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Petrus Aged Pal Ale Picmonkey

Petrus Aged Pale Ale


Producer: Bavik

Location: Belgium

Style: Red/Brown Ale

Alcohol: 7.3%

IBUs: Unknown

Serving type: 11-oz. Bottles

Availability: National distribution in the U.S. through the year, but in limited quantities.


Appearance:  Very light amber

Aroma:  Apple cider, grapefruit

Taste:  Bright, lemony and very sour (that's a good thing!). This is a brew that invites reflection. Savor it. Contemplate your life and consider a trip to Flanders.

Food affinity:  Reviewer thought the crisp acidity would work as counterpoint to chicken prepared with a sticky citrus or apricot glaze or accompanied by a chutney-like fruit sauce. A friend who enjoys cooking and food/wine pairings believed something rich and fatty, like duck or goose, would be good. Website of the beer's U.S. importer recommended smoked or pickled fish, shellfish. Such diversity. But we think it will be fun to experiment in all these directions.

General background:  This product of a family-owned Flemish brewery is matured for 24-36 months in oak barrels.

mug of Dan  Picmonkey

 --Reviewed by Dan Clarke, who had enjoyed only one bottle labeled Petrus prior to this Belgian Ale. That was the fabled Chateau Petrus, a Merlot-based wine from the Pomerol. It was in an era when the current release cost a whole lot less than the $1,999.97 that Total Wines & More charges for it now.

Pacific-Coast-Wine-Trail-Map-web  PicmonkeyNorth San Luis Obispo County features one of the most scenic untouched stretches of coastline in California. Now visitors can enjoy that beauty while tasting some of the regions best Rhone and classic coastal varietals. Six local wineries have joined together, creating the “Pacific Coast Wine Trail” winding along the Pacific Coast Highway from San Simeon to Harmony. The Pacific Coast wineries include; Hearst Ranch Winery in San Simeon, Moonstone Cellars, Black Hand Cellars, and Twin Coyotes in Downtown Cambria, Stolo Family Winery up Santa Rosa Creek Road just outside of Cambria, and Harmony Cellars in the tiny town of Harmony.

Each boutique winery features hand-crafted wines made from local vineyards. “It’s been fun working together to create a unique experience for North County visitors” says Maria Stolo Bennetti, General Manager at Stolo Family Winery. “These award winning wines coupled with our beautiful trail are going to put us all on the map” adds Todd Clift, Owner & Winemaker at Moonstone Cellars.

The Pacific Coast Wine Trail was created in direct response to the demand by tourist to Cambria and San Simeon to have wine tasting available to them in closer proximity. Many visitors stay in Cambria to enjoy the coast and drive 30 miles to wine taste in Paso Robles. Now, with the design of the new trail, visitors can stay along the coast and taste wine from six award winning wineries. The Pacific Coast Wine Trail also plans to offer joint promotions and talks of a shuttle bus stopping along the route are in the works. More information can be had at www.pacificcoastwinetrail.com


Editor's note: If you're planning travel on the Central Coast you may want to check out Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. You'll find links to websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to all the region's wineries. There's even a directory to beer specialists in the area!

Bonfire bottle shot Picmonkey



Producer: Napa Smith Brewery

Location: Napa, California

Style: Brewery defines as “Imperial Porter”

Alcohol: 8%

IBUs: 30

Serving type: 12 and 22-oz. bottles and draft

Availability: Winter season in all of California and about 15 other states.


Appearance:  Dark/Dark/Dark. Big beige head.

Aroma:  Hard to define.

Taste:  Winery suggests trying "our winter warmer--and set the night on fire!" Our bottle didn't trigger such excitement, but as an alternative to sitting in front of the fireplace with a glass of Port, it would be o.k. We enjoyed its warming, malty presence and the coffee and toasty aspects. Subtle bitter/spicy bite on the finish.

Food Affinity:  Chicken mole, chocolate brownies with walnuts, dark chocolate

General Background:  Napa Smith's Master Brewer, Don Barkley, began his career at New Albion Brewing Company in 1978 and was a founder of Mendocino Brewing Company, perhaps best known for its Red Tail Ale, before taking his current position.


mug of Dan  Picmonkey


--Bonfire was reviewed by Dan Clarke,

a writer and editor in Sacramento, California.

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