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Friday, 07 June 2013 01:41

June 7, 2013 Beer Pick of the Week

 

West Coast IPA Green Flash 2 Picmonkey

West Coast IPA

 

 Green Flash

 Location: San Diego

 Style: West Coast IPA

 Alcohol: 7.3%

 IBUs: 95

 Serving Style: 12 and 22-ounce bottles and on draft

 Available: Year-round in California and 40 other states

 

Appearance:  “Clear. It's an IPA, but it's not pale, which speaks to its malt characteristic.”

Aroma:  “Pronounced hoppiness.”

Taste:  “A lot of West Coasts IPAs are one side (just hoppy), but this has a significant malt profile. So it's balanced.

Food Affinity:  “Pork tenderloin, prepared with rosemary, garlic and mustard—my favorite dish.”

General Background:  The reviewed beer is West Coast IPA made by Green Flash Brewing Co. in San Diego. It has spawned a whole genre of beer known as “West Coast IPAs.” Other breweries use proprietary names for their products made in this style.

Jeff Smith mug shot Picmonkey

 

reviewed by Jeff Smith, a home brewer and long-time fan of West Coast IPA.

 

Monday, 03 June 2013 21:05

New Microbrewery in Oakhurst

Southgate Brewing in Oakhurst PicmonkeyFrom left, Lindsay and Casey Hawkins, owners of Southgate Brewing Company and brewmaster Rick Boucke, toast the success of their new Oakhurst brewpub.

Beer lovers have a new place to try just outside of Yosemite National Park. Southgate Brewing Company opened their doors in Oakhurst—about 15 minutes south of Yosemite--just prior to the start of the Memorial Day Holiday weekend and so far, the public has loved the new microbrewery and restaurant.

Owner Casey Hawkins said it’s his staff’s attention to service and detail that has helped them gain a quick following.

“We have a knowledgeable, dynamic team that delivers top notch service to every guest in a fun, family friendly brewpub environment,” he said.

“Our menu pairs beautifully with our house made beers and is thoughtfully sourced, featuring American Pub fare with some exciting twists. Fried Artichoke Hearts and House Made Potato Chips are a great way to start your meal. Our South Gate Burger is made with grass fed beef from Painted Hills Farm, and our Mary's free range chicken is another house favorite,” said Hawkins.

Ingredients are locally sourced, with cheeses coming from local dairies, most of the produce sourced from local growers and even the ice cream for their root beer floats comes from Reimer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream. For patrons looking for wine instead of beer, local Idle Hour Winery wines are featured on the menu.

While the food has been earning praise, it’s the microbrews that many people are coming for, and those too have earned commendation from the public.

“We have the Deadwood Porter, a smooth dark porter with roasted malt and coffee flavors, the Gold Digger Blond, an easy drinking pilsner-style beer lightly hopped and great on a hot day. We have the Sawtooth IPA, A west-coast style IPA with a slightly tropical/citrus flavor and smooth finish and our Glacier Point Pale Ale is hoppy pale ale with grapefruit and citrus flavors and my personal favorite,” said Hawkins.

Editor's note: Planning on being in the Yosemite area? In Taste California Travel's Resource Directory, you will find a link to the website of Southgate Brewing (in the High Sierra section of our Beer listings). Also in the directory are links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options in the area.

Thursday, 30 May 2013 19:33

May 31, 2013 Beer Pick of the Week

 

Censored Pickmonkey 2

 

Censored

 

 Producer: Lagunitas Brewing Co.

 Location: Petaluma, CA

 Style: Red/Copper Ale

 Alcohol: 6.7%

 IBUs: 39

 Serving Style: 12 oz. bottles and draft

 Availability: Year-round in California and 37 other states.

 

Appearance:  “Like a bright, well-used penny,”

Aroma:  “Very light malt nose.”

Taste:  “A full-bodied, surprisingly crisp malt flavor with a very gentle finish.

Food Affinity:  “Would go with barbecued foods—ribs for sure, maybe pork tenderloin.”

General Background:  Brewery says this beer was originally named “Kronik,” but federal authorities deemed that to be a marijuana reference and put the kibosh on it. As a joke they resubmitted with new “Censored” identity and the BATF accepted that label. Ah, bureaucrats.

Michael Mallett Mug May 2013 Picmonkey 

Reviewed by Michael Mallett, a trans-personal astrologer in Sacramento.

