What's great in wine, beer, fine dining,
places to stay, & places to visit
in California State

Beer Pick of the Week

Work Horse IPA   Laurelwood Brewing Co. Portland, Oregon Style: IPA Alcohol: 7.5% IBUs: 80 Serving Style: Kegs, 12 and 22-ounce bottles (our sample from draft) Availability: Portland and the Northwest   Appearance:   “A darker golden color. Perhaps a medium-amber. Decent head.” Aroma:   “A very light hops smell. Not overwhelming aromatically.” Taste:  “Smooth, well-balanced IPA. Most definitely not over-hoppy. You can taste the hops, but they don’t overwhelm you. A lasting flavor—it lingers a bit. It’s smooth with light flavors up front, but with predominant hops on the back end.” Food Affinity:   “I like the beer. It’s not overly hoppy so…
  Bitter Root IPA   Bitter Root Brewery Hamilton, Montana Style: American IPA Alcohol: 6.2% IBUs: 45 Serving Style: Kegs, growlers and 12-ounce cans (our sample from draft) Availability: Montana and the Pacific Northwest   Appearance:  “It’s a darker IPA—a darker amber color.” Aroma:   “It definitely fits my likes as an IPA. I can really smell the flavoring hops.” Taste:   “There is a bitter/tart experience. This is very much a heavy-bodied beer. It’s not for the faint of heart. It satisfies my palate. It’s a beer to savor. Food:   “A salmon fettucine made with a Creole sauce would be a great…
Mongo   Port Brewing Co. San Marcos, California Style: American Double IPA Alcohol: 8.5% IBUs: 85 Serving style: Bottles and keg (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-round in California and national markets   Appearance:   “A little darker than what I normally think of as an IPA.” Aroma:   “Not much of a hop aroma at first, but once to you get to the tasting the hop hits you.” Taste:   “You can taste the hops. There’s no way—even after two or three beers—you would not know it’s an IPA.” Food Affinity:   “I love spicy foods and I think IPAs go well with…
Pinedrops   Deschutes Brewery Bend, Oregon Style: IPA Alcohol: 6.5% IBUs: 70 Serving Style: 12-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from bottle) Availability: Year-round. Currently on West Coast, by summer in Midwest also.   Appearance:   “Golden color. Wispy, light white head.” Aroma:   “It really is piney—citrussy, too! (insider info for the beer geeks: Chinook, Centennial and Equinox hops)” Taste:   “Bright flavors. Not so much visible carbonation, but there is a sharpness, a vitality. Long finish with the citrus aspect showing though. Though Pinedrops might also work on a cold, blustery day, it does seem to be an appropriate choice for…
  Coniferous Winter Ale   Laurelwood Brewing Co. Portland, Oregon Style: American Pale Ale Alcohol: 5.8% IBUs: 55 Serving Style: 22-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability:   Appearance:   “A good red-amberish color to it. About a ¼-inch head and good lacing.” Aroma:   “Not a lot in the nose. Just a good hop smell.” Taste:   “Upfront/right away it has kind of a bite. It finishes cleanly and tastes like a well-made beer.” Food Affinity:   “I’d like a Caesar Salad with this.”     Reviewer David Primus is a Washington "Beertender" and a serious fan of Belgian beers,
Longfin Lager   Ballast Point San Diego, California Style: German helles-style lager Alcohol: 4.5% IBUs: 18 Serving style: 12-ounce bottles and cans, kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year around up and down the West Coast   Appearance:   “Light lemony or straw color. Big white head that dissipates fairly quickly.” Aroma:   “Malty—a little biscuit-like.” Taste:   “Predominant malt opening with lots of good carbonation. (Helles is translated from German as ‘light,’ but we think that has negative connotations, as in the light—or lite—beers produced by big American breweries). We’ll bend the translation a bit to call this bright, as in perky…
Double Chocolate Stout   Young’s Brewery Bedford England Style: Stout Alcohol: 5.25% IBUs: Unknown Serving Style: Bottles, cans and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year around in world-wide markets   Appearance:   “Dark—somewhere between sable and black, we’d say.” Aroma:  “Roasted coffee followed by dark chocolate.” Taste:   “The chocolate and some feeling of sweetness really comes through early, but there’s a counterpoint of slight bitterness toward the mid-to-late palate and on through to the finish.” Food Affinity:   “Brownies with chunks of walnut (chocolate on chocolate). Or, for something savory maybe turkey mole or other slowly cooked meat in a rich…
