Saturday, May 30, 2015

Modern Times Oneida

type: hoppy pale ale
origin: San Diego, CA
price: $10.50/4-pack/16oz
ABV: 5.8%
NSP: 10.4

The hot shit right now is to make a "session IPA" -- a super hoppy pale ale.  And just in time for summer Modern Times pumps out some hot shit right here.  Full on fruity and floral hoppage that makes your mouth water.  The body is as mild as mild-bodied gets, and there's a pleasant tang of acidity on the finish.  But the hoppiness is not overdone, and nicely complements the malts.  It's just a fantastic sessionable ale, or whatever you want to call it.  I'm placing this at number two in my list of favorite MT offerings, right behind Blazing World.

I'd also like to take the opportunity to comment on the can...

The description on it says the name of this beer is inspired by the Oneida Community for reasons that include "complex marriage, male continence, and mutual criticism" -- they lifted that directly from the Wikipedia page, FYI.  But what MT doesn't mention is that 1 of 10 people in the Oneida community had a bureaucratic role (can you fucking imagine that nightmare??), older women were encouraged to "mentor" younger males in the ways of sex (basically, they serially committed statutory rape), they practiced eugenics to "purify" their community, and that the commune turned its silverware business into one of the largest for-profit silverware manufacturer for over a century (Oneida Limited).

So, MT, please just stick to the cute little "danksauce whales" style of label adornment, since it doesn't require maintaining consistent views concerning complex philosophical arguments about communism and social engineering, bro.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Base Camp Northwest Fest

type: amber lager
origin: Portland, OR
price: $6/22oz
ABV: 5.6%
NSP: 6.1

Amber lagers are not really an interesting style per say, but when executed well they can be mighty refreshing.  I just imagine drinking this in the situation it was meant for: high up on a mountain, after a long day of hiking or riding.  This one in particular tastes like it has strong Bavarian influences.  There's a tinge of brown sugar and spice, like you get with a dunkel, but it's still light bodied, crisp, and bitter like an amber lager should be.

Back in August 2014, nearly all of the crew visited the brewery.  At the time it was mostly a stopping point before Cascade.  You'll have to excuse the apparent lack of respect, though, since Cascade's sours are stupid delish.  But I won't forget about this brewery next time, and at least it's not Hair of the Dog, which was unanimously declared most sucky, even after drinking all day.

So much crushability packed into an awesome aluminum can -- just wish it was a few dollars cheaper.

REI sells beer now
Posted by Non-Snob Beer Reviews on Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Firestone Easy Jack

type: session IPA
origin: Paso Robles, CA
price: $11/6-pack
ABV: 4.5%
NSP: 8.7

See that bottled on date?  Yup -- supes fresh Firestone Easy Jack, their sessionable IPA, picked up direct from the brewery on my way down to SLO.

It would be too easy just to write "this is just a toned down version of Union Jack", but that would also be completely accurate.  The main differences are, expectedly, the full 3% less ABV and the less-robust malt base.  But I also think the hops they use are different -- the aromas are subtly different.  This is goddamn good and, as of May 2015, it was on BA's Top 10* worldwide.  But fuck those BA neckbeerders, make up your own mind.

I could be totally wrong about the differences in hop varietals, but one thing is clear: like UJ, I can drink a whole damn bunch of this stuff.  It's still got a solid level of hoppiness over a nice mild, light bodied base.  And they've managed to pull this off without being overly bitter, and no off flavors.   So if you want to get marginally buzzed on IPA, or just want a beer with lunch, hit this up now.

Pro tip: A growler of anything at the brewery costs more than its equivalent six pack of cans or bottles.  And for those who are detail oriented:
(6 x 12 oz = 72 oz)  >  (1 x 64 oz = 64 oz)
Can you see where I'm going with this??  Here's a hint:

* Tonight is, coincidentally, David Letterman's very last show, and very last Top Ten list, ever.  Single tear...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Telegraph Reserve Wheat (batch 136)

type: sour wheat ale
origin: Santa Barbara, CA
price: $14/750ml
ABV: 5%
NSP: [to low to print -- click here to reveal!!!] Actually it's 2.7

It took me a while to appreciate how good Telegraph Brewing Co. is, but the turning point was when we actually visited the place on a road trip.  Reserve Wheat was on the menu that day, and instantly shifted my perception of TBC.

This was the first time I've seen it around, at a local market in San Mateo, and, as the bottle says, it's only available in "extremely limited quantities."  So... fuck it, take my $14 in exchange for a deliciously tart, citrusy wheat ale.  Similar to a Berliner weisse, I suppose, but with a bit more complexity.  And  since the tartness rushes the door at the finish, rather than being an asshole during the entire goddamn show, it comes with a pleasant level of crushability.

Subtle flavors balanced by the acidity is key here, and it works quite well.  So suck it up and shell out for a stupidly-low NSP beer once in a while -- sometimes it's worth it.