Posts Tagged ‘Anderson Valley’

The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer beers not as rich as some of the winter-style brews. In this transitional season between winter and summer, the unpredictable weather means that we can still enjoy the richer beers typically consumed during colder weather while starting to explore the refreshment of summer-style beers. For the right kind of beer to enjoy until summer kicks in after Memorial Day, check out these five beers each with a unique flavor profile of its own.

5. Surf Brewery‘s Blueberry Wahine Wheat

With the arrival of spring comes the rebirth of many natural objects. Flowers start to bloom, animals start to bustle with activity, and fresh fruits start to appear. The arrival of spring also brings about a change in the weather, which starts to heat up and bring about more daylight hours. This makes the beach a great place to start visiting more often, and this makes more refreshing drinks more desirable. Enter Surf Brewery, who knows that both of the aforementioned go great together when springtime rolls around annually. The beach and alcoholic drinks go well together, albeit one cannot legally drink in public. However, if you get the chance to, make sure you enjoy the Blueberry Wahine Wheat at the beach. At a sessionable 5.0%, blueberries give this witbier a refreshingly slightly fruity flavor and aroma. The light tartness and light body does not attack the palate, so you can enjoy this on its own or with light foods such as fish tacos.

4. Belching Beaver Brewery‘s Horchata Imperial Stout

Almost every brewery has some flagship beer that people everywhere recognize the brewery for. For example, Sam Adams has their Boston Lager, New Belgium has their Fat Tire, Stone Brewing has their IPA, and Hangar 24 has their Orange Wheat. If you ask any craft beer enthusiast about Belching Beaver Brewery, they will rave about the brewery’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout, partially because it tastes more like a dessert than a beer. Like the aforementioned breweries, Belching Beaver delivers a lot more than just their most popular beer. Sometimes, they even make a slight variation of it where the end product tastes completely different, such as their Horchata Imperial Stout. Fans of the Peanut Butter Milk Stout would love this horchata-flavored brew, as it basically tastes like a roasted version of horchata. This 9.0% abv imperial stout contains vanilla, cinnamon, and rice malt just like horchata, only now it has alcohol in it. For a fancy treat, serve this beer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. With Cinco de Mayo coming up, your friends and family would love you for serving this to them to celebrate in style.

3. The Pike Brewing Company‘s Octopus Ink Black IPA

Many breweries have some sort of theme to not only their beers, but their entire lifestyle. For example, Unsung Brewing has a comic book theme, and Florida Keys Brewing has a fishing theme. Sometimes these themes get them more popularity from unrelated industries, sometimes these themes can get you in legal trouble. For those who stick with their theme, it makes for a more interesting experience to indulge in and share, plus it also gives people something to talk about. If you visit the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle, no doubt one will encounter The Pike Brewing Company. This local legend started as the local watering hole, and has since turned into a known name across the country. Pike Brewing gives back to the local community that has supported them for many years in the form of their Octopus Ink Black IPA. A deep, dark brown ale with a dense tan head, this 8.3% American black ale contains bold aromas of citrus, pine, and floral notes with coffee and cocoa in the background. It tastes of a sweet dark malt with a creamy, roasty finish. A portion of every Pike Octopus Ink Black IPA sale benefits Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, so drink up!

2. Anderson Valley Brewing Company‘s Horse Tongue Wheat

Sour ales have risen in popularity alongside standard ales, and they have grown so much that sour ales have their own categories by now. In fact, some breweries grow their sour line of ales so much that they need to open a separate facility in order to increase their production of sour ales. Some of these “blenderies” exist in Southern California, such as Beachwood Blendery or Bruery Terreux. Lots of other breweries out there that do not specialize in sour ales do in fact produce a sour ale, such as Anderson Valley Brewing Company. I always underestimate Anderson Valley because, like another known brewery, they tend to stay in the middle of the fray instead of trying to stand out. Perhaps they do this on purpose to avoid controversy by making good beers without getting the attention of the big companies. This means that Anderson Valley can continue to churn out beers such as Horse Tongue Wheat. Coined as a 5.3% American wild ale, Anderson Valley takes a Belgian wheat beer and ages it in white wine barrels to give it a very slightly sour taste. Although not totally tart, this represents a good gateway beer to segway into the more tart sour ales.

1. High Water Brewing‘s Boom Boom Out Gose The Lights

With all the hype over craft beer in the past few years, some millenials want something different to stay ahead of the trends. Some may think that they enjoyed craft beer before it became popular, and thus they seek something else to try. Perhaps craft cider can come into the limelight? How about lesser known styles of beer? If you want a type of beer not often touched on, High Water Brewing has just the answer. Based in California’s Bay Area, High Water Brewing has made lots of waves up in Northern California, from San Jose to Chico to Sacramento to Alameda and more. Though one cannot easily pinpoint their exact location, High Water Brewing has their beers pretty much everywhere by now, including their Boom Boom Out Gose The Lights. Brewed as a gose-inspired style ale, this 7.30% brew primarily contains apple juice, galangal root, and pink Himalayan sea salt. This brew represents a traditional sour mash with less-than traditional ingredients. This refreshing champagne-like beer gose great with any celebratory purposes for its similarity to other toasting beverages.

