Sierra Nevada Summerfest
What Budweiser should taste like if it was really a king of beers.
It’s probably one of the best lawn mower beers or gardening beers or all day sort of drinking beers. It’s got enough flavor to satisfy craft beer snobs, but isn’t going to drive away the Bud buds.
Double Mountain Brewery I.R.A. (India Red Ale)
This was another gift from my Oregon connection, Adam.
Pretty freaking good. T
This fusion of a red ale and a distinctly Oregonian-vibed IPA. I love a good mashup.
Great body, bold malty flavors that are lightly toasty and incredibly complimentary to the richly resinous hops. Great floral aroma that sings about the piney crisp hops, but doesn’t leave you worrying it’s going to annihilate your tongue in hops
Another fantastic bottle of beer… way impressed. Looking forward to the other bottle in the fridge.
Big thanks to Adam for delivering some rare Oregonian gems that have shaken me out of my beer-writing slump. I AM A PHOENIX!!
Well… I feel like one… I guess…
Anyway, first up on the return is Hopworks Urban Brewery’s Organic Hopworks IPA.
This little pounder of brew is world-class. They shouldn’t be modest when they boast it on the can. It’s a legit claim.
This IPA’s strength fully lays in the aromatic hops. I don’t have the worlds greatest sniffer, but this brew has just a lovely scent of layers and layers of firm resiny hops. Worried that the stank meant my tongue was in for basically licking the aluminum siding of a several Willamette Valley hop farm’s silo as I drank up the beer - I was pleasantly surprised. It’s smooth as silk. You taste a great deal of hops, but it’s not vengeful, hateful, in fact it’s like those ladies in the Shaft theme. I was all…. this beer is gonna be one bad mother …. SHUT YO MOUTH. And they were right, this beer is just phenomenal for an IPA and if you don’t like it —- Shaft should be allowed to pop you in the mouth for your beer hate.
Thanks for the delivery, Adam.
Well, yeah, it’s not a beer, but it’s something I also do. I write comic books in addition to drinking & talking about great and wonderful beers. I’m currently trying to get $8,000 to fund my brand new comic book series, B-Squad. I‘m about 15% of the way there with around 20 days to go!
If you‘ve been enjoying Beer Per Day, please check out the kickstarter and consider backing my creative dream: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erasernubs/b-squad
More beer reviews to come, fellow beer lovers.
North Coast Brewing’s Old Stock Ale - Otsuchi 2012
I love it when a good beer does a good thing.
North Coast Brewing Co. Old Stock Ale is their standard anniversary ale, but this year they are dedicating the proceeds to Ft. Bragg’s sister city, Otsuchi, Japan, which was hit harshly by the tsunami. It makes the beer slightly more expensive, but you’ll get to give a little compassion and read the great story about how Ft. Bragg & Otsuchi became sister cities as you drink a truly world class old school style beer.
Old Stock is a fantastic English-bent Old Ale. Old Ales are malt balls. They are incredibly rich with flavor, but not thick like a stout. They drink with a lot of vine-ripened fruity flavors and Old Stock isn’t different. It is lavish and unyielding with it’s flavor and has this deep charred molasses quality. At 11.9% liquor content, it’s a deceptive little bastard and can easily make you hate the morning if you happen to to have more than a few.
Find it, and pony up. Otsuchi was one of the more ancient and old townships of Japan, right on the coastline, and it lost many people and places to the mighty wave. They are rebuilding and this is one way to fill.
Deschutes Brewing Co.’s Chasin’ Freshies. A Fresh Hop I.P.A.
This ambitious brew hails from Oregon and it is using hops fresh from the vine and straight into the beer.
“Sure. Whateva.” says you?
Well, look - this beer’s hops is something special! While this beer’s hops kinda sounds like it’s straight out of Portlandia sketch, the truth is better than the comedy in this case. Chasin’ Freshies is brewed with an heirloom-strain of Cascade hops found at one of Oregon’s oldest hop-grower’s, Goschie Farms. Family owned and operated for over a century, Goschie Farms are well known producers of hops in the Willamette Valley, one of the best sources for full and flavorful West Coast hops.
And sure, it looks a little bit like yellow snow. Ignore Zappa’s warning and cold one is certainly safe to drink.
I burned right through my glass of Chasin’ Freshies. It was bright, lively, and I could really get a sense for why those Cascade hops are prized the world over. It drank like Chasin’ Freshies is a single hopped and single hopped without measuring. This was just a POW - TASTE THIS! sort of IPA - but ultimately balanced enough that I didn’t feel like I’d never be able to taste bacon again - just smacked with enough hops to initially give me doubts.
