Posts Tagged beer week

The Best Week Ever (Day 2)

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SDBW celebration collage 2Happy SDBW!

Ok, straight off the top, I have to make a correction: I jumped the gun and posted some of the pictures under Day 1 that were actually part of the Day 2 festivities. So, here we go…

Day 2 started normally enough. I went for my morning run, came home and read the news with breakfast. Then, after some other mundane stuff, I headed over to good ol’ KnB to see what they were up to for the occasion. They were celebrating by featuring brews from Green Flash Brewing. I hadn’t had anything from Green Flash in a while, so I was excited to see what was on tap.

Green Flash hop head redThere was certainly no shortage of choices. I decided on the Hop Head Red. This double red IPA brings the hops, certainly, but didn’t take my head off with the bitter burn that normally comes with such a big beer. It poured a deep orange-red color, with creamy white head that really stuck to the glass. There were lots of hops on the smell with a little fruit, though mostly floral aromas came through. At first, it tasted like I was drinking liquified hops, as the bitterness about knocked my palate clean out of my head. In fact, it reminded me a little of Ballast Point’s Tongue Buckler. There was little in the taste of the floweriness that came through on the aroma. It was bitter straight through to the finish. Not a terrible beer, if only for the creaminess of the head, but definitely one I would drink only sparingly.

The second one I tried Hanger 24 bourbon porterwhile at KnB was pretty much the Pièce de résistance of big (huge, really) bourbon barrel aged beers, as far as I am concerned. If you like bourbon, which I do, you will like this beer. At 16.5%, I opted to split this one with a friend and it still left me wanting nothing. Well, maybe a little more, but you know what they say about discretion being the better part of valor and all.

This poured black with dark brown head that dissipated quickly and left the glass clean. The aroma was all bourbon off the top, with some spice notes toward the end. I also got some rich chocolatiness, as well. Moving on to the taste, I knew what to expect: bourbon was all up front, before moving to the chocolate flavors and a little spice on the finish . This was likely from the bourbon, not that I minded.

ballast point pumpkin and ninkasi redGood and done with our libations at KnB, we headed inside to see what they had in their fridges. It took me all of a minute to spot the two (yes, I only got two) I wanted: Ninkasi Believer and Ballast Point Homework Series Batch No. 4 Pumpkin Ale. These are easily my two most favorite beers I have ever had (and I am making a note here) EVER!

The red comes from my favorite brewery, so you know it is good. It poured a dark red, with foamy head that sticks around a little while, though not on the sides of the glass. The smell is of roasted malts, with just a touch of hoppy bittersweet aromas. The taste is much the same, with a nice refreshing quality that may have been helped by the slight hoppiness to lighten things up a bit. All in all, a really good beer.

Ballast Point HW PumpkinBallast Point HW Pumpkin topThen– oh then– I came to the Ballast Point Pumpkin Ale. This is far and away the best pumpkin ale I have had to date. None of my expectations came close before trying this one. It poured dark red-brown with lots of carbonation and quickly dissipating white head. It did not smell too sweet and had a little spice and some bitterness that gave me hope beyond hope that this pumpkin ale was not like any other. The taste confirmed that it was not. The first thing I tasted was a slightly sweet spiciness with some vegetable-like bitterness to follow and heavy carbonation to break it up. The carbonation dissipates quickly to allow the light sweetness to come back through on the finish with a hint of warm malts and some lingering bitterness. In case it was not obvious, I really enjoyed this beer. So much so, I am bringing the very two bottles you see together above to Thanksgiving Day dinner in a couple of weeks. A perfect compliment to a turkey dinner, methinks.

That wraps up SDBW2014 Day 2. Check back tomorrow for Day 3 goings on!

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The Best Week Ever (Day 1)

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Every year, the San Diego Brewers Guild puts on a festival celebrating all the magic and splendor of beer, brining together breweries big and small at multiple events from all over the county. Needless to say, I am very excited to hear there is such an appreciation of beer and the culture that surrounds it. I have not made my way to any of the sanctioned events yet,  but I celebrated in my own way.

SDBW celebration collageI started the party at Rough Draft just down the street from my work. I started with my standard Weekday IPA. Then I had two tasters of their barrel-aged offerings: Emboozlement Tripel and Freudian Sip. These are a couple of big beers. The tripel was surprisingly rich, but refreshing. It was sour, but had a nice malt backbone that smoothed it out nicely. That got me ready for the Freudian Sip strong ale. This was like both smelling and drinking almost straight bourbon. It had some nice malty sweetness in the background, but the bourbon was definitely front and center. I loved it.SDBW celebration collage 2

From there I moved on to a local Mexican restaurant named Emiliano’s, where I had my standard at such a place: shot of tequila and a beer, this one Dos Equis (this is not exactly a beer destination, but still good.) Leaving there, I went down the street to San Diego Brewing, a place I am sorry to say I just started going to not long enough ago. These guys have tons of beer on tap and pretty good food. It’s also a great place to catch a game, if you are into that sort of thing. I went with their Grantville Gold, one of the brews they make there on site. This is a good light beer, though not a light beer, per say. I mean to say it is easy-drinking and won’t overpower other things you might eat or drink. It is also fairly low abv at 4.5%, so you can still have fun after you are done with it.

BNS SDBW bandDone with dinner, I decided to head home for a bit to call it a day. Then my buddy came home and invited me to BNS Brewing with him. Well…what could I say? After all, it is Beer Week. So off we went. It turned out they had some goings on for the festivities as well: Grillfellas BBQ serving up some goodness and a live band. For my beer selection, I chose the Gatling Gun Imperial Stout, which seemed like a good one to go with my grilled chicken apple sausage and chocolate imperial stout mini-cupcake. Yeah, it was every bit as good as it sounds…the stout was warm and smooth, but not boozy, despite its 9% abv. It was very heavy on the chocolate and moved quickly to coffee thereafter. It finished fairly clean, with strong chocolate bitterness and coffee lingering for some time after. It would make a fine nightcap and it did.

I had a great start to SDBW2014 and will try to post here of my ongoing adventures celebrating this most wondrous spectacle.

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