From the Beer Writer: Though this week’s featured beer was produced just north of San Diego in San Clemente, it has plenty of ties to our community. It was produced by Left Coast Brewing, the brewery arm of the Oggi’s—a brewpub and restaurant chain that was founded in San Diego County—and is available at all of its local locations. Additionally, it incorporates java from STACHE Coffee Company, a roaster headquartered in Oceanside. But most importantly, to myself and other San Diegans living with lupus, it was crafted to raise money for the Beer to the Rescue campaign established to help victims of this autoimmune disease. While most of Beer to the Rescue’s beers debuted in May, this one came on a little later, but its humanitarian mission is every bit as real as the pleasant notes of roasted beans and cocoa coming off this otherwise traditional American-style cream ale. Those scents segue to an agreeable flavor-profile that is purposefully light, allowing subdued coffee and zingy, lemony acidity to come through. At 4.7% alcohol-by-volume, it’s a session beer, but the impact it’s already had on this charity campaign is imperial.
From the Brewer: “With this beer, we set out to produce a light-bodied ale with a coffee aroma, something your everyday coffee drinkers could appreciate. We teamed up with STACHE Coffee Company to make sure the coffee we used was top-shelf and fresh. We chose Stache’s Guatemala Antigua Kapeu coffee for its unique taste. In total, we used about 60 pounds of coffee in this beer. We ground up the coffee the morning of the brew day, and pumped it into the tank where it sat for one week. The result is a golden-colored beer with a coffee, milk chocolate and hazelnut aroma.”—Tommy Hadjis, Brewing Manager, Left Coast Brewing Company
From the Beer Writer: There are some beers that just stick with you. I started drinking in the late-nineties. Back then, the landscape for local beer was much different. Most of today’s drinkers wouldn’t even recognize an India pale ale (IPA) of that era against one from present-day (except Stone or Swami’s IPA). Back then, I was more about the malt and easily gravitated to one of the first deep, dark stouts I tried, Black Magic Stout from Oggi’s. It’s a very traditional beer that gives a stout fan everything they want—roasted, chocolate, nutty and coffee flavors—along with a low viscosity that makes for a pleasant and prolonged imbibing experience. Recently, I hit up the newest Oggi’s location in Vista and was pleased to see a barrel-aged version of this classic on tap. I ordered it up and got lost in memories that were just as rapturous and enjoyable as this beer, which comes in at 7.7% alcohol-by-volume with added flavors of vanilla and dried fruits (think raisins or dates) as a result of its spirit-barrel rest. It felt good saying hello to an old friend. In terms of beer, we had both done a bit of maturing, but it remained way smoother than I’ll ever be.
From the Brewer: “This is a version of Oggi’s Black Magic Stout aged in new American oak bourbon-style barrels. The beer pours black with a tannish head. The aroma is filled with vanilla, figs, cookie-dough and Tootsie Rolls. It has a chocolate, coffee, raisin and toasted coconut flavor and delivers a good, warming sensation, finishing dry with some fruity notes. This is a solid beer with a nice, smooth flavor.”—Randal Dilibero, Master Brewer, Left Coast Brewing Company