 

Sunday, 19 May 2013 18:00

May 17, 2013 Beer Pick of the Week

GK-tap2 Picmonkey 

G'Knight

 

Producer: Oskar Blues Brewery

Location: Longmont, Co and Brevard, NC

Style: Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol: 8.7%

IBUs: 60

Serving style: draft and pint cans

Availability: Year-round nationally.

 

Appearance:  “Nice amber color.”

Aroma: "A little citrussy hoppiness, followed by malt.

Taste:  “Nicely balanced beer between hoppy and malty. Has a malty backbone balanced by an appealing hoppy bitterness.

Food Affinity:  “Would be good with spicy foods. It has enough malt to balance any of the spices.”

Nate Folsom Photo Picmonkey

 

 

--reviewed by Nate Folsom, a wine merchant in Sacramento

 

 

Editor's note: In 2002 the craft brewery Oskar Blues put the first of their line of beers, Dales' Pale Ale, in a can, a revolutionary move at the time. Actually there are many advantages to “bottling” in a can and Oskar Blues, as well as 30-plus other craft brewers who've followed suit, will celebrate the Burning Can Festival at Bohn Park in Lyons, Colorado Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 of this year. We like their style.

Sunday, 19 May 2013 17:23

May 10, 2013 Beer Pick of the Week

El Steinber Single Picmonkey

El Steinber

 

Producer: Anderson Valley Brewing Co.

Location: Boonville, Mendocino County, CA

Style: dark lager

Alcohol: 5.5%

ABUs: 25

Serving Style: Draft and 16 oz. cans

Availability: Year-round in California and much of the U.S.

 

Appearance:  “It's dark.”

Aroma:  "Nose is subtle, but some toasty malt apparent."

Taste:  “Roasted malts give you more of that roasty/toasty, grain flavor that is typical of dark lagers. 'Chewier' than typical light lagers.”

Food Affinity: "Sauerbraten mit Spätzle und Rotkohl."

 

M.E. No 

--reviewed by Michael Eady

 

Saturday, 04 May 2013 21:52

May 3, 2013 Beer Pick of the Week

La Trappe Quadrupel Trappist AleLa Trappe Quadrupel glass  bottle Picmonkey

 

Producer: Brouerij Koningshoeven

Location: Tilburg, The Netherlands

Style: Quadrupel Trappist Ale

Alcohol: 10%

IBUs: unknown

Serving style: Sampled from 11 oz. Bottle

Availability: (Presumably) world-wide, year-around

 

Appearance:  "Dark amber to reddish-brown."

Aroma:  "Fruity, some prune and toffee."

Taste:  "Maple and sour cherries, but mostly prunes. Viscous and rich, yet with a lightness and subtle effervescence in mid-palate. Almost sweet (but not quite) in its long finish. Big and fairly alcoholic, it's a drink for sipping, not slurping.Maple and sour cherries, but mostly prunes. Viscous and rich, yet with a lightness and subtle effervesence in mid-palate. Almost sweet (but not quite) in its long finish. At 10% it's fairly alcoholic. Definitely for sipping, not slurping."

Food Affinity:  "Your reviewer's notes at tasting suggested smoked gouda cheese; dates stuffed with a little blue cheese, then wrapped in bacon and baked; roast pork with prunes, mashed potatoes and carmelized onions. Later he found suggestions at the brewery website to include stews and spicy dishes, grilled ribs with sweet-sour sauce and rich chocolate desserts. Three specific recipes included a venison goulash, doughnuts with pureed dates and French toast with pear and blue cheese."

mug of Dan  Picmonkey

 

reviewed by Dan Clarke, who enjoyed this Dutch beer at the suggestion of his friend, Sean-the-Cop, on the day Willem-Alexander succeeded his mother, Queen Beatrix, to become Holland's first King since 1890.

 

Thursday, 25 April 2013 18:59

April 26, 2013 Beer Pick of the Week

 

Six Rivers Raspberry Lambic Picmonkey

 

Raspberry-Lamic Style Ale

 

 Producer: Six Rivers Brewery

 Location: McKinleyville, CA

 Style: Belgian lambic style ale

 Alcohol: 7.4%

 IBUs: 13

Serving Style: Available on draft throughout Northern California and in growlers only at the Humboldt Co. brewery.

 

Appearance:  “Somewhat cloudy. Not as deep red as Lindemans Framboise, more of a darker, brownish red.

Aroma:  “You can smell the raspberries.”

