When I saw that a strawberry zwickebier had won Gold at this year’s GABF, I knew I would have to look into it. It came from Bellingham, Washington and the Twin Sisters Brewing Company.
Let’s see what else I would order next time I am in Northern Washington State.
Pilsner from Now On – “A brilliant gold Pilsner made in the classic Czech style. Spicy and fruity noble hop aromas. Smooth body and a crisp finish.”
Chap ESB – “Our Brew Boys’ take on a traditional ESB (Extra Special Bitter). With light hoppiness, aromas of marmalade, and soft caramel flavors reminiscent of pie crust and toast, this English pub-beer is the perfect ale for quaffing on a rainy day.”
Shift Bier Dortmunder – “Brewed in the traditional style, this pale lager is recognized for its firm bitterness, soft malt character, and unique minerality stemming from the hard water characteristic of the region. It’s slightly more malt-forward and higher in alcohol than its non-export counterparts but retains all the drinkability of a lower gravity lager. Dortmunder Export Lagers were historically a beer brewed for 19th-century German industrial workers, who would quaff it after long shifts at work.”
Bellingham Green IPA – “ A classic American IPA with firm bitterness, notes of citrus, pine, and resin. Crisp, clean finish.”
Looks like some former Bru-ers are joining forces to form a new Orange County brewery in the former Towne Park Brewery space.
Here is the news straight from the press release: “Running the Radiant Beer Co. daily operations are Managing Partner Jonas Nemura, Director of Brewing Andrew Bell, and Director of Marketing Cambria Griffith. It’s not the first time these team members have worked together to bring an award-winning beer brand to life: having launched brands and driven growth together while working at Placentia’s The Bruery, they are dedicated to creating high quality products and experiences worthy of following. With this new project, they seek to delight, enlighten, and connect a community of lovers of the incredible.”
Scary Pumpkin Ale – “The most autumnal type of beer, brewed in a limited edition together with the concert agency Infinity Concert especially for the “Scariest Halloween” festival.”
Pilsner – “Classic single malt pilsner, which is the base beer for our famous Zhigulevsky.”
Cherry Ale – “A light, refreshing variety with fruity sourness, malt-berry sweetness and cherry stone tartness. The original flavor and aroma comes from a special strain of ale yeast used for the production of lambics and screams.”
Baltic Porter – “For many years the Baltic porter has been the pride and hallmark of our brewery. Created long before the craft boom, ahead of its time, it still remains the standard of style for many. Bright, full grain flavor from roasted malt, light sweetness, moderate bitterness and wine notes in the palate create the perfect bouquet for connoisseurs of dense dark beers.”
Off to St. Petersburg and our second stop in Russia, AF Brew. If you looked at their list of beers, you would think some hip US brewer was manning the kettles. Hazies and sours and imperial stouts abound.
Here is what I would put into a first taster tray…
Black IPA with Warrior and Chinook hops, Bus 22 Czech Pilsner, Double Chocolate Banana Cake Imperial Stout, Hangover Sap NE IPA and then to round it out, Sour Diesel Therapy a fruit and field beer.
I last had a Culture Brewingbeer back in the good times, a long time ago at their original Solana Beach location. Since then they have opened two locations, closed one and then opened this northernmost outpost in busy Manhattan Beach.
I ordered a 4-pack of their Mosaic IPA online the night before but when I arrived and saw their menu board, I sorta wished that I had waited. Then I found out the Mosaic was out of stock. But the helpful counter person gave me plenty of options and was super friendly and by the time that I left, felt like I got a better deal.
My beer buddy got the Keyhole IPA and gave it a thumbs up as do I with the 2x Hazy. The inside was still a little unfinished but that is probably because they aren’t racing an opening date. The space does go back a fair bit to allow either a sidewalk adjacent seat or out of the sun seat when life’s re-opens.
If you are wary of beach crowds, the to-go counter is closer to the top of the shopping and dining area, so you can quickly pop in.
Located in the Jingle Town neighborhood, Ale Industries makes many Oakland’s best lists. Below are what I would put in a taster tray when back allowed into taprooms again…
TURING TEST – Juicy IPA
“Bio-energy brewed and dry-hopped with Amarillo and Mosaic hops to create bright tangerine aromas and flavor on the front and a subtle grapefuit finish on the back. Expressive yeast creates bursting juicy flavor in every sip.”
HOPLESS ROMANTIC – Barrel Aged Gruit
“This gruit spent two entire years aging in combination of red & white wine barrels. Hibiscus and rose water was towards the last six months of its slumber resulting in complex tart flavors and a beautiful red body.”
TOWN BEER – CA Tea Beer
“Bio-energy brewed with 100% pilsner malt plus noble German Tattnanger and Saaz hops to create a spicy and floral profile. Fermenting this ale at cool lager tempratures produces the a clean, crisp, ale you can crush anytime”
LA NIÑA FRESA – Tart Ale w/ Tepache
“Ale crafted our house-made Mexican Tepache consisting of cinnamon, brown sugar, ginger, and whole chopped pineapples. Spontaneous fermentation creates a tart ale balanced by funky pineapple and bready cake flavors.”
In honor of the Portland Trailblazers best player, Damian Lillard, we head to his origins in Oakland to look around the breweries there. First stop is Ghost Town Brewing which is what the NBA arenas around the country were in the second half of the season.
Here are the beers that I would like to try..l
Scumbag Cream Ale – “We did the unthinkable. We canned Scumbag Cream Ale. This humble American Pseudo-Pilsner is our taproom exclusive $3 pint. It’s clean, crisp, and an insanely crushable 4.6% ABV.”
Geisterfaust – “is a specter of bygone summer revelry. Geisterfaust Pilsner is crisp, refreshing, and only 5.5% ABV.”
Idealist Double IPA – “This 8.2% ABV Hazy DIPA is hopped with experimental hop 10416 and Citra, for highly nostalgic recollections of fruit cups and foil lidded OJ. Idealist is the uncanny manifestation of our shelter in place daydreams.”
Ossuary Robust Porter – “is a dark beer for even darker times. Ossuary has smooth, rich flavors of French roast coffee, caramel-like burnt sugar, and a hint of cocoa. Its 6.66% ABV and hearty body were designed to put a little meat on your idle hands.”
Griz Lemongrass Grissette – Traditional farmhouse ale from France and Belgium. We allowed our house mixed-culture to free-rise during fermentation and conditioned it on lemongrassto compliment the expressive yeast.
Persistent Gratitude Sichuan Peppercorn Table Beer – Fermented with our house mixed culture, a bright citrusy flavor is complemented by a floral nose. This is NOT a spicy beer.
DubZ Belgian Dubbel – Our take on the Abbey Dubbel features dark fruit flavors that are traditional to the stylen that give way to the dry finish of our house-selected farmhouse mixed culture.
Realm #1 Cryo IPA – The original iteration of our Extra Special Interdimensional IPA series. Brewed with Citra and Mosaic Cryo hops, this beer pops with mango, grapfruit pith, and citrus gummies.