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

Beer Pick of the Week

  Scrimshaw Pilsner   North Coast Brewing Fort Bragg, California Style: Pilsner Alcohol: 4.7% IBUs: 22 Serving Style: Bottles & kegs. Our sample from draft. Availability: Widely available in California   Appearance:  “Straw. Light gold.” Aroma:  “Nice balance of malt and hops.” Taste:  “Bright, clean flavors. Crisp and clean throughout. Lovely balance.” Food Affinity:   “Czech and German dishes, of course, but Scrimshaw's home on California's North Coast suggests things from the sea. How about barbecued oysters, or lightly-sautéed abalone?"   Reviewer Dan Clarke's grandfather showed him scrimshaw engravings on whale's teeth and walrus tusks done by whalers from a…
  PBR Shandy (Pabst Blue Ribbon and about 20% Sprite) Miller Brewing/the Coca Cola Co. Los Angeles/Atlanta, Goergia Style: Lager and "lemonade" in the British stye Alcohol: Less than 5% IBUs: Unknown Sereving Style: Bottles, cans and kegs  (our sample from draft) Availability: Everywhere in the U.S.   Appearance:   “Very light yellow” Aroma:  “Only the sweetness and freshness of Sprite (the shandy component)” Taste:  “Minimized beer flavor. More effervescent and refreshing as the addition of Sprite cuts out any beer bitterness. A good drink when a beer drinker doesn't really feel like beer.” Food Affinity:  “Fresh fruit—nectarines? Strawberries?"  …
  Weihenstephaner Original   Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstepan Freising, Germany Style: Munich Helles Lager Alcohol: 5.1% IBUs: 21 Serving Style: Bottles and Keg (our sample from draft) Availability: Year round in most international markets   Appearance:  “Bright gold color. Good head about an inch high when first poured.” Aroma:   “Lightly-hopped with subtle doughy or freshly-baked bread in background.” Taste:   “First impression is substantial—but not too much—carbonation that helps clean and crisp entry. Some green apple quality here. Fine balance of malt and hops gives plenty of flavor, yet it doesn't overpower. Clean, crisp finish invites the next sip.” Food…
Hacker-Pschorr Munich   Hacker-Pschorr Munich, Germany Style: Munich Helles Lager Alcohol: 5% IBUs: Unknown Serving Style: Bottles, Kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-round internationally   Appearance:  “Yellow-golden. Good bubbles/carbonation.” Aroma:  “Some maltiness. Little hop aroma.” Taste:   “Refreshing without being overpoweringly malty or hoppy. A very friendly taste that will have wide acceptance. Stands on its own without being overly chilled.” Food Affinity:   “A Reuben sandwich.”     Reviewer Ray Thompson is a retired attorney  
 Twilight Summer Ale   Deschutes Brewery Bend, Oregon Style: American Pale Ale Alcohol: 5% IBUs: 35 Serving Style: 12-ounce bottles Availability: Seasonally throughout the West and in some other national markets   Appearance:   “Almost blonde-like, slightly amber.” Aroma:   “Slightly tropical with some hop to it, too.” Taste:   “Pretty malty on the front end. There's a decent, subtle sweetness there. Slightly bitter in the aftertaste. Not a lot of depth to the bitterness, but it lingers a bit in the finish.” Food Affinity:   “Not anything too delicate. Maybe with snack plates including good cheddar cheese and pickled onions.…
Spontaneous Cheer   Lost Abbey San Marcos, CA Style: American Wild Ale (a blended sour ale with no yeasts added) Alcohol: 6% IBUs: Unknown Serving style: Kegs Availability: Very limited   Appearance:  “Clear and golden or maybe a little darker than that.” Aroma:  “Fresh. Can smell a little of the white peach concentrate in it. There's a touch of Brett.” Taste:  “It has that wonderful peachy body or viscosity. Tastes like you're biting into a fresh peach. Good acidity. Lemony and tangy. Food affinity:  “Fatty fish. Seabass. Chicken. Herbed, parchment-wrapped seabass. I think the fattiness and simple beauty of the…
  Local Lager   Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. Tahoe City, CA Style: American Lager Alcohol: 4.8% IBUs: 18 Serving style: Kegs only at this time. Bottles soon. Availability: Year round in Lake Tahoe and other Northern California markets.   Appearance:  “Clearly light.” Aroma:   “Faintly hoppy” Taste:   “Low IBU number, but quite hoppy for a lager. Pours well. Easy to drink.” Food Affinity:   “With some sort of dip or with an appetizer.”     Reviewer Brendan Cooke is an ex-pat who restores Morgans in his spare time.      
