Sweet Sixteen Brewery # 1 – 1912 Brewing

The quick among you will be able to guess the mis-direction once I say that 1912 Brewing is based on Tucson, Arizona. No, not talking about the Men’s Sweet Sixteen but rather the Women’s being played in San Antonio. We start with the Arizona Wildcats and a surprising run from the PAC 12 to the title game.

Let’s take a look at the beers…

1730 Lager – “1730 is an artisanal lager made with American hops, a touch of rye malt, and heaps of pilsner malt. Aromas of a traditional German pilsner and tasting notes of tropical and citrus fruits, a touch of rye spiciness, and a subtle hop finish. Brewed with our friends at the JW Marriott Starr Pass…”

Adapt IPA – “The second of 3 newly formulated Hazy IPA’s based upon the fighting spirit and training of the United States Marine. Adapt uses Cashmere, Mosaic, and Idaho 7.”

Este Way Gose – “A Gose with a pleasant tangerine and orange zest aroma. Reminisce your favorite Margarita’s with this one, Este Way has a tart lime flavor, that finishes nice and dry.”

The Clurichaun Stout – “Enticing you with a sweet creamy aroma. As you take your first sip, you’re tricked with immense dark chocolate and coffee, smoothing into mouth-watering Irish Whiskey”

Nitro Brewery #3 – Modern Times

We end our March survey of Nitro with Modern Times who only entered this style when they could nitrogenate their beers in the brite tank. They started with their Black House beer and they also do their City of the Dead stout. Vanilla latte, coconut and coffee are all variants you could try and they also do Nitro canned coffee to start your day.

Here are some other beers from MT that caught my eye…

Bobcat Danger – “This preposterously tasty Berliner is a collab between our Portland brewing ninjas and the excellent people at Bottle Logic. Stuffed to the gills with rhubarb, black raspberries, blackberries, coconut, and vanilla, this tart, funky fruit-fest sports intense tartness from the rhubarb, followed by delicious berry notes and creamy coconut & vanilla. It’s like a liquid slice of blackberry pie with a dollop of whipped cream on top.”

Foeder Ice – “Our year-round pilsner spent two and a half glorious months in our heavy-toast American oak foeders before a generous dry-hopping with Motueka & Hallertauer Blanc. The resulting beverage is a deliciously complex 4.8% bundle of citrusy joy with delicate notes of lemongrass chamomile and vanilla.”

Green Futures – “This transcendently refreshing hazy IPA started with a base of pilsner malt and some flaked & malted oats. Then, we hopped the bejeezus out of it with Nelson, Strata, Centennial, & Simcoe hops, yielding a ridiculously tasty straw-colored beverage with notes of pineapple candied berries, and a touch of honeydew.”

Nitro Brewery # 2 – Vault Brewing Co.

Our next stop in Nitroville is in Pennsylvania and Vault Brewing. Let’s dive in to some currently offered beers before heading to a couple nitro examples.

EVERNACHT – “this black lager greets the nose with herbal hops and hints of baker’s chocolate. flavors of toasted crackers and juniper sap waltz across the tongue and are tied together with a crisp and distinctively noble hop bitterness.”

IRISH POTATO STOUT – “our bear hug oatmeal stout conditioned on coconut & cinnamon.”

Now on to nitro, there is the Nitro Can Coffee Stout ( experiment no. 003), Sweet Potato Ale and a Rye Pale Ale All In widget-less cans.

Nitro Brewery # 1 – Left Hand Brewing

The theme for the brewery tour this month is meant as a starting off point. Which breweries have a well known nitro offering and from there talk all of their beers. So we start with the most known in my book, Left Hand Brewing.

Perusing their tap list, I see quite a few Nitro options such as Galactic Cowboy Imperial Stout, Milk Stout and Flamingo Dreams Berry Blonde but let’s have the following in a taster tray…

1265 Pilsner – “Crisp & lively with delicate citrus hops and light bready malts.”

Fade to Black Foreign Stout – “3x Gold Medal winner a time the Greatest American Beer Festival in the Foreighn-style Stout category”

Pint of Paradise Sour NE IPA – “From the Brewer, Tanner: The heart of this beer is the experimental yeast, Lallemand’s Philly Sour, which naturally produces lactic acid during fermentation. Light body, slight haze, Citra & Galaxy hop aromas of tropical fruit & a tart, juicy mouthfeel.”

Found Fortune DIPA – “A treasure trove of tropical fruit & citrus from El Dorado, Galaxy, Citra, Comet & Cascade hops.”

