Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

Summer has arrived, bringing about summer vacation for hundreds of thousands of people across the nation. While on vacation, it goes without saying to do everything that the locals do in order to get the most out of the vacation. Some cities may have iconic foods to try, such as Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza. However, every city’s common tying bind revolves around their ample beverage selection. Going on vacation without sipping the local flavor feels like going to a burger joint without ordering their fries. We all know that vacations can hurt your wallet badly, so people on vacation may want to exercise some frugality. Perhaps you have not chosen your destination yet? If not, observe some American cities with the cheapest average beer. As an honorable mention barely missing the top five, an average beer in New York City costs $5.20.

5. Miami

When picturing summer vacation, people picture warm, sunny beaches, something iconic like South Beach. It comes as no surprise that thousands of people travel to Miami every summer to soak up the sun, and many local businesses understand the importance of catering to tourists. Among all the restaurants and bars in and around Miami, an average beer costs $5.13. When looking at this figure, it appears pricey, yet it still represents the fifth cheapest average beer in the country. For a tourist city, one should not find surprise in this.

4. San Francisco

When thinking about the major craft beer locales, San Francisco comes into mind as one of the big cities. Encompassing the entire bay area from Petaluma to Oakland to San Jose, the dense population of the bay area lends well to the boom of craft beer. With plenty of experienced breweries in business for over a decade, aspiring brewers can jump right into the industry all over San Francisco. At $3.97 for the average cost of a beer, San Francisco makes for a perfect getaway for any craft beer fan.

3. Boston

As one of the largest craft beer cities in the country, Boston basically represents a pioneer in the beer industry. Home to arguably the biggest craft brewery in the nation, Boston boasts craft beer around every corner as much as Seattle has a Starbucks around every corner. With an abundance of beer, an average beer here costs $3.72. No doubt Boston Lager has something to do with that number.

2. Chicago

One of the biggest non-coastal metropolitan cities in the nation, Chicago has such a diverse population that only California rivals it. The uniqueness of Chicago lends well to its food and beverage offerings, and attracts visitors annually solely for the food and drinks here. Chicago also bears (no pun intended) hundreds of microbreweries, and anybody can easily find one that specializes in certain types of beers. With an average beer cost of $3.56, locals and visitors can savor the local flavor and enjoy more.

1. Los Angeles

This list would not exist without mentioning Southern California. Although listed as Los Angeles, this encompasses Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, and the Inland Empire. Virtually every style of beer exists in Los Angeles, from sours to Belgians to the strongest barrel-aged brews and more. San Diego even represents the west-coast capital of beer, the birthplace of the famed West Coast IPA beer. The massive population managed to drive down the average price of a beer down to $3.24, making the Greater Los Angeles Area possess the cheapest beer in the country based on average costs of one beer.

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Prohibition represented a dark time in American history. The government taking away something that the people desire only sounds like a plot one would hear of in a movie or television series. During that time, underground/hidden bars cropped up known as speakeasies, representing bars stealthily hidden from the public view, known only to people with connections. When Prohibition got repealed, the need for speakeasies diminished. However, the concept of speakeasies persisted, and patrons who appreciated the theme kept them intact. Nowadays, speakeasies have no reason to exist aside from nostalgia and theming, so places that resembles them receive praise for keeping an old tradition alive, such as Speakeasy Ales & Lagers.

As they approach their 18th anniversary, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers keeps the old speakeasy tradition alive by sticking with the theme. Based in San Francisco, locals revere this brewery for not only standing the test of time, but for delivering quality goods to our hands and mouths. Speakeasy has an amazing lineup of brews, all complete with their own art and theme with a story, such as their Payback Porter. Fans of dark beer will love this robust porter, which sits at 7.5% abv. American hops and dark imported malts give this brew its robust strength. Additional flavors in this brew come from English chocolate malts and rolled oats, which yield a dark brown color, roasted malt aroma, strong coffee flavor, and a smooth finish. A solid brew like this drinks well on its own, but for those enjoying Payback Porter with food, it pairs well with sweet flavors, such as barbecue, caramelized onions, or chocolate.

If you cannot make it to their 18th anniversary celebration this weekend, honor them by enjoying a cold Speakeasy brew at home. You can acquire their beers at your local bottle shop, such as Total Wine & More. See what they have in store for the craft beer community by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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. An exception to this exists on Thanksgiving Eve, the day of the year when the most alcohol gets consumed throughout the world. With Thanksgiving approaching in less than two months from now, several beers have made their way to the shelves of your favorite local liquor store for this specific season. If you want to savor the coolest brews this season has to offer, check out these five brews certain to wet your whistle.

5. Coronado Brewing Company‘s Punk’in Drublic

Other than bearing the same name as a punk rock album, this pumpkin ale represents the pumpkin style quite well, but steps it up a notch with its west coast flair. San Diego County never shies away from strong bold brews, and Coronado Brewing displays that very well with Punk’in Drublic. This 8% abv imperial pumpkin ale contains brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and of course, lots of pumpkins. The resulting brew yields lots of sweet characteristics without the overbearing sweetness found in most soft drinks. The pumpkin itself provides its own finish, allowing the flavor to linger for a bit with each sip. People may criticize pumpkin beers, but perhaps adding some local flavor may mix things up.