König Pilsner   König Brauerei Duisberg, Germany Style: German Pilsner Alcohol: 4.9% IBUs: Unknown Serving style: bottles & kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-round   Appearance:   “Light golden color.” Aroma:  “Aroma-less.” Taste:   “A little carbonation at the forefront. The hops are less than overpowering, but they are long lasting. Food Affinity:  “Fish or chicken—beef or other big flavors would overpower this beer. Spicy dishes might go well because of this Pilsner's effervescence.”   Reviewer Roman W. is a safety engineer from Sacramento          
Primator Dark Lager   Pivovar Náchod Czech Republc Style: Dark lager Alcohol: 4.8% IBUs: Unknown Serving style: 500 ml bottle (about 17 ounces) Availability: Internationally, year-round   Appearance:  "Dark, of course. Almost opaque, but hold it up to the light and you can see a deep brown with a reddish-copper hue. Cream-colored head of fine bubbles.” Aroma:  “Caramel-centered chocolates, toffee.” Taste:  “Fairly good carbonation gives a certain liveliness that does much to balance an overall creamy sweetness. Finishes somewhat sweet.” Food Affinity:  “Brie cheese and slices of liverwurst with pistachios and some thinly-sliced pumpernickel. Or, if one wanted to have…
Sour in the Rye Kumquat   The Bruery Placentia, California Style: Sour Rye Ale Alcohol: 7.6% IBUs: Unknown Serving Style: 750ml bottles Availability: Extremely limited   Appearance:  “Amber. A little cloudy, unfiltered—almost like a wheat beer” Aroma:  “figgy, plummy, jammy” Taste:   “Pleasantly acidic, balanced. Sublime. I think I could sip on this all evening.” Food Affinity:  “Something rich, like a traditional crabcake or maybe with a really good cheese plate.”   Reviewer Rich Blake is a solar engineer.  
    Paradise Road Pilsner   Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company Buellton, California Style: Bohemian Pilsner Alcohol: 5.5% IBUs: 20 Serving style: Kegs and bottles Availability: Year-round on California's Central Coast and in limited distribution in other parts of the state.   Appearance: “Golden/amber color. Nice head.” Aroma: “Slightly floral and hoppy.” Taste: “Substantial malt in great balance with its hoppiness. It's fresh tasting and a refreshing change of pace in a sea of massive, California-style IPAs. Good feel in the mouth. Long, clean finish.” Food Affinity: “Chicken paprikash or dishes involving pork and cabbage. Would be fine accompaniment to a…
  Gold Digger   Auburn Alehouse Auburn, California Style: IPA Alcohol: 6.3% IBUs: 65 Serving style: kegs and 22-ounce bottles Availability: Year around in the Sierra Foothills, Sacramento and San Francisco Bay area   Appearance:  “Looks like a good, solid lager. Good golden color. Nice head.” Aroma:  “Nose tells you it's an IPA.” Taste:  “Corroborates its nose. It's smooth. Still hoppy, but not overpowering hoppiness.” Food Affinity:  “You need something robust to stand up to this. The Gold Digger and Limburger cheese would make a great fight.”     Reviewer Ray Thompson is a retired lawyer in Sacramento  
 Fresh Squeezed   Deschutes Brewery Bend, Oregon Style: IPA Alcohol: 6.4% IBUs: 60 Serving Style: 12, 22-ounce bottles and keg Availability: Year around on West Coast and in many national markets   Appearance:  “Amber or copper-colored. Not too much head.” Aroma:  “Fresh-cut wood. Wet sawdust. Cedary (I worked in a mill).” Taste:  “Definitely has a little bitterness. Tastes like an IPA at first, but it's really light for an IPA. Would be a good beer to introduce customers to IPAs. For IPA fans it could be a good style as we approach summer.” Food Affinity:  “Barbecue. Smoked pork.”    …