CA Craft Beer Week Brewery # 3 + Black History Month

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.

CA Craft Beer Week Brewery # 2 – Shadow Puppet Brewing

The second stop of the short month is to Livermore and Shadow Puppet Brewing Company from whom I received a Strong Beer Sampler Six-Pack. Two of whichever I have already tasted and have ranked higher than average especially for a brewery that I knew nothing about.

But let’s talk some of their lighter beers today…

Cinch Vanilla Cream Ale – “Very light with a smooth drinkability at the forefront w/ hint of vanilla on the finish.

Pipe Down German Pilsner – “Crisp & bright golden pilsner brewed with noble Hallertau hops. Floral undertones.”

Over the Rubicon Blonde Ale – “A light, refreshing & flavorful blonde ale with notes of citrus & melon.”

CA Craft Beer Week Brewery # 1 -Gilman Brewing

Our initial CA Craft Beer Week stop is in Berkeley and Gilman Brewing Company. Let’s virtually step inside and try these beer descriptions on for size…

Blackberry Barillet– “A medium bodied saison made with our house yeast strain. Fermented until it’s nice and dry, and then aged in oak barrels with blackberries. A secondary fermentation in the barrel allows for a wonderful, tart, dry finish.  The aroma of oak and blackberries make this ruby hued offering perfect for anyone who loves wine as much as our craft beer.”

Belgian Quad – “This beer was brewed with all local malt from Admiral Maltings in Alameda. The grain bill included Admiral Pils, Admiral Caramel 35, and Admiral Red.”

Box of Fluffies – “A hazy, juicy glass of New Zealand’s finest Motueka hops. Smooth, cream body, soft malt notes with a massive tropical aroma and citrus notes of orange, lemon and lime.”

5W30 Stout – “Bourbon barrel-aged for one year at time of bottling. A monster imperial stout with a thick, creamy, inky black body and a brown creamy head.  Rich aromas of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, toffee, bourbon, and dark roasted malt.  Luxurious flavors of bittersweet chocolate, toffee, and round roasted malt; subtle notes of vanilla, oak, tannins, and bourbon from twelve months in bourbon barrels round it out for a silky smooth finish.”

1st Visit – All Seasons Brewing

Crazy to think that breweries have been opening in this post inaugural less crazy time. But they have been and I made a quick first can release visit under cloudy L.A. skies to All Seasons Brewing.

The corner lot is just south of Wilshire in the middle of a flurry of subway and condo activity. It has a big outdoor but covered patio and some colorful murals (not to my taste) on one side near medium sized silo. Obviously indoors was shut but there was a line forming at the stroke of noon when they opened to sell their first three beers. Pilsner, lager and West Coast IPA. I would like to have seen something a little more left field for the third beer. A Belgian Tripel or hoppy red ale and I am not a fan of the branding design. I would lean more into the old-time race car aesthetic. All Season has a tire tie-in but I would have gone with some racing term instead.

But what about the beer, you say? The Pilsner defeated the Bullitt IPA but both could use a bit of tweaking to make them really sing. The Pilsner water profile was a little off key to me and the IPA was fine but is currently middle of the pack in a competitive style.

Hope to Visit Brewery # 3 – de Garde Brewing

I had to include at least one Oregon brewery for this bucket list month and I don’t think that very many people could argue with the destination of de Garde Brewing in Tillamook on the coast.

I have chosen a few beers from a recent bottle list on their website that I believe should not be missed…

Première Desay– “A Spontaneous Farmhouse Ale Aged in Oak Barrels for Eighteen Months”

The Maison – “A Spontaneous Wild Ale Aged in Oak Barrels, Blended from Three Years”

The Sixth Peach – “A Spontaneous Wild Ale with White Saturn Peaches, Aged in Oak Barrels for Two Years”

The Purple – “A Spontaneous Wild Ale with Black & Red Raspberries, Aged in Oak Barrels for Two Years”

Hope to Visit Brewery # 2 – Jester King

Jester King Brewery not only has widely renowned beers but they also have a farm, a kitchen and lodging, so of course it belongs on any beer fans bucket list to make a visit to Texas.

Here are a few of the beers that I would sample…

Grim Harvest – farmhouse ale fermented with blackberries

Figlet – farmhouse ale with smoked figs. collaboration with Franklin Barbecue

Dry Hopped Oat Saison – dry-hopped oat saison fermented with yeast harvested near Big Bend national park

and to top it off, a few tasters of their Spon series of beers.