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The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer light and portable beers. When pool or beach parties come to mind, canned beers logically make sense; after all, we would not want to risk broken glass in an environment where people walk around in their bare feet. To commemorate the start of summer, check out this special Cans Edition of craft beers to try this summer, all of which you can find at your local bottle/can shop in Southern California.

5. Epic Brewing‘s Brainless On Raspberries

Heading into the summer, we leave behind the flavors that we tend to want during cooler climates, which include “dark” flavors like chocolate or spices that traditionally warm us up. Now we want lighter, refreshing flavors, especially fruits. Regardless of the type of fruit, any fruit can help us cool down, and Epic Brewing has captured that perfectly with their Brainless series. While the Brainless series of Belgian ales comes in multiple flavors, the Brainless On Raspberries highlights the fruit flavoring the best. The raspberries version clocks in at 9.1%, a hefty ale with hints of raspberry and bubble gum aromas, while the raspberry fruit comes out very well yet does not inundate the palate. With such a bold taste, Brainless On Raspberries stands well on its own as a delightful treat to drink.

4. Anderson Valley Brewing Company‘s Briney Melon Gose

In the summertime, people crave sweet refreshing flavors. Most fruits provide this, but some come off as more refreshing than others, especially citrus and melons. Many breweries have started to use watermelons in their ales, including Anderson Valley Brewing Company. People typically associate watermelons with picnics and the outdoors, and Anderson Valley has captured that perfectly with their Briney Melon Gose. At only 4.2% abv, this gose boasts a thirst-quenching tartness balanced with watermelon flavors and aromas. The gentle addition of sea salt creates a harmonious blend of acidity and fruit sweetness that leads to a clean dry finish. Enjoy this brew the next time your find yourself lounging outdoors.

3. Victory Brewing Company‘s Cage Radler

When the weather warms up, we want something to refresh our bodies. Citrus flavors complete this task quite well, and Victory Brewing has a grasp on that. The summer weather can result in strange things, from absolute dry heat to monsoonal humidity to hail in the desert and lots of thunderstorms. Regardless of what mother nature throws at you, you can always enjoy a Cage Radler from Victory Brewing. This combination of a shandy and radler combines the freshness of lemonade with the crisp finish of a lager. The notes of lemonade, lemon zest, and grains will tickle your scent senses. At just 3.0% abv, Cage Radler will make you feel good in more ways than one.

2. Ska Brewing Company‘s Mexican Logger

Summertime usually means swimming pools, beaches, and outdoor grilling. Grilling usually reminds us of meats on the grill, such as steaks, barbecue, and carne asada. Mexican food goes great on the grill, and a nice cold lager pairs great with grilled meats as well, something that Ska Brewing has realized. No stranger to crossovers, Ska Brewing has a wide selection of brews coming out of their home in Colorado, and that selection includes their summer seasonal release, the Mexican Logger. As the name suggests, this Mexican-style lager has a pale yellow color along with aromas of pale grains and grassy hops. At 5.2% abv, the Mexican Logger goes down easy with its light body and nice flavor, making it a great beer to enjoy with your outdoor grill food.

1. Uinta Brewing Company‘s Sum’r Summer Ale

When you crave a drink in the summer time, you want something refreshing for your palate, something that will not inundate your senses. For a crisp, refreshing summertime ale, take a look at what Uinta Brewing has. Despite their location in a cold area, Uinta has a history of great beers and awards to prove it. They recently just put out their summer seasonal beer, Sum’r Summer Ale. This organic ale pours a nice golden body made with light malts and Sorachi hops, an uncommon hop from Japan. At only 4.0% abv, the clean citrusy flavor makes it a great ale to enjoy poolside or anywhere else out in the sun.

The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer full-bodied beers. While fall should tune the weather down a bit, Southern California remains hot as ever. Tons of pumpkin beers start to surface around this time, and perhaps the people have gotten tired of seeing pumpkin beers everywhere. However, some breweries continue to brew new pumpkin beers, reimagining how we will perceive these fall-style beers. If you still have room for pumpkin beer in your system, read on for five fall beers that I recommend trying this season, all of which you can find at your local bottle shop throughout Southern California.

