May 20th to May 27th, 2012

This week, I have mostly been drinking…

Smoky beer

The Canadian popped into BevMo and decided that smoky beers should be the theme of this week’s purchases. The most fun of the bunch was Rogue’s Bacon Maple Ale (beer advocate review), arising out of a collaboration with Voodoo Doughnut… yes that’s right, BACON beer! The pinkness of the bottle, the words BACON and MAPLE all contributed to The Canadian’s choosing of this 5.6% ABV, 30 IBU, light brown, hazy ale. The smell of the beer was definitely on the money (think smoky, sweet and salty) and it certainly was fun and different. However, the taste was a bit too weird to ever be considered a session beer and it took quite awhile for us to get through it – having said that, I’d be up for drinking it again, except next time I’d share it with a few more people in little tasting glasses paired with a doughnut!

Next up was Bayhawk Ales Imperial Brown Ale, recommended to The Canadian by a fellow shopper. With the Imperial moniker I was expecting it to be over-hopped as well as high ABV (7.2%) for a brown ale but it was surprisingly restrained on the hop front (IBU only 18) with a definite smell of bananas, which the interwebs tell me is from isoamyl acetate and is a fermentation product encouraged in Hefeweizen. Not really a smoky beer but we did enjoy it! Finally came the Ass Kisser Ales Porter Pounder Smoked Porter, ABV = 8.0%, IBU = 36 (beer advocate review)… I wouldn’t kick it out of bed but I wouldn’t go out of my way to court it either 😉

Beer around town

This week I was drinking in Berkeley for work-related reasons. Among the beers I sampled were a couple of local offerings. Now, I’m a firm believer in drinking local to properly ground yourself in a place and the most famous San Francisco beer is probably Anchor Steam (ABV = 4.9%), so if you’re in SF, have a pint of this… and then find something more interesting instead. Linden Street are a brewery based out of Oakland, with a worthy philosophy of crafting beer that is true to the early days of Californian brewing, rather than today’s West Coast styles. This means they only brew lagers but fermented at ale temperature (due to the warm Bay Area climate), naturally carbonated and unfiltered. I tried the Red Lager, which was pleasingly coloured and more flavoursome and satisfying than a typical larger while remaining lighter in body than a typical ale. I’d have another one, especially on a warm day.

A Porter from Japan!

Baird Beer; Kurofune Porter (ABV = 6.0%); beer advocate review: This bottle was probably the best of the week, dark, slightly oily on the palate but with an incredibly delicate and balanced finish that fades fairly quickly rather than lingers. It’s a bit light in body but after drinking a few disappointing and over-carbonated US Porters, the bitter coffee/cocoa notes and the elegant finish put a smile on my face. Plus, it’s from the foot of Mt. Fuji and the bottle urges you to, “Please drink contemplatively, Beer Drinker-san”. With that in mind, I’m off to contemplate further…

5 thoughts on “May 20th to May 27th, 2012

  1. I think I had a more favourable view of the bacon beer than you did. The fact that the bottle is so pretty doesn’t hurt it! My half went down much more quickly than yours did! Overall, I would happily sit and drink a bottle on my own, just not all the time. The price is a major factor, but also the taste is very unique and a bit bold for regular drinking.

  2. Letting the Canadian pick out your beers may be a bit of a mistake. But I do like the pink bottle. I perhaps would have bought it for that reason alone. And the words bacon and maple would have sold me for sure. Shall I hunt some up for the next time you are here?

    1. Cheers for the comment – the pink bottle certainly attracts the ladies while BACON and MAPLE keep the Canadians interested it seems! Thanks for the offer to hunt down the beer next time I’m up… but I’m more looking forward to the Mill Street Coffee Porter and the Flying Monkey brews… looks like they’ve been busy making some interesting specialty beers and the regular Netherworld Cascadian Dark Ale also appeals!

  3. I have to agree with the comment on Anchor Steam beer. As I am in Canada, my opportunity to try most San Francisco beers is limited. HOWEVER, I was able to aquired the Liberty Ale (ABV 5.9%) from Anchor Brewing Co. and found it most satisfying as a mid-bodied brew with a balanced craft brewery taste.

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