Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dogfish Head: Midas Touch

Dogfish Head is a line of beers I'm used to seeing in Philly since it's a Delaware based brewery, but recently they've begun distributing some of their brews in San Francisco. One of their beers intrigued me, since it was labeled as an "ancient ale." This was definitely a genre of beers I was not familiar with, so, curious to see what an "ancient" ale tastes like, I picked one up.

If this beer tastes like anything, it's a little bit like a belgian trippel. But there's a lot more packed into this than your typical abbey style ale. It's a very sweet brew, with a notable honey taste to it. It also has a little bit of spiciness to it. There is a mild maltiness to the beer, and almost no hops to speak of. It's fairly-well carbonated, which adds a pleasant bubbly texture to a beer that is otherwise very thin-bodied. It finishes with a faint lingering bitterness that you find in many belgian beers.

This is one I highly recommend, if only for the uniqueness. It might be a bit too sweet for some, but it's not the kind of sweetness that sticks around on your tongue, thanks to the bubbly carbonation and the thin body. It's mild enough that it's unlikely to displease, and the random grab-bag of flavors might just be the new combo you're looking for.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ballast Point Brewing Co: Calico Amber Ale

I can't believe I've gone this long without posting on an amber ale. One of my favorite beer styles, I sometimes can't resist picking up an amber I've never tried before. That was exactly my thought process when I saw Ballast Point's Calico Amber Ale. Described as a ale brewed in the "American Amber style", I couldn't wait to give it a shot.

This beer fits the brewery's description. The taste starts off with a ton of soft malt flavors. Very light caramel malts fill the pallate which typify the amber ale flavor. The second swash in the mouth brings out a ton of hop bite, which balances nicely with the malts. This 'second taste' is probably why the amber gets it's "American" description as it is still quite hoppy despite not being a pale or india pale ale.
Overall very flavorful and easy to drink. I could definitely sit down with a sixer of this SoCal selection and not get bored or turned off. Cheers

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Moylan's: Tipperary Pale Ale

My first post to the blog last summer was a beer from Marin Brewing Co so it's only fitting that my first post this summer is an ale from Moylan's Brewery and Restaurant. Brewmaster Brendan Moylan is also the co-owner of Marin Brewing and these two breweries, separated by a few miles traveling along CA Highway 101 produce some fine craft brews.

Did I mention it's summer? Oh yeah I did. I'm back in the bay and over my mini self-imposed prohibition: where I respected the 18th Amendment, ignored the 21st, and studied the other 25. Thus, I need to catch up. I've since started my 'training' for Bay to Breakers. The annual race in San Francisco where 'racers' lug and drink beer 7.5 miles across the city. But it's about time where I sit down and write about one of these fine beers I've been prepping with.

Now on to the beer. Before I get to the taste it is worth noting that this beer is alive. Along the back label, is a red stripe that states: 'Live Ale! Keep Refrigerated' Well, after a night of fridging when I opened the sucker it exploded as if the liquid was trying to escape. Sugars and live yeasts must really carbonate the bottle. Anyway, after the foam dies the beer pours nice and smooth with a pumpkin orange color. The taste is a smooth buttery flavor at first with a hoppy piney after taste. A little malts swirling around to top it off. Marin Brewing Company's beers are really piney and this Moylan's aftertaste matches. Overall a pretty solid pale. Very drinkable.

Other items of note:

-All the labels have an Irish-Celtic like label artwork and this name itself pays tribute to a county in Ireland (Tripperary).

-Brendan went to UC Davis brewery school. Props.

-Every bottle cap has a picture of the Golden State and states 'California Brewed'; which I think is cool.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Brooklyn Brewery: Black Chocolate Stout

It's 82 degrees outside. This isn't really proper "stout" weather. But I'm moving out tomorrow, so all beer must be disposed of, and there's no way in hell I'm giving away the last bottle that's hiding in the back of my fridge, so here's one last east coast post: Brooklyn Brewery's Chocolate Stout.

The stout pours out an almost entirely opaque black with a touch of redness around the edges, and minimal head. The taste is predominantly chocolate-smoky malts. It starts off very very sweet, though it's really more of a straight up malt flavor than chocolate. The hops aren't very strong in this one, but there is enough there to balance out the sweetness as the beer rolls off your tongue.

Overall a solid brew, but not my favorite stout. It's a bit sweeter than I'd like, and the aftertaste lingers too long. On the plus side, Brooklyn has managed to mask the 10.6% ABV pretty well, so you get a pleasant buzz without the accompanying taste of an alcohol kick. Probably best for those who like big malt flavors and don't mind a sweet aftertaste.