Beer Review – Single Hop Pilsner – Elixir from Enegren Brewing

Time to see if I like the Elixir Hop. Checking out the latest single hop pilsner from Enegren Brewing.

First up a primer on Elixir from Yakima Valley Hops, “Elixir is a new and exciting hop variety developed in the legendary growing region of Alsace, France. Elixir is a robust and complex hop that offers unique aromas of cognac, leather, and tobacco that are backed by sweet citrus fruits as well rose and lovage. Elixir is well suited for darker styles but can also be incorporated into fruit-forward styles or even spicy saisons.”

This is a really complex low alcohol pilsner. Getting a lot of red fruit initially followed by rose and flowery potpourri notes. It pours a bright and super clear yellow. You can see through it. I am not getting the bigger robust flavors like the cognac and tobacco but there is a real earthiness to it. That said, this is quenching and silky at the same time.

Beer Review – Stratacadabra from North Park Beer Co.

I was quite impressed by a pair of North Park Beer Co. IPAs at a Cellador festival last year, so when I saw that they had a Strata Hop beer, I plucked it off the shelf to try.

This DDH West Coast IPA (to give a full taxonomy) pours a bubbly dark yellow color. Getting a bright lemon aroma. A touch of tea as well. Bitterness is, at first, below median but as the carbonation dissipates it grows. Grassy notes dominate but I also get a bit of Concord grape as well.

Review – Seeing Kittens DIPA from Almanac Beer Co.

Obviously the reason for reviewing this beer is the fact that there are fluffy kittens on the label for this DIPA from Almanac Beer Co. named Seeing Kittens.

El Dorado and Nelson Sauvin are the stars of this show and that first sip of the light orange / dark yellow West Coast DIPA leans into Concord grape notes. There is a nice bitter bite at the beginning before transitioning into the fruit notes. The 8% ABV is well hidden. There is a bit of pineapple and old school fruit punch as minor players in the flavor profile but the beer ends by finishing quite dry.

Review – Rick’s Near Beer vs. Al’s Classic

The very retro can of Rick’s Near Beer goes up against Al and his classic. Who will come out on top?

Rick’s – lighter color with not a lot of bubbles. aroma is malty with a young / green smell. the taste is led by the usual N/A thinness which is followed by a nice crispness and corn flavor. overall a bit bland though inoffensive but lacks the pop that I associate with a Pils.

Al’s – much bubblier yellow which I take as a good sign. quite a weird smell to it almost like masa. this is even thinner but it has an herbal, sweet tart hoppiness which adds a second layer of interest.

I would probably choose the Al’s by a hair. It would have been less close if it had more heft to it and did not have that smell.

Christmas Beer Review – Our Special Ale 2022 from Anchor Brewing

You’ve at least ordered the Anchor Brewing Story, if not devoured it by now, so let’s dive into their 2022 Our Special Ale.

Right off the bat, the 2022 smells really malt. Just opened malt bag, malty. There is a bit of spice and a bit of apple cider here. To be honest, it tastes a little under done to me. I notice a little black licorice note as well. It doesn’t not say Christmas but it seems tilted to, dare I say, pastry stout? Apple cider and a yeasty bread roll version.

Review – Dead Guy Ale from Rogue

Been a long while since I have had a Rogue beer and even longer since a Dead Guy even though that is really the only one available in SoCal.

Here is my review of the Dead Guy variant Dead ‘n’ Dead.

Whiskey barrel chips meets Maibock amped to 9.5% abv. Oak and alcohol on the nose. Kinda hoppy red ale initially before the Germanic influence creeps in. Was not expecting the bubbly nature, thought it would be more placid on the palate. Even so, you can tell this is strong beer. Nothing hidden here. The whiskey chips do their job, adding the spirit without bowling over the beer underneath.

Beer Review – 1970’s Lager from Faction Brewing

This plus sized stubbie bottle brings back memories, of the 1970’s when I was a wee lad in Portland and of my Dad getting a case of some near generic beer like Buckhorn in the tiny bottles.

Let’s see what Faction Brewing thinks the 1970’s taste like…

Pours a super clear light yellow color. Nice foamy head too. Initially a sweet taste. Not as crisp as I was expecting. More silky in texture while still a bit bubbly. Getting some lemon and lime notes mostly. There is a tiny touch of bitterness as well.

Review – Birthday V Cold IPA from Wayfinder with Firestone Walker

Whichever side of the debate over Cold IPA you are on, you have to admit that Wayfinder Beer is the progenitor of the sub-style and pairing them with hop darlings Firestone Walker is a good call.

But let’s dive into the liquid for Birthday V and see what I think…

#5 pours a bubbly clear dark yellow. First sip is grassy and a bit medicinal to me. The aroma has a bit of the cat pee to it while the second sip shows some floral character to it. The bitterness is heavy and lingers on the palate.

I think a little burst of orange flavor would really ties this up into a neat bow.

Anniversary Report – Far Field’s 1st

A great way to finish July. That is the main takeaway from the 1st Anniversary party at Far Field Beer Co.

It took a year but I finally was able to have a drink at Far Field in their second floor space with pretty seafoam green tables and barrels that allowed one (me) to look over the 1st anniversary crowd that arrived to celebrate the brewery among the car repair shops on Rosecrans.

And to start with, Hyper Link their dry hopped pilsner.  The pils pours a darker yellow color with an aggressive hop hit that the style holds up pretty well without tipping out of balance. The draft list was nice and big for the occasion with an oyster stout, Italian pilsner as well as their new Triple IPA, Triangularity.

The brewery section was open as many vendors were open from warm cookies to flowers to tea were on hand.  The music was pumping forcing conversation up a notch and dogs and kids were underfoot lending a backyard family gathering feel to the sweltering day.

The beer line was a bit slow but never aggressively long though a second line might have helped as would an ixnay on flights, of which I saw many.

TRIPA was my second choice.  Both silky and spiky at the same time.  The alcohol was softened though it did have a tiny touch of butteryness to it underneath along with a tropical fruit note as well. 

Review – Unity 22 IPA from Highland Park Brewery

Time to give the verdict on the 2022 Unity beer, an IPA from Highland Park Brewery.

The label has a Muppet feel to it which is cool with the logos on the left but not so much with the reaching hands from the word Unity.

The beer pours a dark orange and right off the bat loads of Concord grape here. A lemon note backs that up. Medium to low bitterness level to me. This review is from first day of release so it was at freshness peak. It is light and refreshing and as it warms up more tropical flavors appear.