5. Elysian Brewing‘s Punkuccino Coffee Pumpkin Ale

This past year, a series of “sellouts” have rocked America’s craft beer industry, as the big companies start to fear the rising power of microbreweries. Craft beer has reached an all-time high as far as popularity and sales go, and the big companies view craft beer as a threat, and has started to buy out (or partially buy) some of the more popular microbreweries. Though these sellouts routinely occur year to year, perhaps the role of the catalyst for this year’s tumble belongs to Elysian Brewing. I remember visiting one of Elysian’s locations in Seattle two years ago, and I instantly fell in love with their tasting room and brew selection. Now just because they now belong to a large corporation does not mean I like their beers any less. Elysian still produces some amazing beers, such as their Punkuccino Coffee Pumpkin Ale. At only 5.0% abv, this brew carries aromas of coffee, light pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spices with notes of toasty malts that join the flavor chorus of Stumptown coffee and pumpkin. Seattle breweries love their pumpkin beer, and Seattleites love their coffee, so why not combine the two?

4. Anderson Valley‘s Pinchy Jeek Barl

As much as I love craft beer, I do not possess a wealth of knowledge about the history of it. While I cannot explain the origins of aging beer in barrels, I along with countless others appreciate whomever discovered the process of barrel-aging beers. With this process, the majority of breweries around the world now have at least one barrel in their brewery holding a brew that will turn out mature, tasty, and stronger. If you intend to try a barrel-aged beer this season, look towards Anderson Valley. I always underestimate Anderson Valley because, like another known brewery, they tend to stay in the middle of the fray instead of trying to stand out. Perhaps they do this on purpose to avoid controversy by making good beers without getting the attention of the big companies. This means that Anderson Valley can continue to churn out beers such as Pinchy Jeek Barl. Barrel-aged for six months in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels, this 8.5% pumpkin ale delivers a silky body and sweet caramel flavors with additions of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice complementing hints of coconut, bourbon, and vanilla imparted by oak aging. Following a wallop of a body, this brew finishes smooth and creamy. I strongly suggest sharing this bottle with a friend or two – finishing an entire bottle in one sitting will give you an early night.

3. Epic Brewing‘s Fermentation Without Representation

Ever since I discovered Epic Brewing‘s Exponential Series, I have yet to experience disappointment with any of their beers. Epic Brewing truly lives up to their name with the beers that they continually push out, and other breweries recognize the quality behind Epic. For this year’s batch of Fermentation Without Representation, Epic Brewing collaborated with DC Brau to brew this bold 8.0% abv beer with loads of seasonal spices & flavors with a delicate balance of malts, hops, and pumpkin. This beer explodes with aromas of sweet spices giving way to chocolate, roasted malt, fresh-cut pumpkin, clove, fresh Madagascar vanilla beans, nutmeg, and allspice. Not for the faint of heart, Fermentation Without Representation goes all-in with its flavor, leaving nothing to the imagination. If you seek something bold to close your night, look no further than Epic Brewing’s Fermentation Without Representation.

2. Stone Brewing Co.‘s Vertical Epic 08.08.08

Approaching two decades in the industry, Stone Brewing shows no signs of waning, despite co-founder Greg Koch stepping down from the CEO position. To commemorate 20 years in the craft beer industry, Stone Brewing will launch their 20th Anniversary Encore Series, a lineup of beers that celebrate Stone Brewing’s amazing history and their incredible lineup of memorable beers that have since retired. To kick off this series, Stone Brewing has brought Vertical Epic 08.08.08 out of retirement to once again tackle our taste buds. This 8.9% Belgian-style IPA uses a Belgian yeast strain during fermentation to provide a complex aroma of clove, pepper, and tropical fruits to generate a flavor profile composed of banana, spice, and citrus. Just like many did in 2008, you can enjoy this brew fresh or cellar it to enjoy a smoother and more mature flavor – I suggest not exceeding three years with this one. Keep an eye on Stone Brewing during this next year as they release other anniversary ales and collaboration ales on the road to the 20th anniversary celebration in August next year.

1. Howe Sound Brewing‘s Pumpkineater

Just because the United States has just exceeded 4,000 breweries does not mean that other countries cannot enjoy the fun as well. A handful of European countries thrive with their precious beers, and even Canada loves their beer. Up in British Columbia not too far past the Washington state border lies the Howe Sound, and at the far end in the area known as Squamish lies a local brewery & inn called Howe Sound Brewing. Basically a bed & breakfast (BnB), this brewery and inn in one allows visitors to come enjoy all the brews offered by Howe Sound Brewing, and stay the night to avoid any drunken mishaps at the end of the day. Howe Sound Brewing delivers a solid lineup of brews typical of any microbrewery, plus some unique seasonal brews, such as their fall seasonal imperial pumpkin ale, the Pumpkineater. Howe Sound Brewing brews this high-gravity pumpkin ale with barley, fresh-roasted pumpkin, hops, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise, resulting in an 8.0% abv beer low in IBUs. Sold in 33.8oz bottles, each bottle can serve two to four people. If you need a craft beer to serve to a party this season, make sure you grab some Pumpkineater from your local bottle shop.