "Little Chief Pale Ale" at a local joint aptly named Lokal.  Little Chief is what the Sonoma Springs brewer calls a SPA (or Strong Pale Ale).  It has been explained to me that the International Bitterness Unit or IBU can only calculate bitterness (hoppiness) up to 100 but you will sometimes see 100+ as and IBU rating.  I would say that the "Little Chief" falls into this category.  Tasting this beer is similar to chewing on raw hops and for me that is a great thing. 

I look forward to stopping by the brewery and tasting all of their beers the next time we are in town.  To learn more about this small but upcoming brewery check out their facebook page.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 20 "Hopmonk Dunkelweizen" from Hopmunk Tavern in Sebastopol, Ca

Day 20 brings us to Sebastopol, Ca for a visit to Hopmunk Tavern.  Today is my lovely Wife's Birthday and we are headed to The second annual Purple Pachyderm Pinot Party and musical extravaganza featuring the music of Les Claypool and friends. 

The Hopmunk is a musci venue, restaurant and brewery.  I tried all of their beers but I chose to profile the Dunkelweizen.  This Bavarian-style Dark Wheat Beer is an unfiltered, top-fermented wheat beer brewed with dark roasted malted wheat and caramelized malted wheat in addition to pale malted barley. The complex flavors produced by the Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen yeast strain are enhanced by the roasted flavors from the dark malts.  It is delicious as is all of their beers.
If you are ever in Sebastopol stop by and sample their brews.  You won't regret it.

*Side Note.  They carrey Pliny the Elder on tap.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 19 "Bahl Hornin" from Anderson Valley Brewing Company

During day 17 I profiled Anderson Valley's Boont Amber Ale and mentioned the phrase Bahl Hornin'.  Well that was before I realized that AVBC actually made a beer called Bahl Hornin'.  I figured it was only fair that I profile the Bahl Hornin' today. As I mentioned in my previous post  Bahl Hornin' means "Good Drinking" in Boontling which is a language spoken in Boonville, CA where AVBC makes its home.

Here are a few more Boontling terms that I pulled from the Samuel Hornes FB page.

"roopey harpin" = aimless, empty talk, braggadocio.
"come-on boy" = a convivial, social drinker (opposed to a "silent horner" or a lone drinker)
"Higher 'n a Billy" which translates to Very Drunk; disorderly because of drink.
"Diddle Can" which translates to a bottle of whiskey, especially a container of bootleg whiskey.
"hornin region" which translates to a bar, any place drinking of alcoholic beverages is regularly done.

So being the come-on boy that I am, I think that I should head to my favorite hornin region(Samuel Hornes) to get higher 'n a billy. 

To find yourself a Bahl Hornin' click here and enjoy this Wonderful beer which in only available on draught.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 18 "India Pale Ale" From Brew It Up

Back on Day 7 of the blog I mentioned "Bollting Day" at Brew It Up in Downtown Sacramento.  Although we enjoyed our beer on bottling day we weren't quite satisfied with it after it had been in bottles for a few days.  It was carbonated but just barely.  Luckily Brew It Up offers a 100% garauntee on your personal brewing and they were willing to refund our money or switch out the beer.  Of course I choose to switch out the beer and I now have four cases of several varieties.  Just in time for my lovely Wife's Birthday party.

While there I figured I should grab a beer so I ordered the India Pale Ale (commonly know as the IPA).  After profiling much sweeter and maltier beers for the past few days I wanted something with a much higher IBU.  This IPA hit the mark and quenched my desire for a big, full and hoppy beer.  Pair this with the beer cheese soup the next time you visit Brew It Up.  We will be back to Brew It Up to bottle our Hallertauer in early December.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 17 "Boont Amber Ale" from Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Once named the “best beer brewed in Northern California,” by the San Francisco Bay Guardian the Boont Amber Ale is the flagship beer from  Anderson Valley Brewing Company.  This is an exceptionally smooth medium bodied Pale Ale.  Boont Amber Ale weighs in at a subtle 5.8% ABV and respectively low IBU of 15.  This beer will pair well with Pasta, Chicken or any flavorful meat.

As they say in  Boonville "It's Bahl Hornin'" which means “Good Drinking” in Boontling which is a real language spoken in Boonville, CA.  To learn more about Boontling pay visit Samuel Hornes Facebook page for Boontling lessons.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 16 "Sierra Nevada" 30th anniversary

When I first started this blog my plan was to research and profile one beer per day each day in the month of November.  Well, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray and some times you have to bend the rules a bit.  As it turned out November 15th was the 30th Anniversary of Sierra Nevada Brewing.  It would also turn out that Samuel Hornes Tavern in Folsom, CA was offering a fligth of Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ales as part of the celebration.  AND As luck would have it I just happened to stop by Sam's for a bite to eat with my lovely wife.  So for Day 16 I will be profiling 4 beers instead of just one.  Hey it's a tough job but somebody has got to do it.

