Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sons of Atlas Brewery: Honey-Orange Ale, Pale Ale, IPA

A chill-to-the-bone afternoon on a patio in Crest, CA (there's no reason you should know where this is, unless you're from East San Diego County), Brats, Sambo, and I are at a birthday/beer-tasting. We assume: (a) there will be five people there that like beer, and (b) the beer will suck. I've learned something over the years: set your expectations low, or neutral, and be pleasantly surprised; otherwise, who gives a shit, right?

Surprise! Well, it seemed like (a) was true (us three and the two Sons' brewers), but (b) was completely wrong. Danny and Brian, from the Sons of Atlas Brewery (Chula Vista, CA), have a shit-ton of potential, even in Hopland, San Diego. Here are my thoughts (I think they safely echo Sambo and Brats as well):

1) Honey-Orange Ale: You taste three things, predominately: Honey, then orange, then ale. We unanimously enjoyed this, but it's likely too simple for our tastes. I could see my mom drinking this (and enjoying it). Note, this was the only beer left after we drank every drop of:

2) Pale Ale: incredibly flavorful, smooth finish, good hop character, and (as we all found astounding) 7.4%. OK, I'll give you guys the benefit of the doubt, but double check those readings. If it's true I've not tasted a smoother, more delicious strong pale ale (that doesn't taste strong).

3) IPA: even by SD standards, this is really nice. Besides the bitterness hop-magic, you get a nice citrus twinkle (see, I could write for Beer Advocate); it's understated, but that might be the key to its success.

Summary: impressive first showing, and looking forward to more. Here's their FB. Give 'em a like.

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