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Posts Tagged beer of the week

Beer of the Week: SouthNorte Sea Señor Mex Lager

Sep 22

Sea Señor Mexican-style lager from SouthNorte Brewing Company

From the Beer Writer: If there’s any gringo brewer that’s going to do right by both San Diego and Baja, it’s Ryan Brooks. He has lived a cross-cultural life, residing in Tijuana and working with brewers spanning as far east as Mexicali, soaking up the cross-border brewing culture along the way. Brooks is so enamored with the exciting things happening in his adopted region’s brewing scene that his new business, SouthNorte Beer Company (a spin-off brand of parent-operation Coronado Brewing Company), aims to celebrate the flavors and ingredients of Mexico along with the personal brewing heritage he amassed in Southern California. A key component to doing so is forging a flagship Mexican-style lager, and Brooks has done so with SouthNorte Sea Señor. Rather than rely on bells, whistles and adjuncts to add extra character, this inaugural 4.5% alcohol-by-volume offering is as true-to-form as it gets, relying on traditional ingredients to produce a crystal-clear, clean and incredibly refreshing beer. Tinged with the slightest bit of sweetness and complimentary herbal notes (think thyme and marjoram), it has what it takes to serve as an ambassador to the glories of craft beer for Latinos, who until recently, haven’t been marketed to all that well nor given much reason to give locally produced ales and lagers a shot. That changes here and now. Viva la revolución de la cerveza artesanal!

From the Brewers: “Sea Señor is the flagship beer that really kickstarted the idea of SouthNorte Beer Co. I was experimenting with the flavors and ingredients of Mexico, and brewing my take on a Mexican lager. I wanted something refreshing and easy to drink—like the beers I was enjoying in Baja—but brewed locally with quality ingredients. I use crisp pilsner malt and a classic yeast strain to get the smoothness typical of the style, but with a fuller flavor. We use European Noble hops at low hopping rates so the beer is balanced but not overly bitter. We then lager for three weeks so the beer is incredibly smooth and goes down easy, whether it’s by the pool or over a meal with friends. I’m excited for people to experience what SouthNorte is all about. Sea Señor is just the first of what’s to come—I am so inspired by our border culture and I can’t wait to brew recipes that showcase our ‘crossroads of cultures’ style.”Ryan Brooks, Founder/Head Brewer, SouthNorte Beer Company

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Beer of the Week: Resident Everyday California IPA

Sep 15

Everyday California IPA from Resident Brewing Company

From the Beer Writer: The week before last, I wrote about the San Diego Tourism Authority teaming up with Bay City Brewing Company to create an official beer for San Diego. Backed by the SDTA’s powerful marketing engine, that brew received a great deal of press. Bonus, it tasted really good, too! Carrying the name and reputation of a beer Mecca isn’t easy, especially San Diego, so props to Bay City for coming through. Ditto Resident Brewing Company, which recently teamed with La Jolla-based ocean-adventure apparel company Everyday California to produce a “California-inspired” India pale ale (IPA). Considering ours is considered the finest of the 50 states where the manufacture of hoppy beers is concerned, that’s a tall order, especially since IPA styles are different from NorCal to the Central and Southern regions. Modern Cali drinkers are all about the “juicy” flavors of citrus, stone and tropical fruits, but it’s massively piney beers that first brought IPA to prominence. Knowing this, head brewer Robert Masterson and company combined both of these eras in Resident Everyday California IPA, which comes across like many IPAs you’ve likely had before…and that’s a good thing. It’s the whole point when trying to epitomize such a vast and vibrant beer region. Aromas of pine cone, passion fruit, papaya and dewy grass transition to flavors of clementine, peach and more passion fruit followed by a lightly resinous tail-end bitterness. It may not be the official beer of the Golden State, but the Resident team clearly approached the creation of this beer as thought it would be.

From the Brewer: “Everyday California is a traditional West Coast-style India pale ale. This hoppy yet surprisingly drinkable beer is a throwback to when hops from the Pacific Northwest dominated the craft-beer scene. It has a medium body with a light malt backbone, and was brewed with Eureka, Amarillo and Columbus hops for a tropical-fruit aroma with hints of pine and citrus. At Resident, we always hope people feel like they are a part of our brewery family…a ‘resident.’ To do that, we work hard to create a relaxed, inviting atmosphere and tasting experience. Our collaborators at the San Diego-based outdoor adventure and apparel company, Everyday California, embody that same family-like, relaxed vibe, so this IPA speaks to the family of outdoor adventure lovers that they have created.”Craig Nelson, Brewer, Resident Brewing Company

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Beer of the Week: Mother Earth Say When IPA

Sep 8

Say When IPA from Mother Earth Brew Co.