Fritz and Ken's Ale
Fritz Maytag, owner of San Francisco's Anchor Brewing Company agreed to guest brew this special ale with Sierra Nevada in honor of their 30th Anniversary.  This is a rich and robust Stout worthy of aging but also great for drinking right now.

Charlie, Fred and Ken's Imperial Helles
Charlie Pazazian and Fred Echart are two of the country's most esteemed beer writers and home brewers.Charlie and Fred agreed to guest brew this special ale with Sierra Nevada in honor of their 30th Anniversary.  This imperial Helles Bock is a testament to the ever evolving brewer's art happening in homes and microbreweries across the nation.  The Helles is bold yet balanced with distinct toasted malt character, moderate sweetness and clean, floral hops.

Jack and Ken's Ale (barley wine) 
This barley wine was guest brewed by the original micro brewer (and most likely a relative of my mother) Jack McAuliffe.  Jack's New Albion Brewery in Sonoma, Ca inspired countless brewers to start small breweries of their own. Brewed with 100% American Cascade hopes this is a robust and complex Ale reminiscent of those served at the legendary summer solstice parties at New Albion

Brewers Reserve Oak Aged Ale.
This is a blend of Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale, Bigfoot and Celebration Ales which is generously dry-hopped.  This is very representative of the brewing style that has made Sierra Nevada so popular over the years.  To find Sierra 30th anniversary beers near you click here.

Samuel Horne's Tavern on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 15 "American Special Bitter" from Napa Valley Brewing Company in Calistoga, CA

While still in the Napa Valley we stopped by the Calistoga Inn, home of the Napa Valley Brewing Company.  Ironically Napa Valley and Calistoga in particular have a long brewing history reaching back to the Gold Rush when many of the necessary ingredients needed to brew beer were grown in this area.
The Calistoga Inn has its own history in the Valley and was even the setting for a 1930's Movie "They Knew What They Wanted"  Additionally the Napa Valley Brewing Company was the first outfit to brew beer commercially in the Napa Valley after Prohibition.
The beer choices at the Inn included: Wheat Ale, Pilsner, Red Ale, Porter, Barley Wine and a seasonal American Special Bitter.  After reading that the Red Ale had won a few ribbons and medals I was interested but instead I opted to make the American Special Bitter my choice for Day 15.  This American twist on the traditional English style bitter packs a punch of hoppiness.  With an ABV of only 4.2 this a great football game beer.  Which worked out well since the Niner game was on (and they won).  This was  fresh crisp beer and perfect for a warm fall afternoon.
Although I enjoyed the beer I have to say the best part about the Calistoga Inn and Napa Valley Brewing Company is the atmosphere and the scenery.  The outdoor patio provides views of the Napa River and the fall colors were in full effect.  This is definitely the right time of year to visit Calistoga.

Calistoga Inn on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 14 "Pale Ale" from Silverado Brewing Company in St. Helena, CA

Day 14 brings us to the beautiful Napa Valley.  Yes I said Napa Valley, home of some of the world’s greatest wines.  But we are not here for the wine; we are here for the beer. The boys and I were invited to tag along on a trip to Calistoga where my lovely wife was shooting an engagement session.  Accordingly I found a brewery/restaurant where we could eat lunch and taste some beer.  Nestled amongst what seems to be thousands of vineyards and wineries we found the Silverado Brewing Company. 
The Silverado Brewing Company is located in the original the cellar of the Freemark Abbey Winery which is now located next door.  The picturesque stone building houses the restaurant and banquet hall but we chose to dine and sample beer at a picnic table outside.
The beer selection includes a ‘Certifiably’Blond, an Amber Ale, a Pale Ale and an Oatmeal Stout.   Seasonal Beers include a Porter and a Scotch Ale. I chose the Pale Ale to go with my fish and chips and cajun shrimp.  Silverado’s Pale Ale is a very well balanced, smooth and easy drinking Pale Ale.  I love fresh beer and it doesn’t get any fresher than this.  We sampled the Blonde, the Amber and the Scotch Ale as well and found them all to our liking. 
If you find yourself in this part of the world I recommend stopping in for a bite.  Most of the food is locally grown, tasty and very fresh. 

