Now I don’t normally feature more than one brewery in my themed brewery tours for each month, but I am making an exception here…
For Black History Month, three black-owned breweries — Hunters Point Brewery in San Francisco (aka Speakeasy Ales & Lagers), Oak Park Brewing Co. (Sacramento) and Full Circle Brewing Co. (Fresno) — and another in planning, Hella Coastal Brewing in Oakland, collaborated and developed a mixed IPA 4-pack celebrating champions of American history:
James Baldwin / America’s Native Son Black IPA – Hunters Point
Ella Josephine Baker / All We Want Is What You Promised Red IPA – Oak Park
Fred Allen Hampton / Eye Am a Revolutionary Hazy IPA – Full Circle
Fannie Lou Hamer / Everybody Is Free West Coast IPA – Hella Coastal
Please check out these breweries when you visit the North of California.
One side effect of buying pretty much nothing but 4-packs is that you create quite the colorful collection of snap-tight plastic can holders. Maybe you have been recycling them but another way to help the green new deal is to return them to a brewery. Boomtown recently messaged how they would take them and I have seen that Common Space has a collection box too. Call or message first for other breweries but let’s all pitch in.
I have seen a trickle of Barrel-aged Belgian beers pop up on the interwebs. Not yet seen any in the markets. And the latest to pique my interest comes from Delirium, better known as the strong pink elephant beer. Here is to hoping that they will continue to utilize different barrels.
Ventura is a booming beer town and I finally got to one (Poseidon) that has been around since 2013 and will be celebrating their seventh anniversary in a brand new, expanded taproom, Covid permitting, this summer. I like their branding from logo design to their nautical beer names. I tried a representative sampling with a hazy IPA, a Red IPA, an Irish Red and an Imperial Oatmeal Stout. The Irish Red was the favored choice. The hazy was a little session-y for something 7%, the Oatmeal Stout was OK but the water profile seemed too salty to me and the Red IPA which I was really hoping would be good had a soapy quality to it.
Next up is a brewery stumbled upon by accident in the main part of Ventura, Transmission Brewing is near a couple auto shops but shares a patio with a Toppers Pizza in a really nice, new building, the beers are automotive themed and include a couple of hard seltzers on their menu board. I picked up their DYNA West Coast IPA and found it to be ….
When herd immunity rises, I do want to return to try food and a sampler tray.
I know a fair bit about beer styles and I understand that labels will stretch definitions for marketing reasons but I am a bit confuzzled by this Sierra Nevada label that says both Pale Bock and Malt Liquor.
There is probably a flavor overlap and I am quite interested to try the beer but it seems to be sending a mixed message to me.
Smog City has a lunar beer from their wood cellar for us, “Pink Moon is a 5.7% farmhouse ale with berries and pink peppercorn that is crisp, light and refreshing.” I believe I have seen the moon turn purple/ red but not pink, yet.
Most of us haven’t been inside a brewery so many of us probably haven’t bought much non-beer merch from one.
But if you need for you spruce up your t-shirt wardrobe then you might look into Shirts on Tap. Much like many monthly subscription models that are now available for the shop at home, avoid crowds set, you get the shirts sent to you. I have posted about it before but seems more helpful now.
Before I dive in to this 2002 first edition of Utopias, read on about the history of the beer from noted beer writer, Jay Brooks right HERE.
Reviewing a beer like this is hard. It is not a new release and more museum piece. New Utopias are not done in the same manner and barrel-aging is totally different now than in 2002. Even the naming convention was abandoned after this beer.
But, the beer was due to be opened after nearly twenty years and I need to talk about it. First off, the top is twist off and then there was a bottle cap as well. Was kinda of expecting cork but this was much easier. The first aroma was a bit on the soy sauce side which had me concerned but then wave after wave of maple started hitting the air. The kitchen smelled like a pancake breakfast.
The three main words I would use to describes Utopias is maple, sweet and viscous. At first you get a big hit of alcohol heat but that really fades as the beer warms up. I have had much more hot, cheek warming beers at lower ABV’s.
I gave samples to two other gutsy drinkers and got descriptions such as vanilla extract, molasses, syrupy and caramel.
I now want to compare a newer version to do the whole compare and contrast thing.
Got to practice my cork removal skills. Pours a bright orange / yellow color. Brett wild funk is quite evident. That just opened the barn door smell. Tart punch of acidity. Fairly simple past that. Some barrel wood. There is a navel orange note underneath the barnyard that is quite pleasant.