4. Uinta Brewing Company‘s Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin

Mainstream media has done quite a job over the past few decades of giving beer a negative connotation. Television shows like Married With Children or King Of The Hill depict men lazily drinking beer and performing other manly activities, like gambling or standing around doing nothing. However, the media fails to show the artistic side of beer. The art of brewing requires intense studying and inherent knowledge of the industry or ingredients necessary to brew beer. In addition to the brewing, micro brewery owners need artists to give life and a face to their brand. Consumers will either see a bottle or tap handle first before trying the beer, so a good first impression can influence opinions of the beer. If you seek fancy beer art, take a look at some of the beers from Uinta Brewing. This Salt Lake City brewpub has had a foot in Southern California for at least a few years by now, but most people tend to overlook them for other prominent breweries like Deschutes, Great Divide, or Avery. Although Uinta’s distribution reaches California, they have yet to cement an image of their company in the minds of Californians. This all changed with the improvisation of their themed lines of beers. Each series of brews contains its own themes, but Californians may best recognize beers from Uinta’s Crooked Line, which houses Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin. Clocking in at 10.31% abv, this amber-colored beer yields an aroma of pumpkins, brown sugar, oak, and Fall spices, while tasting like pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oaked whisky. The Crooked Line consists of Uinta’s odd or strong brews that do not fit in the other categories. Uinta strongly supports the local art community, and looks to them for inspiration for naming beers in the Crooked Line. Explore all of Uinta’s beers, and see for yourself how they give back to the community more than just refreshing beers.

3. The Lost Abbey‘s Witch’s Wit

If something does not fit in with the others, do you call it a black sheep or a wolf in sheep’s clothing? You probably answered black sheep… but what if the black sheep holds power over the herd? Standing out from the crowd, The Lost Abbey does their own thing down there in San Diego County and pays no attention to all the other breweries around that all compete for the top West Coast IPA of San Diego. While the hundreds of breweries in San Diego County all attempt to produce the best West Coast IPA, Lost Abbey simply wants to make the boldest, strongest brews, regardless of style. Lost Abbey has personified this so well that any other brewery that also only focuses on strong brews, such as The Bruery, Valiant Brewing, and Four Sons Brewing, may colloquially receive the unofficial nickname as the “Lost Abbey” of fill-in-the-city/county/region. How can you tell that Lost Abbey does their own thing independent of the rest? Take a look at last season’s seasonal brew: Witch’s Wit. For a 750ml bottle, it only sits at a measly 4.8% abv, classifying it as a session ale. Although originally released as a summer seasonal, the combination of coriander, wheat citrus, honey, and oats give it a filling presence, perfect for the Fall season when things start to cool down. Many will disagree with drinking a seasonal beer during the wrong season. That means that the beer has had some time to age. Consumers may age certain beers nicely, while consumers should avoid aging certain other beers. Witch’s Wit definitely can age, but I would cut off the aging of this at 12 months.

2. Speakeasy Ales & Lagers‘ Blind Tiger

When people thinks about Fall beers, they tend to envision pumpkins, squashes, bocks, and Oktoberfest beers. Something about the Fall harvest plus the merry celebrations of the Germans cause people to crave a beer representative of those thoughts. Not everyone thinks along those lines, however. While the hive minds will tend to shift towards what the majority believes, the outliers will scuttle in a different direction, and Speakeasy Ales & Lagers will await those who walk off of the beaten path. Brewing for almost two decades by now, Speakeasy has carved out a solid name for themselves to the locals in San Francisco. From their vivacious brews to their speakeasy-style tasting room, craft beer fans cannot get enough of Speakeasy! Speakeasy does not develop traditional seasonal beers; rather, they have set yearly releases of certain styles, none of which match the current trend of the industry. As such, now in the Fall season, you may encounter Blind Tiger, a complete turn from what many perceive as traditional Fall beers. While Speakeasy released Blind Tiger in mid-summer, Southern Californians recently discovered Blind Tiger on store shelves as of last month. This 9.5% abv imperial IPA represents Speakeasy’s hoppiest beer, with the aroma and taste dominated with four different hops, followed by subtle malts. The aftertaste yields signs of piney, citrusy hops that you must enjoy fresh. If you stumble upon the dumb luck of witnessing this magnificent bottle on a store shelf, do not hesitate to purchase it immediately!

1. Hangar 24 Craft Brewery‘s Gourdgeous

Having officially lived through the Fall season for over two weeks, we can already enjoy the perks of Fall. For example, the weather has changed from excessively hot to the kind of weather where you wear a jacket in the morning and a tank top in the afternoon. Also in the Fall, coffee lovers rejoice over the return of Pumpkin Spice Lattés from Starbucks. Fall in general reminds us all of pumpkins, yams, squashes, and other similar produce. At this time, I would like to thank Beer Advocate for their integral role in this year’s popularization of pumpkin beers with a simple innocent retweet that managed to infuriate their followers to the level of a headless horseman. With the rising desire for pumpkin beers, breweries have to stay a step ahead of the competition to capitalize on what the market demands, and Hangar 24 Craft Brewery took that go-ahead step last year. With as big as a local reputation as Stone Brewing, Hangar 24 stands toe-to-toe with the big guys of Southern California, never relenting in the face of pressure. Their massive popularity stems from their incredibly diverse selective of brews, from the light & approachable Orange Wheat to the bold & assertive Double IPA. In addition to their year-round lineup, Hangar 24 releases a handful of seasonal releases, and will usually have up to three series of beers available at a time. For example, during the Fall season, Hangar 24 will have Oktoberfest, Gourdgeous, and a surprise brew available in addition to the year-round offerings. For now, we focus on Gourdgeous, perhaps the true personification of a pumpkin beer. Unlike most pumpkin ales, Gourdgeous falls under the classification of an imperial porter brewed with pumpkins, molasses, and spices. Standing tall at 8.5% abv, this American porter combines the rich, roasted flavors of a porter with pumpkins, dark chocolate, caramel, and spices. Imagine a peanut butter cup, but with pumpkin butter instead of peanuts, and in the form of beer. I believe Trader Joe’s has Pumpkin Butter Cups, and if they do not carry it yet, they will very soon. Oh sweet joy, seasonal candy you can drink that has alcohol in it? Count me in!