Taste:  “Dry and light. Refreshing and 'cideresque'.”

Food Affinity: “I've had it with a big pretzel from Freeport Bakery with chipotle aioli and that was good. It would best as a starter or aperitif before a meal. or after dinner accompanying anything with vanilla ice cream."

 

Marlo Beer Reviewer Picmonkey 2

 

                    --reviewed by Marlo Bakes, who identifies herself as a foodie and beer connoisseur.

 

Friday, 19 April 2013 21:02

April 19, 2013 Beer Pick of the Week

 

Twilight Summer Ale Picmonkey

Twilight Summer Ale

 

Producer: Deschutes Brewery

 Location: Bend, Oregon

 Style: American light pale ale

 Alcohol: 5%

 IBUs: 35

 Serving Style: 12-oz. Bottles and draft

 Availability: May through September most of the western U.S. and British Columbia and Alberta in Canada.

 

Appearance:  Golden to light amber in color, lots of small-bubble carbonation and a nice head.

Aroma:  Faint hoppiness with some citrus aspects. Maybe a little pine resin and orange peel.

Taste:  Malt with restrained hoppiness and subtle citrus. Light-to-medium body. The carbonation gives an overall brightness to the feeling in the mouth. There's flavor here, but it doesn't overpower. Twilight Ale goes down easily and one glass invites a second.

Food Affinity:  The “brightness” mentioned earlier makes it a likely companion to much spring and summer fare. Among the possibilities . . . a shrimp cocktail, a Cobb salad or grilled piece of salmon, especially with a citrus glaze.

mug of Dan  Picmonkey 

 Reviewer Dan Clarke is looking forward to more bottles of Twilight Ale with this summer's barbecues.

 

Thursday, 21 March 2013 19:06

March 22, 2013 Beer Pick of the Week

DBA Tap Handle Picmonkey 

Firestone DBA

 

Producer: Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Location: Paso Robles, California

Style: English style bitter/amber ale

Alcohol: 5%

IBUs: 30

Serving style: 12 and 22-ounce bottles and draft

Availability: Year around on the West Coast

 

Appearance:  “Golden brown/amber brown. Beautifully clear considering it's not filtered.”

Aroma:  “Very little.”

Taste:  “It's an older, English style of beer, not one that punches you in the face. It's what an ale is supposed to be—smooth and complex.

Food Affinity:  “It's a very food-friendly beer for richer food. A roasted meat dinner—something with gravy. Or perhaps with mushroom parmigiana or a rabbit stew.”

General Background: Today's Pick was poured from draft. Firestone Walker considers the DBA (Double-Barreled Ale) their flagship product. It is partially fermented in American oak barrels which the brewery says enhances its fullness and “the clean briskness of the finish.”

Dan Scott Picmonkey

 

Reviewer Dan Scott lives in Sacramento

and describes himself as a “Beervangelist.”

Tuesday, 12 March 2013 13:54

March 8, Beer Pick of the Week

Duchesse de Bourgogne pix Picmonkey 

Duchesse de Bourgogne

 

Producer: Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Location: Vichte, Belgium

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol: 6.2%

IBUs: Unknown

Serving Style: bottles, draft and growlers

Availability: Year around in most major US markets and around the world.

 

Appearance:  Reddish-brown, with not-quite-white head

Aroma:  Vinegary, but not in an unpleasant way. More like a good balsamic oil & vinegar dressing. Some fruit qualities there, like cherries or cranberries.

Taste:  First impression is sour (again, that's in a good way), but cornucopia of subtle flavors requiring consideration. There's more sour cherry, but also some darker elements—raisins, maybe, and dark brown sugar. Undefinable herbs--perhaps reminiscent of Fernet-Branca.

Food Affinity:  Maybe matching sour with sour if serving with the German classic Sauerbraten? Would be fun to try with a variety of cheeses—nothing soft, better aged and full-flavored. A smoked Gouda or the Welsh Caerphilly?

General Background: A few months ago Gary Sleppy, proprietor of The Shack in Sacramento, gave me a taste of this beer. It was my first “sour.” It was nothing like anything I'd had before. Since then I've sampled several other sour ales, but this one remains my favorite. The Duchesse de Bourgogne invites reflection, contemplation. Slowly sipping one brings the equivalent pleasure of a good vintage Port in front of the fire on a wintery night.

mug of Dan  Picmonkey

Reviewed by Dan Clarke,

who's thinking about booking a flight to Belgium.

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