Let’s dive into three beers that venerable San Diego brewery AleSmith sent me recently….
Starting with Cloud Stream Hazy IPA, I would label this as medium hazy in appearance. A dark orange color. The can describes it as red currant, mango and passion fruit. I see the last two tropical descriptors frequently but red currant is a new one. But I do get that flavor front and center even though the aroma is fairly muted. Fruit punch plays a minor background chord.
LimeBerry Twist pours with a big pink foam. Lovely red color. Beginners level of tartness. Raspberry and lime flavors mix together really well. Refreshing with a touch of wheat at the back.
KickBackRelax Session IPA really bright light pine aroma to near dankness. 4.2% is super duper low. I was expecting watery but this avoids that trap. Not super hoppy tasting as the focus turns to the malt flavor. Perfect for watching sports without losing yourself before halftime.
Ranking the three would start with KBR move to LBT and in third CS.
I love me a clever beer name and a clever collaboration beer name adds just an extra layer of difficulty but AleSmith and the Weathered Souls crew have cone up with a great one for their combined IPA. Plus the saintly artwork is cool too.
AleSmith has set-up a new nonprofit with a heavy name, Anvil of Hope. The goal of the organization is in three parts, A) assist low-income families facing homelessness B) assist youth aging out of foster care C) help neighbors experiencing financial hardships. This effort from AleSmith owners Peter and Vicky Zien will hopefully spread hope and hops.
Australian hops lead the way in this collaboration between two hop heavyweights of SoCal as San Diego meets Los Angeles. Put this one on the shopping list.
Maybe this collaboration will mark a comeback of the now, gasp, traditional San Diego / West Coast IPA?
If not, it shows that both of these breweries are still kicking and scratching for our hop attention.
I have been hoping to see the return of small bottles (like some of the OG barleywines came in) for a while. Most are probably tired of me whining about it.
But reason to be hopeful as AleSmith is bringing out their Cinnamon Vanilla Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout, in all of it’s 13% ABV glory as well as the 12% ABV Barrel-Aged Old Numbskull, their classic barleywine in what the brewery calls, “user-friendly” 330ml (11.2 oz.) glass bottles.
You have gift box options: 2 bottles of each or mixed 2-packs.
Wine barrel aging has drifted a bit towards sours from my experience but this coming option from AleSmith might be an even better use for the vino.
A good Quadrupel will have a vinous quality and the depth to stand up to whatever tannins are left-over from the wine. Making a complex beer, more complex.
I recently selected a Rum accented barleywine for a “hypothetical” taster tray from Le Castor and now, one a little closer to home is on the horizon from AleSmith. I love seeing anything barrel-aged that isn’t whiskey or bourbon. + love the pun name.
Looks like AleSmith will be canning more this year. And instead of heading into the obvious direction of hops, they are heading towards a “spezial” German.
Will this year bring more pils into the world?
The 7th edition of the OC BrewHaHa will feature an IPA, “Stable Orbit,” a collaboration between AleSmith Brewing of San Diego and Bottle Logic Brewery of Anaheim.
I prefer to not go hoppy for festbeers but if you do, have some different take on it and thankfully the duo do. Their new DIPA features only hops from South Africa. Southern Passion, Afrucan Queen, Southern Star and the experimental XJA2. Citrus, spice and pine dominate but melon and berries add to the flavor mix as well.
Very few cans might make it to so your best bet will be to head to Orange County. Get the details HERE.