Off Leash    Crux Brewing Project Bend, Oregon Style: Session IPA Alcohol: 4.5% IBUs: 30 Serving Style:  Bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year around Central Oregon and Washington   Appearance:   “Old gold in color.” Aroma:   “Very citrusy.” Taste:   “Bright flavors, enough hoppiness for IPA fans, but delivered in a package that invites as second—or third—glass. Seems like a nice style that maybe other breweries should follow.” Food Affinity:   “Smoked salmon or steelhead. Grilled cheddar cheese sandwich on rye bread.”  --Reviewed by Lance Albert, a California salesman who encountered Off Leash on a trip through the Northwest
  Wookey Jack   Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles and Buellton, CA Style: American style black ale Alcohol: 8.3% IBUs: 80 Serving Style: 12 and 22-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-around in much of western US   Appearance:   “Very nearly black. Tan head.” Aroma:   “Quite hoppy (Citra, Amarillo). Piney, resin and citrus. Wakes you up.” Taste:   “Roasted malt is apparent. Some spicy and peppery notes in the mid-palate. Perky—a lot of carbonation shows on the back end. Long finish. Food Affinity:   “Chicken thighs braised in dark beer. Brownies with a lot of walnuts. Dark chocolate…
Manny’s Pale Ale   Georgetown Brewing Co.  Seattle, Washington  Style: American Pale Ale  Alcohol: 5.4%  IBUs: 38  Serving Style: Kegs  Availability: Widely available in Seattle and in the Pacific Northwest   Appearance:   “Coppery/light brown color. A little hazy. Modest, ivory head.” Aroma:   “Some citrus, a bit flowery, and some malt. Taste:   “Very smooth. A proper balance between the hops and malt. Closer to British definition of this style than those over-the-top American IPAs. Actually, puts me in mind of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, that California beer that I quite like.” Food Affinity:   “Battered cod. Caerphilly cheese. Pork and apple sausages.”   --reviewed…
Session Export   Full Sail Brewing Co.  Hood River, Oregon  Style: Dortmunder Export Lager  Alcohol: 5.8%  IBUs: 28 Serving Style: 11-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from bottle)  Availability: Good distribution in the Pacific Northwest and in California. This is a seasonal product within Full Sail’s Session series, which rotates styles of “sessionable”  or easy-drinking beers several times per year.   Appearance:   “Deep golden color with big white head, which dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma:   “Hoppiness with a little spice.” Taste:   “Rich and malty. Fills the mouth—has a plush feel. Lovely balance of hops and malt with a clean, fairly long…
Alaskan Amber Alaska Brewing Co. Juneau, Alaska Style: German alt-style beer Alcohol: 5.3% IBUs: 18 Serving style:  12-ounce bottles, kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Wide distribution in the lower 48   Appearance:   “Mahogany color? Chestnut? Wait a minute, how about just going with amber?” Aroma:   “No discernable aroma from a pint that was served fairly cold—maybe too much so.” Taste:   “Not much carbonation, but it doesn’t taste flat. Predominant malt character, but balanced by just enough hops. Some caramel aspects. Not exciting, perhaps, but a good sessionable beer. Goes down easy.” Food Affinity:   “Black olive and sausage pizza. Curried…
  1910 Black Lager Wallace Brewing Co. Wallace, Idaho Style:  Lager Alcohol: 4.8% IBUs: Unknown Serving style: 12-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year around in the Pacific Northwest   Appearance:   “Well, if it’s not black exactly, it certainly is a very dark brown. One inch of tan head.” Aroma:   “Coffee, caramel and toasted malt.” Taste:    “Rich flavors of coffee, caramel and chocolate malt, but delivered with the lightness and zestiness of a lager—a delightful counterpoint.” Food Affinity:   “Turkey in a Mexican mole. Meat loaf sandwich with pickled onion. Chocolate and walnut brownies.”    This review from a…
