City Beer Store – Review 3 of 4

Time for another round of which beer is the best! I have four beers to review over the course of this month that I purchased from City Beer Store in San Francisco. (You can subtract the mead, that I will review separately.)

Next up is a muted colorful can from Parliament Brewing in Rohnert Park of Sonoma County. A hazy IPA named Kaleidoscope.

This is my first beer from them and it pours a murky light yellow. Quite fragrant. It has the distinctive fluffy yet fruit hop roughness to it. Has a mix of pineapple and coconut close to a tropical tiki cocktail. Soft, with a bit of vanilla to it.

This scores above the first two with one beer to go.


Infrastructure isn’t the most sexy of topics but when it comes to craft beer, (as in highway potholes) it is very important. Which is why the upcoming opening of Admiral Maltings in the Bay Area is so noteworthy.

It is California’s first modern floor-malting facility and Admiral Maltings “will produce premium malt at their new facility for select craft breweries and distilleries with 100% sustainably grown barley procured from California family farms.”

You can check out their IndieGoGo campaign HERE which will also help them establish a pub onsite much in the same manner that White Labs has brewing at their yeast facilities.

Now we just need a hop farm with pub like Bale Breaker.

Review – Point Bonita from Headlands Brewing

Pt. Bonita a Rustic Lager / Bohemian Pilsner is the second beer that I have had from Headlands Brewing Co. in the Bay Area.  Now I just have to sample their Double IPA, Hill 88 to have had their mainstays of their line-up.

Pt. Bonita pours a very clear yellow with loads of bubbles rising to the top. A slightly sweet bread aroma on the nose. Taste is brusque upfront. A tang of hop bitterness and carbonation that wakes you up. A little viscosity rounds the mouthfeel out. Solid malt taste here. And a little zing of lemon at the tail end.  Quite nice.


Review – Groupe G Belgian RyePA from Headlands Brewing Co.


This beer was part of my haul back from my Thanksgiving trip to the Bay Area.  Just now finding time to squeeze in the review.  All the Christmas beers monopolized space (in a good way).

This hybrid RyePA / Belgian Style from Headlands Brewing Co. pours a dark luminescent orange color.  Lots of lacing left on the glass.  I have never heard of this brewery until I saw the shiny silver can with a simple label stuck to it at City Beer in San Francisco.  It has a kick of citrus to it.  (Which is why the Satsuma is in the photo).  It has a sharp Belgian twang of farmyard funk to it.  They rye gets subsumed by those two notes though it does show up briefly in the aftertaste.  Quite interesting and I am glad I took the chance on the 16oz can.  And I wish I had seen their pilsner, Pt. Bonita.  Because I would have picked that up too.


I was going to recommend the book, The Telling Room in this spot but I am part-way through and I am not digging it.  Not at all.  This book has more footnotes than actual writing and it makes reading a bit of a slog.  So instead, I will recommend that you download and watch the Doctor Who Christmas special.  It will probably be available on the 26th.  You can wait if you wish because the next season won’t start until late 2014.

Food GPS Teaser – Craft Beer North of Here

Tomorrow, as threatened in an earlier post, (Boy am I time traveling) I will discuss some of the NorCal breweries with big reputations and which ones exceeded my expectations and which were let downs. Not big let downs, but lesser than stellar. I re-read the post and thought it might be too much of a bummer for the end of the year, though still informative, so here are a pair of threes

my 3 favorite beers from the trip

Mikkeller Limoncello Tart IPA

Firestone Walker Bretta Weisse

Russian River Aud Blonde

3 new breweries to watch for from Nor Cal

Headlands Brewing in the North Bay

St. Florians Brewery in Windsor

Cali-Craft Brewing in Walnut Creek

and one last great place for beer up North, Belly – Left Coast Kitchen & Taproom


Bay Area Craft Beer for Thanksgiving

Instead of sitting down with a bunch of folks around a turkey and a jiggly plate of canned cranberry, I set sail with beer pilot Rich north to Santa Rosa and beery points around it.

I will be writing about it with a critical eye over on Food GPS later this month (so my thoughts can gather like swallows heading to Capistrano).  But first, some of the beers that I encountered on menus…..


BarrelWorks in Buellton


Stumptown in Guernville


Bear Republic in Healdsburg


Mikkeller Bar in San Francisco


Russian River in Santa Rosa