December 2, 2009
We've come to think of Christmas beer as a tradition, but for American brewers, it's really a chance to show off their originality. Some make sweet, malty ales, perhaps splashed with fruitcake spices (Anchor typically goes this route), while others may make a richer, more alcoholic version of the brewery's flagship beer. (Rogue's winter seasonal is more or less an India Pale Ale, bitter as sin, enriched with a roasty note.) Port Brewing in San Marcos makes its Christmas beer in the style of an imperial stout.
November 25, 2010 |
Green Flash Brewing Barleywine 2010 Barleywines are typically sweet and malty with plenty of hops for balance. This one, from a India Pale Ale specialist based in San Diego, leads with the hops. It pours dark amber with an attractive nose of pine and oranges. In the mouth, it's a riot of flavors with the hops inexorably knuckling the malt under. The finish is medium long and hoppy all the way. It can stand up to strongly flavored foods such as curries. One thing all barleywines have in common is a high alcohol level.
June 2, 2011 |
Enough with the novelties for a while. Here's a West Coast classic, brewed since 1984, when people had scarcely heard of India Pale Ale. It pours lager gold with a medium head and slightly coarse carbonation, and it's definitely an IPA, dry-hopped with Cascade for that brisk piney nose we've grown to love. It does not, however, belong to the later West Coast school of hop extremism. It has a nice round feel on the palate, with a long, long bittersweet finish fading out cleanly on the bitter side.
March 18, 2010 |
Jolly Pumpkin Brewing La Roja Artisan Amber Ale It took about 10 years for Americans to get used to the bitterness of India Pale Ale. How long will it take for us to get used to Flemish brown ale, which is sour, actually sour? Jolly Pumpkin's La Roja is an easy introduction to the style. It's a serious beer, blended without filtering from oak barrels where the contents have been aging from two to 10 months and then bottle-conditioned for months longer. But it's not as fiercely sour as, say, some of Russian River's sour ales.
August 10, 2012 |
Practically no suburb shall be left behind in thriving craft beer movement. The past two weeks alone have welcomed two new outfits to the ale-destination that is the Inland Empire. Joining a region already home to Hangar 24, Black Market, Dale Bros, and I&I Brewing, among others, are Ontario's Chino Valley Brewery (1630 E Francis St, Unit J) and, only about 10 miles away, Claremont's alliteration-friendly Claremont Craft Ales (1420 N. Claremont Blvd, Suite 204C). The latter opens Saturday, and Chino Valley has been welcoming customers since the end of July.
June 28, 2013 |
Drinking just got even more social. A Scotland-based brewery has created what it's calling the world's first “Twitter beer.” BrewDog brewery had its Twitter followers, Facebook fans and blog readers vote on ingredients for a beer ultimately named after the hashtag they used to talk about it on Twitter: #MashTag. Mashing is the first stage of brewing, and yes, the name of the beer was crowdsourced too, as was the brew's label. The crowdsourcing happened during a week in March when the brewery put out a blog post every day explaining the choices voters had. Each day was devoted to a different element of the beer.