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Beer Pick of the Week

Twisted Monk   Dust Bowl Brewing Co. Turlock, CA Style: Belgian-style Abbey Ale Alcohol: 7.7% IBUs: Serving style: 22-ounce bottles Availability: Spring seasonal in Northern California
IPA Shandy   Traveler Beer Co. Burlington, Vermont Style: IPA with Citrus Alcohol: 4.4% IBUs: 52 Serving Style: 12-ounce bottles, kegs Availability: Nationally, year-round
The Abyss, 2015 Reserve   Deschutes Brewery Bend, Oregon Style: Imperial stout Alcohol: 12.2% IBUs: 86 Serving style: 22-ounce bottle Availability: Released every year in November or December. Brewery says it will age well if laid away for some time (We’ve not had that much discipline or foresight).
Guinness Stout   Guinness Brewery Dublin, Ireland Style: Irish Stout Alcohol: 4.2% IBUs: Unknown Serving Style: Bottles, cans and kegs (our sample from “draught”) Availability: Year-around and worldwide
Tangerine Soul Style   Green Flash Brewing San Diego Style: IPA Alcohol: 6.5% IBUs: 75 Serving Style: 12-ounce bottle and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-around on the West Coast and in some nat’l mkts
Vienna Lager   Chuckanut Brewery Bellingham, Washington Style: Vienna-style lager Alcohol: 5.5% IBUs: 20 Serving Style: 12, 17-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-around in Washington state and parts of the rest of the West
Anvil ESB   Alesmith Brewing San Diego Style: English Bitter Ale Alcohol: 5.5% IBUs: 30 Serving Style: 22-ounce bottle Availability: Year-around in Southern California. Hit and miss elsewhere in U.S.
Fresh Squeezed   Deschutes Brewery Bend, Oregon Style: IPA Alcohol: 6.4% IBUs: 60 Serving Style: 12-oz bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year around throughout the West and in much of the rest of U.S.
Grapefruit Sculpin   Ballast Point Brewery San Diego Style: IPA Alcohol: 7% IBUs: 70 Serving Style: 12-ounce bottles and cans, kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-round in most of the western U.S.
Yard Sale Winter Lager   Uinta Brewery Salt Lake City, Utah Style: Amber Lager Alcohol: 4% IBUs: 22 Serving style: 12-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Seasonal--December through March—in much of the West
Beer Camp Tropical IPA   Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico, California and Mills River, NC Style: American IPA Alcohol: 6.7% IBUs: 55 Serving style: 12-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Nationwide distribution, but seasonal (spring)  
Black Butte XXVII   Deschutes Brewery Bend , Oregon Style: Imperial Porter Alcohol: 11.6% IBUs: 60 Serving Style: 22-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from bottle) Availability: This barrel-aged version of Deschutes' flagship Black Butte Porter is released annually. Its composition varies somewhat from year-to-year and distribution is limited.
Pivo Hoppy Pils   Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles, CA Style: Dry-hopped Pilsner Alcohol: 5.3% IBU’s: 40 Serving Style: Six-packs of cans or bottles, kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Widely distributed on the West Coast   Appearance:   “Brilliant straw or light golden color. Big, frothy white head.” Aroma:   “For a pilsner it’s quite floral and hoppy on the nose, but in a really good way. There’s also some citrus when you waft the glass by your face a second time.” Taste:   “There’s a wonderful balance here. You still get a generous amount of hops, but it’s offset by…
Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve   Henry Weinhard Brewing Co Milwaukee, Wisc. Style: American Lager Alcohol: 4.8% IBUs: 15 Serving Style: 12-ounce bottles Availability: Widely-distributed throughout the U.S.   Appearance:   “Light gold color. Fluffy white head that doesn’t last too long.” Aroma:   “Some malt and hops actually come through. More beer nose than I’d have expected.” Taste:   “Nice carbonation gives it a sprightly opening. There’s some lemony flavor up front and it finishes cleanly. Not exciting, maybe, but not bad. Actually, much better than I expected.” Food Affinity:   “Little Mexican street tacos with salsa and freshly-squeezed limes. Ceviche. New England-style clam…
Rodenbach Grand Cru   Brouweriji Rodenbach N.V. Roeselare (Belgium) Style: Flanders Red Ale Alcohol: 6% IBUs: Unknown Serving Style: Bottles and kegs. (Our sample from draft) Availability: Year-round, world-wide (though you may have to search a bit)
Calico Amber Ale   Ballast Point Brewery San Diego Style: amber ale Alcohol: 5.5% IBUs: 35 Serving style: 12, 22-ounce bottles, kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-round throughout the West Coast
Weihenstephan Original Lager   Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan Freising, Bavaria (Germany) Style: Helles Lager Alcohol: 5.1% IBUs: unknown Serving Style: bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-round in world-wide markets   Appearance:   “Clear and in a bright yellow-to-light golden shade. Deep white head which settles down after a few minutes.” Aroma:   “Seems floral. More nose there than you’d expect from the appearance. Some malt presence and a bit of yeast.” Taste:   “Good carbonation. Something about it seems so much more substantial than what you’d think. Might not be appreciated by the fans of really big, hoppy IPAs, but if…
Celebration Ale   Sierra Nevada Chico, CA Style: American IPA Alcohol: 6.8% IBUs: 65 Serving Style: 12-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Seasonal around Christmas time in most of the U.S.   Appearance:   “It’s a dark amber color, almost an auburn shade. There’s a creamy, off-white head of maybe ½ an inch to start with. Eventually it dissipates, but seems to last quite a while.” Aroma:   “Fresh and piney, with some citrus that I think is more orangey than like any other fruit. There’s some biscuity and hazelnut quality in the background, too (a little like in…
Down to Earth   21st Amendment Brewery San Francisco Style: Session IPA Alcohol: 4.4% IBUs: 45 Serving Style: 12 ounce cans and kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-round in most national markets   Appearance:   “Amber with a smallish head.” Aroma:   “Hoppy. Grapefruit nose heading toward tropical fruit (pineapple, mango). Taste:   “Citrrusy with some toasty malt and a slightly sweet finish. Fairly crisp with good carbonation. Pleasant drink that doesn’t suffer for being light in alcohol.” Food Affinity:   “Pita chips with a garlicy humus. Smoked salmon spread on Rye Crisp. Oil-cured Greek olives.     --Guest reviewer Lyle Haden is…
Union Jack   Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles and Buellton, California Style: West Coast IPA Alcohol: 7.5% IBUs: 70 Serving Style: 12-ounce cans, 12 and 22-ounce bottles, kegs (our sample from draft) Availability: Year-round in much of the U.S.   Appearance:   “Light amber or dark golden in color. Creamy head that dissipated quickly.” Aroma:   “Pronounced citrus nose. Mostly grapefuity, but there seems to be some tangerine or orange notes and a bit of spice, too.” Taste:   “Strongly-hopped, but great balance here. The malt is very welcome. Seems to be reminiscent of British IPAs, though I know it has much…
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