From the Beer Writer: With so many different beers on store shelves, it can be challenging for consumers to know which best fits their personal tastes. This is particularly true of India pale ales. Thanks to the ever-growing abundance of hops both Old and New World, IPAs have a broader spectrum of flavors than ever before. Many brewing companies seek to explain the palate characteristics of their beers by including descriptors on their bottles and cans. Pine, citrus and tropical are some of the most common, but some go far beyond the adjective box. This is true of Vista’s Mother Earth Brew Co., which recently released an IPA as part of its Resonator Series with the following flavor breakdown: gooseberry pie, passion fruit meringue, tea leaf. I’ve experienced earthy, tea-like nuances in beers before, particularly those made with English hop varietals, but those dessert-y assessments I have as of yet only found in certain sour ales and saisons. After thoroughly analyzing Mother Earth Say When IPA, I can’t say I picked up the tartness of gooseberries or passion fruit, but given its bounty of more common citrus flavors—Naval orange, grapefruit, lemon rind—and enjoyably balancing herbal accents (tea leaf, indeed), it in no way took away from this well-crafted beer.

From the Brewer: “Say When is a culmination of improved hop availability and experimentation over the last few years. We wanted an IPA that showcased lower IBUs (international bittering units) with tropical and juicy notes drinkers are craving these days, especially with the advent of ‘hazy’ IPAs. When we think ‘juicy’, Galaxy and Citra immediately come to mind, and after a very successful release of our 100% Idaho 7 wet-hop beer last year, which had huge papaya and guava flavor and aroma, we knew how to knock Say When out of the park. A higher-ABV (7.5% alcohol by volume), light malt backbone and heavy-handed hop additions throughout the brew process produce an easy-drinking, juicy IPA that is not only clear (not hazy) but demands you know how to ‘say when.'”Chris Baker, Head Brewer, Mother Earth Brew Co.

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Beer of the Week: Bay City Anniversary IPA

Sep 1

Bay City Brewing Company’s Anniversary IPA

From the Beer Writer: It’s been a quick but fruitful two years for Lomaland’s Bay City Brewing Company, especially over the past two months. In July, they debuted a beer brewed to represent our suds-centric region in collaboration with the San Diego Tourism Authority, and earlier this month they opened Suite C, a private-event and overflow space in the industrial unit abutting their brewery. Its first event, a free comedy night, was so well attended they ran out of seating in less than half an hour. Not to be lost in these high-profile initiatives is last weekend’s second-anniversary festivities, which were toasted with a celebratory invention: Bay City Anniversary IPA. Coming in at 6.8% alcohol-by-volume, the beer feels like a throwback with plenty of evergreen character intermingled with soft peach, mango and papaya flavors, all of which come across as though the fruits have been caramelized thanks to a substantial malt-bill that brings in a bit of East-Coast appeal (circa early-2000 versus the ever-hazy present day). Rich and substantial, it feels bigger than it is and has a decadent feel worthy of a brewery birthday.

From the Brewer: “Our second Anniversary IPA is a golden-pale-colored ale featuring the recently released Idaho 7 hop. This hop varietal offers a pungent, fruity aroma and flavor with notes of papaya and sweet lemon. The bitterness is restrained, which creates a refreshing beer that can be enjoyed during the final weeks of summer. Thanks for another great year and here’s to many more to come!”Chris West, Head Brewer, Bay City Brewing Company

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Beer of the Week: Chula Vista Third Avenue Coffee Porter

Aug 25

Third Avenue Coffee Porter from Chula Vista Brewery

From the Beer Writer: Growing up in Chula Vista, I spent a great deal of time on Third Avenue. It’s where I bought my first guitar, saw many a discount movie at The Vogue theater and ate countless slices of post-Little-League pizza interspersed with riveting tabletop Ms. Pac-Man matches. Since moving away in my elementary school days, I hadn’t forged any new memories until recently when I showed up to Chula Vista Brewery on a Friday evening. The place was bustling with TGIF spirit, packed to the gills. It was great to see for a expat who has long wanted to see local beer trickle its way into his hometown in a big way. The first brewery to open in downtown Chula Vista offers a wide range of beers and one of the best shares the name of the street the business calls home. Chula Vista Third Avenue Coffee Porter is smooth and big on roasted-malt character with a recognizable but not overbearing java character.  At 6% alcohol-by-volume, it’s a good way to end a session in nightcap fashion. It’s delicious but perhaps the most alluring aspect of this beer is the story behind it. For that, I defer to the man who brought it to life.

From the Brewer: “I love English ales, especially browns and porters. While getting to know the people of Chula Vista and their preferences for craft beer, a surprisingly large amount of people said they like dark beers. I was stoked because I could brew some of my favorite recipes and know they would be appreciated. The story behind this recipe is that I had brewed a somewhat similar recipe, Moonlight Porter, with Marty Mendiola at Rock Bottom‘s La Jolla brewpub in 2010. It won silver in the Robust Porter category at the Great American Beer Festival that year. For this version, I decided to add coffee from my favorite San Diego roaster, Caffe Calabria. In the past, I had only added coffee to a firkin for specialty casks so this was a first for me. I’m happy how it turned out and would like to try it with whole Madagascar vanilla beans, but I need to wait for the price of the beans to come down a bit. Also, back in 2010 I had actually wanted to name the Moonlight Porter the BP Porter because it was brewed during the BP oil spill (deepwater horizon oil spill) in the Gulf of Mexico. The beer looked just like the oil spilling from the bottom of the Gulf. The oil-spill image has always stuck with me…similar to an over-carbonated cask spewing from the spile.”—Russell Clements, Head Brewer, Chula Vista Brewery

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