Stereotypical California Beer
As I brag in almost every beer I review, California is known for their larger than life, often times super hoppy reputation. I was talking to a well versed beer specialist from Pennsylvania, and he asked me to have him try California beers that weren’t huge and hoppy, or from The Lost Abby and Stone. He wants to try something that would suprise people to know it comes from California. I thought to myself, “Damn!” I am so used to drinking the hopped up stuff from the lower region of California, that I couldn’t quickly rattle off some East Coastish, subtle yet excellent beers. Here is my attempt at it.
1) Bear Republic Pete Brown Tribute Ale – While Bear Republic’s most famous brew is Racer 5, a flower hop bomb of an IPA, they just started bottling a very easy drinking Brown Ale. There isn’t much of a hop sting, and it is under 6%.abv. It is mighty tasty as well.
2) Moylans Brewing Kiltlifter – A remarkably malty rendition of a Scotch Style ale. A lot of smokiness and sweetness, and perfectly balanced. While it will make you lift your kilt, it is very close to a Wee Heavy recipie, therefore I would say it is not over the top.
3) Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale – Firestone Walker throws this ale into its Pale category, but to me, this is a style of its own. Made in Firestone Walker’s Union Oak Barrel fermenting system gives its unique taste. Lightly hopped, lightly malted, very thirst quenching, but not lightly flavored. It comes in at 5.0%, and goes good in a long session or with food.
4) Anchor Porter – A beer to fall in love with. I was taken aback at the $10.00 a six pack price, until I tried the first one. Rich chocolate, cocoa, fruits, and a small hint of spice. Full flavored, but not through the roof with alcohol.
5) North Coast Old Stock Ale – According to my research, Old Ale has loose style guidelines, and hovers in the territories of Barleywine and Strong Ale. North Coast makes Old Stock, and it is quite the treat. Oatmeal cookies, caramel, chocolate, dark fruit, and spices slowly come flying at you with each sip. Yes, it is high in ABV, but it is also a well crafted rendition of a European style. End your night with this fella.
Can you name some non-sterotypical West Coast brews that I could impress my friend from the East? If so, comment below!