Silverado Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 13 "Sculpin" from Ballast Point

Lucky number 13.  Finally the Sculpin has arrived in Folsom.  As described by Ballast Point:

"The Sculpin is a testament to our humble beginnings as Home Brew Mart. It showcases bright flavors and aromas of apricot, peach, mango & lemon. The lighter body also brings out the crispness of the hops.
This delicious Ballast Point Ale won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup 2010 in the International Pale Ale category. The Sculpin fish has poisonous spikes on it’s fins that can give a strong sting.
Ironically, the meat from a Sculpin is considered some of the tastiest. Something that has a sting but tastes great, sounds like a Ballast Point India Pale Ale"

If there is a competitor to "Pliny" it would be the Sculpin from Ballast Point.  This beer is as hoppy and as tastefull as you can get.  It is hard to find so if you wish to try it get down to Samuel Hornes right away before it runs out.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 12 "Double Bastard" Ale from Stone Brewing Company

When I ordered my "Double Bastard" with dinner my youngest son scolded me "DAD you said a bad word".   Funny that he would call me out on that of all words.  I explained that it wasn't a bad word when used in this light and he reluctantly let me off the hook.

I was trying to avoid using more than on beer from the same brewer for this adventure but Stone deserves an extra slot.  Where as the Epic 10.10.10 that I profiled on Day 2 was very interesting and a bit quirky the Double Bastard is a huge no nonsense ultra hoppy amber ale.

Would you like this beer???  Well, here is Stone's description from their website:

"We didn't brew this mordant dark amber monster to please anyone other than ourselves.  If you think you are truly Worthy (and if you have to ask yourself this question, you are most certainly not), then crack open a bottle, drink deeply, and bask in all its trenchant glory--but if you are befuddled by the polysyllabic lexicon of the Bastard, if your complacency and contented acquiescence to the soulless mendacity of national marketing pap causes you the least bit of hesitation, back away slowly and go buy something you saw advertised on TV.

That was good enough for me to try one and the beer follows through on their promise.  I thoroughly enjoyed it but had to order something a bit lighter for round two. 

If you are not in the San Diego area you can grab a Double Bastard at Samuel Hornes along with 15 other great beers on tap.  If you are in the San Diego area I highly suggest that you treat yourself to a visit to the brewery itself.  It reminds me of a
Beer Disneyland.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 11 "Chimay Red"

Some of you suggested this one from the beginning and I know why.  Day 11 brings us to Morgan's Bar and Grill in midtown Sacramento for a Chimay Red on tap.  Chimay is not your ordinary beer.  

This beer, as explained by Chimay, is "Topped with a creamy head, it gives off a light, fruity apricot aroma produced by the fermentation. The taste perceived in the mouth is a balance confirming the fruity nuances noticed in the fragrance.
Its taste, which imparts a silky sensation to the tongue, is made refreshing by a light touch of bitterness. To the palate, the taster perceives a pleasant astringency which complements the flavour qualities of this beer very harmoniously.
This top fermented Trappist beer, refermented in the bottle, is not pasteurised."

My question was what is a Trappist beer?   It turns out that an authentic Trappist beer is brewed within a Trappist monastery, under the control and responsibility of the monastic community. Only 6 beers in Belgium can carry the appellation "Trappist": Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren and Achel.

Why would monks brew beer you ask?  Click here for a little more history.  Enjoy a Chimay the next chance you get.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 10 "Oatmeal Stout" from Mendocino Brewing.

Sweet, smooth, bold and full bodied (no I am not talking about my lovely wife).  If you know me then you know that I like things that are solid and full bodied.  Weak and frail things have never seemed to last around me.  This beer didn’t last long either.  If Peets Coffee made a beer I would imagine it would taste like this.  “Robust, with luscious chocolate and coffee flavors, it is balanced with just the right amount of UK Golding hops. Brewed with massive quantities of oats, our Oatmeal Stout is smooth in the extreme” . I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of a burnt taste resulting from over-roasting the malts that normally accompanies beers this dark in color. 
I was able to find this one at Samuel Hornes on Sutter St. in Folsom which is where I find most of my favorites. 

After being located in Hopland, CA for 27 years the Mendocino brewing Company has recently moved to Ukiah, CA.  I look forward to visiting the new location on my next trip to Fort Bragg.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 9 "Gold Digger" from Auburn Alehouse.

If you haven't been to the Auburn Alehouse I highly recommend it.  Their food is as good as their beer and they are conveniently located just off Highway 80 in Old Town Auburn, Ca.  They are located in the old American Block Building that you may remember as the Shanghai Restaurant and Bar, where scenes from the movie, Phenomenon were filmed. There is a lot of California history in and around this building and their Gold Digger IPA pays tribute to the rich gold mining history of the foothill area.

About the beer:  "Pale and crystal malts provide the backbone and golden hue, while Magnum, Simcoe and Chinook hops do the dancing on your tongue. Late hop additions to the kettle and aging on the "dry hop" give our India Pale Ale hop aroma and flavor."  This is one of my all time favorite beers.  It is not too over the top but still FULL of flavor.  If you like the IPAs I would suggest that you look this one up.  It is available outside of the Alehouse but if you are in Auburn you need get the full experience by stopping in and checking out their brewery and kitchen.  If you visit them you have to try the cheese loaf.  You will not be disappointed.