    Red Poppy   Lost Abbey Brewery San Marcos, California Style: Flanders-style sour Alcohol: 6.5% IBUs: Unknown Serving style: 375ml cork-finished bottles and kegs (our sample from keg) Availability: Year-round in bottles (hard to find) and kegs (harder still).   Appearance:  “Brown, but with some dark red in there, too” Aroma:   “Tart cherries apparent, but there is a vanilla and brown spice background, presumably from the barrel fermentation or the oak aging. There's complexity here.” Taste:  “Part brown ale, part sour cherries, which tastes a hell of a lot better than it might sound. It's medium-bodied and the…
  Two-Hop   Berryessa Brewing Co. Winters, California Style: American Pale Ale Alcohol: 5% IBUs: 41-42 Serving style: Kegs Availability: This is a seasonal product brewed for San Francisco Beer Week. It is still available at the brewery's tap room in Winters, CA and in a few other locations in Yolo and Sacramento Counties.   Appearance:  “Light straw color.” Aroma:   “Not too much, but there's a very subtle hoppiness.” Taste:   “Decently bitter, but still balanced. Extremely light. Finishes cleanly with a subtle hint of grapefruit.” Food Affinity:   “Fish & Chips.”     Reviewed by Chris Moo, a…
  Dope is King   Brewing Lair Blairsden, CA Style: American Pale Ale Alcohol: 5.6% IBUs: Unknown Serving Style: Keg Availability: Northern California and Nevada and a bit in San Diego.   Appearance:  “Deep copper color with superb clarity.” Aroma:  “Nicely hopped. Hint of pine.” Taste:  “Malty with a hoppy finish.” Food Affinity:  “Would go well with Indian food. There's enough malt to smooth out the spices, but enough hoppiness to bring clarity and enough alcohol to bring eloquence to the description.”      Reviewed by Michael Mallett  
California Dry Hop Lager   Sudwerk Brewing Co. Davis, California Style: Munich helles lager Alcohol: 5% IBUs: 22 Serving style: Bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-round in the Davis and Sacramento areas and in some national markets.   Appearance: “Light, golden color. Medium head.” Aroma: “Some citrus in the nose.” Taste: “Fuller body than many lagers. Crisp and clean finish.” Food Affinity: “Lighter foods. Fish like tilapia.”     Reviewed by Roman W., a safety engineer in Sacramento  
Russian Imperial Stout   Courage/Wells & Young Bedford, England Style: Russian Imperial Stout Alcohol: 10% IBUs: Unknown Serving Style: Bottles and kegs. Availability: Year-round, world wide but in limited quantities   Appearance:  “Dark, dark brown, but not quite black.” Aroma:  “Everything is a little on the carmelized side. It's a little like Pedro Ximenez sherry.” Taste:  “Definitely dried fruit. Fruitcake. Molasses, but it has that hoppy side—that nice bittering, burnt orange quality because of the hops.” Food Affinity:  “Braised brisket of beef.”     --reviewed by Gary Sleppy, proprietor of The Shack in Sacramento  
  Double Tap   Berryessa Brewing Company Winters, California Style: Strong Ale Alcohol: 8.6% IBUs: 70+ Serving Style: Kegs Availability: Year-round in Northern California   Appearance:  “Hazy golden color.” Aroma:  “Citrusy, apricot, pine and grapefruit. Maybe some tropical fruit—mango. Amazing fresh hop aroma.” Taste:  “Nice malt taste with a citrusy/hop finish.” Food Affinity:  “Salads. Dishes with some tartness or some fruity, citrusy character.”     Reviewed by Pete Ricks, CEO of Beer Valley Brewing in Ontario, Oregon  
The Mighty Eighth   New Glory Craft Brewery Sacramento, CA Style: IPA Alcohol: 6.8% IBUs: 65 Serving Style: kegs Availability: Year-round in Sacramento and expanding markets in Northern California.   Appearance:  “Caramel colored. A little cloudy.” Aroma:  “Sweet. Toasty hops.” Taste:  “Delicious. Similar to the Lagunitas IPA.” Food Affinity:  “Definitely a comfort food beer. Fish & chips or any pub food favorites.”     Reviewed by David Mathis, a sales and marketing executive         Editor's note: “New Glory began brewing in 2012. The Mighty Eighth presumably refers to the U.S, Eighth Air Force, now headquartered at Barksdale…
Page 8 of 11

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