If you’re a hop lover or even just a dabbler in the IPA zone, I highly recommend tracking this one down as its lively full flavor will give you a learning as to why the hops up in Oregon are known as some of the world’s best for big flavorful IPAs.
Uinta Brewing’s Tilted Smile - a Crooked Line series beer.
This Imperial pilsner is absurdly strong (9% boozeahol) but doesn’t taste like it at all. It drinks incredibly pleasant. The smile grows cock-eye only because you feel like you’re getting buzzed off a delicious malt soda. There is this I know something you don’t quality. It’s smooth, crisp, & highly traditional (only Saaz hops and Pilsen malt)
Bottom line this is danger in a large bottle. Split it. Share it with a special lady friend.
Atwater Brewing’s Vanilla Java Porter
This beer hails from the Motor City and is the color of a dark and used oil, but it certainly drink like a cup of something special.
Light enough on the mouth to be easy to drink, but still rich and flavor like a good porter should drink. I’ve had several vanilla porters, and this one certainly plays well with the others at the top. This one drinks perhaps a little more like a Peet’s coffee cup of liquid candy, rather than a rich roasted heart at the center of a black cup of joe. So note which side you’d rather see your porter fall on - all I can say is either way, it’s a damn good beer.
Ninkasi Brewing Company Nuptiale Cream Ale
Superbly layered and creamy this spring time beer is easy to sip and too good to gulp. While it flirts with with sweetness it stays crisp and the hops mellow out the whole glass leaving a very cream and lush flavor of malty toffee and toast feeling to wrap it up.
It’s a pretty damn good beer and I wish it was somewhat easier to get. This would definitely be in my regular rotation if I had one.
Delightfully silky and smooth before you get a bright pop of hops. All around extremely good and pleasant. The hop depth bounces around from grass to citrus. The label says they brewed this with 7 hop varieties, but it doesn’t drink like a crazy over-hopped Pacific West IPA. They definitely took time to balance this gem of a beer with the right amount of pale malt to bring enough sweetness to really give the hoppy flavors room to impress you and not overwhelm you. It has catapulted it’s way to the top of my best of summer beer list next to AVBC’s Summer Solstice.
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Lagunitas is one of my favorite breweries. They just make good beer, & consistently. The brewers also have a sense of humor - I’ve showcased it before - and that always earns points with me. Honestly, if you’re anywhere near their brewing operations in Petaluma, Ca. You owe it to yourself to make the trip and go to the brewpub. It’s awesome beergarden and restaurant with communal seating, peanuts and pretzels. Do it.
There were only four beers on their menu I wasn’t totally familiar with - so I ordered those:
The SF FUSION :: Fruity. Snappy and citrusy. Very bright and in your face. Could be off putting if you’re not into citrus hops -and even if you are- it still could be. It packs a hell of a slap.
The WALDO 420 :: I think this was my fav of the four - lot more laid back, more grassy than punchy and citrusy. This would make for an easy session ale, and be a damn good one at that.
Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale:: This is one of my favorite seasonal releases they do. It was a troublemaker’s beer. It’s hoppy, but smooth thanks to the dark roasted malt. This is another one of those Lagunitas beers that are so skillfully drinkable that if you have a sixpack handy and you don’t share with a buddy, you’re gonna be in trouble at it’s 9.75% alcohol that you don’t even sense a drop of.
Gueuze This is a sour ale. Aged in oak, mixed with blackberry and well, just not for me. Still quite good for a sour, tart and fruity, but I just have a hard time getting into these personally. Endorsing it as a sour as sours go its got more flavor and character than others ive tried. Probably not something I’d ever drink more than a pint of.
Thanks for the good beer, Lagunitas!
Founder’s Red’s Rye P.A.
This is a damn good beer, but it is living in the shadow of Ruthless Rye. I have to say it is an absolute gem of a beer.
The rye zest is really in compliment, but slightly overpowered by the bitter bite of hops. It just doesn’t have that full body and profile that Sierra Nevada’s pulled off with Ruthless.
Still, this comparison isn’t totally fair. Founder’s has made a great beer here - smooth, zesty, and lightly sweet on the finish. It is very very good example of rye in beer and how it can be this peppery and sweet beer that just adds a delicious quality to the beer that’s instantly recognizable.