Review – Beach Run IPA from AleSmith and Pizza Port

More goodies came from AleSmith recently so it is time to take a walk on the beach, I am not one for running.

This time Pizza Port was brought in to partner on Beach Run IPA.

This DDH IPA has Enigma, Cashmere and Sabro hops an pours a bright lustrous yellow. And it does pack a bitterness punch. I get a little bit of catty, a little bit of fruit punch and a little bit of pine as well. No coconut from the Sabro which I usually get. There is a bit of alcohol heat as well which is kinda weird for a beer below 7% ABV. It is smack dab in classic pre-2010 West Coast IPA territory.

The next AleSmith collab IPA will be with Revision Brewing, Split Aces in a red checked can.

Bow & Arrow – First Taste

I ordered up some Albuquerque beer from Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. and it is time to weigh in on…

Buffalo Plaid Baltic Porter – pours a lovely dark color with some lovely foam. Roasty aroma off the bat. Warming with a bit of a peppery kick to it. Quite smooth overall.

Scenic West Hazy IPA – bright aroma when the can is opened. Has that fuzzy fruity smellI associate with the hazy style. Sharp and bubbly but also containing creaminess and lightness. Fruit punch and watermelon taste here in a lovely complicated IPA.

Paradox of Choice Hazy West Coast IPA – this has a distinctly catty aroma to it. The haze is less murky than Scenic West which does make sense if it is labeled as both Hazy AND West Coast. Another sharp one here, the bitterness really leans in.

City Beer Store – Review 2 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.)

#2 is from Hop Butcher for the World, Thematic Glow. Now this is a proper hazy. Murky yellow/orange in the glass. The famed Bedford Park, Illinois brewery has made a double hazy that has a nearly vanilla creamy mouthfeel to it. It is not over the top fruity either, in fact, it is more pine than anything with a real zing of hops. Maybe more Rakau than Citra.

This is a close call but I think the FW is a skosh ahead here with two beers to go.

Santa’s Pint Glass – Day 15

We drive through the valley, staying in the same area code to review a San Fernando meets Belgium winter ale from 8One8 Brewing.

The label proclaims “aged with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves” none of which really stride into frame. This has a St. Bernardus Christmas Ale vibe but it seems to be missing something. The aftertaste isn’t as rounded. A little too sharp. Maybe the 2022 batch will amp the spice up.

Review – Oktoberfest from Athletic Brewing

For a change if pace, let’s review an N/A Oktofest bier. From my go to, Athletic Brewing.

This has a pleasing beer being brewed, grist mill aroma. Doesn’t quite have the breadiness that I associate with the style though. A bit thin and watery. I get a hint of fest but it seems diluted to me. More tea like in flavor. It is a common non-alcoholic problem where everything seems too muted.

Central Coast Okto Showdown

Today we compare / contrast two Central Coast Oktoberfest beers.

Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest, an oak aged lager, pours a pretty orange hue.  You can smell the malts from arms distance away. Crisp with malt taking center stage. Simple and straightforward.  A slight metallic note at the back but this is a lovely fall beer.

There Does Not Exist Oktoberfest Lager is another orange gem but this version is say more silky and missing some of the crispness.  I get an Navel orange citrus note as well that mingles with the malt notes.

Winner – This is a tough call. I would like to merge the crispness of the Oaktoberfest with the TDNE complexity.  But if asked which I would get seconds of, it would be the Firestone Walker.

Review – We’re Out of Dynamite by Great Notion

I haven’t had a Great Notion beer in awhile but SoCal has been getting quite a few beers from the PDX brewery that I thought the time was right for some dynamite, or lack thereof.

You will read about where I bought it later today, but here is the review from me and two fellow tasters…

This was not a well loved beer. One gave it the lowest rating she had given a beer and the other found it not to his taste. Me well, I found toasted coconut big time with a neapolitan ice cream aroma.  There was some tropical notes but more strawberry.  It was almost like a sour stout in which the ABV over 11% does not really show.

It may be another while before I have another pastry stout

Review – MacLeod Ales 7th Anniversary Stout

Time to crack open the impressively packaged Imperial Double Mash Stout from MacLeod Ales

This is a gentle giant of a beer. Pours dark brown in color with just a few, fast dissipating bubbles on top. I get cherry, chocolate and a slight nutty taste at first. This is a smooth beer. The ABV is not showing. As it warms, I get Dutch chocolate pudding with a bit of coffee bean bitterness.

Featured Review – (3) from Ruse Brewing

Thanks to City Beer Store of San Francisco, I snared a couple beers from Ruse Brewing in Portland.

Static Equation – pours a hazy yellow color.  label claims apricot, grapefruit and dankness from the Citra-Simcoe-Mosaic hop trio.  I get a dank Meyer lemon taste with a pillowy feel to it.  Bit of a hazy burn at the back of the palate.

Ghost Coast – clear and yellow in color.  has a good strong lemony bitterness.  lot of malt chewiness here as well. gettin a bit of grassy character as well.

Thought Frequency with Great Notion – lightly hazed yellow color. quite spicy and herbal driven.  light in texture. pine aroma to me.  a bit of a toasted malt character here that is different from most hazies and not what I expected from a Great Notion collab.

Featured Review – Free Wave Hazy IPA from Athletic Brewing

Hazy and N/A? Let’s dive into the next Free Wave from Athletic Brewing

First item of visual business is that it is not holding the haze very well. It isn’t crystal clear but a little added murk is in order. The aroma is very much orange candy or soda. That carries over into the taste which has a pretty good level of piney dank bitterness but I am not getting the pillowy quality that should be in the style. Then the body fades at the end a bit. If this was labeled West Coast, it would get higher ratings but for a hazy, it misses too many marks