Nooner   Sierra Nevada Brewing Chico, California Style: Pilsner Alcohol: 5.2% IBUs: 38 Serving Style: kegs, 12-ounce bottles and cans Availability: Year around nationally   Appearance:   “Bright golden color with good off-white head.” Aroma:   “Some spicy and floral hoppiness, but not overpowering.” Taste:   “Fine balance of malt and hops in a brew that does appropriate homage to Czech and Bavarian pilsners.  Finishes slightly bitter, but clean and dry. Goes down easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s insufficient." Food Affinity:   “Grilled cheese sandwiches. Large, soft pretzels with dark mustard. Coppa and other luncheon meats. Cornichons. Would even be a nice accompaniment…
Trip XX Dry-Hopped Brett New Belgium Ft. Collins, Colorado Style: American Wild Ale Alcohol: 6.2% IBUs: 30 Serving Style: Kegs Availability: Last in a series of 20 collaborations with Elysian Brewing of Seattle. New Belgium no distributes in most states of the union, but this one might be hard to find.   Appearance:  “Copper or dark amber in color. Not too much head, but some nice residual lacing.” Aroma:  “The Brett (or Brettanomyces) and ‘sourness’ very apparent in the nose.” Taste:  “Maltiness—some caramel and just a wisp of grapefruit zest. Intriguing creaminess, though there’s still some sparkle of carbonation showing through.” Food…
Scare City #2   Lagunitas Brewing Co. Petaluma, California Style: Rye Porter with Cocoa Alcohol: 10.25% IBUs: Unknown Serving Style: In bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Most of the Far West and in major markets US-wide.   Appearance:  “Dark—definitely porter.” Aroma:  “Some darker malt—a toasty malt.” Taste:  “You can definitely taste the cocoa on the back end. Enough residual sugar so it mixes with the cocoa and you pick up that chocolate.” Food Affinity:  “Beef—would go well with pot roast. You could also pair with a chocolate dessert.”   Reviewer Anthony Cutrona is a mechanical engineer .…
Dick Danger Ale   Dick's Brewing Co. Centralia, WA Style: English Style Dark Ale Alcohol: 5.2% IBUs: 45 Serving Style: 12 and 22-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year around in the Pacific Northwest   Appearance:  “Dark, but not too dark. Decent head, though not too high.” Aroma:  “Smells good.” Taste:  “Not bitter. Has a good aftertaste. It's a beer that you can keep drinking. I'd want to have it again.” Food Affinity:  “Was good with locally-made beer brats.”   Reviewer Shawn Jones owns a restaurant in Richland, Washington
  Mistress of the Dark   Hop Valley Brewing Co. Eugene, Oregon Style: Cascadian Dark Ale Alcohol: 5.5% IBUs: 70 Serving Style: Kegs Availability: Seasonally in the Pacific Northwest and Northern California   Appearance:  “Dark with a light-colored head.” Aroma:  “You definitely smell the hops (Centennial, Citra, Amarillo). It has character like a black IPA.” Taste:  “Sweet, yet bitter. It's dark, but doesn't quite have a chocolatey taste to it. It's pretty well balanced with the Citra hops—they give it more of a citrus flavor even though it's dark.” Food Affinity:  “Pub food in general—burgers or anything spicy.”    …
Dagger Falls IPA   Sockeye Boise, Idaho Style: American IPA Alcohol: 6.5% IBUs: 100 Serving Style: 12-ounce cans and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Northwest of the US   Appearance:  “Deep golden or amber color. Creamy white head.” Aroma:  “Almost overwhelming with citrus and pine.” Taste:  “Hugely bitter on entry, but we didn't find this a negative. Good carbonation. Relatively moderate alcohol level may be what keeps this beer from going as far over the top as the IBU count might suggest.” Food Affinity: “Probably not what you'd pair with a full meal, but might be tasty with alder-smoked…
Alaskan White   Alaskan Brewery Juneau, Alaska Style: Wheat Ale Alcohol: 5.3% IBUs: 15 Serving Style: 12-ounce bottle Availability: Much of the western U.S.   Appearance:  “Old gold in color. Creamy white head. Good small-bubble carbonation.” Aroma:  “Characteristic wheat beer nose, plus some dried orange peel and maybe coriander.” Taste:  “Reviewer isn't ordinarily a fan of wheat beers, but liked this one. Label says wheat ale, brewed with spices, which didn't sound encouraging, but the spices were subtle and seemed to enhance, rather than detract from, the honest beer character.” Food Affinity:  “We're thinking snacks, rather than pairing with a…
Page 6 of 11

Copyright © 2005 - 2020. Taste California Travel. All rights reserved. | Phoenix Website Design by CitrusKiwi